Sunday, December 27, 2015

Interview with Director Max Sobol of You (Us) Me

Director Max Sobol
Max Sobol is the director behind You (Us) Me, a blood soaked romantic horror, comedy, psychological thriller that arrived to DVD back on November 24th. The film follows a serial killer who falls in love with one his intended victims. The twist? The intended victim is a suicidal woman who wants death. The two of them strike up a relationship that's complicated to say the least.

Max took the time to speak to me about this his unique addition to the horror genre. So, instead of going on and on, let's delve right into the interview.....

Hi there. Let me start with the universal question. Who is Max Sobol and what are you all about? 

I'm a writer/director living in London. I make commercials for rent and films for love. Hopefully, one day, the two things will converge. 


Hannah Kew in You (Us) Me
You have a film that was recently released to DVD called You (Us) Me. Tell us about the film and your take on it? 

It's kind of an upside down romantic comedy that follows a strange love affair between a serial killer and a suicidal girl. Obviously, due to the nature of the characters, we also spend some time in the horror/thriller world as well. In a sense, it's an attempt to subvert the traditional roles of killer and victim since the victim is the one who's really in control. 

The film is almost an origin story, as well, as the killer is still struggling with his humanity at the beginning. The events that unfold will strip that away from him.

What was the inspiration behind it? 

Firstly, as it's a low budget film, I wanted something simple that could be made in a few locations with a small cast. If you take the idea that drama is about needs vs obstacles then the idea was to create two characters who's needs were each other's obstacles. I was also writing at the time of a breakdown in a relationship of my own, so I was digesting the idea of two people who love each other, but are destructive when put together. 

How do you think You (Us) Me reflects upon you either as a writer or filmmaker? 

It has my black sense of humor. I grew up with a lot of Christopher Morris stuff like Blue Jam and so on and that has influenced me a lot. In a lot of ways, by making the film, I was trying to learn how to make a film, trying to find my voice & my style. Some of the execution was successful and some of it not so much, but I learnt a lot. I can't wait to put it into practice on the next project. 

Christian J. Wilde in You (Us) Me
Your two leads are Hannah Kew & Christian J. Wilde. What made you decide upon them? 

I had been working with Hannah for years. She's a fantastic actress and we work really well together, so this part was written for her - it could never have been anyone else. 

Chris, I found through an online casting site. He had practically given up on acting and was concentrating on music. I'm glad he took a last punt, because he's a huge talent. He brings an interesting humanity to the role. 

Overall, the two of them take something that could be quite cartoonish or melodramatic and imbue it with an honesty that's at the heart of everything that works about the film. 

Tell us some about filming You (Us) Me? 

The shoot was a strange one, because we made the film for no money at all. So, it was very disrupted. We shot for 8 days. Then I had to go back to work and earn some more money. Then we shot for 8 more days and then we took some down time to edit what we had. I wanted to take the opportunity to know what was working and what wasn't. Finally we came back for another couple of short bursts of 4 days, the last of which was a year after we first started shooting. 

The challenge here was keeping continuity, in the traditional sense, but also in terms of the choices that everyone was making, in front of and behind the camera. What it meant though is that we had a chance to learn and develop while we made the film. I'm not sure how evident it is as we shot out of order, but for me I can see the scenes where I start to get better at my job and that's an exciting feeling. 


Hannah Kew in You (Us) Me
Since your film combines elements of character study, horror, comedy, romance & social commentary, what do you think are some of the key fundamentals in bringing together so many different genres? 

Mixing things up like this can be really difficult. Audiences are used to having everything clearly labelled for them and that can mean people are a little confused by the tone. On the other hand, I think people enjoy something that's a bit different. They like to think for themselves and not just get fed the same old fare. For me life is full of moments of horror and comedy and everything in between so it makes sense to have elements of all that in my films. Each film is it's own beast and you just serve what that story tells you it needs. 
  
You (Us) Me DVD artwork
Now that You (Us) Me is out and you can reflect back on the film and the experience of filming it, what would you say you took from it personally? 

I took so much from the experience that it's really impossible to sum up. It was a crazy massive learning curve. I'm proud that I made a film at all considering how little support we had, but I also look at the film and I can see all those limitations. I can't wait to make the next one - hopefully with a little money behind it and put everything I learned into practice. 

What's next? 

I have a short coming up at the start of next year. We have a little funding, so that's going to be a great opportunity. I'm working with a great playwright on a feature script that I plan to shoot in Sept. 2016 and then another feature for the following year as well.

To stay up to date on Max Sobol, you can follow him through these social media platforms:
Instagram
Twitter
IMDB

You (Us) Me Trailer:




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