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DG Feb 07 - Ron Ford and the Creepy Tiki PDF Print E-mail
Written by Written by Joe Sherlock   
Feb 06, 2007 at 02:00 AM
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DG Feb 07 - Ron Ford and the Creepy Tiki
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Ron Ford has been involved in tons of movies, as a writer, director and actor. From large productions like 2006's Home of the Brave and 2005's Mozart and the Whale to indie horror like Dead Season, Witchcraft XI: Sisters in Blood and Hollywood Mortuary. Recently Ron wrote and directed the horror flick TIKI. We caught up with Ron in his Washington State home to hear all about it.

DG: A movie you shot a while back for Fred Olen Ray's Retromedia label, TIKI came out recently. How did you come to work for Fred?

RF: I had several meetings with Fred over the years when I lived in LA, but neothing ever clicked, the timing was never right. But we always were on very friendly terms, and I always regarded him as a straight-talker, the kind of producer I always have a rewarding relationship with. Anyway, I had been writing some things for Fred on spec, and I asked one day via e-mail if he were farming out projects, I was in a¬Ýposition to make him a very slick looking movie here in Spokane. The timing finally was perfect, because he had the idea to do a horror film about a Tiki doll, but wanted it made outside of Hollywood to avoid copy cats. Anyway, once a deal was struck, it all came together pretty quickly.

DG: You had quite an extensive cast for a low budget movie, and quite capable actors to boot. How did you find such a great group?

RF: I do a lot of theater work here, directing and (mostly) acting. So I know the acting community here very well. They are all my friends. For a smallish city, Spokane has a lot of theaters, a lot of film production, and a LOT of talented actors. I cast the peole I knew and wrote many of the roles with people in mind. As for the young college kids in the movie, I had recently performed as the Criminologist in a production of ROCKY HORROR as a fund raiser for the college drama department. That had a cast of about 30 young and eager thespians. From them I had a fantastic pool to cast the college kids from.

DG: Did Fred provide the TIKI doll or where did you get it?

RF: Fred had a Tiki statue in his office he wanted us to duplicate. Mitch Tiner, the effects man, had to fudge a bit to make the stylized carving work as a four-limbed puppet, but he did a fantastic job of it. Fred was totally pleased when he saw the final result.

DG: How long was the shoot? How was it working with the Tiki doll?

RF: The shoot was about 12 days all together, if added up. The Tiki slowed us up immensely, normally I take no more than eight days to shoot a feature.¬ÝI had never done a picture that featured a puppet creature so extensively before, and didn't know it would be quite so time consuming. I think the results Mitch got was very impressive, but those puppet shots took longer than anything else.

DG: A movie you have a small role in, HOME OF THE BRAVE, is coming out shortly. How did you land that role? Tell us about that shoot.

RF: I got an audition through my agent. I read for Irwin Winkler, the director, personally. I did the scene, then he asked me to remove my hat. I did, then he said thanks, and that was it. Very cold, I thought I had no chance in hell of getting the part. But the next week I was cast. The shoot went smoothly. I have one two page dialogue scene with Brian Presley. I was in and out in like four hours.

DG: You've just finished up shooting a horror anthology segment called THE ROAD. Tell us all about it!!

RF: THE ROAD is a zombie movie with a social message that feature probably the most solid ensemble cast I've ever worked with. The acting is jsut great. This one I did not write. Some local guys let me read an anthology script of theirs. I loved one of the stories and bought it immediately. I called Alex Michaud, who does the GoreGoyles movies, and asked him if he needed a short for the next anthology movie. He said sure, and the rest is history. I think this will be a very good little movie. It is in post production¬Ýright now.

DG: What have you got coming out or up soon? What can Ron Ford fans look forward to in the near future?

RF: Nothing coming out, but I have several projects in the works. I am planning a mockumentary to shoot here in Spokane this spring, but I want to keep details vague on that at the moment. I will be in California this July for a couple weeks and am hoping to line up a project to shoot then. Also, I have been acting in a lot of films lately. I did a short vampire film recently, playing a butcher. It's called GOT BLOOD? Also, I play the lead in a short called THE SECRETS OF DR. HAHN, a true story about a quack abortionist who killed several women in Spokane in the 1940s. Last, and most exciting, is THE TRANSCONTINTAL, a western in which I play a lead character. It's a fabulous old fashioned western about the courage of the railroad men. It's being beautifully produced, with an obsessive attention to period detail, and incredible miniature work. It's a great role, and I'm working my ass off on that right now.

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