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TODD REYNOLDS, THE KITTY KILLERS PDF Print E-mail
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Nov 28, 2004 at 07:00 PM
Todd Reynolds has been successful both as a director (Living a Zombie Dream) and as a producer with partner Ronnie Sotor (Ravage, Sinyster). Todd's most recent work, this time as a director, is his Pulp Fiction inspired indie-hit "Kitty Killers". We sat down with Todd recently for another one of our patented quickie interviews. Here's what he had to say:

Dark Gallery: Please tell us a little about your movie.

Todd Reynolds: I don't have alot to say about Kitty Killers. It's just a strange movie that follows a group of hitmen who are holding hostages for their wicked boss. One of the men falls in love with a waitress and everyone gets pissed off. The movie changed so much in the shooting that most of the original ideas were sacrificed just to get the movie finished.

DG: How did you come up with the idea for your movie?

TR: Actually, it was from "Nightmare Before Christmas." I loved the evil scientist in that movie and wanted to create an even more extreme character. I had the title "Kitty Killers,"and just kind of put everything together. I've done that with most of the things I've written. I'll have a cool title then fit a movie around the title.

DG: What ideas, themes, etc. were you trying to convey with the movie?

TR: The one idea I had for the movie that never came through was the whole stupidity of the situation. Because of the awful shooting schedule, so much of what I had written and wanted to do was sacrificed just to make the damn thing. That idea plays alot into the zen running throughout the movie. The characters are all different in their approach to their job, but each one has a problem with it. The Brother character was there to help establish the absurdity of what they were doing. In the script there was a counter part to Brother, called Jesus. He was a performance artist that was the martyr archetype. This was to help reflect the lead character's martyr identity. Unfortunately the character was sacrificed. (No pun intended.) The idea of enlightenment through death is really the only thing left in the movie that pushes towards the absurdity theme. So what it boils down to is I was going for this "zen at work" idea.

DG: Tell us a little about your main actors.

TR: If you people don't know Ronnie Sortor, you need to check out his movies, Ravage and Synister. Ronnie played Richards. He's great. He's a master at what he does. Acting is not his main thing, directing and editing are. This movie was his break after shooting Ravage. Frank Alexander plays Brother and Frank is our movie guru. Don't ask me why, but we need Frank to make movies. We can't make them without him. Frank and Ronnie and I have been hanging out since high school. Frank also did most of the effects on the movie. He really knows his stuff. Mike Smith plays Matt. Mike is just cool. I don't know much about him other than he'll do whatever he has to for any part. He's great. The leads, Tim Ryans and Michelle White I don't know that well and haven't seen since the production wrapped. That sounds bad, but that's show business. I believe I heard that Tim is pursuing his acting career in Florida. I wish him well, he was a nice guy to work with.

DG: Anything really crazy happen when shooting?

TR: Not really. This is the only production we've done that nothing weird happened on. It was just a nightmare the whole time we were shooting because of scheduling problems. That drove me crazy. It's taken me two years to get over the shell shock.

DG: What format did you shoot on?

TR: We shot on SVHS.

DG: What was the budget?

TR: I think the whole movie cost around $2,000.00. Not too bad considering how much the main location cost us to rent.

DG: Tell us about your favorite filmmaker.

TR: I really don't know much about my favorite filmmaker other than he makes awesome movies. I'm really into alot of different filmmakers, but I guess I have to say Shinya Tsukamoto is my favorite. His movies are visually stunning and always a heavy mind trip. I like the way his characters are developed through bizarre imagery and violence. I also like the work of Lynch, Cronenberg, and Takashi Ishii. If you've never seen it, check out Gonin by Ishii. There's a DVD version from Hong Kong available, but I think I heard that someone is doing a domestic release soon. To me, Gonin is one of the most perfect movies, technically. It's brilliant. I saw it at a film fest and was totally blown out of the theater. There's a scene with Beat Takeshi shooting these guys in the rain that left such an impression on me; I'll never forget that moment. Pure filmmaking genius.

DG: What is your dream project?

TR: Shirley Jackson wrote a novel entitled "We Have Always Lived in the Castle." I've read the book like 10 times. It's one of my favorites. I'd love to do it as a movie. It's not violent or bloody, but it's weird and chilling. I think the ideas and themes are also constantly timely. It's a heavy character story which is what I want to do now. And it would help me get over my identity with my feminist friends. They think I hate women. Can you believe that? So hands off everyone, it's mine.

DQ: What's lined up next for you?

TR: Right now I'm shooting a short entitled, "Labels." It's a bizarre look at the way we the people in our life and how we label ourselves. I like the short film format and this is my first movie to be shot on DV. It's rather bizarre and filled with tons of editing tricks. After that, who knows. I'm working on a new feature screenplay that's actually a love story. We've never done a movie where love is a strong theme before so it might be fun. Of course it's full of murder and mayhem....

DG: Any advise for young filmmakers?

TR: Do they really need advice. With all the new technology out there, it's so easy to pick up a digital camera and shoot and edit. The only way you learn anything is by doing it. And keep doing it no matter what anyone says. If it's your passion, the rest of the world will fall in line behind you. Just be sure to set up professional boundries before you begin production and keep them there. Energetic boundries also helpful, but on this you'd need to consult a psychic. And don't compromise!!! Filmmaking is alot like weight training. Sometimes you don't think you can do one more rep so you give in and compromise. Just keep pushing and you'll find out that you can do that last rep. (Okay, no more metaphors.)


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