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DG Nov 05 - Joel Wynkoop Puts the Bite on You! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Written by Joe Sherlock   
Nov 21, 2005 at 07:00 PM
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DG Nov 05 - Joel Wynkoop Puts the Bite on You!
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DG: So you are the producer and co writer (with Phil Herman) and star in "THE BITE", thats a lot of hats to wear. What was the inspiration for the movie?

Joel: The real inspiration came to Phil Herman, he wrote a three page synopsis and sent it to me and asked me to make a 15 minute short, I took his synopsis and made it into a full feature, a blend of "MAD MAX" and "THE LOST BOYS" if you will. It's almost like a disguised "LOST FAITH 2."

DG: Nick Hazzard seems to be a nod to the Ransom character from the Alien Agenda movies. Coincidence?

Joel: Yes and no. We made or I should say Tim Ritter made up the Cope Ransom character but he was modeled after Snake Plisken from "ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK." I guess you could say Hazzard was modeled after Cope and Snake. I like to think of Cope and Nick as the same guy but in alternate realities. Personally I think Nick Hazzard would kick the living shit out of Cope Ransom, hey thats an idea for a movie "HAZZARD MEETS RANSOM."

DG: How did you go about assembling a team of folks for behind the camera?

Joel: Actually I asked a friend of Gus Perez who helped him with "LIGHT OF BLOOD", Mike Chomick helped lens the movie. He had experience with Gus on "LIGHT" and he was ready to help out on "THE BITE." Cathy, my girlfriend at the time - now my wife, also had experience in this because I was always sticking her with the job if I couldn't do it. Myself was elected when I was not in a scene. Then Chris C. Conklin came on board, after the first day of shooting I asked him if he would like to come on board as cameraman and he said "I'd love to." There you have it, that was our camera crew. Hey, whatever it takes to get the flick done ya know?

DG: How about in front of the camera? People you'd worked with before? Did you hold auditions? Friends of friends?

Joel: Most of the cast came from the Florida Motion Picture and Television Association which Cathy and I belong to. I asked everyone at one of the meetings if anyone would be interested in being in a movie I was working on. I used about 9 members from the group. I wanted to give everybody a chance to be in a movie if it was something they wanted to do. Cathy took a role playing my character's wife in the movie, I think she did a great job and I am very proud of her. Gus Perez who I have worked with a lot took a role as well. Gus has been in several movies and television shows such as "THUNDER IN PARADISE" with Hulk Hogan. Also he is the star of two independent productions of his own: "RAGING BELLS" and "LIGHT OF BLOOD." Gus and Cathy I had worked with on many productions such as "THE PART" for "TWISTED ILLUSIONS TWO" and "TIME FOR DESSERT" from "BEFORE I DIE." We didn't have audition auditions, it was more like for the people I didn't know I would have them read lines at the FMPTA meetings and if they sounded and looked the part they got the job right then and there. Madame Ora was modeled after Madame Web from the "SPIDERMAN" series and I thought Noel Maree fit her to a tee. Micheal Chomick was a friend of Gus and had acted for him in "LIGHT OF BLOOD" so he took a role as "SPAWNBOY" and he does a great job at it. Micheal also helped out as all around everything guy as well!!!! Chris C. Conklin even took a role as "SLICK CAT DADDY", a squirly little character.

DG: What was the toughest part of making THE BITE?

Joel:Scheduling the shoots wasn't to bad, Tim Ritter had taught me long ago how to do a poorman's shooting schedule on index cards (I had used this when I did LOST FAITH), I broke it down into an 8 day shooting schedule. The shoot actually went off pretty well, I think the last thing I shot took its biggest toll on me, the 9-minute fight scene about did me in, I was racked with painfor the next several days. As I look back I think that was the toughest time, the rest went off like clockwork, if I recall correctly.

DG: How long did shooting take? Editing?

Joel:About three months, we were shooting every other weekend from early morning into late night. The last weekend was cancelled because of damn hurricane but within a week we were back at it. Editing was a nightmare. It started out good but as time dragged on and we would encounter new problems it was like this thing will never be finished. Chris and I worked on editing for about 3 or 4 months as well, every other Saturday and Sunday from sun up till sun down. I think towards the end we were getting on each others nerves but man, was it worth it. Sometimes I would have to push Chris into doing something and I would keep telling him "You may hate me for saying this but in the end you will say, "I'm glad we did that."" All in all it was worth every second we spent in front of the computer.

DG: You've got your trademark Martial Arts in there, are you officially trained in any Martial Arts?

Joel:Yes, I took Tae Kwon Doe from my instructer Richard Wingate. In 1981 I met Richard who offered to teach me Tae Kwon Doe. At first I thought "Ahh, Karate is a bunch of crap", then I learned it and found out it wasn't a bunch of crap. In the begining we didn't have money for gees or belts so I just trained with Richard in kickboxing and Tae Kwon Doe. After months of just he and I training there were enough other people interested that he started a regular class with gees and belts, he told me "Joel, I feel bad giving you a white belt with the others, with everything I have taught you, you are the equivalent of a black belt." He would take me to other schools with him and I would fight in the ring and beat black belts, it was a great feeling. Now I'm old, but I can still kick ass if I had to.

DG: What can we look forward from you in the near future Joel?

Joel:I've thought about hanging it up but something keeps gnawing at me to do something else. I still have "FALL OF AN ACTOR" to put together and Jason Liqouri of Hocus Focus productions has a script for me to do, its a sequel to "REAPS" in which I play a Reaper. Soon to be released is "ALWAYS MIDNIGHT" from Phil Herman, Cathy and I did a short in that called "KILL HER, ARNOLD" and I am now working on Gus Perez' new movie ANN GORA, a vigilante movie. I am also working on a book entitled STAY HUNGRY: THE JOEL D. WYNKOOP STORY with Franklin E. Wales.

DG: Anything else you'd like to add?

Joel:A thank you to you Joe for showing some interest in this old aging actor! It's a lot of fun doing these things its just to bad they don't pay off. For people like Tim Ritter and myself we have been doing these things for over 20 years and we both still have to hold down regular menial labor jobs, Tim and I thought we had it made after "TRUTH OR DARE?"........boy were we wrong. Still we have one HELL of a track record!!!!! You can check out more at www.thebitemovie.com!

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