HSVV Q&A : Actor/Producer Rod Grant ( The Connection )
What made you want to get involved in the film industry?
I think I’ve always wanted to. Even from age nine, sitting in the theater watching a comedy and seeing the effect the movie was creating on the audience. I had a profound moment and remember looking around and saying to myself, “Wow, I would like to do that…I would like to be up there on that screen making people laugh like that.” And I’ve always gravitated towards the arts. It’s always been where my attention was and what I wanted to do.
Why is Midnight Releasing the perfect home for The Connection?
They seem to be synonymous with horror and other unique titles and although our film isn’t really a horror film it does fit in with their distribution model.
Do you have a favorite scene from The Connection?
For my character, it’s probably the one where Joel Wynkoop (who plays the Sheriff) and I are talking in the Sherriff’s office and I go into this weird fantasy that what we’re confronting could be a zombie apocalypse. Lol! All that dialogue was improvised and it was so much fun to do those scenes with Joel and just have fun. I am grateful Nicholas liked it enough to keep it in the film. Other scenes were probably some of the motel scenes. Laura Stetman, who plays the female lead Vera was so great in those scenes, so mesmerizing.
How was it working with Nicholas Naylor?
Nicholas is great! He’s a really good and patient director and coming from an acting background understands the actor’s process and that we’re all different and have different ways of getting where we need to be in order to create and perform the role. He’s also very fun to be around on set and that’s important when you’re working with someone that closely for long periods of time.
What is the biggest obstacle you faced while making The Connection?
As an actor none, really but as a producer it was finding the right locations. Every movie has its own set of problems and you have to figure those out and handle them so you can move on and shoot the movie. With this one we had trouble finding the right locations within our time frame and budget. Nicholas had a very distinct look he wanted and we had to find those places in order to shoot the film.
What was your proudest moment during production?
Probably wrapping! Lol! It’s true though every time I wrap a movie I am just so overjoyed with happiness. To have accomplished something that can be so difficult to do. To have created a piece of art that will be here long after I’m gone, that will continue to entertain, inspire, and motivate others it’s just incredible. And I am so happy that I’ve created something on my purpose as an artist.
How do you get a film to stand out in the crowd in independent horror?
Wow, good question! Marketing! Lol! I laugh, but really that’s true. Lots of marketing. As far as the art goes…doing things we haven’t seen before, such as story line, gore, plot twists etc. in my humble opinion. To me, a movie may not be that great comparatively but if you have great marketing it can stand out and make an impact.
What other filmmakers inspire you to do what you do?
As a film-maker probably Robert Rodriguez because he started out the same way I have, with nothing. And I always tell people one of the best things I’ve learned and gotten out of making movies from nothing is that I have learned how to do it. So when you do get “real money,” you’re going to be dangerous!
What is your favorite horror decade and why?
I would say, probably the late 70’s to early 80’s. I know that splits it up but movies just seemed so much scarier to me then. But hey, it’s a genre still in demand and still producing great work for those fans. It’s still going strong today and I see some great stuff out there!
What is the next step in your filmmaking career?
I currently have nine films in development ranging from comedy to action and hope to be doing a comedy in the near future called “Women Want Everything!” It’s an adaptation of a play I did many years ago that was critically successful. It’s about four guys trying to figure out just what it is women want and through their failures ensues a rocket-ride of laughter. Haha! I can’t wait to get it out to an audience.