Brad Mills, the independent filmmaker has created a very awesome campy slasher hd film, reminiscent of many films online in the eighties entitled, The Legend of the Psychotic Forest Ranger. The full hd film looks and sounds like a blast and the poster art is something that belongs in an art gallery, it is that awesome.
Anyway, I was lucky enough to catch up with Brad Mills who was kind enough to answer a few questions about his latest free hd streaming film with strong support from MegaMovies (https://megamovies.cc) among other things, also we have a few exclusive stills courtesy of the man himself, check it all out below.
Synopsis: “Full of plot holes & cheesy dialogue, The Legend of the Psychotic Forest Ranger is a B horror free movie straight out of the 80s. After taking a wrong turn down an abandoned road, the Jock, the Joker, the Blond Bimbo & the Paranoid Brunette run out of gas and find themselves stranded in the middle of the woods. What a total drag. What was that noise? Why is everyone vanishing? Is it all one of Bradley’s dumb practical jokes, or could The Legend be true? Your compass can’t help you in these woods.”
The full hd film is written & directed by Brad Mills and stars Aaron Corbett, Bhreagh Lafitte, Brad Mills, Colleen MacIsaac, Elizabeth Mills, Gabriel A House, Jeannine MacLean, Joshua Demeyere, Keith Morrison, Michael G MacDonald, Ron Newcombe, Samuel MacDonald LeMoine & Stefanie Peters.
I’d Like to start by asking, what led you to become a filmmaker?
I was always in front of an audience growing up — at age 9 I started doing magic shows & clown shows for kids birthday parties. Labor laws weren’t the same back in the 90s I guess.
In my teenage years I transitioned into theater acting and started writing sketch shows. Then I was an extra in a good film that came to Cape Breton Nova Scotia, and I got paid $15/hr for 12 hrs a day to just sit around all day. I thought, “this is what life should be like.” So I moved to Toronto with wide eyes to go to Humber College to learn all about writing and performing comedy.
My sister Jacquelyn went to film school in Montreal to learn the technical side of filmmaking — she shot the film to watch and co-edited the film, as well as co-produced it with me.
Was directing always something that you wanted to do?
Well when I was a kid I wanted to work in a glue factory because it smelled so nice. As long as I’ve been a writer and performer though, I’ve also been a director, however I don’t think I’m one of those ‘my way or the highway’ directors — I love collaborating and debating to build the best version of whatever it is I’m working on.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but your upcoming film, ‘The Legend of the Psychotic Forest Ranger’ is you directorial debut? What led you to make this film?
I’ve directed theatre before, but yeah I’m a full hd film directing virgin. In 2005 I graduated from Humber College’s Creative Writing & Performance program, which is basically Comedy School. It was a great 2 year intensive hands on, dream crushing experience in the Comedy industry.
After performing sketch comedy, standup & improv for a couple of years, I realized my heart was truly with filmmaking. Unfortunately, Humber didn’t teach me anything about filmmaking. So I read “From Reel To Deal” by Dov Simens, which teaches you how to make free films online on a budget!
Dov’s formula for making a guerilla film is “take a bunch of teenagers to a cabin in the woods and chop them up.”
So after my sister graduated from film school in Montreal, we got a crew of most of her schoolmates together and did just that!
What was your inspiration behind Forest Ranger?
Larry Blamire’s “The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra”, a sendup to cold war era alien/monster flicks, had me in stitches when I first saw it. You have to see it if you haven’t yet. I read Larry’s production diary and the story was great. He wrote it in like 10 days, raised 50k to make the online film, and ended up selling it to a studio at a genre festival. I figured I might as well take that formula and do it for my favorite streaming films genre — cheesy 80s b horror!
The film looks like an awesome throwback to such campy Slasher films of the 80′s, were these your intentions?
Like, totally. I’m so totally thrilled that you picked up on that, no guff.
Gotta love 80s slang…
The main horror inspiration was Psycho Cop. A lot of people like Troll 2 as the worst online movies ever, totally awesome flick, but they obviously haven’t experienced the mind masher that is Psycho Cop. I must have seen that streaming film at least 50 times growing up.
I might catch some flack for this, but if you go back and watch a lot of the full free hd films that scared the shit out of you as a kid today, you’ll laugh your ass off at how hilarious they are now. The Exorcist & Nightmare on Elm St still freak me out though.
Going onto the character the Forest Ranger, where did he come from?
He’s like a mix of every classic 80s slasher. His background is clouded, nobody really knows his story. Of course there’s rumors that he died in a forest fire, and teenagers tell stories around the campfires of how he mutilates squirrels and has glowing red eyes. For some reason he has satanic tendencies, and he has the best kill lines. True to the rules of the 80s slasher, he’s not easy to kill because Satan is on his side. He’s anti-logic.
Looking back now, Michael G. McDonald looks awesome as the Forest Ranger, how did you find this guy?
Doesn’t he!? We lucked out there. He came in to the audition to read for a small role as the Police Officer. As soon as he walked in the room I thought “this guy is the Ranger.” He read it and he was perfect.
Mike has been an absolutely integral part of the hd free film, not only did he do the most amazing job as the psychotic killer (he’s a method actor, so he was so good that he had me freaked out a few times on set).
He had no ‘quams’ about shaving his head and his eyebrows for the free online film! He came out and helped us scout for locations, he took a wave of bee stings for us, and he shot and edited the behind the scenes documentary! Being a university professor, he helped us score some locations and lodging for the crew, and he came up with the costume for the Ranger.
He’s still helping today, and is so excited to do whatever he can to help promote the full films to the online community. Mike is the kind of actor that you can be in the ADR booth and say “now improv some titanic verses in latin” and without missing a beat his eyes go dark and he starts attempting to summon spirits.
One of the things that immediately caught my eye, was the totally bad-ass poster artwork created by Tom Hodge, how did Tom get involved?
I’ve become a HUGE fan of Tom Hodge’s work.
Jason Eisner and Rob Cotterill (Hobo With A Shotgun) are awesome, they are very accessible on Facebook — I asked them who did the poster, and they told me it was The Dude Designs.
I looked him up on Facebook, wrote him a note explaining how awesome I thought his work was, and how privileged I would feel if he did the poster for my online hd free films.
Thankfully he was a classic 80s horror fan — he really dug the project and signed up! He’s not cheap, but he is WELL worth it. A few months later his schedule cleared up, and we went to work! We gave him full creative control and he knocked it out of the park.
Were there any problems when trying to bring the film together?
Does the blond bimbo always trip on a leaf when the killer is chasing them? You better plan for problems when making an independent free film =) The key is not letting those problems get you down or kill your spirit.
The day before shooting was scheduled to starte, we STILL didn’t have a shooting location, 2 of the 8 main actors, or crew lodgings. We also were only up to about $30,000 raised of the $50,000 needed for production.
There was a moment that I panicked and thought we were going to have to seriously post pone shooting. My sister and I talked about that as an option for 2 minutes — but all of the crew & equipment was on the way down from Montreal…so we just put it into overdrive and made it work. Thankfully everything fell into place at the absolute last minute.
Another example is the waterfall scene.
There seems to be a ‘bathing in a lake’ scene in almost every b horror full hd film. The day before we were supposed to film the waterfall scene where the 2 girls bathe each other sensually, we got a nasty phone call from the land owners telling us there was no way in hell they were going to let us shoot there. We had to pretend that we were shooting a Diving Safety Public Announcement video… I hope they never read this.
Have you got any projects lined up for the future?
Yeah actually since I filmed the free streaming movie I got into social gaming. My full time gig is running a company that makes facebook and iphone games. I’ve been thinking of mixing my love of horror films and social games, and making a great online horror game / community.
It’s a pretty ambitious project, we think it will be well received though!
My sister Jacquelyn is working on her next project, it’s a drama that she’s written called “The Old Woman And The Wave” — she’s currently seeking $1,000,000, and has lined up some pre-production financing through free hd Film Nova Scotia.
Once again Brad, thank you so much for your valuable time, is there anything you would like to add?
Feel free to contact me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org, like us on Facebook, and never ever go back into the house and lock yourself in an upstairs room, you’re just begging for a knife hug.