What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
I have always loved film. I wanted my Book about Movie Legend Jayne Mansfield to get made. Their had only been one TV-Movie in 1980 about her and it was really poor on fact so I really wanted something more complete to be done.
What do you find to be the most rewarding part of the filmmaking process?
I really enjoyed watching the the raw footage and picking the best takes of each scene. It was really cool to see it all come to life and from being on the set for each one seeing the finished product.
Tell us about your experiences distributing your work:
It was very nerve wracking not knowing where the film would wind up. I tried all the film festivals that I could, and was finally chosen by the Hoboken International Film Festival to screen at their festival which was an incredible feeling seeing your work viewed by other filmmakers. It was definitely hardly than I thought finding the right fit with a distributor that gave me the most return and also put the film out to as many streaming venues as possible. Indie Rights Films is who I chose and couldn’t be happier with them as a distributor.
Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
I have several finished scripts that I would love to put into motion but I know that I am not going to start another project until i have enough revenue to do it right. I planned almost 2 years for Diamonds To Dust and just about everything that I did ended up costing 2 -3 times more than expected.
What made you think the premise of your film was something that you could and should turn into a movie?
The reviews and the talk about my book was really positive. Jayne Mansfield was a really famous Movie Star, definitely as popular as Marilyn Monroe and I feel her life was much more exciting/interesting than Marilyn’s.
Why Jayne Mansfield?
Jayne Mansfield was prettier than Marilyn Monroe and so underrated, as an Actress and Celebrity. She was a self made woman, I.Q of 163, spoke 5 languages , could play the Violin and piano was married three times had 5 children, made 30 films and appeared all over the world as a cabaret star and was gone at age 34.
Can you tell us something interesting you learned while researching your film that didn’t make it to the final cut?
Jayne was the only blonde bombshell of that time that Marilyn Monroe really felt threatened by. Maybe because she was contracted by 20th Century Fox (MM’s Studio). Anytime they were seen at same event Marilyn gave her dirty looks and even told some others that Jayne had fake boobs (totally Untrue)
You mentioned going over your budget by a significant margin. Independent films are usually made on a very small budget so how is going over budget something that can be remedied?
Watch EVERY dollar from day one! Know you will go over budget no matter how much you planned. Don’t do anything extravagant when it comes to feeding cast and crew. Keep it economical as possible.
How would you describe your directorial style?
I was assistant Director, since I wore so many other hats in the film (Producer, Writer, Prop Man, Wardrobe asst, Set Manager, Location Manager, etc) I tried to keep Director close to the backstory of the film since it was a Bio-Film and I wrote the book. I tried to explain the emotions of every scene to keep it true to the story.
Who would you say are some of your biggest influences as a filmmaker?
I love fifties and sixties melodrama and works of Ray stark, Nicholas Ray, stanley Donen and George Cukor. My Man and Idol is Martin Scorsese who I believe is a creative GENIUS!
What advice would you give to someone thinking about making their first film?
I would tell anyone thinking about making a film to do all the research, find all the locations needed and pin down the costs. Also make sure Hair, wardrobe, Make-up people are contracted and locked down to a price. Almost everything and everyone involved in Production cost two to three times more than expected. People were not as talented as there work was promised to be and i had to find a lot of replacement make up and hair people plus they are VERY expensive and have to be paid by the day.