An Undead Backbrain Exclusive Interview
Life gets difficult enough when you’re a hitman just trying get the job done so you can make it to your kid’s birthday party on time. But things get worse after you stumble across an alien parasite that’s turning the extras into zombies.
You can only hope you get Overtime (US-2011; dir. Matt Niehoff)…
Raph (Al Snow) and Max (John Wells) only kill bad guys, and only after their boss Sam, a high-powered attorney, has cashed a nice paycheck for getting her sleazy clients off the hook.
When Sam sends our heroes on a routine hit, they find themselves caught up in a conspiracy they never imagined. But whatever trouble they’ve gotten themselves into is nothing compared to the wrath of Raph’s wife if he doesn’t make it home in time for his son’s birthday party.
Being a good hitman is tough; being a good dad is killer!
To find out more about Overtime, the Backbrain’s News Hound, Avery Guerra, spoke to Brian Cunningham — the film’s Writer, Director of Photography and Producer:
Tell us a bit about yourself, Brian.
I’m a freelance director of Photography and producer working in Louisville Kentucky. I’ve done work for clients such as GE, McDonalds and Papa John’s, but my real passion is filmmaking. I ran a movie news and reviews blog for three years and have self-published two books about movies and pop-culture. The next project is a documentary about the Haunted House industry entitled “Monsters Wanted.” (Check out MonstersWanted.com for more info).
Why this particular movie, Overtime?
The idea to make the movie came from my partner, Matt Niehoff. We really wanted our first movie to be something fun and even a little bit silly. So many young filmmakers seem obsessed with creating work that is going to lead to awards and prestige, but when Matt and I talked about it we realized that the movies we loved as kids were the crazy comedies of the ’80s and the action films of the late ’90s (like Terminator 2 and Aliens). We wanted to make those kinds of movies because we love escapist cinema, and we wanted the audience to be taken on a journey. Plus it’s always more fun to blow things up than to shoot people talking.
Above: The movie stars WWE Superstar Al Snow, who gets bloodier than usual…
Any specific influences?
The movie draws heavily from ideas in movies like Aliens and From Dusk Til Dawn. There’s a lot of Shaun of the Dead in there, tonally, and of course the Hit Man aspect will remind people of Boondock Saints and Pulp Fiction (mind you, I’m not comparing us to those movies … I’d never dream of going toe-to-toe with Tarantino). What you might not think of, however, is the influence movies like Lethal Weapon had on Overtime. When it gets down to it, this is a fun 1980s action comedy about two guys trying to balance work and family. The zombie-alien side of things is almost incidental.
Above: Sebrina Siegel finds herself at the wrong end of a Shooter’s Party rally
Above: Stuck in a corner with blood and cake: John Wells, Sebrina Siegel, Erica Goldsmith and Al Snow
How did the project develop between you and Matt?
The idea for the movie came from Matt. He wrote a rough draft of the script and asked me to take a look at it to see if I was interested in shooting it for him. When I read it, I loved the whole conceit. I asked Matt if I could take a crack at changing some things, and he agreed. After that, it really became a 50-50 partnership. We went through a good twelve drafts together before shooting, and we worked together on casting, finding locations and testing out the makeup and effects. It was a really rewarding collaboration with each of us pushing each other every day. We would rewrite entire scenes the night before the shoot, trying to make things a little more organic, a little funnier, and to take advantage of the talents of the awesome cast.
Above: Avri Ant’juan considers whether to shoot ’em or… um… shoot ’em
Check out this Behind-the-Scenes video:
What are you plans for Overtime?
Our plans for Overtime are to get it in front of as many people as we can. We’ve started a pretty aggressive festival strategy (and it’s recently been announced that it will be screening in Louisville on February 18 at the Derby City Film Festival), and we’re in the process of contacting distributors directly to try and make a deal. We know from feedback from screenings and our website that there is a good market for this movie, and people who see it seem to have a really good time with it.
And if hitmen, alien parasites, blood and zombies aren’t enough, don’t forget there are tentacles as well!
Check out lots more pictures and a couple of alternative posters in the gallery below:
Sources: Brian Cunningham via Avery Guerra; Official website/blog; Facebook page; IMDb entry.
Earlier (slightly longer) Official Trailer:
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