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Film Courage: At what point did the stakes rise for
you with making films where you had money that was given to you and it
became more serious and then it became more stressful at times because now
you’re responsible for more? How did you handle this? Brad Sykes, Filmmaker: I think that one of the
movies that that happened for me on was a movie idea called DEMON’S KISS which was…well it was a big…was the biggest budget I’d had until that point I’d probably
directed five or six movies to that point and DEMON’S KISS was a bigger
budget was shot on film. That’s right off the bat that’s puts you
in another bracket economically you know and it was a longer schedule and was
just a bigger film and it was the first film I was making for this particular
company and I was I think this and also it was a script that I hit was a concept
I had pitched to the investor which I should point out that a lot of the films
are made back then especially horror films and exploitation films and stuff
sometimes someone would just come to you or they’d come to the producer you’re
working with and say we want to make this movie X movie and are you in or
you’re out they already had a title they’re at artwork they’d already done
pre-sales and Milan or something and they it was your choice whether you want
to be involved in the movie or not demons kiss was something I pitched I
had the title the concept and I pitched it and it got the green light so and I
was writing it and directing it so I was I was very it was very important to me
not only to handle the you know the production well and and you know come in
on budget and you know that was but to make a good movie that I’d be happy with
too because I was actually getting more resources to do it with you know that
was that was one of the films I think for sure that I was you know and it
wasn’t I can’t say I had fun making that movie you know I mean I’ve made movies
what I all of him say is the movies I’ve had the most fun making they didn’t turn
out as well or they didn’t do as well some of the ones that have been
nightmares to make they they’re like my most of my most successful films you
know I it’s I don’t know why exactly that is
sometimes because I work hard on everything I direct but it just turns
out that way sometimes demons kiss was a was a really hard movie to make it
wasn’t a huge pit necessarily but it wasn’t you know didn’t disappear either
it’s kind of somewhere in the middle but I just remember every day on that
talking about a little different location every day I had to DPS I had a
DP who was forced on the production who was more or less trying to take over the
movie I had to take him aside early on and tell him that that’s not going to
happen that’s not gonna work and and after that he was fine but that was
something I had to contend with on the first day of shooting there was a lot of
nudity in the film it was an erotic thriller and it was the most of those
type of scenes I’ve ever ever had to direct at that point so thankfully the
actors are really cool and professional and all that but that was kind of a
challenge for me too and I just you know just the
post-production was also very challenging let’s just say in terms of
the movie I saw it being vs. with the executive producer saw it as being but
yeah that was probably the first times I’m her feeling and I just got married
too so it was like it was first movie I made after I got married and and we’ve
been prepping it for a long time so you know you have the more prep you have
sometimes the more psyched out you can get that’s why I don’t like to have too
much crap on a film like I’ve sung but not too much because after a while you
can start to psych yourself out a bit that’s really interesting the the ones
that didn’t turn out the best actually were the most fun and then vice versa
that’s it’s weird I mean like for example I mentioned this movie death
factory that had in blockbuster my first movie in Blockbuster ok that was a
nightmare to make that movie we’re shooting in a location that didn’t have
running water and barely had electricity there are no bathrooms and it was
interior and it was in the dead of summer super hot and we were like being
in fans that it wasn’t enough it was a haunted attraction like a closed down
haunted attraction that we were shooting in that was closed for the summer but
they it was just a you know was ridiculous and there was a
lot of effects there was a lot of gore everyone was getting covered in blood
sticky blood and our days would always go longer and longer and you know it was
one of those shoots where you start off with normal days and then by like day
five or six years starting in like 5:00 p.m. you know and it was really tough to
make but that ended up being one of my most well known successful movies I will
say we were making it I had a feeling about it that it would do well that it
would do well and they would turn out well actually I don’t know how I managed
to do well I knew would turn out well because I just could see what I was
seeing on screen I could see that you know in the monitor and on set I could
tell that it was delivering it was a kind of movie I’d like to see you know
that I would be happy with it if I rented it
that’s like my gauge a lot of times you know most of the time is I want to see a
film I want to make it from that I’d like to see that I’d be happy with as a
jaded horror fan you know so yeah does one start out a jaded horror fan or
already builds after it builds it builds because because I see I interact a lot
with like fans and stuff and there’s like fans of different generations who
like my so my older movies and stuff and there’s like just starting out and it’s
funny because like people who it’s fun to almost to see somebody get excited
about some 80s slasher that you’ve seen like 20 times or you’ve seen 10 times
and you’re like yeah whatever what’s the big deal about that but what is a big
deal to them now because they’re just discovering it but you do get yeah once
you see more and more stuff you do get jaded yeah and then you’ve made movies
too on top of it you really get you know it’s it’s hard to maintain the kind of
enthusiasm and you know the excitement about new release horror
you know sometimes right you know we all I’m coming here whatever age I always
say well I’m not going to end up like that like so dream crusher or whatever
and then I think enough things happen and you don’t mean to do it and I’m not
saying that’s how you are I’m just saying but we all have to like check
ourselves because it’s like so easy you do it jaded about whatever it is I saw a
lot of that too when I first moved here I saw it from
guys who are in their 40s right when I was in my early 20s or get into my
mid-20s I saw guys in their 40s who are super jaded and I thought they had the
best jobs in the world and I’m like what are you complaining about what’s your
problem and you know of course there are levels to all these things that people
if you don’t really know them you don’t know the whole story or but I I mean
just having said that this is a general statement I think it’s very very
important to keep your enthusiasm about what you’re doing and your gratefulness
for what you’ve been able to accomplish because you know it’s very very hard to
make any movie any movie any type of movie any budget movie whatever it’s
very very difficult and anyone who does that I mean that’s an accomplishment
right there and there’s you know if you’ve been able to blend lucky enough
to make a few and then then some of those have actually gone out and have
fans and people that like your stuff and they appreciate what you’ve done that
that’s you know you should be very appreciative of that I think I don’t
think you should ever lose your appreciation for that or your love of
the game and it’s really hard to lose your loop it’s really easy to lose your
love of the game because this is a very difficult game to be in it’s probably
easier to maintain your love of cinema than it is the business of cinema you
know but you can’t have one without the other so yeah that’s true I know so I
think if you dip your toe back into what you don’t want then you have a new
appreciation for kind of like what you have a little bit because ya can I think
it’s very easy to see the glass half empty we I think we’re as humans are
engineered that way no matter what we’re doing what field ran but I see it
sometimes from other filmmakers that seem like they’re not my peers who have
also some very cool accomplishments but they always seem to focus on the thing
that they didn’t get the store that their movie didn’t get into the festival
they didn’t get into the money they didn’t make the this that and I’m
thinking you know you can choose to see it that way but there’s so many other
good things that have happened for your film that you ought to be happy with and
sometimes that’s something that Josephina I talk about is let’s always
be grateful and thrilled for the stuff that goes right and stuff that works and
the people that approached us about doing cool things with the movie because
you should be appreciative of that stuff and there’s a lot of people out there
doing it you know the more people now that when I started making all kinds of
movies so you do have to kind of you have to train yourself to see it
half-full I think because there’s a lot of negativity but you just don’t want to
get and let that be the mean you’re like your go-to reaction you know right and I
like what you said about there’s difference between the love of cinema
and then the love for the business but sometimes the love of cinema can
reignite it it does it does I mean like we watch movies you know regularly and
all different types of movies new movies old things we haven’t seen sand those
watch something that we just both love and like we both love Paul Schrader
films and like when we first met we first started talking my Paul Schrader
and I thought there was a girl that knows who Paul Schrader is and was like
and she’s in Romania and she loves horror movies and and you know because
most people like in was in film school most people were only interested in
Kevin Smith and Tarantino they didn’t care about Bob Fosse shrade or freaking
you know any of these guys so and I was more interested in that type of stuff so
we’ll just watch something that we really love that we know it’s good and
then you discover another layer of it usually because these are great films
they hold up for you know we’re P viewings and you discover another layer
whether it’s the sound or the photography or a performance or
something so yeah you need to renew your your love for movies that way I think
for sure yeah and when all else goes wrong just yes yeah it’s absolutely
absolutely remind you why you’re doing this while you’re putting yourself
through this and guess what otherwise why way it’s torture that I’m torturing
myself you’re why you know well you’re it’s something you’re aspiring to and
it’s also a world that you want to contribute to and that’s what we’re you
know that’s what we’re doing this because we want to contribute to to film
to the you know not to sound pretentious but the you know the art of cinema or
the history of film or whatever you want to call it sort of must love dogs most
love well not even right exactly that would be yeah prerequisite must be a fan
of Americans and cat people you

2 thoughts on “Do The Hardest Films To Make Turn Into The Best Movies? – Brad Sykes

  1. If you have some content on the Hyperlink format, I think that format raises stakes and establishes higher stakes more than a basic 3 act structure.

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