Tuesday, 5 July 2011

An Interview with Ron Purtree - A Man Who Lives in Serial Killer Central and is Working on a Web Anthology Entitled The Social Media Massacre! Awesomeness!

One of the first things that I thought when Ron contacted me about The Social Media Massacre, was the fact that he is a Wisconsin based director.  Straight away the “serial killer country” alarm bells start ding a linging, causing a big smile to appear on my ever so nerdtastic face!  Wisconsin is the home to some of the ultimate serial killers, even though one of them only killed two people (some argue he killed more but I don’t believe that!), he still gets that title.  That man would be Ed Gein, the legend behind some of the greatest horror icons of all time, including Norman Bates, Leatherface and the Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs.  Wisconsin is also the home to my ultimate favourite serial killer, a man whom some would say my obsession with, is more than just a little bit disturbing.  Of course I am talking about the one and only Jeffrey Dahmer!  Now this colourful history with some of the quirkier serial killers has got to have an impact on the more imaginative Wisconsonites…right?  How much do you find the stories on your own doorstep influence you as a filmmaker?

I think that Wisconsin has a really deep seeded history of just vile and despicable acts that really needs to be addressed in film the right way. I really, really wish I could say that it's what keeps me coming up with stories as a filmmaker. 

The serial killer nerd in me has got to ask, have you done the tour of all ye olde macabre murder sites?  I know it’s only a vacant lot now but one day I shall visit the scene of 924 North 25th Street, Milwaukee.  And when I win the lottery, I totally intend on buying Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood home!  The Jeremy Renner movie Dahmer (see picture to the right of Jeremy Renner as Dahmer) is one of my all time favourite films.  I also would love to purchase Ed Gein’s property and build some sort of funhouse, haha. 

If I remember correctly, they are having a hard time selling Gein's property so you better hit a number quick. I haven't toured even the vacant lot. That being said I wouldn't be against a quick trip there to see where it all went down.

Have you ever considerd actually filming at one of the Wisconsin’s murderesque scenes?  If so which one would you pick and why? You’ve said that you live pretty darn close to the where it all went down with Mr Dahmer, that’s so freakin’ cool, you have no idea how jealous I am of you.  Have you ever thought about doing a Jeffrey Dahmer and the Chocolate Factory short?  Actually to understand my reference there, you have to answer my next question first!  (Pictured right - the most handsome Jeffrey Dahmer) 

I have not tried filming there but it would have to be at the Gein property (see picture below - although house no longer stands, it's just the land), just because I don't think I'd run into as much trouble as I would filming where Dahmer was, and no I have not thought about that short haha.

Have you heard the Macabre album Dahmer??  If not, look it up now, it is a work of awesome genius! ;)  Once you have heard it you will want to share with all your friends too, trust me!

I know what you are talking about, but I haven't gotten around to listening to it.

What/Who inspired you to become a filmmaker and just how early did you catch the movie making bug?

Very early. I remember seeing Return of the Jedi when I was little and I totally wanted to know how they did that when I was still very young. Who inspired me to actually take up the camera was John Carpenter and Halloween. It inspired me to do it, but then George A Romero and Robert Rodriguez taught me that it was possible to work on a nothing budget. 

Are you any other genres or is horror where you find yourself most comfortable?  I mean, I love all sorts of films but I always find myself automatically levitating towards horror, be it in a rental store, a DVD shop, online on things like Love Film/Netflix…I just always go for horror first!  Are you the same?

I do find more comfort in horror, sure. It's like home for me. However, I'm not against doing other genre's at all. I really think I have my "Leaving Las Vegas" in me somewhere. 

What was the first short you did for The Social Media Massacre?  The first one I watched was A Hollywood Ending which I totally dug!  The guy was really cute too! :P  I find the premise fascinating, I mean after the whole German cannibal incident where he advertised for someone to eat online, it opened up this whole new medium for serial killers and murderers!  The same goes for all these people that meet someone online and then end up getting the chop chop!  What is it about this that fascinates you so much?

That was the first short that we filmed for Social Media Massacre. It was actually more inspired by William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily". If you aren't familiar with that story I highly suggest you read it. You'll see the parallels right away. 

Okay so from speaking to you, I have found out that the cute guy I was just referring too from A Hollywood Ending is Shaun, a character that you want to build on.  Do you want to tell us a little bit about this character and the way forward you’d like to go with him?

The actor in A Hollywood Ending is Charlie Bussian. There is a feature somewhere at some point that we are going to do based on that episode, but there are scheduling conflicts that keep us from getting it done.  I really can't go into too much detail about whats going to happen, safe to say it will be VERY unsettling. 

Have you ever seen the movie Serial Killing 101 or Serial Killing for Dummies (depends what country you are in, they like to change the name!)?  In this movie, for some class in school our protagonist has to tell the teacher what he wants to be when he grows up…it’s some sort of class essay/project.  Anyhoo, he says that he wants to be a serial killer and goes about deciding how his is going to take up this profession, haha.  He even gets this chick (the adorable Lisa Loeb) proposing to be his first victim!  What it turns out though, is there is actually a real life serial killer roaming the town killing people and he has to find out who it is.  I personally love the film, it’s super quirky and has some great parts in it, including a hardware store clerk played by Corey Feldman who helps our main guy pick out all sorts of awesome killing devices! ;)

This is actually the first time that I have heard of it, but now I have to see it. MTV made me have a crush on Lisa Loeb. And to address her, I will stay....

So anyway, the question I was originally going to ask before going on my Serial Killing 101 rant was that when you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?  And how close are you to that profession now!

I always wanted to entertain people. In one form or another. I think I'm pretty damn close to that now. 

What is the most shocking movie that you have ever seen?  What one really got under your skin and refused to budge?  Mine was Martyrs.  I don’t know what it is about that movie, perhaps I was hormonal at the time, fuck knows!  There was just something about it; I just wanted it to end!  And it wasn’t because it was bad, it wasn’t, it was amazing.  It’s the kind of thing I’d usually love but I can’t say I’m in a hurry to watch it again!  So yes, as a maker of movies that you fully intend to get under peoples skins, what really freaks you out?

ALIEN PREY. It just got under my skin in the kind of way that wasn't scary, it was just THAT bad. In doing research about the film I found out that they did things to the actors that would make Hitchcock and John Ford blush. I wouldn't put anyone through what they went through to make such a HORRIBLE movie. 

And lastly, you’ve got the feature film of The Social Media Massacre to do, is there anything else that you are working on right now?  What can we expect to see from wicked creeptastic self in the near future?

Yes! I have a few shorts that I am working on in one fashion or another that aren't related to Social Media Massacre. There are more episodes coming out that I'm not directing, so it's freeing me up to boost the creep factor in other areas. I'm currently in what you would call pre-production on a short called "Just Keep Running" which is a focus on how no matter what we do, we can't outrun our fates. For the most part though, folks can find out whats going on with me at Twitter. I'm @ronpurtee ;)

You can also follow Ron on Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The comments section is there to discuss and converse. Constructive criticism is always good, bad mouthing people and being a douche is not! So don't be a douche, mmmm'kay!