Interview with James Neff of Night Walker Cinema

Recently, I was able to send a questionnaire to the incredibly busy and amazingly talented James Neff of Night Walker Cinema. Fresh off of wining not one, not two but three awards at the Late Night Horror Film Festival and a grueling principal shoot for  their feature film debut The Dinner Guest , he sat down (I imagine) and answered these questions for us.

You’re working with a relatively small crew,  how does this impact filming?

First and foremost, the crew we had/have is amazing. They told us ahead of time how long they would be able to work and more often than not, they ended up staying for longer than promised. It was pretty amazing to see people outside of the three of us really care about our project. As far as how having a smaller crew impacts filming? Well, with a small crew things definitely take longer to set up but I would always choose quality over quantity.

Do you have any fun stories from the first shooting sequences?

We filmed outdoors for the first night of filming, on a friday night, so…many obstacles can be thrown in your face. We started a conspiracy theory that every time we yelled action there was someone on a rooftop with a walkie talkie telling people to drive by or yell or fly a helicopter haha.

Do you have any horror stories from the first shooting sequences?

Actually no. Our cast and crew were beyond professional, the only thing that was difficult were the hours we were filming.

How long did the script-writing process take?

It actually started as an idea I had really late at night. I sat in bed and typed out the entire outline and shared it with Joseph and Danica they next day. Joseph and I started writing it all out in script form that week and from there did rewrite after rewrite to make sure there were no loopholes. It’s very important to never film your first draft, we never understand when people do that. So all in all, our script writing is always a process. Since we filmed our short film 32 and the teaser trailer for The Dinner Guest, we didn’t put the final touches on the script until about two weeks before filming began.

What were your main influences during the writing process?

This is a really great question. From watching films to reading and listening to music, it was all involved. Emotion is key in any story you are trying to tell so we would always try to find what moved us, what made us feel and think, laugh and even cry if need be.

What are the main differences between shooting a feature length film as opposed to the short films you’ve done before?

Filming a feature is like filming a short film everyday. It was a big wake up call for us and we learned so many invaluable lessons that we have already began to implement into the remaining scenes that still need to be filmed. We really thought we were prepared and learned quickly that we could have done things a lot smoother and easier if we would have made some very simple decisions before we arrived on set. We were able to figure things out quickly though and are very happy with what we learned.

Do you have any superstitions or rituals before writing or filming?

Not really. I just wish I would have gotten into better shape before filming began haha.

What can you tell us about The Dinner Guest?

 

We can’t say much but what I can say is that we really put our hearts into this project and can’t wait to premiere it!

You successfully funded the film through indiegogo, is that an avenue you’d consider using again for future projects?

We really don’t like asking for money but we had no choice. People really came out from all directions and relly shocked us with all of their love and support, even as I type this out I’m still in shock. We hoe that The Dinner Guest does well and that maybe an independent studio will back us from here on out, we shall see!

Promotional Trailer for The Dinner Guest

If you aren’t already, you should follow Night Walker Cinema on Twitter. @NightWalkerCnma

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