A Signature 6/6/6 with Guest Honey Tonjia Atomic
A while back I heard about an independent horror thriller being made called Deadly Revisions. The director was a fellow by the name of Gregory Blair and since that time I've become a huge fan of his. I recently had the pleasure of seeing a screening of Deadly Revisions at the FANtastic Horror Film Festival. The film has collected a plethora of awards and deservedly so. I had the even greater pleasure of scrutinizing Gregory Blair with a series of 6/6/6 questions. Enjoy!
1. Your film Deadly Revisions has been doing very well on the festival circuit and getting glowing reviews. You've been picking up several awards and nominations as well. Tell us a little about the experience.
It’s been quite a ride. I really just dove in; Robert Rodriguez would be proud. I had never directed a film before, so I was lucky people believed I could pull it off. I learned a heck of a lot along the way. I think the most important lesson is to do it, do it the best you can, and then let it go. Some people will like it; some won’t. You’ll be pleased with some things; others you’ll second guess and wish you’d done differently. None of that really matters, though. What matters is you made a film and the world—at least yours—is a little different because of it.
2. What are you currently reading?
”Old Man’s War” by John Scalzi—a science fiction yarn about a future where old folks get regenerated into younger bodies to battle alien races in alternate universes. It may sound silly, but it’s actually quite interesting. Very well written with rich characters, interesting science, a wry wit and some wicked creatures. (Yes, I’m a sci-fi geek in addition to a horror nerd.)
3. You're an actor, writer, and director. Now that you've done it all, is there a role that you favor?
Well, I’m an actor by nature and the other disciplines by nurture, so acting is always number one for me. But I do like the control of writing and directing; the vision in all its delicious detail is yours. In acting you have to give up control: to the director, to the character, to the moment, etc. But I still find acting comes naturally and it has been my life long passion. Writing and directing are terrific fun and rewarding challenges, but I could give them up if I had to. Not acting: I couldn’t be happy if I had to give that up, because it would be like giving up a part of my soul.
|Rare shot of me on the DEADLY REVISIONS set late one night |
with Best Actor winner Bill Oberst, Jr. and Best Actress winner Cindy Merrill.
We were not drunk.
4. When you're finished with a project what's your favorite way to relax and unwind?
You’ve rather stumped, here. When I finish something, I’m usually thinking about what’s next. I tend to go non-stop until my body gives in and I crash. I do like to read or watch a film. I like to fuss around in the backyard or hang out with friends. And I like a good cocktail.
Many, actually. Mason in “Take Me Out”, George in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”, Sidney in “Deathtrap”, anything in Martin McDonagh’s “The Pillowman”. There are so many great roles, I couldn't play them all if I started right now. And that’s just fine. But if anyone wants to cast me in any of the above, the answer is “yes”!
6. What are you currently writing?
I’m working on a screenplay for a producer right now. It’s a sordid crime drama about filthy rich people getting away with murder—figuratively and literally. He pegged me for a lead role and, when the script wasn’t shaping up the way he wanted it, he asked if—since I also wrote—I would take a stab at it. I agreed to give it a go. I gave him Act One and he dug it, so I’m finishing it (I hope) by the end of December or early next year.
You once told me that you became interested in horror early on due to older macabre horror films and literature. Name 6 horror films/books that influenced you at an early age.
1. “The Shining” (the novel)
2. “The Other” (movie)
3. “Hatchet for a Honeymoon” (movie)
4. “The Baby” (movie)
5. Boris Karloff Presents More Tales Of The Frightened (a book of short stories stories by Robert Lory)
6. “Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte” (not really a horror movie, but it scared the crap out of me as a kid)
Tell us 6 things about your next project.
I have a lot of things on different burners right now, but the one that’s all mine (meaning I wrote it and will likely produce it) is a comedy/horror in the vein of “Shaun of the Dead”. It’s about a gathering of friends that goes awry when an uninvited guest shows up. With a pickaxe. It’s called “Garden Party Massacre”. I had a reading for it with some actor/writer friends when it was only about half finished and they all loved it, so I finished it. A few folks have read the finished script and they all love it, too, so I think it’s a sign that it’s going to be a real audience pleaser and I should just get on it. So with luck, fake blood and funny shtick will be flying soon!