The Horror Honeys: Tonjia Atomic's 6/6/6 with Adam Steigert

Tonjia Atomic's 6/6/6 with Adam Steigert

A Tonjia Atomic Signature 6/6/6 with Adam Steigert

I caught up with Adam Steigert, director of A Grim Becoming, to ask him a few questions. Enjoy!

1. Your films are a refreshing change from the stock genre and cookie-cutter formula films. Is this intentional and talk a little about it please?

I am always intrigued by epic scale storytelling. I personally strive to have my scenes look as big as they possibly can. A lot of what I do is trying and tell stories of which I want to see, what interest me and how as a horror director I can pull off the next magic trick.  

With any film I direct/ write I do expect to take the audience on a ride and still deliver a formula not seen in most indie films. I try to connect the audience in relatable ventures no matter how fantastic they might be.  Something that has always interested me is “family” in storytelling. I was always told to “write what I know” so over the past few years I began creating a family like formula in my work.

Now you may say “family in horror?” I think there is a dynamics in family which all viewers can relate to. We all have one and that gives me a lot of room to play with. That’s where the real story begins. 

2. A Grim Becoming is sweeping the festival circuit and getting rave reviews. How did this project get its start- what inspired it?
Couple years back I thought hard about how I could top my last film Ombis: Alien Invasion (now titled “Not Human”). I started exploring various topics and one happened to be death. Again allowing my audience to connect to a topic allows me to explore and play. Death is sadly something we all will have to experience one day.  So how could I add a funny spin on death yet keep it unique and ultimately top Ombis: Alien Invasion?  That is the point from which I started.

Create a much grander in scale but also a relatable story and put a fun spin on it was the answer I came up with. Creating more back story on each character and giving them depth also helped me create memorable characters that makes it hard to pick a favorite.

3. What's your take on practical effects vs. CGI?
ALWAYS go practical whenever possible.  Of course there are times when you can’t get away from CGI. A good example is from Ombis: Alien Invasion aka Not Human. Originally we had purchased models for the alien space ship. We would shoot the models with the green screen and use fishing line and various items to create the illusion of the spaceships flying, landing and blasting off. 

This didn’t work. It looked terrible. As a director I quickly made the decisions after reviewing this disaster with the producers of the film to move funding around and allow CGI effects.  The end result was much better!

4. Your dog is so cute. Please tell us a little about her.
Her name is Izzy and she has turned into quite the diva after her cameo in Grim. At the time of this interview, Izzy is 3 ½ years old and has half a haircut. She doesn’t like getting her hair cut at all. I personally have to cut her and let me tell you it is a challenge. 

I got Izzy after a bad breakup.  As the saying goes “dogs are man’s best friends” and she is a spoiled best friend indeed. 

5. Independent film-making is a difficult business. What keeps you going?
This is a very ironic question as this interview comes a time in my life where I have asked that same question of myself. For almost nine years straight now I have been making films and only recently began getting distribution on my films. I was raised by my grandparents who always said “there’s no money in filmmaking” and after nine years I was beginning to think they were right.  But hopefully with distribution there is finally a light in the tunnel and the birth of the next chapter in my life can be seen.   

To answer the question though it is the love and thrill of creating something from nothing. Every time I make a new film I feel like a proud new father as I watch that film come to life and impact people’s lives. The joy that I am able to impart on someone’s life, no matter how short of a time it might have been for. 

6. Tell us about your last film Not Human.
Good old rustic Metzburgh is a quiet village which was a former industrial town whose glory days are long past. Teenager Mark Lowe and his ex-girlfriend Lucy Greenheart are stuck in a lovers quarrel when a meteorite crash lands in the community. Glen, an ex-employee of the grain silos who became homeless after the collapse of the mills, stumbles upon the fiery crash. Unaware that his find could be dangerous, he gets too close and a chemical poison sprays out of the meteorite, enveloping him. The chemical agent known as Ombis begins to turn his insides into a slimly substance. Unable to stop the spread of the infection, Glen runs onto the road where Mark and Lucy find him. The two take him to the only Doctor in town, Doctor D Mark and Lucy are shocked by their gruesome discovery and immediately contact the local Sheriff Thomas Brackett who is on a date with a lovely waitress Daisy With their date being interrupted, they aid the traumatized love birds. With no sign of the creature or its victims, Brackett dismisses Mark's fantastic story. Quickly returning to where the meteorite crash landed, Mark finds a new horrific discovery that the meteorite wasn't the only creature to crash land on Earth. With the towns folk overrun by the virus and the collateral damage adding up, a special containment team shows up to try and keep order and contain the plague. A family’s human struggle as they fight for survival begins all the while a village becoming overrun with the alien invasion and the mutated humans that it creates.

What are 6 of your favorite science fiction films?

The Blob, Aliens, The Fifth Element, Sunshine, The Thing and I really like the Abrams' Star Trek films and am excited to see what he does with Star Wars.

List 6 things about an upcoming project.

I’m going to be mysterious here.  The project is currently untitled but I can say that it revolves around something that we have not yet worked with as a production company before.