Robert Rothbard [Interview]


Welcome to Day 20 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Month of Horror Showcase. Every day during the month of October, we will have a horror related interview and/or film review for your fright-filled reading pleasure! The set up will be the same as usual, but the topics will be far more terrifying. Enjoy!

Today’s interview subject is a man who has been working in the world of film and television in several different realms, and has been behind some pretty incredible projects if I do say so myself. He has worked as a production manager for shows like The Office, CSI: Miami, and Suburgatory. But his greatest work may very well be a film I recently discovered, 2015’s The Painting: The Art of Slaying. The concept of this film alone is something to marvel at, and the film itself fits in just perfectly with the films we have been showcasing this month during our Month of Horror series.

We were fortunate enough to be able to steal a few words from this iconic writer, director, producer, and so much more! So without further rambling, please enjoy some words from the brilliant Robert Rothbard!

When did you first decide you wanted to join the world of film? When did you realize that this was the world you wanted to make your living in?

I was a film Student at Temple University School of Communications and Theatre and when I graduated I went to work on features as well as making my own short films before I ventured into writing and directing features. I’ve never done anything else.  Feel fortunate to be able to say that.

You have worked in just about every aspect of the world of film behind the lens. One gig you have found yourself in a lot would be that of Production Manager. For those of us who consistently on the outside looking in, and aren’t afraid to be honest, what exactly does being a Production Manager entail? And what do you enjoy about this line of work?

A UPM or PM is  essentially the DGA version of a producer.  You make or approve the budget and schedule, hire crew, and oversee the day to day making of the show.  You participate in pretty much every aspect of the show you’re working on, although  it can be less creative than I would like, and I have since moved more towards directing/writing my own projects both in TV and film.

With your 2015 film The Painting: The Art of Slaying, you dug a bit into the world of horror, mixed with comedy (which the best is!). You’ve also working on a few other thriller/suspense/horror projects as well. So what is it about this genre specifically that you enjoy? What sets the world of scaring the shit out of people apart from films that bring out other emotions?

For me emotions are all the same.  Making people feel is my goal. Laughter and fear make good bedfellows. If I get a rise out of the audience, I guess I did my job.  Even in The Painting, I like to always leave the audience with something more.  A message that gives hope — a faith that there’s something bigger and greater out there then just happenstance or evil.  A Grand Creator who is in charge of all cause and effect. I have to work in the direction of the greater good.  I can’t just make any movie.  What would be the point?  It’s got leave you with something.  I will always slip in a redeeming quality in the film.  Sometimes it’s rather heavy handed, sometimes it’s a light touch. Call it a weakness or an asset — nothing I can do about it — it’s who I am.

What is your favorite scary movie? 

My favorite is The Exorcist.  I couldn’t sleep for a month.

What are your plans for this coming Halloween? Any sort of traditions you try to uphold each year?

I used to throw eggs at peoples houses and soap up car windows.  These days I put all my energy  into writing good scripts.  Yes even on Halloween….

What does the future hold for you? Anything coming up that you would like to plug to our readers?

I’ve had two paranormal experiences that I am weaving into a supernatural thriller/horror movie as we speak.  It gets into the future visiting the present and some pretty gruesome stuff.  For the time being my Producing/Writing partner Sally Lamb are calling it Portal.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Good question.  Seeing a good friend at lunch and finding out his daughter is studying to be a film composer. That made me smile!


About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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