Colin Bemis [Interview]

Independent film is one of the many topics that we hold very dear to our hearts here at Trainwreck’d Society. It is by and large the best field to digitally explore in the world of art and entertainment, in this one fool’s opinion. And we have some words from a damn fine independent filmmaker today who has a debut project coming that is coming simple blow your fucking minds. His name is Colin Bemis. His film is Strawberry Flavored Plastic. And this film has already topped my list for one of the best films of 2018 thus far, and is not likely to move much further. Just a head’s up, we will be talking about the film this coming Sunday for our Matinee session. So be excited about that!

But before we get into that, how about we hear directly from the proverbial horse’s mouth, and share some amazing words from a new brilliant mind in cinema, the great Colin Bemis!

How did you find yourself in the world of filmmaking? How did you decide that this was what you wanted to do for a living?

I was lucky enough to develop my intense love of filmmaking at an absurdly tender age, so around five years old or so I was telling everybody that I was going to make films. My understanding and lucidity of what that actually meant naturally expanded as I got older, but it’s always been the one thing I’ve ever wanted to do. And so it was that that’s what I did.

I really enjoyed your film Strawberry Flavored Plastic a great deal. I thought it was truly original and obviously, warped as shit! So where did this idea come from? What inspired you to tell this tale?

Thank you so kindly for the sentiments! Really, we appreciate them immensely. The origins of the story revolved around a few main ideas that germinated into what the film eventually became. One of those ideas revolved around a real life person whom a friend of mine had worked with for many years, and the sort of lunacy and unhinged nature of this person (non-violent, might I add) whom I heard stories about sort of grabbed my attention. Coupling that with an innate desire to tell a layered, challenging and relevant tale, it all built itself into what SFP became. It’s also worth noting that I’m absolutely fascinated with the concept of nearly forcing an audience to align themselves with a questionable character; there are many positive and sympathetic facets to Noel’s character that run parallel to his darker and sociopathic side, and I really wanted to explore that and expand upon those notions.

I thought Aidan Bristow’s portrayal in this film was absolutely phenomenal. In your own mind, was Aidan’s take on the character you had written spot on with what you had already conceived in your mind? Or did he put a different spin on it?

There can never be enough said about Aidan’s contributions to the film or his standout performance. One of the most exciting elements of what we did with Noel’s character was, quite naturally, to have endlessly extensive discussions about every facet of who Noel was, where he came from, what created him and where he would go. That said, the character on the page grew, morphed and developed in enormous thanks to those discussions as well as the endless stream of ideas that Aidan brought to the table. He developed a lot of Noel’s backstory and infused not only life but the soul into Noel. Without Aidan, Noel simply wouldn’t exist.

What would you consider to be your dream project? If you were given free reign to make whatever you would like, or to jump into an sort of established series, what would you do?

Any film actually getting made is an enormous miracle to begin with, much less getting it out into the world and watching it find its audience! So I have to express my massive gratitude that SFP even came to be, with further thanks and love to our amazing cast, crew and sales reps (The Octoberists.) I’m lucky enough to have done a massive amount of writing in my leading up to my debut feature, so I’m happy to say that my dream project is going to be my sophomore feature. While I’ll always be open to reading scripts and the possibility of dabbling in established series and stories, my heart is primarily focused on bringing to life a handful of features that are already ready to go.

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

I’m currently developing my next film, We’ve Dreamt of Demons, with an eye towards shooting it later this year. I most certainly have plans for the next two films after that, but I’m more than thrilled to maintain my focus on just this next one! That said, I’ll be doing some peripheral producing work as well throughout 2018.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

This sounds like a pre-loaded story I keep nestled away in my back pocket, but it truly occurred and happened this morning. I was walking to a little project with some SFP alumni (Marta Gac and Nicholas Urda) in NYC, and I was traveling through a long tunnel around 191st St. and Broadway. I’m prone to hyperbole but it must be close to a quarter mile long. It has this gorgeous graffiti that lines the entirety of the curved hall, and the people were scarce, and the noise low. A singing began ringing out; it was a female voice, melodic and true and touching and angelic. I couldn’t place who it was coming from; for a long while, I thought that perhaps there was a series of speakers lining the corridor. No one else was speaking. You couldn’t hear traffic and you couldn’t hear the subway; there was no noise apart from this singing. Near the exit of the tunnel, as the sunlight and the noise and the reality began to slowly filter in, I spotted the woman who had finally abandoned her song in favor of breaking into an amble to catch a bus. But for just that sliver of a moment, I was reminded of just how human we all are, how beautiful a city can be, and what a thrill it is to simply enjoy being alive. That made me smile.
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About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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