Ford Austin [Interview]



Ford Austin is a man that I have been becoming more and more familiar with over the last few years. His name just always seem to show during long nights of research and traveling down that the worm hole that IMDb can sometimes be. And over some time, I have realized that I have actually been enjoying his work for quite some time. Scrolling through everything he has done in his career, it is absolutely mind-blowing to say the least. He is without a doubt one of the hardest working folks in the film world today.

Whether he is acting, producing, writing, directing….or all of the above, For Austin is a guy who has an extremely impressive versatility and work ethic that goes unrivaled. And as we will learn in the interview below, he is also a very kind person who is willing to step in and help a friend when in need, as he did for a dear old friend of ours here at Trainwreck’d Society!

And even beyond just some amazing words, he has shared some amazing photographs and stills, some of which you can check out beyond the text. So without further rambling, please enjoy some amazing words from the brilliant artist, Ford Austin!

What inspired you to get into the worlds of performance and filmmaking? Was it a passion you developed at an early age?

As for acting, my parents put me in a movie they produced when I was 1 or 2 years old. I stole the entire movie as you can imagine.

After that, they put me in a talent service for child actors that got us involved in supporting roles in shows and commercials.  Later on, I decided to make it my career and went to college and grad school for theatre film, tv production and acting.  That got me heavily involved in New York theatre.  About that time I got the idea I could write and direct movies. So, I relocated to Hollywood and taught myself filmmaking.  I arrived just in time to start shootings the last of the movies made on actual film.  My friends and I saw the writing in the wall and bought digital film cameras.  In 1999 I became one of the first digital filmmakers in the business while all the big players bragged about how they would never shoot on video and that you weren’t a real filmmaker if you didn’t shoot in film.  Boy, we’re they wrong. Lightning struck and my friends and I became the lightning rods for the biggest Hollywood revolution since sound.  I got my movies made faster and was able to shoot 10 features a year from 2001 till today. After making over 100 features and more shorts than I can count, film Is dead and I still make movies. Ha!

In 2011, you starred and produced with our dear friend Rena Riffel the hit sequel Showgirls 2: Penny’s From Heaven. How did you manage to become involved with this project? And what drew you to working on the film?

Ah, Rena!  I think it was 2009. I got a call from my friend Rena Riffell telling me she needed help getting her movie done. I told her, “Sure.  Where are you?” She told me she was in a park in the Hollywood hills.  As I was driving over Laurel Canyon in West Hollywood and looked out to the park on Mulholland drive, I saw Rena sweating heavily and exasperated as hell in a parking lot with a single person camera crew at her side. I knew right then and there she couldn’t get the sequel done without my help and probably about 10 or 12 other people too. She asked me to play one of her lead characters in the movie while I produce.  How could I turn down such a gorgeous Hollywood starlet?  Showgirls 2 took us about three months to shoot and we also had a great producing partner Josh Eisenstadt join us.  Together, the three of us turned the potential disaster into s beautifully odd feature film which caught the adoration of Mr. David Lynch himself.  To this day, I will always love Rena Riffell for getting me involved in her project.

You’ve worn a whole lot of metaphorical hats in the world of film. From writing, directing, producing, acting, and beyond….you’ve done it all! So in your obvious expert opinion, what would you say is your favorite profession in this business?

Out of everything I do in the business, I would say the easiest is producing. All it takes is an iPhone.  For my soul, I love acting the best.  It’s where it all began for me. Everything else was born out of my desire to act in movies.  I taught myself to do all the jobs so I could set the stage for myself and my friends.

The ego in me loves directing most of all. When I direct, I have the final say on everything. Who gets which credit, whose lines stay in the movie, what the tone of the film is or even what time of day we have to start work.

Ford Austin & Francis Ford Coppola

 

You’ve been in the game for quite some time, and have put out some legendary work. With all of the technological advances and changes in the way the common person takes in media, I am curious to know your opinion on whether or not we are more fortunate to receive more content? Or has everything become so oversaturated that quality has become lost?

Gaining more content options is always a good thing.  When I started making movies, it was VHS & DVDs at Blockbuster and Best Buy.  The internet wasn’t streaming yet.  Even from pm festivals hadn’t grown up to what they are today until just 10 years ago.

I had one of the first movies on Netflix in 2005. My horror feature The Curse of Lizzie Borden.  Loved it!  While I was directing on set one day, I turned to my producer who was a real veteran in Hollywood and said, “Le s district hire this on Netflix.”  “What’s Netflix?” He scoffed.   We soon learned that Netflix would not be a great return for indie films since you basically get $.05 per view.  Ridiculous.  But your ego says “Hey!  I’m on Netflix bitch!”

I mean, when I started, iPhones didn’t exist:  now I’m watching feature films on my iPhone X.  It’s freaking perfect!

Ford Austin & his friend and mentor, Martin Landau

 

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

I have three new feature films coming out this year: Heels, Inhumanity, and What’s Buried in the Backyard?  I star as an actor in each one of them. And these are my first movies I have made since being mentored by the legendary actor Martin Landau at The Actors Studio.  I am very excited to see how fans and audiences alike take to my new acting skills.

Also, I  planning my return to directing soon.  I haven’t directed a feature since Dahmer Vs Gacy in 2010 which came out in 2012.  I have three great projects I’m planning in the Midwest where I think I will focus my stories and production for the next ten years.  Yeehaw!

What was the last thing that made you smile?

The new digital series Cobra Kai.  I’m episode 3 or 4, Johnny paints a dick on Daniel Larusso’s face on his billboard.  While Daniel is bitching about it to his wife, he says, “now what’ll I do?” She replies, “you’ll blow the competition away!”

That’s funny.

Check out this wonderful gallery of stills of performances that Ford Austin has been so kind to share with you all:

Ford Austin in the Netflix pilot “Scorpion Girl”

 

Ford Austin in “Inhumanity”

 

Ford Austin in “Dahmer vs. Gacy”

 

Ford Austin in “Pastis”

 

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About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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