J.M. Stelly’s fascination with the occult and crime stories paved the way for his new project, THE DEMONOLOGIST, which hits VOD on January 1. Daily Grindhouse is happy to present this conversation with J.M. Stelly about the movie and the forces that influenced its creation!
How did you become a filmmaker?
I guess the moment I became a true filmmaker was on the music video for DOWN called “Conjure.” At that point, I had directed a feature and multiple music videos and worked on a number of films in various departments. [By the time I made that video,] I knew how to utilize a crew and create something from concept to finish. It was a damn good video to work on, and it was actually based off the original script for THE DEMONOLOGIST, oddly enough.
And have you fused your interests growing up into the stories you write?
Absolutely. I’ve always had an interest in the occult and crime stories. I use to work around crime scenes and have studied the occult for many years, so they are always subjects I approach in my writing and filming.
If you could name two films that most resemble this film, what would they be?
Resemble? I don’t really know what it would resemble. That’s different for anyone who watches it. I don’t want to set that expectation. The film and characters, however, were inspired by SEVEN and LORD OF ILLUSIONS and a multitude of other influences that range from Kubrick with EYES WIDE SHUT to the works of Poe and Lovecraft.
Being an independent film, I imagine you ended up wearing more hats than originally intended. Can you talk about all the things you did on the movie?
I wrote the script and performed the rewrites with my producer, Ryan, who helped in the script editing process. I directed the film, of course, and operated the B-Camera. In post, I cut the film in full, both director’s and producer’s cut, I color-timed the film myself, did the dream effects, the opening and end titles, and wrote half the music. We had a very tight time frame, from start to finish. From production to final post was five months. It was a huge task to undertake.
How did Brian Krause come to be the star?
Brian was a friend of my producer, Justin Jones. Jones pitched the film to him, and he wanted to do it. Brian and I would talk pretty frequently and have become close friends since then. He’s an amazing individual.
Whose career would you like to emulate, if it were possible?
Only my own. Everyone creates and carves a different path. I don’t idolize anyone, but I get inspired by filmmakers such as Carpenter, Kubrick, and Fincher. Their works truly gave me a sense of what I wanted to do, but I can only emulate myself. They are who they are. I am who I am. That’s the way it should be.
Tell us when the film hits…
January 1st, with other release dates on a number of other platforms to come in March and June, so stay tuned for that. You can pre-order it now on iTunes!
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