ith AlInterview with Alyn Darnayyn

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Wire Magazine
- By Michael W. Sasser

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Ravello Magazine interview with Alyn DarnayThe following is a translation of the interview Alyn gave to " RAVELLO MAGAZINE."

Alyn Darnay, director and creator of Chaos Films, talks about his early love of cinema and to the genius of Paolo Sorrentino

Is making movies something you can learn, or something you have to be born with?

I think you need to have a certain disposition, desire and drive toward filmmaking to really be good at it, in the same way a computer person feels an affinity with the code, or a ballerina with movement. You can learn all the technical things that go into the making of a film, but you can't teach someone how to have an eye for the right composition, or how to tell a story dramatically with visuals. It's a hard profession, there's nothing easy about making a good film, yes, the craft can be taught and learned, but there's a reason some directors, cameramen, and editors rise to the top, while others don't understand why people don't like their films.

How did you decide and understand that you wanted to be a director?

I was always fascinated by movies. I used to go to double features as a kid and I could never get enough of them. I was transfixed by the stories they told and how they affected me. I began to want to tell my own stories, things that interested me and that I thought would interest other people as well. So, I started making films when I was about 12 years old, with an 8mm camera and some friends as actors. Must have made a dozen of them on a variety of subjects. I even won some award back then with a 30-minute film I called "The Wonderful World of Brother Grimm". I was always experimenting with film in some way or other, trying out movement and angle, and most importantly, trying to get people to react strongly in front of my camera. I guess you could say I've always wanted to be a Director.

Who was the first person that told you: " Yes, you can do it, you are going in the right direction", I mean who was your first fan?

My mom was a great supporter; she encouraged me in everything I did. I took my values from her I believe. My dad was more of a 'what's the kid up to now' kind of guy, supportive but skeptical, he later became my biggest fan. And there have been many people throughout my life that have supported my efforts in things I pursued, or helped me move forward along the way, too many to mention here. That's not to say I didn't have bleak moments, but somehow I was always able to overcome them. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to understand that and then there is no stopping you.

What was your beginning as director? Where did you start your studies, your first works? There is a path to follow I suppose.

No, there's no one path for everyone, everyone's journey is unique to him or her. I started, as a script reader for two studios, it was how I got through college, it paid my room and board and taught me all I ever needed to learn about what makes a good script and what will never be. In the years that I did that, I must have read over 30,000 scripts. Best education I could have ever gotten, because every film begins and ends with the script. You can't save a bad script, even with the best actors in the world, but you can save a good script even with fair actors. I eventually wrote a best selling book about Screenwriting, "The Script….A Breakthrough Guide To Scriptwriting" available through Amazon. The first films I worked on were with Famous Players Corporation, a company run by Academy Award winning Producer Albert Zugsmith. He taught me a lot in the time I spend with him and he saw that I learn from some of the businesses best creative artists.

Which is your favorite genre to work in? Do you prefer some themes and some subjects for your scripts and movies to others?

I hate to repeat myself, so I don't. My last film "KRISSY BELLE" which was the comedy hit of The Fortt.Lauderdale Film Festival and will be released in 2014.. Before that it was the surreal mystery "Conduit" which won at 17 festivals and earned the lead actress Barbie Castro 5 Best Actress Awards. Before that, "Smooth Operator", a twisted slasher film. I mix it up a lot. Currently I'm working on the script for my next feature, a sexual suspense thriller we'll be filming in the fall and winter.

Do you believe MOVIES have to be made in LA, I mean is it more complicated to realize a good movie or to work in this business if you are far from LA and is it a good idea to be distant from the heart of movies, is it hard to promote them?

I live in Hollywood, Florida, as far from LA as you can get in the states. I came here in 1992 and formed Chaos Films. We've been making everything from Music Videos, to Features, to Television Shows, to commercials, for our self and companies from all over the world. I find it easier, better and less complicated to work here. Florida has great talent and crews and whatever I need from LA or need to do out there is only a red-eye flight away. These days' films get made everywhere. It suits the storyline better if you shoot where it's supposed to take place, and with State's Incentives available, it makes it economical as well. So, in answer to your question, the heart of movies is anywhere the heart of the filmmaker is standing.

I suppose you've met a lot of people during your career, which ones influenced you the most? And between the past and the present who is your best example as director?

I have met so many remarkable people in my life, the ones that stand out would be, Stan Laurel, Bud Abbott, Jack Benny, Norman Lear, Orson Welles, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Dee Allen, James Wong Howe, Ed Burns, Lea Thompson, Keir Dullea, Joe Eszterhas, Mitch Glazer, and the list goes on.
As to Directors, the 'Master' is Stanley Kubrick. More than anyone else he has impacted me the most. The others would be Welles, Bertolucci, Lang, Ray, Antonioni, Scorsese, Coppola, Truffaut, Fellini, Kieslowski, Hitchcock, Carpenter, Menzies, and a couple of not so well known directors I admire, John Llewllyn Moxey, and Carl Franklin.

What do you think about the ITALIAN MOVIES? I mean is there someone, as director or actor, you love very much? And what do you think the Italian cinema has more or has less than the USA cinema?

I grew up on Italian Cinema! Never get tired of watching 'La Dolce Vida' or a score of Fellini films or any Antonioni film, 'Red Desert' being my favorite. Right now I'm fascinated by Paolo Sorrentino's films, especially "La Grande Bellezza", and I was enchanted by Luca Guadagnino's "Io Sono L'Amore".
I find Italian Cinema to be lyrical and spellbindingly honest. Always dealing with raw emotion, sex and love with that uniquely Italian zest for life and desire to find meaning in things. Always compelling, beautifully shot, and styled perfectly.

IF YOU could work in Italy with an Italian director, which one would you choose?

If I were to work on the crew, as 1AD or scriptwriter say, my choice would have to be Sorrentino, I understand his styling and visual attack. On the other hand, if I was working as an actor, as I have been doing lately, I would choose Guadagnino. He uses his actors similar to the way I do, and I would enjoy the challenge.

Can you talk about your last project?

KRISSY BELLE is a fish- out-of -water comedy. KRISSY's a bubbly ex-cheerleader, trophy wife and complete Southern Belle from the state of Georgia who is forced to start life over as a single girl after 15 years of marriage to an extremely wealthy man who enjoyed cheating and lying as his favorite past time. After inheriting one of her ex-husband's Florida based companies, Krissy finds herself relocated right into the middle of Miami's Latin Community, and she doesn't have a clue to anything around her. She has no experience with Hispanic culture, doesn't speak the language, can't understand the food or coffee, and is constantly saying the wrong thing to her Latin neighbors. It's one misadventure after another for Krissy, as she bumbles through life along with her loyal companion, Remington, a Shitzu dog, who occasionally shares his sarcastic thoughts with the audience.

It played to sell out audiences at the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival in November.

The movie business, as everything, it's going through hard moments because of the economic crisis. Is there something that could be done more to help movies?

Yes, take the reins out of the hands of Hollywood's businessmen and give it back to the creators. Stop making the same film over and over again. Release more Independent and Foreign Films. Make movie-going enjoyable and challenging again. Subsidize young filmmakers with fresh points of view. Stop making $200 Million sequels and reboots, it's killing the business.

Why are so many young and talented directors choosing to work in independent, indie movies? Is it because it's easier than to work with big productions or do they want to show a different way to do movies? A kind of new voice?

It's all about money. Raising it is increasingly harder to do. So make your own. "Crowdfund" the money to rent the equipment, it is cheaper now, and you can edit your own film. Indy films are less expensive and easer to finance. You can make more films and do them faster. Get a crew, get some actors, buy a great script cheap, and go make your own film or Webisode.

What do you wish would happen to the movies?

Better Films, I want to be excited by the films I watch or do. Take me to places I've never been to before, show me people who are different, give me experiences I've never had before. That's what I want from the Movies I watch. You should to, it's what you deserve as a viewer.

What are the kind of movies you would like to be realized more in the next years? I mean is there a particular genre you believe deserves more space ?

I'd like to see a return to movies about people and their problems and how they deal with them. I'd like to see more comedies that involve real people in comedic situations. I'd like to see an end to films based on comic books, or computer games. I'd like to see an end to Zombies and Vampires. Do Sci-Fi, it's much more challenging for both filmmaker and viewer.

Why did the fantasy genre, above all the ones with werewolves and vampires have this great impact on people? Is it just because it's the favorite of teens or because people, adults included, love movies like Twilight, want to escape from reality with stories and plots with non reality based hard problems that everyone has to face in life?

It's fantasy, and the 'boogieman' from their childhood. And if it's made well, it will scare you safely. An escape to another world from the repetitious and depressing world they live in. And they like it. But, enough already. You can get the same rush from a movie that plays on those same fears, but does it in a unique way. Back to better movies.


View interview with Film Critic Albert McGhee Published on Jun 8, 2016 on You Tube

Alyn also writes a popular bi-monthly film review column for “WIRE Magazine”, as well as reviews for
“Your Entertainment Ticket”, “Irate Films”, "Flick Direct",“Film Grouch”, and several other entertainment websites.

View a sample of some of Alyn's movie reviews at:
Irate Films --- Flick Direct --- Film Grouch

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