A few months ago director Dustin Mills turned me on to the film Bludgeon. The film was directed by Shawn Burkett and released by the Ohio based production company Concept Media. I was able to contact the Facebook page where I met Shawn and Ryan. Since that day I have carried on more conversations than I can count with each passing conversation I gain more and more respect.
The two has been working hard preparing to film their next film Midsummer Nightmares II: Summer’s End and was nice enough to take time away from their busy schedule for this interview. So I would like to thank you both.
How long have you both known each other and how did you meet?
Ryan: Shawn & I went to school together, we were on the same bus route, and our mutual friends ran with & dated each other. I’d say well over 10 years now!
Shawn: Sounds about right
What did you both do before you founded Concept Media?
Shawn: Well… I was a machinist, a cook at Dairy Queen, a dishwasher, a musician and a tattoo artist
Ryan: I went to college for a couple years for graphic art, worked in the food industry and as a janitor.
Shawn: I never knew what exactly I wanted to do, so I just done a bunch of stuff….I have a degree in photography, and have traveled a good bit in bands, but nothing really stuck unless it involved art
Was it your previous jobs that inspired you to create Concept Media or was it something else?
Ryan: For me it was my love of films. And the fact that I never wanted to travel far away to go to film school. Plus I was just ready to give movie-making a shot without having to gamble with a move to Los Angeles or wherever I would need to go. I just felt like it was time. And Shawn & I had always talked about what it would be like to make a movie. Guess we got tired of just talking about it?
Shawn: I was raised by my grandfather, and every other day he would rent movies, and we’d watch em together. That’s where my love for films started.
movies have always been an escape from reality for me.
I have reviewed most of the films you both have released so you know how I feel about them all but how has the people responded to the films released by Concept Media?
Shawn: I stand by every film we have released. We have been making films for about 2 years, and with each release we grow stronger and so dose our fan base. But it’s awesome when people approach us and tell us that we are getting better and better with each film. It’s like watching your kid grow and become more capable
Ryan: I have found their responses to be pretty awesome! Folks really seem to be developing a deeper love & respect for indie films. I think they love the free reign & creativity that indie films (especially horror) can express without pressure from major studios and producers.
What are some of the challenges you both face when making a film and how do you overcome those challenges?
Ryan: Budgetary costs is my number one. That applies a lot of stress to production. But the other challenges that happen such as lighting issues or when makeup is applying right, are frustrating. However they immediately become fun once the challenges are met/solved and we end having yet another success to add under our belts.
Shawn: casting and finding locations, Ryan and myself try to have the best production value possible….it’s a bitch
Ryan: Yes! I can’t believe I forgot the other dreaded two. We both hate the casting process. A lot!
Which film are you both the most proud of and is there any film in your catelog that you would like to redo?
Shawn: I wouldn’t want to completely redo any of them…but there are parts to several that I’d love to take a second crack at
Ryan: While each release has improved upon the last, I personally stand by “Midsummer Nightmares.” I am most proud of it because it was Concept Media’s first film (and a feature); everyone worked so hard on it! I wouldn’t redo any either; just like Shawn said, have a go at a couple minor things in some.
Shawn: I can’t say that I favorite one over another…but I had a lot of fun with Panty Raid
What does the future hold for you both and Concept Media?
Ryan: Hopefully big bright things for us both! Right now we’re just trying to get through “Midsummer Nightmares II” this summer.
Shawn: Well…we have a collective coming out this march, were shooting MN2 in August, The Halloween fan film in September and we have more after that
Well myself and Horror Society wish you both the best of luck on your future projects. Before I go I wanna ask one more important question. What is your favorite horror movie?
Shawn: I can only do a top 5. Sleepaway Camp, The Howling, The House Of The Devil, Halloween 1978, Silver Bullet & Friday the 13th
Ryan: Mine is an eternal tie between “Halloween” (1978) & “Scream.”