Low Budget Spotlight is with you again bringing you the talented folks behind independent cinema. This week’s LBS features Mike Lombardo of Reel Splatter Productions. Mike is no stranger to Horror Society with his short, The Stall, the subject of several posts and articles.
Mike is a man of several talents. Mike is an author, special effects make up artist, actor, and filmmaker. Mike is the kind of person that LBS was made for. People need to know what he is capable of doing to cinema…and your psyche.
I was able to speak with Mike about himself, Reel Splatter Productions, and what we can expect to see from him.
HS – So you have been working on shorts for several years now. You released The Stall (one of my favorite shorts to date), a compilation titled Surburban Holocaust, and you are currently working on another short titled I’m Dreaming of a White Doomday. What can you tell me about this short and what inspired you to direct films?
ML – I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday is by far the most ambitious project I’ve ever tackled. It’s just a massive undertaking. We’re still shooting, but it looks like we’re going to clock in at nearly 50 minutes, which is far longer than anything we’ve done before. It’s also completely tonally different than any of the previous Reel Splatter stuff. This one is 100% serious, no laughs at all. It’s the story of a mother and her 7 year old son living out their final days in a bomb shelter after the world has ended. Oh, and its a Christmas movie too, haha. I’m billing it as The Road meets Miracle on 34th Street. It is the film adaptation of a short story (of the same name) that I wrote back in 2012 which was published in “A Very StrangeHouse Christmas” by StrangeHouse Books. I wrote it while my mom was in the hospital with kidney failure and we weren’t sure if she was going to make it. to stay sane during that time I vented off my feelings about watching someone you love slowly fading and being helpless to stop it. The movie takes the story and expands it a bit and I hope, ratchets up the intensity. We’ve been shooting weekends since last January and are looking to wrap production in November, with a release sometime in late spring (hopefully).
As for what got me into directing…I’ve always loved horror movies. Since I was in preschool I was obsessed with horror movies. I grew up in the era of Goosebumps and Creepy Crawlers, Tales From The Crypt, not to mention any vhs with a lurid cover I could snag from the local video store. When I was a kid, I had 3 career paths I wanted: Archaeologist, Mortician, and “Horror Movie Maker”. I would shoot little stop motion videos with my vhs camera and action figures, and tons lof fake blood and the various slime related toys that were so wonderfully prevalent in the early 90’s. I guess I never really grew up, I just got more experienced at it. I shot little flicks all through school while I taught myself FX and now its pretty much my life.
HS – Most of your films so far have been shorts, with Doomsday looking to be your longest film yet. Do you have any plans of working on a feature length film?
ML – Honestly I prefer short films and the freedom to be creative they offer. Nothing is worse for me than watching a feature and seeing the padding and realizing it would be more effective as a short. I just love the idea of a story being as long as it needs to be and then stopping with no restrictions on how long it needs to be. Having said all that, I DO have a feature length Reel Splatter in scratching away in my skull meat. Its called Masterwork and its a weird sort of meta examination/self parody of being an indie filmmaker and an artist and how the obsessive work and the muse affects your life and relationships. I know that doesn’t sound terribly exciting, but I can’t say too much or I’ll spoil it. Lets just say its incredibly melancholy, hilarious and has more than a couple head explosions. I’m also in the process of gearing up to co-direct (with long time partner in slime Erik Myrnes) a feature length adaptation of Brian Keene’s The Cage. We’re planning on doing a kickstarter sometime early next year. That project is going to be insane, we took the book and really ran with it. It’s going to be very gooey, and very nasty so stay tuned!
HS – That lead to my next question perfectly. What does the future hold for Reel Splatter and Mike Lombardo?
ML – Hopefully lots of money, hookers, and cocaine. Failing that, I’d like to make more movies and play with some more rubber tentacles and slime. After White Doomsday is done, I have a couple more serious shorts I’d like to do, not that I’m abandoning the off kilter humor I’m known for, but there are some very personal projects I’d like to do. There will be a new DVD coming soon, “With a Whimper: Reel Splatter Volume 2” which will collect everything from The Stall on up to the future shorts I have planned, but that won’t be happening for a year or two.
I want to thank Mike for giving Horror Society the time to talk with him about his films and himself in general. We here at Horror Society wish the best of luck to Mike on his future endeavors and can not wait to see I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday.
Check out these links below if you want to learn more about Mike and Reel Splatter Productions.
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