I recently had a short email exchange with director Jason Horton and it’s cool that he’s the type of guy who will email just to let me know of a new movie he’s worked on. He didn’t ask for anything. He just wanted to give me an opportunity to watch his latest film.
That’s the thing about Jason. He is passionate about film, yet he doesn’t seem to let that define him. Rather than a filmmaker, hes a regular guy who happens to love and have a talent for film and story.
Our brief exchange turned into a short interview on a few topics I’ve wanted to ask him about. What’s really telling is how low key he is when I ask him about diversity. There’s no grand scheme. No soliloquies about the importance of his work. Just a guy who embraces multi-culturalism with true respect.
Jason’s latest work is a thriller called Deceitful. He also created the campy Monsters in the Woods. My favorite Horton film is The Trap. It really shows his talent as a writer who creates nuanced and believable characters. It truly is a great find among the dregs of Amazon VOD.
Check out the discussion and trailer for Decitful below.
Teasing vs Showing – Your sex scenes seemed to tease more than show. Was that intentional? Is there a philosophy behind that?
On a lower budget productions, I’m not really comfortable asking actors to go too far in regards to sex scenes. When you have more money, you can implement both legal and practical safe guards that protect both the actor and the production. That said, I decided to use the restrictions I had to enrich the movie. So, yeah, I chose to tease. In the end, the implication can be much more powerful than the actual act.
Normal-looking actors/actresses – Your actors and actresses are all attractive, but still look like people you might see on the street.
In all my flicks, I try to stay grounded. Even if the material is fantasical, I try to keep the cast and tone real.
Symbolism in the movie – angels, sex, flash scenes, etc….
There’s some Angel/Devil stuff going on. Also some materialism commentary.
What’s it like for a white guy casting black characters?
It’s really no different than any other kind of casting. I’ve always, even in my early work, cast multi-culturally and in the past few years, I’ve worked on a lot of “Urban” flicks, so the casting on this was pretty natural.
As a writer, what’s the difference between writing black characters who just have black skin and those who are culturally black — you could call this the difference between token characters and authentic characters.
I think it’s just a matter of treating the characters with respect and not just scratching the surface or playing the stereotype.