The B Club presents “The Interview”
In this edition of The Interview, we welcome the ultra talented Writer and Director of
WOLFCOP AND ANOTHER WOLFCOP,
B: Welcome to The B Club Lowell, thanks for joining us.
Lowell: Thank you for having me!
B: As you are probably aware, The B Club is a huge fan of Wolfcop, and the rarity of a better sequel in Another Wolfcop. Before we come to these, we’d like to get to know more about you, when and how did you get involved in the movie industry?
Lowell: I've always been a fan of storytelling. Since childhood I was drawing comics and filming home movies with my siblings and friends. After high school, I took Film Studies in university and worked at my local cable station. After ten years of making shorts, I finally found my way into directing feature films.
B: Climbing the ladder to success! Can you tell us more about your first feature?
Lowell: Sure. My first feature came about in a really weird way. I had optioned a zombie film to a company, Minds Eye Entertainment. They had another zombie film in development with more momentum, 13 Eerie, so I ended up directing that one instead. It was a weird experience, being thrown in to direct a film at the last minute on a script I didn't write.
But it was also a super valuable experience. I learned so much, it was basically my directing boot camp. Prior to that I had only done short films so I had to figure out really quickly how to direct a multi-million dollar feature: where to put my time and energy, how to make my days, how to juggle action, pyro and practical effects, how to work with actors, you name it. I like to say that I was "baptized in blood" as a director on that film.
B: Wow, sounds like a great break in the end! 13 Eerie does have a pretty epic cast and crew. Must have been a great confidence boost for you to be trusted with such a big project? And a great job was done!
Will the zombie film you optioned ever see the light of day?
Lowell: The zombie film I originally optioned still hasn't been made! I am still naively hopeful that one day I'll get to tell that story, in some form or another. So much time has passed that I'd want to change it quite a bit.
B: Awesome! We hope to see it one day and hope it’s as big a gore fest as 13 Eerie.
So Wolfcop was next right? For any fool who hasn’t seen it yet.... what’s your take on it?
Lowell: After 13 Eerie, I wanted to make another feature and I wanted it to be something more in line with my personal taste, so I wrote WolfCop - which was kind of a horror, comedy,
superhero origin film hybrid.
My take was basically I wanted to repurpose the classic "wolfman" character, who hadn't been seen in cinema for years.
I missed the Wolf Man. I missed Teen Wolf. I didn't want a CGI werewolf. I wanted to bring back a man in a furry suit.
At the same time, I was also writing a cop script, so I just smashed those two obsessions together and WolfCop was born.
B: And to be honest you have created a modern day classic in Wolfcop!
Onto the effects and no CGI (way overused these days), the first transformation.....wow, truly an epic moment, in our opinion comparable to the classic An American Werewolf In London! It’s been out there long enough now, so please talk us through how you came up with the ideas and THAT change.
Lowell: Thank you for your kind words. To be honest, our transformation scene was totally a practical approach, both in terms of the kind of effects we used and what we could afford on our budget. Makeup effects artist Emersen Ziffle and I made a wish list of shots we'd want to show in the scene. Body parts to focus on, types of framing, etc.. We then did the math on the amount of time we'd have on an indie film set to shoot that transformation.
We knew we'd be lucky to have half a day (aka six hours) to get it all. So I said we had to limit our transformation to 3 or 4 done right, since a good practical effects shot can take up to an hour to prep the gag, shoot, get a second take. So I jokingly said, since we'll only get like one or 2 shots, we should focus on the most memorable body parts.. like his penis. We both laughed and the rest is history.
B: Haha, memorable indeed, and award winning (Frightfest Best Penis Trauma), bless the little fella....and he got his own reward in yet another epic scene!
Wolfcop, a great story, an incredible cast with phenomenal onscreen chemistry.........a sequel inevitable!
Another Wolfcop, was it always planned or was it driven by the success of its predecessor?
Lowell: I was always skeptical that we'd get to make a sequel, but the producers
were adamant from the time the first film was in post production. They even put a tag on the end saying "WolfCop 2 coming soon" which made me nervous, in case the world hated the first one!
The experience of making the first film was such a joy, so I was more than happy to do another one. I love the cast and crew on those films and every day we're doing such ridiculous stuff. Hard to be too stressed or angry when a werewolf with a badge walks on set.
B: Leo Fafard (aka Lou/Wolfcop) did appear to be a little too comfortable in character with all the promotional images released! This did help to build up expectations for the sequel, which were achieved.
It was also great to see the majority of the main cast return, especially seeing the bromance develop further between Lou and Willie (Jonathan Cherry). Was the story a natural development for you, it was quite different to the original, with Wolfcop coming out of the shadows?
Lowell: The second film was an interesting evolution. The character arcs came naturally to me, but the big challenge was taking into account things like audience expectations for a sequel, input from producers and budgetary constraints. Firstly, I thought the sequel was going to have more days than the first film. When I learned in prep that WolfCop 2 was going to be another madcap 17 day shoot, I really had to curb my expectations! Also, I originally wanted to go lot darker with the sequel... but in the end we leaned really hard into "weird" and "crazy".
Despite all those challenges, my team and I busted our butts for the duration of prep and production. We really killed ourselves to make the sequel a fun and crazy follow up, so I have no regrets.
B: Definitely fun, with just a hint of crazy. The B loved the direction you took it in and the end product, especially considering the 17 day shoot, didn’t disappoint, well done to all!
And so that brings us onto your latest release, SuperGrid. A post apocalyptic action film that recently premiered at the Calgary International Film festival.
A new direction for you, with some familiar faces. Can you give us the low down and information on future screenings, anything planned in the U.K?
Lowell: I was brought on to direct SuperGrid by Hugh Patterson, a producer on the WolfCop films. Hugh had been developing it for years and we had a good working relationship so he brought me on once he secured financing for the project.
It's another overly ambitious film, but it's got a lot of heart and grit. It's technically a genre film, but the tone is very different compared to WolfCop. I call it our "prairie future western". It was a joy to work with Hugh and the same team to shoot a movie in Saskatchewan in summer. It was also fun to direct something I didn't write, which I hope to do more of in the future.
Ravenbanner is distributing the film. I know we are coming out in the US and Canada in December. I don't know yet of any plans for the UK but I'm hopeful it will get there soon!
B: Epic! We look forward to seeing and reviewing it! So what’s next for Lowell Dean? Feet up, cigar and chill? Somehow we doubt it......
Lowell: Haha. Right now, as always, I'm just trying to figure out what's next! I've got a couple features in development. I've started to write and develop TV shows.
And, of course, I'm launching the ATOMIC VICTORY SQUAD comic book!
B: And there we go and head in another direction again with a comic book!! Tell us more, is this your first love, back to your roots?
Lowell: I think it's fair to say comics are my first love. I was raised on comic books and action movies. Making my own comic has been on my bucket list for years, but only now, after some serious pushing from Emersen Ziffle, did I decide to dive in and take on the challenge of crowdfunding ATOMIC VICTORY SQUAD issue 1.
I honestly love telling stories in any medium. This particular story belongs in an animated world, and comics are our best, first foot forward for AVS.
B: We’ll be sure to to check it out and support you where possible.
Thank you so much your for time and blessing The B Club with your presence. Any final words for the fans?
Lowell: Just thanks for reading - and a BIG thank you to everyone that keep supporting us by buying movie tickets, Blu-Rays or supporting ventures like Atomic Victory Squad on Indiegogo.
You're the reason we get to keep making these crazy projects!
The B Club: Wolfcop Review
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