INTERVIEW: All Superheroes Must Die Director/Writer/Actor Jason Trost
The Creator Who Turned The Superhero Movie Genre On Its Head Talks...
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For those who've not yet seen the controversial superhero film All Superheroes Must Die, it's not for the faint of heart. There's plenty of action, drama, a few bits of dark humor and even some romance, but most of all there's an uncomfortable feeling that these superheroes aren't really superheroes. No, these superheroes - minus their superpowers - are regular folks faced with extraordinary problems in extraordinary circumstance. They kill, they bleed and they die. And yet, they're nothing if not realistic. It's odd how there's plenty of room in the superhero film genre for a film like this and yet one has never been made before.
We recently caught up with film producer, director, writer and actor Jason Trost, who graciously answered a few of our questions regarding All Superheroes Must Die.
Figures.com: Give us a little background on "All Superheroes Must Die." (ASMD). What inspired the film's creation and why turn the superhero genre on its head like this?
Jason Trost (JT): I had just made "The FP," we were in post-production, things were taking forever and it seemed like it was never going to come out. I was 23 years old and I had a unique opportunity to make a movie for a very low amount of money, but I only had two months to come up with an idea and shoot it. When you're down and out you take any opportunity you can. So I tried to think of something marketable that I also loved... So I just crammed superheroes and 80's one night thriller movies into one.
Figures.com: What were you trying to accomplish in making "ASMD"?
JT: I just wanted to make my own version of a random "Batman The Animated Series" episode from the early 90's. I'm really sick of origin stories in superhero movies, they're all the same and suck up at least an hour of your movie. I wanted to make a superhero movie where we hit the ground running and figure out who our heroes are through their actions, not forced exposition. I also wanted to barely every see them without their costumes on, which is something a lot of superhero movies have trouble with now, you get an hour and a half of Peter Parker and 20 minutes of Spider-man. I think that's a rip off considering the movie is called Spider-man, not Peter Parker.
Figures.com: If I'm not mistaken, the film was written in four days and shot in a little over 2 weeks. What's the biggest challenge in creating a film like this in such a short time frame?
JT: Where do you begin? Everything is a challenge. Then drop on top of that our budget that probably couldn't even rent one actor's trailer on a real movie for a week. You have no money, no time but what keeps you going is that it's just you and a bunch of your buddies doing what you love, making movies. The biggest challenge was certainly just trying to figure out what's the simplest way to shoot and do everything that still moves the story along.
Figures.com: You write, direct and star in your films. What's that experience like and what are the challenges as well as rewards for playing all these roles?
JT: I enjoy it because it's really all I know. It's mainly out of necessity because when you're making movies for 20 grand or whatever you can't afford to pay people. And I always know I'll be okay with that so I cast myself a lot. It's a challenge obviously because you're doing just about everything yourself but it's very fulfilling because you feel like you're leaving it all out on the field.
Figures.com: You made this film on a relatively small budget; tell us about some of the most difficult parts of making a film like this.
JT: The most difficult part of making a movie for virtually nothing is trying to make something that's comparable to the real movies that have millions of dollars. It's constantly trying to find tricks that make the movie feel bigger than it is.
Figures.com: Your sister had to leave the film after only a few weeks as costume designer because she was a contestant on Project Runway. What's it like having such a talented family - yourself a filmmaker and actor and your sister a recognized designer?
JT: It makes family dinners interesting, that's for sure. But I don't know, like my most super talented people I've met, they don't really think they're talented and are constantly striving to find a way to be proud of themselves in their own minds. So it's intense because everyone is constantly striving to be better and better so you have to always be on your toes.
Figures.com: You've worked with a variety of actors and actresses. Tell us a bit about how you cast the roles in All Superheroes Must Die please.
JT: Ha. "Casting". I wrote the movie for what I knew I had. There was no casting, I just begged a bunch of my friends to be in it and that was pretty much that. James Remar has just been a buddy of mine since I was 10 years old playing Game Boy with him on Mortal Kombat Annihilation for months...
Figures.com: A sequel is hinted at at the end of the film. What's in store for the characters left standing and is a sequel still planned?
JT: Yeah, I'm finishing up the script for the sequel. I really want to do it because in my opinion it's a million times the movie the first one is. But you never know what's going to happen, trying to get funding for movies is insanely hard. It's so competitive. So with any luck people will watch the first one enough to get someone to want to pony up the cash for part 2. The movie picks up years later and is almost a totally different genre. There's a new main character and you get a lot of back story for Charge and Cutthroat in a neat way. It's almost like a super dark version of Garden State.
Figures.com: What's next for your production company, GRINDFIST? You've got a new film - #WetAndReckless - in production now. Can you tell us anything about it?
JT: We've got #WetAndReckless coming. Finishing up the post on it right now. Hopefully we can find a buyer for it in the near future and unleash it on the world sooner rather than later. It's really a fun and crazy movie that seems like it's made by an entirely different crew than All Superheroes Must Die. But after that, who knows. We've got a lot of ideas and scripts but you never know what someone is going to want to throw money at until it happens.
Figures.com wishes to thank Jason Trost for taking the time to answer our questions and provide us with insight into his film making. We look forward to more thought-provoking and engaging films from GRINDFIST in the future.
All Superheroes Must Die is available on Blu-ray and DVD now wherever fine home video are sold.
- interview by Jess C. Horsley