Father & Daughter Film Report




Writer, director, producer, actor, & composer Brett Bentman - whose love of independent film brought him to Texas from New Jersey to found his own production company - had that pay off by being the recipient of the Best Texas Director Award in both 2014 & 2015.  

We ran into Brett at the Austin Revolution Film Festival & was treated to PALE:

Katie Kohler (Subterranea, 2015) and Ashlyn McEvers (22 Jump Street, 2014; Star-Crossed, 2014) give excellent and gripping performances in a future apocalypse we all fear is coming as two sisters who are separated, then struggle to survive while heading to their originally perceived sanctuary.

 You've wondered it. We've wondered it. What happens if you were to get separated from a loved one after an apocalyptic cataclysmal disaster...?

Even if you are not into post apocalyptic themes this is certainly a must-see film, since even the absurdities of our current "civilized culture" are shown to have the veneer stripped off, revealing no only the unbreakable bonds of the human spirit, but how in some cases an individual can lose their sense of humanity at the drop of a hat...

Click on the poster above to see the trailer

But wait, there's more.  Much more...several new films coming out soon, which we'll tell you about in our interview below: 

1.) What stage of your life or what film did you consider yourself a film maker?  

I always loved writing, but when I got into the business - I saw producers taking my scripts and basically deconstructing them into something completely different. It happened so many times, into so many bad or even nonexistent projects, I just said, "forget it. If I'm going to pour my heart out like this I might as well do it all the way." A close friend of mine asked me to direct a short I had written and here we are today. No turning back. 

2.) What gave you the idea / What event led you to making The Night Before

The horror genre is changing right? 

The days of Freddy and Jason just don't cut it - people aren't afraid of things like that anymore. They need to create a genre for that and call it: 

"old school gory horror." 

What scares people now are PEOPLE. I really believe the scariest monsters look like you and I. 

I wanted to explore that with THE NIGHT BEFORE. I don't really consider the film horror as much as psychological thriller... 

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Circus Wheel Core 4: Brett Bentman, Michael Ray Lewis, Scott Ross and Tiffany McEvers.

3.) What was the most difficult thing ad to deal with in producing any of your films?

The hardest part of making a film is the pre production. I hate it. That's why I surround myself with the best of the best, I know they will crush any task and do it right. That's the key. Working with the right people. 

4.) Where do you see the future of films heading?  As an industry? As content?

I think television is paving the future. Networks are pushing boundaries on what can be shown and said over the air. 

Movies are getting stale. Remake after remake just canned out there. Los Angeles is a very buddy network - who do you know type deal. 

I personally think Pale would make a great network TV show. Look at what AMC is doing with content and HBO as well. 

Unbelievable. I think at some point movies will either be remakes of some Classic film you love or a new Star Wars sequel. TV is the future of fresh new ideas.


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Click on the poster above to see the trailer

5.) What did you learn about yourself personally by being in the film industry?

I'm not the typical film guy. There's one class that believes anyone with a camera should just make movies. There's the other class that believes in the craft and the process. I hate pre pro, but do I do it? Hell yea! There's too many people out there rushing through projects just to throw it up on some festival screen and that's something I think should change. On the other hand, I kind of enjoy the other school of thinking because it allows the cream to rise to the top!

6.) What advice can you give other film makers who wish to make films?

My advice is simple: don't work with bad producers. Producers can kill an idea. Everyone thinks they have the best ideas in the room. I've worked with some bad producers... and the final product suffers and shows it. 

Make sure you vet your producers!

Judd Nelson in KREEP.

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7.) You seem to be able to get stars who have been in some big TV shows & films, any stories behind that?  Any suggestions to other filmmakers on how they can do the same?

Every film project differs so on Kreep we wanted to gather some star power. Bringing Judd Nelson on was cool and Charles and Steven from Breaking Bad was huge for us. We had the budget to do it though. That's where it hits home. If you've got money for it, heck yeah go get some seasoned vets for your film. On Pale we took the very best local talents we found and they did a phenomenal job! I guess we are lucky to have had it both ways. Do I feel you NEED stars in your films? Probably not. Is it nice to have? Yep. Oh, and hire yourself a good casting agent too.


The entire crew on location in the filming of PALE.

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8.) What have you done to get your films such as PALE, KREEP, and THE NIGHT BEFORE out there? How do you feel distribution is changing in this context?

Distribution is a beast and not all distribution is good. There are sales agents and self distribution and a whole host of other ways to skin that cat. I've taken the organic approach. When the film wraps post, premier it at a venue you believe your film fits, then start networking through a list of companies you feel fit the films release. You have to do that homework though. For instance, Kreep has a very western feel to it, so I'm not going to think it should be released widely via a horror movie focused distribution company. Know your market and your audience. Social media too. It's a full time job self marketing your film. Also, the days of advances and theater runs are thinning, so it's definitely turning into a VOD market.

9.) In your own words, what makes your films unique?

My films are just different than the films that are pumped out of this area. My team and I do just about every aspect different. The way we cast, the costume process, the gear we shoot on.... did you know the revenant was shot on one camera with two lenses? That's exactly what we did on Pale. We use long tracking shots to bring the audience into the scene. We don't cut unless we have to and our music is scored in real time. So many of these things are overlooked. Theres too much, "hurry up and shoot" out there. That's the main difference between what we do and the others. We treat it like a profession. Not a hobby. And we put ourselves out there in every frame.


10.)  Anything we didn't ask that you would like our readers to know?

Pale is currently in the final phase of distribution. TNB shoots this October and Kreep is wrapped post and will be premiering soon!

Sounds great Brett, looking forward to seeing BOTH new films...PALE was EXCELLENT!