Published on June 21st, 2008 | by gareth0
Charles Band on Full Moon Studios
As part of his multi-city tour, I recently spoke with Producer/Director Charles Band , founder of Full Moon Pictures (Full Moon Direct) about the past, present, and future of his independent horror classics. I want to thank Mr. Band for taking time from his busy schedule to speak with us in this exclusive for Skewed and Reviewed.
GVK: How did the tour come about?
CB: With the changing face of the film industry, many independent film makers are facing tougher times trying to get their releases into video stores. 25 years ago, you could get independent horror films into theaters where today, major studios are releasing this style of film into theatres and creating them with larger budgets.
We used to be able to get our films into the video stores but with some chains controlling as much as 40% of the shelf space, it becomes a struggle to find your audience. Since 90% of my work has been horror, the tour came about like a rock band, as we have to sell our craft live and emphasize that we are a living, breathing studio.
GVK: How long is the tour?
CB: At the moment it is 18 cities in 24 days. We plan to conclude the tour in Philadelphia on Halloween. I also plan to do this sort of tour a couple of times next year so I am literally a Band on the run.
GVK: Since “Retro Puppet Master”, there was a change from your classic style, how and why did this come about?
CB: Over a period of about 3-4 we made worse and worse films. Mostly due to using young directors who lacked experience and shooting digitally, we saw a drop in the usual quality of our films. Another reason is that I stepped aside creatively which is a move that I regret.
GVK: Is this how films started to end up on the Sci Fi Channel?
CB: Yes, the rights to “Puppet Master” were sold to Sci Fi, simply for the money. I regret it deeply. At the time it seemed the right thing to do, as we needed to get the funds, but it was a mistake. Thankfully, we have a new partner involved in the studio, new films in the works, and one of the requirements is that I be involved in all future releases.
GVK: What can you tell me about the new films?
CB: I plan to release 6-8 films a year for the next few years, I will be involved with all of them, and we also will be going back to the classic style of the early 90’s, shooting on 35 mm film. It is risky, but it is the best thing to do.
GVK: Are there any plans to continue some of the classic series in the next few years?
CB: Absolutely, we have a new”Puppet Master” planned, a new “Subspecies”, and I am meeting Jeffrey Combs tomorrow for lunch to talk about a new “Dr. Mordrid”. Also, I am friends with Tim Thomerson and we are looking into a new “Dollman” film.
It will be a bit risky with “Subspecies” as the dollar is not as strong as it was, and with “Transylvania” and “Romania” being emerging locales, the costs have risen.
GVK: Any thought of doing a new “Arcade” as with the C.G.I. of today, you could do some very innovative things?
CB: “Arcade” was a costly film and yet it was a terrific film. Megan Ward who worked on this as well as “Crash and Burn”, and “Trancers 2” for us was very good, and like Helen Hunt and Demi Moore who got started in our film, she had a nice start to a good career.
GVK: Since you are going back to the classic style of old, will fans see a return of the fan club and video zone in future releases?
CB: Absolutely. We in many ways championed the extras before DVDs. When you deal with a studio as we did back then for distribution, the costs associated with adding 30 minutes of behind the scenes materials as well as trailers and interviews was an issue as when it comes time for replication, you are charged for the length of the film and the extras were included as part of the running time.
Now, in the age of DVD’s, you will rarely find a release that does not include some sort of bonus features.
GVK: What does 2006 hold for you?
CB: We plan to release 8 films, and do two more tours and see how it goes. We are also looking at new ways to get more of the films into the hands of the public. To many fans, $20.00 is still $20.00 and if they will be spending this on films, they will focus on major studio releases. It would be nice to sell them for $8.00-$9.00 on the website as long as we cover costs and make a little bit of money, we are good. The goal is to get the films into the hands of the fans and to create films that they will like.
GVK: Thank you, I really appreciate it.