Interview with indie author Douglas Maxwell Myer
Douglas Maxwell Myer from Worcester, MA is a journalist that has written over 50 articles, a writer that has released short stories and poems for the indie author site scriggler.com in various genres including horror, nature, and romance. He is also a filmmaker that has helped produce a couple independent films including the feature horror comedy "Wild Men" and the short drama film "Secret". We have conducted an interview with Douglas.
What was your filmmaking experience with the horror comedy “Wild Men”?
Wild Men is about a hit reality TV show that looks for evidence of the existence of Bigfoot, but everything is staged. When going on their next expedition the cast and crew are horrified once they run into the real Bigfoot out in the secluded wilderness. Wild Men first became known to me back in 2014 when I was writing movie articles on independent productions. While looking for more potential stories I reached out to a friend in New York who told me about the film and was able to have the writer / director of Wild Men, Bobby Sansivero, contact me. Bobby was looking for more publicity to help promote the movie and wanted to have an article released once Wild Men was finished, but he was still in the process of making the film.
By 2015 Bobby was very close to finishing the movie and needed additional money to help fund the last stages of post-production. I really liked the gist of the story and loved the nature visuals that Bobby and his cinematographer, James O’Connor, were able to capture. By that point, I was writing and releasing a bunch of horror stories with some of them like “Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater” and “Salem Halloween Feast” having a twisted sense of humor which sort of ran along the same lines as Wild Men. My financial situation was in better shape and those elements prompted me in putting some money down to help contribute to the completion of this film and got a producing credit for Wild Men.
Funding movie is an essential aspect in getting the filmmaking process to happen. I’ve been involved in several feature productions that fell through because of the money factor and my career has also been held down for more years than I would’ve liked because of that necessity; so it was rewarding to help see someone’s vision make it to the finish line. Wild Men is currently in the process of looking for a distributor that can release the feature film.
How different is writing horror versus romance genres for short stories or poems?
Trying to work on different genres is a nice adventure for me. I don’t have anything against artists who stay in one particular subject, but when it comes to my own personal taste and perceptions I find the world too big a place to corner yourself within a singular topic. Over the years I’ve been fortunate to venture around various genres including sports, horror / comedy, nature, drama, science fiction, romance, and hopefully can extend beyond that. Basically, you have to conjure up the emotions which are necessary to help tell a story within a particular genre. With horror thoughts of fear and other darker aspects of human nature serve as a good catalyst to write those kinds of stories. With romance thoughts of love and beauty within the world help, you write those poetic tales.
Usually, you have to rely on your own imagination to write out the exotic fictional stories that come about in the horror genre and with romance you might take a time in your life you’ve experienced and evolve it to a fully crafted story but different techniques apply to every writer. In the case when I wrote the romance poem “Two Lives In Bloom” listening to Grieg’s “Last Spring” proved to be an immense inspiration for writing that particular piece. It’s such an exquisite musical composition that reminded me of an unfolding love story. If you line up the syllables of the words within the poem along with the melody of Last Spring you’ll find my incentive of how Two Lives In Bloom was created. It’s a great experiment I’ve done in the present and past of taking different walks of life and stretching their artistic merits as far as I can.
Which are the funniest or most romantic poems you’ve ever read?
Walt Whitman’s “O Me! O Life” has a unique romantic quality that is not between two people but between a person and their own life. After questioning all the pain and sorrow that Whitman experiences in his life he finds peace within him knowing that his very existence is a gift within itself and his life offers great qualities in the world around him. I think the poem is able to speak well within many people’s conscious. “What good amid these, O Me, O life? Answer. That you are here – that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”
Though Peter Shaffer, who recently passed away, was regarded as a playwright and screenwriter I found his writing had a poetic license all to its own. Amadeus is one of those brilliant films that mixes dramatic, beautiful, humorous, dark, and tragic emotions all together in equal quality which resonated from Peter’s writing. There’s a scene in the film when Antonio Salieri describes Mozart’s music in a very poetic manner. “This was a music I’d never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing. It seemed to me that I was hearing the voice of God.” I feel the same could be said for Peter Shaffer’s writing and those sentences serve as another example of a unique romantic quality that speaks for the love of art.
How were you able to create and film / write down that intriguing sensation of the darker aspects of human nature in your horror stories?
Describing the process of writing can be very elusive. There are times when sentences quickly flutter out of your mind and in other instances that process of finding the right words occurs at a painfully slow rate. Essentially writing is like talking to someone only you’re using the inner voice within you to speak. I usually need to start off with some type of element that will help me to eventually expand a story into a finished product whether it is using an idea that has come up in my mind or an event that’s occurred in my life. That element is basically like a seed for me that grows its roots in the ground, then that idea becomes words, words turn into sentences, sentences stretch out into paragraphs, paragraphs expand into crafted scenes, and then I finally have my fully grown out plant.
With “It Crept In Slowly” I used my own experience of being unemployed during the midst of the recession in 2009 as my seed for writing that piece and evolved it into a dark poem with what was going on at that time. I had an idea which I liked of trick-or-treaters and party goers walking through the streets of Salem on Halloween night and a vampire blends into the environment with characters thinking that was his costume but he was an actual bloodthirsty creature. That initial idea then helped me to write out “Salem Halloween Feast”. With “RIP POS” I did have a Toyota Camry that was riding out its last days and the car would shake like crazy and smoke puffed out of the hood when I was stopped at a red light. Then the car broke down once making it to the front driveway and I had to push it into the driveway. I added additional quirks like speedometers and gadgets of the car acting all screwy as well when writing the story and had the idea of the car becoming possessed then running over innocent people since you don’t really feel you have a whole lot of control when your car breaks down and is on the verge of dying. Once a good idea develops then it becomes fairly straight forward for me to write that out into a completed project, though the time it takes to finish writing them varies with each individual work.
As of right now I’m not able to make film adaptations out of “A Plateful Of Horror” series, but if I got into a more established position in the filmmaking world I definitely would. To help expand the series I’d love to bring on other writers, directors, producers, etc. who might have ideas for more short horror episodes whether they’re filmmakers who’ve developed a nice body of work or giving a jump start to younger guy’s careers. Only time will tell but it would be great if something like that was able to happen.
How did you contribute to the short drama film “Secret”?
“Secret” is written and directed by Cesa Pledger and I am one of the executive producers of the film. It’s about two girls, Nicola and Kimi, who struggle with the loss of a parent and have difficulty connecting with people; but when both of them meet they might be able to connect with each other. Cesa wanted to make this project as an outlet to help express her personal experiences when her father passed away from dementia a little more than a year ago. With my own personal connection with this film, I used to live with my grandma in Franklin Square, NY for about fourteen months in the 2008 – early 2010 time frame who had also struggled with dementia. I witnessed how the disease had slowly deteriorated her life. The last time I saw her she recognized my face but couldn’t address me by name. When the years went by she no longer recognized anyone in the family and then passed away this past December at the age of ninety-three.
I can’t think of much, if not any, films that deal with dementia; particularly told from the perspective of family members watching their loved ones deal with this illness and felt that this was a movie that should be made and was obligated to help finance Secret. The cast and crew were based in New York and traveled to Pawtuckaway Lake in Nottingham, NH (which is east of Manchester) to shoot the film earlier this spring and then finished shooting remaining interior scenes last month in New York City. Currently, Secret is being edited and a rough cut is expected to be done by the end of June. It’s been nice helping out with these productions and hopefully, the movies will open opportunities for me with producing, writing, or directing more films in the future.
For more info and updates follow Douglas on twitter at https://twitter.com/dmmyer1
Interview with indie author Douglas Maxwell Myer Reviewed by My Blogger Profile on 8:42:00 PM Rating: