I recently had a chance to chat with Chris Fisher the director of the Donnie Darko sequel S. Darko. The film is now available for rent or purchase, but I wanted to focus on broader topics. I found him very congenial and easy-going, and I have to say that it was one of my favorite interviews.
JOSE: Chris thanks for spending some time with me. Why don't you tell me when you first discovered movies and fell in love with them?
CHRIS: I actually spent a number of years growing up in Saudi Arabia and where I lived there were no Western influences whatsoever. No television, no movies. But when we moved back to the states, I think it was around the 6th grade, I was inundated with this new art form that I certainly did not grow up with. For most people, it's a fantastical thing the first time you experience it. But for me, not really having any sort of experience with visual storytelling until that point, it was so eye-opening. Also, sort of a weird thing is that after having spent so much time as a kid in such an exotic place and then moving back to Orange County was like having reverse culture shock. So movies were a way for me to continue to travel and explore and live lives that were a little more interesting than the one I was living myself.
JOSE: And how did you get your start making films?
CHRIS: Well, I studied film and philosophy at USC and I wrote a script while I was there and sent it around town and everybody said it
was terrible. It destroyed my confidence so I went into law school at USC and while I was there I wrote another script and a similar thing
happened. When I was 26, I started working at William Morris [famous talent agency] in the mailroom and started reading a lot of scripts
and writing and finally I sold a couple of spec scripts that never got made and got a couple of writing assignments that didn't work. But I
started making enough of a living as a writer that I could quit my day job. Then in 2001 I sold a script called Taboo, which was kind of a
teen Agatha Christie murder mystery, and I attached myself as a producer and that movie got into Sundance in 2002. And then the next
movie I wrote I attached myself as the director.
JOSE: Do you have a favorite horror film?
CHRIS: Oh, gosh...I'd have to say...The Shinning. That's the hardest question ever.
JOSE: It's weird; Jim Isaac said the same thing when I asked him that. He had a bigger problem coming up with an answer for my next one, so this might be harder actually. Do you have a favorite horror novel?
CHRIS: Favorite horror novel. You know what, that's not that hard for me. Probably The Stand.
JOSE: Oh, nice. I would have personally chosen It.
CHRIS: Really? I thought It was a huge missed opportunity as far as the series went. But The Stand, as a piece of fiction, is just one of those things that I just couldn't put down once I had it.
JOSE: Well, I guess my problem is that I just didn't finish it, but I'll give it another shot. Now, last question: Who is your all-time favorite
CHRIS: I knew you were going to ask that. You know, I'm going to have to say Hitchcock. I know he's more of a suspense-thriller director, but Hitchcock's my guy.
JOSE: What's your favorite Hitchcock film?
CHRIS: You know, I'd say Psycho but I really think that ultimately the movie I'll keep watching over and over is Vertigo. Psycho is the movie that got me in love with Hitchcock, but the movie that I've returned to is Vertigo.
JOSE: Okay, Chris I think that's a wrap. Thanks so much man, I appreciated the time. StrictlySplatter fans can find out more about Chris
and his film s. Darko here.
Interview conducted by: