Antonio James is the director of Trey the Movie and the reality show The Real Dancers Of North Hollywood; here is a link to his IMDB page:
Q: What made you interested in filmmaking?
A: While working at the Veteran Affairs, I was presented with the opportunity to create a music video for my uncle’s music group. From then on I was hooked. I love being able to turn the ideas of one’s dreams into reality.
Q: What is Trey the Movie about?
A: A loveable guy struggles to cope with dangerous inner demons, which are fighting hard to come out. However, emotionally, he’s able to keep it together until he meets Ashley, a woman scorned, who sends him crashing over the edge of insanity and unleashes a killer that cannot be stopped!
Q: What inspired you to make it?
A: A bet over a 6 pack of beer that I couldn’t make a $400,000 movie for only $1000. Not only did I make the movie for just $750, it then went on to generate over $150 THOUSAND dollars, won multiple film festivals, featured on Fox news, screened locally and distributed on Amazon. And even though we had no crew or professional actors, the production quality (excluding acting) didn’t look $750 but $500,000.
Q: What are the elements of a successful horror movie?
A: In my opinion, the most important element of a great horror movie is the psyche of the bad guy. Every horror movie’s antagonist suffers from some mental disorder and his behavior should be according to his state of mind. Knowing your character’s psyche allows the audience to understandably relate to why their favorite psychopathic killer rips people apart and makes the viewing experience of blood splatter and guts that much more enjoyable.
Q: What is The Real Dancers Of North Hollywood about?
A: RDNH is about the inside story of celebrity dance choreographers. It shows the struggles, successes, and sacrifice of their underrated world through reenactment of real past events. Call it a “Tell all Book” for TV!
Q: What did you like about Shane Sparks’ writing?
A: What I got from Shane the most is that he writes from the heart. He has strong convictions and a deep recollection of memorable experiences about a world many of us look past.
Q: What kind of day jobs have you had in the past and how do they influence your work as a director?
A: US Air Force, Veteran’s Affairs. As stated above, I love to manage teams and what better team to manage or be apart of then working with American veterans and becoming an Airman in the United States Air Force.
Q: How did you achieve making directing your full time job?
A: By staying passionate about what I do. I view directing as a hobby not work. Why? Because a hobby is something you’re so passionate about that you will use your own money to fund your activity. During my downtime this passion enables me to create spectacular, high quality directing reels at lower costs, which helps when securing jobs.
When it’s not your passion, you’re doing it only for money, which is work. And no one likes to go to work.
Q: What is your oddest onset story?
A: When a background extra decided to become a lead actress at her own discretion. On the set of Trey, we had enough time to film one more shot and in the middle of the shot she got up out of her seat and begin interacting with the lead actors. Yes, I was infuriated, but in post, it ended up being a big part of selling the scene. So it was a fortunate accident.
Q: What film in history would you most like a chance to remake?
A: Dragonball: Evolution (2009). My Producers would be John Davis and Adam Schroeder from Chronicle (2012) and my Cinematographer would be Bill Pope from Matrix Revelation (2003).
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)