This week I have special interview with a guest from the silver screen. A Horror & Sci-Fi film veteran from some of our favorite flicks. Actor and director Ken Arnold. His impressive film background is displayed on IMDb.com with his work on Men in Black 3, The Night Watchmen, Abduction and Revolution TV series.
Welcome Ken and thank you for honoring us with this quick interview. Let’s get this interview started.
Jonuel: Which of the roles you played have been the most fun and which have been the most challenging?
Ken: I’m going to answer both of your questions, the most fun and most challenging, with the same answer, “The Night Watchmen.” While working on bigger Hollywood productions is always amazing because of the scale and cast/crew involved, but working on The Night Watchmen was an incredible experience for me because it was a project that I had created. I came up with the story idea with my producing partner, Dan DeLuca, and we brought this thing to life. From an idea on the page to our film being shown all over the world. It was fun in the sense that I got to work with such talented people who made up our cast and crew. Friends that I had worked with or associated with for years and now we were all together doing the thing we love, making films.
To be able to work with some of your best friends on camera and behind the camera was phenomenal. Also, our film has an action element to it. A big fight scene, people flying through the air. And I performed all of my own stunts. I was a professional athlete in my twenties and to be able to play a character that had such a physical role was really cool. I’ve done stunt work in the past but this was an opportunity to really create what was happening on screen and work closely with the director and stunt crew to make that happen.
It was also the most challenging in many ways. Yes it was our idea but to make the film we had to raise money to do it. That was extremely tough, going out and pitching our idea to people to invest in our project. It’s one no right after the other. But we kept at it and eventually found investors that were able to bring in an entire investment group to fund the film. It took us almost five years from the idea concept to actually starting production. Another challenging aspect during the actual production of the film was that we were covered in blood for most of the shoot. And after you see the film and see how much blood we had on ourselves you’ll get the idea.
Imagine a fourteen-hour day where you are covered in a sticky-syrup like
substance the entire time. And it’s not particularly warm. We shot during February into March in Maryland. So you’re cold, sticky and tired. What a combo!!! And I was one of the stars of the film and had only two days off the entire twenty eight day shoot. Covered in blood most days. If I never have blood on me again…wait…what am I saying…I make horror films! I see blood in my filmmaking future.
Jonuel: Who would be your dream crew?
Ken: My dream crew!!! Wow. I’m a huge fan of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg. The whole Cornetto Trilogy I thought was amazing. I would love to work on a project with those guys. Simon Pegg writes the script, Edgar directs. Of course have some of The Night Watchmen cast and crew along for the ride. Have Nick Frost come in and play the bad guy! When you watch our film, The Night Watchmen, you’ll see a lot of influence came from the films in the Cornetto Trilogy. Bring in Owen Roizman(The Exorcist) in his prime to DP. John Williams to do the score. What a film we could make!!! And you know what, you never know, I may get to work with Edgar and Simon one day. Crazier things have happened.
Jonuel: What do you enjoy most about horror acting?
Ken: Knowing that you can push limits, explore more with your character. Fear is a great motivator. And people act differently in fearful situations. They do odd, crazy, wonderful things and as an actor to be able to do that on screen in such a cool feeling. That’s part of the reason horror does so well everywhere in the world. Being scared translates in any culture.
Jonuel: What’s the last thing you do before you step in front of a camera or on stage?
Ken: Take a deep breath, tell myself to focus and put myself in the best state of mind to make the situation as real as I can. Then once the scene starts I listen to the other actor. I mean, really listen, as opposed to just waiting for my cue line. Like it’s the first time I’m hearing their words. Not only do I listen to what they are saying, I’m aware of their energy, what emotions they are giving off, I’m looking for subtle things they may be doing to enhance their work. And I try not to do too much. One of the common things I hear on film sets/tv sets are directors constantly telling actors(experienced and new) to do less. Don’t work so hard. Once I learned that lesson my acting went to another level and I started booking a lot more gigs. Sounds simple. In a way it is. But in many ways it’s not.
Jonuel: Can you please tell our fans about the work you are doing now?
Ken: We are out on the festival circuit with our feature film, “The Night Watchmen.” And we’re doing fantastic! We premiered at The Buried Alive film fest in Atlanta and won Best Feature at the fest. We just announced we are going to screen at Cinequest out in San Jose, California at the beginning of March. That’s a huge twelve-day fest attended by over 100,000 people. One of the coolest fests we were in was The Transylvania Cinema Awards. We screened our vampire movie where it all started, in Vampire Country!!! We are also in development on a new horror comedy, Sinkhole 2: The Crack of Death with Eduardo Sanchez(The Blair Witch) and horror writer Jamie Nash(Altered, Lovely Molly). Can’t wait to go into production on that project. Finally, I’m also in talks to star in a western, which will be shot in late spring.
Thank you so much for the interview Ken. To all the fans of things that go bump in the night you can find more on Ken Arnold on-line;
(Photos by Herbert Mann TLP Photography)
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