"COYOTE " PRESS RELEASE & MINI-INTERVIEWS
(Posted: 16 March 2012)
Trevor Juenger is a filmmaker out of Missouri who's getting ready to go into his feature film "Coyote". Both Ronny and I have gotten to know this immensely talented young director and we've both have had an opportunity to read the entire script for "Coyote" Suffice to say, Trevor has gotten something to offer the world of cinema and we think he and his project deserve some much needed attention. While details are skimp, we hope we can provide enough information to not only intice you to follow the progress of the movie, but to help donate to the production as well.
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Coyote is an art-horror feature film scheduled to shoot in St. Louis, MO July 2012. The film stars Bill Oberst Jr. as Bill, an insomniac writer whose sleep-deprived hallucinations distort reality as paranoia drives him to extreme violence.
Excerpt from the script of "Coyote":
Bill stares into the underside of a small table in the kitchen. A smashed piece of chewed gum catches his eye. As his foggy vision clears, the gum's details begin to look like a crudely-shaped face.
From somewhere around Bill comes a wet, sucking sound. It gets louder; clearer.
The Sound of the running faucet rescinds. He opens his eyes, and looks toward his injured thumb.
A nude woman on all fours sucks Bill's thumb. Startled, Bill attempts to pull his hand away, but the woman protests, pulling it back to her mouth.
Bill tries to relax. The bones in Bill's thumb crunch in the woman's teeth...
You can read the rest of this scene as well as the first 30 pages of the script if you visit the Official Coyote Production Blog.
Lead actor for the project, Bill Oberst Jr shot a video where he talks about the project and the character "Bill":
"Coyote" is a passion project for all of those who are working on it. While not entirely DIY, Trevor as already assembled a loyal cast and crew to make "Coyote" a reality. Unfortunately, like most true independent films, there is
the concern of budget. Trevor has been running an IndieGoGo campaign to help raise funds for the movie, and whether or not they meet their fund raising goal, the movie will still be made. To see such passion and dedication from a small group of individuals makes hard not to want to help them out.
Only short of $1,000 - Bill, Trevor and "Coyote" can use all the help they can get. So if you have the extras cash, please send it their way - even $1 donations add up.
COYOTE: INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN
If you don't have the cash to hand out, art-director Carrie Juenger has put out a list that's available from the Coyote Production Blog. Basically, she wants your junk and we all know you have junk. Anything from vehicles and furniture, to old mailboxes and rabbit-foot keychains.
COYOTE: DONATIONS AD
Again, any help goes along way and of course you will receive the proper thanks.
Of course, we can't just leave it there. So we sat down both Trevor Juenger and Bill Oberst Jr. to get their thoughts on the movie and what ever else they had on their minds.
Want to give us a small introduction to yourself?
I'm a no-budget, DIY, whatever you want to call it, arthouse filmmaker from the illustrious midwest, where arthouse thrives ;)
Where did the idea for "Coyote" come from?
Bill Oberst contacted me a long while back, when I'd just completed "Johnny be Gone" asking if I had anything new I was working on. I decided to write something with him in mind, and in the midst of writer's block and insomnia, I just started writing what I was experiencing sitting on my couch at 4am in the darkness with a busted keyboard and laptop. Of course, it evolved into something more interesting from there.
Why mix in arthouse with horror - why not do straight up horror?
It wasn't really a conscious decision. I always write arthouse. I love that I'm not restricted by genre expectations. I was pretty much raised on horror, so elements sneak into my writing all over the place. I didn't really prevent that this time around. I actually didn't even think this was at all horror until Bill, and a few colleagues read the first draft and let me know how much horror was actually in it.
I don't know that I could push myself to make a straight up horror film and like the end product. Working with no budget horror, your pretty much limited to something thats already been done. I hate to do anything unoriginal. Lot's of filmmakers are blending, morphing, twisting the genre with others, and their ending up with something new; not necessarily good, but original for sure. I'd rather have a shitty original than a mediocre ripoff. Maybe, that'll change in my old age, but I just can't see myself making straight horror.
Kind of an odd question but did you surprise yourself at all with some of things you had written into "Coyote"?
There are some things I've gone back and looked at without any of my own bias and thought, "man, people are going to see this a lot differently than I intended." If it worked, I kept it. If not, I made some alterations.
As for content, I'm pretty strongly against censoring myself. Brutality and sexuality are a part of my psyche, and if I want to get "dark" they're going to come out. No sense in toning that shit down or what would be the point in writing something like that in the first place?
It seems like these days people are less likely to take chances on something new. They want to stick to something that they know will sell - basically, generic things. With it being both arthouse and horror, do you think it's going to be hard to get people involved in the project?
My crew has been overwhelmingly great. We're all working for nothing, and everyone seems to believe in this thing. I've gotten a ton of inquiries from actors that are excited to work on the project. It's certainly been the largest response to anything I've ever had the privilege to create.
Distributors, however, probably won't want to touch this thing. There's nothing directly comparable that has been successful. Those guys DON'T like to take risks. Self-distribution doesn't scare me though. If someone sees something great in arthouse (I think it's trending upward right now) maybe it'll get picked up. I won't be holding my breath for that though.
Why is "Coyote" going to be a movie for people to see? But tell us in five words or less.
damn, thats a tough one...Coyote destroys expectations with style...
Any thing else you would like to say or plug in regards to "Coyote"?
There's only a little more than a month (as I write this) left on the indiegogo fundraiser. I've already started selling off my unnecessary camera equipment, but that's still not enough to make this film everything it can be. Please, please, please, check out what we're doing. We've got a teaser, poster, and a blog that's obnoxiously detailed with basically everything I'm doing or have done.
Also, to get more of a sense of who I am, I encourage you to check out some of my shorts (they aren't always very short...) at www.vimeo.com/juenger.
When did you first get in touch with Trevor Juenger?
I wrote to Trevor last January after finding some of his online clips. I thought his work typified what cinema is supposed to be; thought-provoking and fearless, and that's exactly what I wrote. We exchanged a few mails and nine months later he sends me COYOTE with a note saying "I started working on this screenplay after you contacted me way back when. I've had you in mind before the first letter was typed in this thing. I can't see anyone other than you in the role." Trevor knows how to get an actor's attention.
What was your initial thought when you finally read the first draft for "Coyote"?
Well, I smiled a lot because I really like odd, thought-provoking material. Then I thought, "If this could be actually be filmed as it is written, it might be a cult classic." My second thought was "What if we fail?" And then a quote I loved as a boy popped into my head. It's from Teddy Roosevelt: 'The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...who, at the best, knows the triumph of high achievement and if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.' There's a lot of dust and blood and sweat to mar my face in "Coyote", so I took it as a good sign. I'm going to give my heart and soul and all my strength to Trevor and his team to make this weird and wonderful script a reality. By this time next year I want people all over the world walking out of film festivals saying, "Hmm I'm not sure what the hell I just saw but I think I wanna see it again."
I've had the pleasure of reading the script for "Coyote" and it's a pretty out there movie. Is this going to be a different project for you, compared to the other movies you've worked on?
It will be different because most of the movies I've done have been linear in their storytelling. Certainly there's a place for that; big showpiece dramas like the Hallmark Channel movies I do, for instance, really have to be done that way to reach their mass audiences. But there is also a place for film that plays like thought; cinema that feels like being inside your own mind...or someone else's mind. Our minds are messy places with random, stray thoughts and forbidden corners and constant time-shifts. Our minds are not linear (at least mine isn't) and neither is "Coyote". It's a bizarre script full of night visions and imaginary horrors mixed with real life. I am German, and maybe that has something to do with why this appeals to me. Trevor reminds me of the German Expressionist writers and directors of the silent era, who set the tone for horror itself. I think he is a director for people who love cinema as an art form.
What are you most excited about when it comes to working on "Coyote"?
I'm most excited about playing a character who doesn't talk much. I did that in short form in the Facebook application 'Take This Lollipop' and it turned out to be the most popular mass appeal thing I have done. I got thousands of mails from people who watched it; booked two features off of it and I never said a word in that performance. Trevor has made the lead character in "Coyote" a very laconic guy. He speaks mainly through voice-overs from his own head. That's a hard form of acting, but like I said, I'm German, so I'm very into self-discipline. I'm already doing character work on Trevor's project even though we don't shoot until July. I don't want to let him down.
Do you think that because Coyote isn't a straight-forward horror movie or typical, that it'll be harder for people to approach. Or do you think Trevor's usual arthouse influence and style is what's going to make it stand out?
The arthouse style is totally the sell here. I don't think you can go too artsy on a film like this, although you want it to be coherent. But you also want the audience to enjoy deciding what it means to them. Horror fans are smart. I know them. I am one myself. It's a misnomer to think that because a person likes the horror genre they don't want to think. Good horror takes place in the mind. I want "Coyote" to be a film that delights and disturbs, at the same time! A film you can watch at 3am and feel really weird and unsettled afterwards. It's only a movie, you know, but if film doesn't disturb and upset a little, what's the point? I'm a little biased here, because I have a face made for horror. Me and Lon Chaney are both described as "ugly fuckers" on IMDb. So I'm OK with the company.
Sell us on "Coyote" but in five words or less.
Nude woman sucks insect thumb.
Be sure to visit Bill's official website, blog and IMDb page:
Official Website of Bill Oberst Jr.
IMDb: Bill Oberst Jr.
Of course, big thanks to both Bill and Trevor for taking the time to talk to us at Film Bizarro. This is a project we both fully stand behind because of the people involved and overall it sounds like it's going to be a fantastic movie. Be sure to visit the Production Blog for "Coyote":
Also, definitely check out the work of Bill Oberst Jr. - he's a great actor, interesting person and all around cool guy. Visit his site, check out his movies (if you haven't) and buy one of his severed ears.