DG: What is your name and company name and URL?
MS: Michael Strode.
DG: What is your specialty...filmmaking or screenwriting? ? ? If filmmaking, which aspects?
MS: Both - I come from directing (MFA in Production at USC), and have focused on writing.
DG: What are you currently working on?
MS: ?I'm raising financing for Disturbed, a Blumhouse-style supernatural thriller (and Shriekfest screenplay finalist, thank you again) that inverts the traditional haunted house film. I've got key crew in place, talking to investors, and we're looking to shoot next summer.
DG: ?That is awesome! Who do you consider your mentor and why?
MS: Kevin Chang is my good friend and sounding board. He's been in development all over, most recently at Misher, and he gives great advice from that perspective.
DG: Why do you think the horror/scifi genres have such a large following?
MS: They offer satisfying catharsis. It's a chance to see our fears magnified, exaggerated, and reflected back at us. We go on that ride, have the adrenaline rush in the confines of the theater or living room, then see those fears defeated. It's a primal, fight-or-flight experience that allows us to process negativity or fear in a positive way.
DG: Well said! What do you love most about this business?
MS: The experience of watching something I've created with an audience. To see them react as you hoped is an incredible feeling.
DG: What do you dislike most about this business?
MS: The lack of professional courtesy that some people feel they can get away with.
DG: What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
MS: Tough to choose, but getting my first check for filmmaking is up there - being paid to create communal dreams is pretty great.
DG: Yes! Any advice you'd like to give to newbies?
MS: Everybody says this, but it truly is a marathon, not a sprint. The people who succeed are the people who don't leave.
DG: Very true! Anything else you'd like to say?
MS: I look forward to bringing Disturbed back to Shriekfest as a feature!
DG: Oh Michael, I so look forward to that! When I was compiling your history with Shriekfest above, I was shocked at how many years I've had the pleasure of seeing your work! I'm so very proud of all that you have done!