Lucas Till & Jason Trott

The 2013 Gold Coast Film Festival kicked off tonight and a few stars are in town for the opening weekend of films.  I caught up with writer-director Jason Trost and star Lucas Till (X-Men: First Class) to talk about a film they've put together, All Superheroes Must Die, which screens on Friday night.

Matt:  Jason, this is your baby – you wrote it, directed it, produced it and starred in it.

Jason:  It’s definitely my bastard child.  It’s my fault one way or the other.

Matt:  You’ve come all the way to Australia.  What’s the purpose?  What are you trying to get out of the experience here at the Gold Coast Film Festival?

Jason:  It’s to raise awareness for the movie and to get our Australian DVD release in order. 

Lucas:  And we get a free Australian trip too! (laughs)  This film is the little engine that could and we never really had any huge expectations.  It had such a low budget.

Matt:  So when you’re making a film like this do you know that this is the path you’re going to take – trying to build a bit of interest through the film festival circuit and hope to get a bit of cash out of DVD sales?

Jason:  Yeah, you never really know what’s going to happen until it happens.  It never happens the same twice – that’s the best way I can sum up independent movies.

Matt:  What budget were you working with on this film?  How much did you raise?

Jason:  We shot it for $20,000.

Lucas:  I don’t know what the union laws are like here in Australia but you can get into some real binds with low-budget independent filmmaking that make it impossible to shoot.  $20,000 would be your craft service budget on any other film.  This was a bare bones, “money in our pocket” movie.

Jason:  The term “sweat equity” comes to mind.

Matt:  Lucas, you’re a producer on this film as well.  For someone who’s 22, that’s pretty impressive.  What did that entail?

Lucas:  Not to toot my own horn but I was actually 19 at the time. (laughs)

Matt:  Well that shows how long it’s taken for us to see this film.

Lucas:  It’s been a hell of a journey.  Back then, I was frustrated with where my career was going.  I was auditioning for a lot of superhero things and not getting very far.  Jason then came to me with this idea and the rest moved from there.  We got a release in America and we were able to pay ourselves back so I guess the gamble paid off.

Matt:  Comic book and superhero movies are so popular the moment.  There are so many of them.  What’s happened?  Where has the sudden interest come from within Hollywood?

Jason:  I think there’s always been an interest in them.  The reason they make so many now is because they make money and are marketable.  There’s a huge demand out there and they’re still only making a small number each year.  It’s not a lot if you’re a huge comic book fan.  I think that’s why there’s such a thirst, even when they happen.

Matt:  So what are the plans with the film going forward?  Are there other film festivals you are trying to target?

Jason:  I wish I had a firm answer.  We’re trying to lock up our distribution deal at the moment for Australia, New Zealand and the UK right now.  Beyond that is all up in the air.

Matt:  Lucas, I have to ask a question about Stoker.  I heard a lot of raves coming out of the Sundance Film Festival and the film has a big Aussie connection with Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Jacki Weaver.  Can you tell us a little about the film?

Lucas:  Is it not out here?

Matt:  No, we don’t get it until August.

Lucas:  Wow, that’s insane.  Are you a fan of Park Chan-wook’s movies?

Matt:  Everyone keeps telling me to watch it but I’ve never seen Oldboy.

Lucas:  Oh man.  Don’t watch it with the dubbed English.  Make sure you put yourself through the hard work of reading the subtitles.  The performances are phenomenal.

As for Stoker, it was fantastic to be a part of it.  I worked with Mia but I didn’t have a lot to do with Jacki Weaver or Nicole Kidman.  How can I describe it without spoiling it?  A lot of people will assume that it has something to do with Bram Stoker but that’s not the case.  It’s about a girl who loses her father and her mysterious uncle comes to town and helps her out.  I’ll be honest – the less you know, the better.