David Banks is forging his own path. The actor, known mostly for his comedic side, isn’t one to sit idle and let opportunity pass by.
Instead of just waiting for roles and auditions to come along David, together with longtime friend David Rountree, decided to take a more “aggressive” approach. The team wrote and developed “CUT!”, an upcoming horror film with a unique storyline.
While indirectly paying homage to the original “The Hills Have Eyes” movie by casting Suze Lanier-Bramlett and Gabrielle Stone (the daughter of legendary actress Dee Wallace); Banks and Rountree have also created a horror film within a horror film.
With a release date of Halloween 2012, it seems likely that the stars are aligned for a new horror classic!
I had the chance to speak with David Banks and get his thoughts on the movie and why it’s so unique.
gJg: Is CUT! the first collaboration for you and David Rountree (Actor/Director)?
DB: David and I have actually been friends for a long time and we’ve written quite a lot of comedy based stories together. CUT! is the first time we’ve collaborated on a genre outside of comedy.
gJg: What’s the current status of the film?
DB: With the film near complete, we are beginning to shift our focus toward getting a trailer for the fans to see. Our film is tentatively scheduled for a Halloween release and we’re really excited about it!
We were looking for the ideal person to “cut” a trailer for us that would really convey our film best, and put it to life, and we found gold with Ryan Thompson from Britain! We were searching YouTube late one night for hours and came across this guy, wrote him and told him we were instantly a fan and could he work his magic. It was a real blessing to find him.
gJg: What made you decide to write a horror movie like CUT!?
It always sparks my interest to see that something is “based upon true events.” That adds an immediate element of realism and credibility to a story. One of our biggest complaints; however, is that with traditional horror movies, they don’t quite grasp that natural element of being as raw as what the real thing may be. We’ve all seen those moments where we stop and say “Aww come on, that would never happen!”
For CUT!, we decided to play on that fact by having a horror movie within a horror movie. Two people actually decide to kill people for real and capture it on film, yet market it as a film with just great raw acting.
gJg: You and David both wear multiple hats in this movie (acting, producing, writing, directing). Why did you decide to go that route?
DB: A casting director once told me something very interesting. She said, actors can always wait around for the right role and audition to come along, but what better way to shine then to do your own thing. Write your own project that’s catered to you and do it as only you can do. For us, CUT! is the end result of that.
gJg: What was the casting process like?:
DB: The whole casting process wasn’t your typical one where we held auditions. We didn’t want to do that. What we did was find really great talent who can deliver. People like Sam Scarber, William McNamara and Dahlia Salem.
We also found out about this “new” girl: Gabrielle Stone. We already knew about her Mom from “The Hills Have Eyes” and “ET” but when she sent her reel over we were completely blown away.
She was so good and I remember telling David right then and there: “We need to get her, RIGHT NOW!” She’s going to be huge someday!
gJg: You also have another “Hills Have Eyes” connection with Suze Lanier-Bramlett!
DB: Suze is amazing. We were always a big fan of hers and the original film. It just so happens that David and I both share the same manager (Eileen O’Farrell) as she does so it really worked out for us!
gJg: Tell me about you character, Lane Hayes and the CUT! story:
My character, Lane Hayes, is an ex con with an addiction to drugs and violent tendencies towards women. Rountree plays Travis Simon, a guy who spent years in film school trying to become a director, but has only managed to find work renting out equipment to other filmmakers.
With access to everything we need to make a movie, the idea is born to just scare people and capture the footage. However, something goes horribly wrong and the first person in this attempt is killed for real.
After reviewing the video to help cover our tracks, it is decided that we have such shock value in the real kill, that maybe that is what we need to do. The story takes off from that point as every gut wrenching authentic death “scene” is captured on film and I do all the dirty work.
gJg: What’s next for you?
DB: David and I have another project we wrote called “Mr. Reality”. That’s going to be a lot of fun and we’ve already got people in mind for casting.
When David and I get together and write, good things happen.
Article first published as CUT!: A Conversation With Filmmaker David Banks on Technorati.