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Floating Around on Mars: A Severed Cinema Interview with Filmmaker Greg Deliso Print E-mail
Written by Jay Creepy   
Monday, 26 February 2018
Floating Around on Mars: A Severed Cinema Interview with Filmmaker Greg Deliso

It's just like two buddies chilling out, having a laugh and happening to be doing an interview. That's how this chat with Hectic Knife director and co-writer, Greg DeLiso, reads back. I found we had certain things in common and we could both mention things about ourselves in comfort.

Greg will be known to many as one of the twisted minds behind anti movie, Hectic Knife, which is out now from Troma, which I reviewed recently (see review) and it has to be the most original creation I have seen in many years. Viewers will pick their chins up off the floor whilst witnessing the birth of a new genre in cult film-dom (so far an untitled genre).

There's much more to Greg -- and a lot more things he has done -- or is about to do. So, sit back in a comfy chair, relax, do whatever you need to do to get into your zone, then scroll down and enjoy this interview with Greg DeLiso.

Now then you bloody weirdo. How are you today? What's a typical day for you?

I have good days and bad. Today kinda sucked, but the bright spot was hearing from a dude in Denmark that just randomly bought the Blu-ray and loved it! That kind of stuff keeps me waking up most days. Lately, I've been working on finishing a short documentary that I shot back in 2007. It's called What Does E=mc(squared) Even Mean? Then, I have two more short docs, Nasty Girl and Sleeping Dreams that I wanna have released by mid 2019. So that's fun. The Sleeping Dreams one has Greg Sestero (from The Room), YouTube superstar, Meghan Tonjes, and Mike Shank from American Movie in it -- from one of my top-five favorite movies of all time, so dreams come true!

 A Severed Cinema Interview with Filmmaker Greg DelisoI feel like your film, Hectic Knife, kind of taps into an unknown section of human consciousness – a part which appreciates the total absurd and surreal, usually triggered by dropping acid I suppose. Would you consider yourself a living breathing tab of acid?

(Pause) That's true. No, I've done mushrooms twice. I'd like to again. They say it's supposed to be good for clinical depression, which I have. I'm sure you're not supposed to just, like buy a bag on the street and eat a handful though -- that's what I (didn't do) did and it wasn't so fun -- bad trip. I did make friends with my banister though, that was while I was connected to some kind of tentacle, floating around on Mars inside the "space station."

(Laughs) that sounds like a new movie in itself. Tell you what, for all the substances I had back in the '90s, I avoided acid – no one ever offered mushrooms unfortunately. I was too stoned all the time or out of my face on E's or speed to bother go looking. I wrote some pretty messed up short stories based on my dreams though. I avoided acid cause you never know what's in your head creeping about.

Yeah, mushrooms are more than enough for me. What about HK (laughs)?

(Laughs) Exactly, man. What about it?

Yeah man, it's crazy! Try watching it on acid, maybe that'll make it make sense! Oh, and to be honest -- I started HK at 23/24 years old and I hadn't done a drug of any kind in my life until I was 26. Weed helps with my depression and anxiety nowadays. But, I started Hectic totally straight. So, I guess that exposes how weird I actually am!

Have you had much criticism from people who kind of walk into your film not knowing what to expect? Or are they mentally prepared? I consider if any critics speak, it could be over the lack of money, or the randomness – or a big “Boo-hoo, how dare you take the piss out of our blockbuster superhero sheeple movies!!

 Hectic Knife PosterI think, initially, it's a tough sell. How do you properly market Hectic Knife? In fact, I'm asking! Because I don't know yet. Obviously, because of "knife" and the blood, it's generally pegged as a "horror" movie. But, to be totally honest, the movie has zero roots in horror or slasher movies. It's 100% a comedy and is really trying to spoof things like exploitation movies and Hollywood cheese and comic book movies. So, the whole "knife," horror, blood thing is not only off putting for some people, it also confuses the marketing.

I think another reviewer pinpointed it, like it's a whole new genre. Is it a spoof? Parody? No, cause it's somehow quite serious wherein the antihero is very inside himself and tired of it all. It's a comedy, but not too the extent of those crappy superhero comedy Scary Movie type things. I dunno, Greg, I'd go with Action Fantasy Comedy. Then, like I said, the whole shell is quite serious. Man, leave it to Troma (laughs). it depends on the audience I guess, they might decide.

To me, the crowd that I'm in and the audience I wanted is the "alternative" or "meta" comedy people. So like, young hipsters that are defining comedy for themselves while drawing a line back to the alternative roots from the late '80s-'90s So, like, Patton Oswald did that The Comedians of Comedy documentary way back in like 2002 and that was his way of trying to show this whole wave of interesting, working on the road, underground and alternative comics. I was like 18 and just moved to Brooklyn when Zach Galafanakis was the big dog in the Brooklyn comedy scene and just beginning to break out. I was always a HUGE comedy nerd and am a Seinfeld obsesso. That's all where HK came from. But, I certainly don't begrudge anyone that likes any genre and I'm happy trying to define it or whatever. And I have nothing but love for horror and slasher movies, it's just not where HK happened to come from really.

I noticed you haven't mentioned anybody saying about your low budget, so I guess everyone takes it as it is and has fun. Money isn't everything, especially in the film world. In my opinion, there isn't an excuse to hire actors who cannot act, and you haven't done that, regardless of your cash. In Hectic Knife, I think everyone does a solid job, whether playing straight or as a parody. Lack of cash means using a fine imagination, plus a shed-load of hard work. Greg, what the fuck is going on in your imagination?

We purposely cast them because it was funny -- the casting, in essence, is the joke. I wanted to distinguish because, had we had a ten million dollar budget, much of the cast would be the same. Now I'm not naming names on purpose and I don't think any of them know who they are because, as a very true, blanket statement, I NEED to say: ALL of our actors were fucking awesome, tried hard, showed up, gave it their all and I owe them EVERYTHING! Now, that said, what I really enjoy is that JJ, who plays Piggly had never been on camera before, and Traci, who plays Porch, is a seasoned pro. I thought they had great chemistry and you cant tell on either side (in a good way). Traci is pulling on her experience, in a good way and because she's a pro, she has the chops and talent to bring something cool and original to it that wasn't on our pages. And JJ, was a natural for the role and whatever little things that you lose with no experience like not knowing about "marks" and crap like that didn't matter because Traci was able to bring him up to her level and he was able to step up! We cast the movie using ONLY Craigslist and friends. So, it's a mixed bag of non-actors and working pros and I'm super happy and proud of what everyone brought to it!

A Severed Cinema Interview with Filmmaker Greg DelisoWhen did the sickness begin? What's your earliest memories of this rising explosion of images and ideas for Hectic Knife? Rumours abound that Hectic Knife took many years to make and stuff. G'wan, tell us the full story from beginning to halfway (cause I have a feeling it'll be a long story).

(Laughs) it's not too long but I'll give you the run down: Pete had basically put me on retainer to make any crazy short film or documentary or music video he wanted in exchange for rent money -- I was living in "Link's" actual bedroom, just a living room, now 4th wall, for real -- maybe that's why the movie has no 4th wall either! Pete bought a bunch of cheap props and costumes and fake blood and we just started goofing off making stuff. HK was just one of the shorts from that period. The high contrast, black and white was influenced by Aronofsky's Pi and the 4:3 ratio was influenced by Kubrick, mostly. I liked the natural grain I could get with the DVX, so the ''look'' was cultivated early and then the rest just happened organically. Pete and I would write every Wednesday, Pete would produce the shoot by taking our writing and turning that into a shooting script/call sheet. Then we shot every Monday for 15-weeks in a row. After those I put a rough cut together and that's when the work really started. That rough cut was one-hour-fifty-four-minutes and was a mess, sound-wise. So the next four years were spent cutting it down, shooting new scenes, re-writing, adding jokes and doing ADR and mixing the sound. The writing process was very organic. We never had a traditional script that went from page 0-100, and no such document even exists to this day. Instead, it was written as we went and sort of built joke by joke.

A freestyle film! I love it. Okay, changing up the pace, lay on that couch, let's play Psychiatrist and Patient for a moment. Hang on, I'll just unzip my pants. Erm, right. So, Mr. DeLiso, your childhood, I would like you to take me there now, to any specific events such as when you first felt the yearning to enter the creative world.

Basically, just seeing Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, Tremors, Empire Strikes Back, for the first time. I was six when JP came out, so I missed them all when they first came out. But, basically just being mesmerized by the stories and then endlessly de-constructing them down to the tinniest bit of sound to just see how they work and operate. I mean, in the Frued couch thing, I think the truth is that I make stuff to try to get my parents attention because TV is kinda the only thing they've ever cared about. So, it seemed like the natural way to get their attention and I think anyone who makes anything kinda automatically has what Kevin Pollack constantly refers to on his Chat Show as "hey look at me disease." Well, I have it, bad, so I only really feel comfortable when I'm working on a project. I've been working on projects constantly since I was about 13 though, and it hasn't really "saved my life" or anything yet. But, like I said above, sometimes the kind reactions to HK are the only thing keeping me waking up.

What were your hobbies as a younger man, Mr DeLiso?

 A Severed Cinema Interview with Filmmaker Greg DelisoThey were (and still are), playing guitar, hockey (playing it and watching it), collecting dumb junk (not very seriously) like hockey cards, and books, and movies, and whatever else. And then, I guess writing and reading and watching stuff. Pretty boring answer, sorry. But, my life as a kid is pretty much the same is it is now, except I don't have to waste eight-hours a day going to school away from my boring hobbies.

And your hockey playing years didn't really work out did they?

No they did, I'm actually also Steve Yzerman! No, yeah, I dreamed of being the next Terry Sawchuck. It was a small detour, delusion, I had in life between about 6-12, but I never took it as seriously as I did movies, even at that age. But yeah, if I was half a foot taller, not depressed and naturally faster I would've tried to make the NHL for sure. Despite those setbacks... well, I still suck, but I think with those things I might've made a college team or something. But, no, I was always a comedy nerd, movie maker. But, yeah, I love the Red Wings, that's my life long, hometown team, and then I love the San Jose Sharks and the Washington Capitals. Actually, getting to make this made me LOVE the Caps!

Okay, Dr. Creepozoid has finished. Gimmie a minute to slip back into my clothes. Now then, Greg, hows-about your early short flick, Unlucky? What is going on in and around that one? You played Ted, right?

Holy Cow! Um, have you seen it??? I don't think it exists anywhere does it?

No, I saw it mentioned on IMDb, and wanted to take you back to your roots.

Um, yeah I was 17, senior year, old high school -- you're right, I played Ted. It's 30-minutes, comedy. At 16 I had finished a feature that's 2.5-hours long. It wasn't very good so I went down to 30-minutes to see if I could do something good at that length. It wasn't much better. It's basically just an over-long attempt at comedy. I only played the main characters in my high school stuff because I knew I could count on myself to show up for the shoots! And, also, in case I was the only one who did show up I could still shoot something! But, I prefer operating camera and filming other people. I like doing little, tiny parts in things for fun but I'm not an actor. But, yeah, wow, I'm replaying Unlucky in my head now. I submitted it to some scam, film festival in NYC in 2004 and it "got in" only with a $300 submission fee -- which I paid and then it all turned out to be nothing. My buddies and I walked out of the screening for it! The only other people in the theater were the dudes waiting for their movie to follow mine. And the DVD started skipping so I just left and never talked to anyone at the fest again -- I really didn't care. I was only 17 and had just moved to NYC and was about to start film school and turn 18 in a month.

Crazy you found that though, is it on IMDb or something, the video I mean?

Not on there, but some place called CH2MOVIE has it as a free download. Saying that, I'm not hitting the download button on that page in case some virus or whatever comes down with it (laughs). I might try it on the work computer. I'll let you know if it works (laughs). I notice that you do a lot of things but you have stated to me that acting isn't really one of them. Are you just a really dreadful actor? Or is it a case of being too busy?

People generally don't know that I'm the guy in HK that pulls the bagel out of himself in the colour scene. I'm not a good actor in a traditional sense but I like being in things enough. I'll say this: I'm better than Quentin as an actor but not as good as Spike Lee or Kevin Smith! But, no I'm not as good as Quentin either!

You've worked on a fair few web series and things over the years in one form or other. What can you tell us about these programmes?

Well, I did two web series. One that was mine that I did with a good friend, Jakob Hawkins. That's called Fake Henrik Zetterberg and it's based on him looking like NHL superstar Henrik Zetterberg in real life. With that in mind, we dressed up Jakob and wrote some short videos. That was back in 2009. One of them blew up overnight so we made it into a full-on web series with a script and plot and everything. We did 12 episodes back in 2011, it was a lot of fun and I'm proud of it! The other was one I was hired to shoot/edit called The RA's. The Diaper Boy in HK was from that series, that's how I met him, great actor and nice guy.

Um, when I worked at this place called ImaginAsian TV (real name), which was an Asian TV channel that was in like NYC, LA, Dallas and San Francisco, Seattle, they're defunct for like 5 years now. Anyway, the guy who does the "SEGA!" voice, that scream, he had a show on that channel when I was an editor there in 2005. They rented my DVX for one of the seasons of the show so I hung around the set watching them do whatever for that and then threw myself on IMDb.

The web series was really fun -- both were fun and a huge learning experience.



You've probably had a few ups and downs throughout the years. Have you ever reached that point where you want to smash your head into the wall and say, “Fuck this shit!!!” Or is your love too great to ever want to walk away?

A Severed Cinema Interview with Filmmaker Greg DelisoWell, there's nothing to walk away from. It's just life. As pretentious as that may be, my only options in life were to make movies or to just be a failure. I never had any intention of getting any regular, 9-5 job of any kind and if I had failed out of movies completely I wouldn't have like, found some other career and made real money in anything else. I would've just become a failure, lived with my folks and/or some shit apartment or less. To me, there was no choice and anyone talking about a back-up plan or college were dead (like Henry Hill says in Goodfellas), I didn't even know what they were doing at all? Still don't. Everything is a down in a way. Just in the fact that I'm not living, financially, purely off my art. So, in that way, so far it's all a loss, in the red, a personal project. But, since HK, I've finally graduated beyond people asking things like "Why are you making this?" or "Is this a student project?" I've always looked young and still at 31 I could easily play 20 if I shave. But, HK finally lifted me beyond those questions in life, coupled with just being older, I guess, is the real currency. I'm lucky that I get to make a living by writing, shooting, editing and directing content for companies and cities and schools and stuff. The fact that doing that can afford me a house and dogs and a beautiful wife is perfect because I get to use my crafting tools for my job and make craft! It's not the dream, but it's actually closer to the dream than commercials or even most music videos. My work isn't even widely seen, necessarily, but it keeps my clients happy and my lights on and fulfills its end purpose. Plus, obviously, it allows me to, mostly, keep my own hours/schedule and not be stuck to a 9-5. I can, pretty much, be my own boss and have the flexibility to still screen HK around the world and do my next project(s), etcetera.

Your depressions, man -- I used to suffer badly from depressions in my college years round '91-'93 then on and off 'til the mid 2000s. What triggers you? Or are there triggers? My low deep in the pit moments used to come for no reasons, snap of the finger I'm buried for ages. Reason I ask is, depression seems to be by your side a lot by what you've said.

I’ve had clinical depression since I can remember, but it obviously comes on when you’re a teenager. I finally broke down and got myself on pills when I was 25. I definitely have triggers yeah -- “Triggers” are real!

Mine were sometimes violent -- mainly against myself. Now and then, I'd find myself in proper fist fights because I'd spark off. It's something that's never really covered enough, like, back in the '90s I was totally isolated, thinking I was the only person around in this situation.

Sorry to hear about the violence, I never did anything like that fortunately. But yeah, it’s rough. Basically just always attacked by negative thoughts and anxiety over everything ever.
Here's a good one for you. Troma! Look, I hear a lot of mixed views of Lloyd and his Toxie empire. Some love the guy, some call him a criminal. How's your dealings with him and his home for underground flicks so far?

Well, I assure you, I wouldn't be working with him at all if I thought he was a bad guy or a criminal. And, I've never had any bad dealings with Troma or Uncle Lloydie in any way. I've been yelled at by Michael Herz for no reason -- but, I feel like that's just like a rite of passage, no? 99% of that shit is just idiots who signed with Troma and thought it would make them rich overnight. They adored Troma and they, wrongfully, thought that just by signing with them that it'd instantly turn them famous and rich. When that didn't happen they got bitter. I've heard the stories and they're all the same... Even with all the gratuity in Troma movies and all that, from what I've seen (and this is just me) Lloyd seems like a good guy, husband/father. So, nobody's hurting - I hope! But, yeah, I've never seen a Troma movie before, apart from Rocky, My Dinner With Andre and Cannibal the Musical. But, I know none of those count. From what I have seen of Toxic Avenger, I do love it, but that stuff isn't really my scene in a way. I think Lloyd is a great artist though -- his book, Make Your Own Damn Movie should be the ONLY textbook in ALL film schools Maybe Save the Cat too. And, I'm very proud that we're out on Troma. I know some dickheads won't even look at HK because it's on Troma and they HATE Troma. But, okay, their loss.

A Severed Cinema Interview with Filmmaker Greg DelisoMy dealings with Troma have been honest and straight forward. We negotiated our own contract but we did hire a lawyer to look over the contract and go over our terms with us, etcetera. Herz was upfront with us about not being happy, to put it lightly, about us self-releasing 1,000 copies on DVD before the Blu-ray came out. But, he not only let us do it, I think at the end of the day what keeps them alive is exactly that... they might not be happy, but they'll give you rope to hang yourself. They're smart enough to see that I just wanna promote them too, smart enough to know that times are changing and existing in the underground/cult/indie movie market is all about evolving with the times and being malleable. There's a reason they've been around 45-years and counting when most companies don't make it off the couch! Troma will go down in movie history as the "disrupter" they called themselves. As a really cool blip on this giant radar that goes from Hollywood to Nollywood and EVERYTHING in between. Troma stands right their with Corman, Romero, and all the great '70s/'80s exploitation, cult hero stuff. Pete and I both are super proud to have HK there with Kabukiman, Dolphinman and Toxie -- they're the great, original movie heroes!

Oh and HK is available on Troma Now! Troma's own, exclusive, streaming service. Just $4.99 per month gets you access to hundreds of Troma titles, including HK.

What a blooming cheeky advert that was, Greg! (Laughs) Aye, Troma releases. I haven't seen Lloyd's intro to Hectic Knife yet. Has he got his head in a pair of breasts whilst cheap Toxic Avengers and Kabukimans prowl around?

All I know is I'm all fat in it, I'm like 190lbs! I'm back to my healthy, 160lbs now. They filmed us at Comic Con in NYC back in 2016 know there's some dudes huge, swinging dick in the intro too. I'd prefer that not be in there. But, whatever, its cool.

What's the deal with Peter Litvin? He did a fair bit of work on Hectic Knife didn't he? How did you both link (notice the subtle reference to H.C's room-mate there, eh?) up?

HK is Pete and it's as much his at it is mine. It's fully our movie, not mine. It was our co-creation and Pete produced the movie, while also doing what I think is one of the best movie soundtracks of all time. Plus all the mixing, not to mention starring as HK. We met in high school. Pete's a grade above me. I was a fan of his band. Pete's musical ear is what really let HK exist and gave it life. His score was invaluable and it really elevated the material. Plus, his ear and his technical crafting skills really made the sound match the quality of movies with budgets of tens of millions!

Howsabout JJ Brine and Frannie Glooper herself, Georgia Haege. I swear, those two had me laughing a lot. They are both like awesome. Will you ever be working with either of them again?

I would love to work with Georgia again on anything and she's definitely a first call for me when casting my next movie. She's brilliant. (Laughs) JJ was a little difficult but he's a great guy. I don't think he likes the movie. I think he thinks it's below him. But, he is famous in this weird way, so it's cool, I don't know. He's a good guy. I've had some really nice conversations with JJ, but I never got the sense that he really liked me or the movie. I don't get his Vektor Gallery thing but I think the tin foil on the walls was kinda neat.

JJ, I think has no pictures from the movie on Facebook, nor any mention (laughs). And then there's John Munnelly! The everyday man. He is literally somebody a lot of blokes could look in the mirror and see. “Really?” That whole scene is fantastic between him and Georgia.

John is GREAT! He's a great musician too and he did the HK song himself. I did a few videos for him. And THANK YOU, but really, it's all THEM! My job was just to tell Georgia to do more accents when she felt like stopping and for John to not talk until she asks you a question! Then I just got to hang a light bulb and watch!

My love for horror and wild movies came at the age of 7, because my Mom rented film after film. Dawn of the Dead, Eraserhead, Zombie Flesh Eaters, I Spit on Your Grave, Asylum, on and on. Never harmed me (laughs). Your adoration for films in general must have existed a very long time.

A Severed Cinema Interview with Filmmaker Greg DelisoSince I was 6! I saw Jurassic Park in the theatre at 6, four times. I was bitten and smitten by the movies and I've devoured them ever since. Zemekis, Coen Bros, Amy Heckling, Joe Dante, Scorsese, Spielberg, Kubrick, Penny Marshall – the American kids are still my favourites, but I've seen, at least, a smattering of them all from Nollywood to Bollywood. HK, to me, was inspired mostly by Wet Hot American Summer by David Wain, Freddy Got Fingered by Tom Green (NOTE: This is one of Severed Cinema editor Chris Mayo's fave films) and then the movie itself is a very intentional style-mashup of Eraserhead and Airplane! Those were my main two references and then 5-years later a guy on IMDb gave this huge, positive review and sited those exact two movies and I couldn't believe it!!! True story!

If you had yourself locked into a bunker for a couple of years with a generator and a DVD player (aside from the obvious food, etcetera) what films could you watch over and over?

American Movie, Raising Arizona, Comedian, Back to the Future, Big, Forest Gump, The 'Burbs, Clueless, The King of Kong, Paradise Lost (all 3 docs) and all of Errol Morris's work.

I guess you're not much of a horror chap then?

Honestly no. I don't specifically dislike them. I truly love The Shining and The Blair Witch Project, and my favourite movie is Signs. Psycho scared me as a kid. So did Fire in the Sky. I love Halloween, the first ever one. But, I guess of the major emotions; laughing, crying, edge of your seat, scared. I prefer laughing and edge of your seat, over crying, and then being scared. So, I'm just naturally, by my personality, drawn to comedy. The only genre I really have trouble getting into, across the board, is westerns. I just don't get it. Don't care about horses, don't care about spittoons and old style prostitutes. I like Back to the Future 3, but I'd like it more if it wasn't a western for no reason. Horror movies I love watching, they're very fun to watch casually. But, as a genre nerd, I go for comedies or just like certain "art house (puke!)" guys like Scorsese or whatever?

Let's talk seriously for a while -- are you a VHS, DVD, Blu-ray or download man?

NONE! I don't give a fuck! (laughs). I'm surprised how much I get asked this and I keep evolving my answer. Okay, I grew up with the theatre and Blockbuster Video. Those were my two, core experiences from 0-17 and I like to romanticize it too. But it's just that; nostalgia. Then, I got Netflix at around 19-21. I've watched movies on my phone on a long train ride. I've watched them snuggled up under a blanket with hot coco at 8-years-old after playing hockey on a frozen pond. I've watched them on hot summer days in my cold basement. And in front of a fan with a friend on a shitty DVD player, eating Doritos.

That is simply diverse, man.

To me, as an artist, I like the idea of that big screen. That big silver screen. Three thousand of 'em across America! That's the box I wanna conquer still. But, in ten-years that might not exist. Video games have eclipsed movies, in sales and artistry, like 10-20-years ago. VR and all this other stuff will eclipse movies soon, making this whole art form only last like 150-200 years in human history. What we're saying on and with these screens is changing and in a way I'm already going extinct. When I was a kid I watched my VHS tape of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing until it wore out. Then, I bought the Criterion DVD when it first came out and I hated how the print looked because I had fallen in love with the ugly, VHS texture.

Yes! I've noticed how some DVD releases have changed the atmosphere and feel of films from VHS. Or exposed certain special effects as what they truly are. Took me a while to adjust.

I got used to the correct look and then now, OF COURSE the Blu-ray LOOKS better, its designed to.

(Laughs) The Blade Runner Blu-ray ruined some of the city landscapes – showed them as matte paintings, which goes back to what I just said.

A Severed Cinema Interview with Filmmaker Greg DelisoBut, I'd still rather see an original Super 16mm work print screened than anything else...The point is...When David Lynch tries to tell kids not to watch movies on their phones he's betraying the cool punk, rock 'n' roll hairdo that he wears. He's gotta let the kids be kids, man! If a kid wants to watch HK on their phone, WHO - THE – FUCK – AM - I to tell them what’s what? We screened HK in a theatre in Denver last year. It looked AMAZING on the big screen. I shot that thing on TAPE and it blew up so well and looked AMAZING -- I was blown away! But that was just me, just my experience, just for me. Those other 35 people in the audience (in a 250 seat theatre!) weren't absorbing how great the "look" held up on the big screen, thankfully, they were just laughing at the dumb jokes!

Movies can be watched any which way. I still like the idea of shooting for a big screen because to me, I like a big canvas and movies can still be a larger than life experience. But, movies aren't even shot for high screens anymore, they're shot to play well on phones - no medium shots of dialog anymore, all close-ups in between pretty looking action set pieces.

Yeah, close-ups, flashes, and the three to four second cut rule. Nothing like a wide shot for atmospherics is there?

I like the idea of using all of that huge space, but I know that most of my audience will not see my movie on that big screen -- they just won't! And it's not my job to really care. It is my job to pay attention and to understand it, but not to define it or to tell people how or where to watch. HK was shot on tape, so it, naturally looks better, smaller. So it'd play great on a phone screen. But, like I said I was surprised by how good it looked on the big screen in Denver. We've screened it about a dozen times publicly and the best venue seems to be a bar! Worst looking and sounding presentation but most fun, intimate environment. I grew up in the 90s, when movies still had a life on huge screens, so I shoot, naturally, that way. That won't change because that's the style in my DNA or whatever. But, I try to stay conscious of how audiences are migrating and behaving. It's a tough balance sometimes but you also can't get too wrapped up into it otherwise it'll distract from the real work which is just trying to generate material.

Who's the powerhouse in your life? Who keeps you going through everything?

My wife and my dogs.

Oh yeah, you've recently completed a short film titled The One. Is that a direction away from the normal for you being the subject matter is far aside from Hectic Knife's team?

No I have not! (Laughs). I got hired to direct that over the phone for $100. I took the gig and I got paid -- one day shoot. Not my script, didn't know anyone there. It was 2013 and I haven't seen anyone since! It never got finished -- doesn't exist! And the footage we got that day was terrible. I keep trying to delete it off my IMDb.

You're stuck with it as a reminder. Man, I'll have a look to see if any of the footage lives on some dodgy download sites like Unlucky does. So, Greg, what's planned for your mentally unstable future then?

Like I said before, I have three short docs in the works, not The One, that does not exist! (laughs). I'm very excited to release What Does E=mc (squared) Even Mean?, Sleeping Dreams, and Nasty Girl. After those three are completed I'm going to self-release a collection of all of my documentary stuff. I have about a dozen short docs that I made and/or cut that I'd like to put in one place. We have a DVD of the shorts Pete & I did leading up to HK coming out this spring, and the HK VHS is coming out as well, limited 100 copies!

After those I have this epic, 2.5-hour long, feature doc all about music called: What Kind of Music Do You Listen to? I'm hoping to have that done by 2021-22. Then after that I'll do my second movie, I have a few scripts in the works, trying to finish up and pick one.

Would you ever consider releasing your early shorts and stuff on a bonus DVD?

Um, I would but not right now. It still feels too soon and I don’t think enough people care yet.

I have a feeling HK will become a cult smash and  come a new feature on Troma, extras on the disc. Lloyd can do wonders to underground films. By the sounds of it, as well, your music documentary is going to reach a far audience, so I bet there's going to be a lot of interest in you, and your works, buddy.

A Severed Cinema Interview with Filmmaker Greg DelisoThanks! Nice of you to say.

A mouse died in your laundry basket then?

Yes. It smelled very bad. Pete was angry. It was sad and gross. That was in 'Link's room', aka my real room.

My deranged buddy, this has been absolutely awesome, I thank you for your time. I hope you've enjoyed the talk and I look forwards to getting a load of freebies off you (laughs). Mate, it's one of those interviews when I could just keep going on forever and find out more and more. However, lastly, though, if you could place one film, or moment, into a capsule and pass it to a person somewhere in the future, what would represent you as a person and artist?

Thank you, this was super fun and even scary and introspective at times. Mike Vernon was only 5ft 7in too and he won two Stanley Cups and a ConnSmythe trophy, so what’s my fuckin' excuse!? Will definitely get you a goody bag of my work! And, I guess it would be that scene from Groundhog Day when he says "...that was a good day, why couldn't I get that day over and over?" No, I'm kidding, I don't know. I hope life is more fun than just one thing to represent it all. But, I mean, if I had to choose it would be Victor Wooten playing the bass guitar or Pavel Datsyuk playing with a hockey puck or Seinfeld telling a joke -- I haven't done anything transcendent like those things. Those are the things I'd show the aliens to invite them into humanity.

Thanks. This was so fun!

Likewise, buddy.

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Interview with Greg Deliso was conducted by Severed Cinema writer Jay Creepy. You can find him on Facebook.

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