Saturday, December 31, 2011

Take 5 with "Gypsy Heart"

Daniel Lee Perea, director

As we gear up for the Oxford Film Festival 2012 to be held at the Malco Studio Theater on Feb. 9-12, 2012 and also at the Lyric Theater on Saturday, Feb. 11 as part of the Oxford Music Festival line-up where we will show music films, videos and a panel on music + film, we thought we might introduce you to some of the people behind the movies we can't wait to show you. For the full schedule and description of the films, visit

Meet Take 5 filmmaker, Daniel Lee Perea, director of Mississippi short narrative film “Gypsy Heart.”

Q. 1: In 140 characters or less, describe your movie and why someone should see it.
A: It is a mystery set in Southern lost highways. Who can resist a mystery?! Or a beautiful woman?

Q. 2: Biggest lesson learned in getting the film made? Best part in getting the film made?

A:  The biggest lesson learned is how to improvise when things go really awry. But then we've all been learning that since day one. The best part for us was April Perea (the writer) discovering our lead actress, Courtney, in Wal-mart.  I'm quite serious. You really can get ANYTHING at Wal-mart. We were lucky to find her, as this project got put off for a year and a half due to trying to find the right girl.  I'd fallen in love with April's script and it was really bugging us both not to bring this project to life.

Q. 3: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background?
A:  Well I've answered this question a lot, so I'll tell you a more specific story. What REALLY was the impetus to go from the idea to the action was Solomon Mortamur. This crazy guy out in nowhere in Indiana making a b-movie feature film with a Sony Handycam. He got Rudy Ray Moore (Dolemite), Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, Gunnar Hansen (the original Leatherface), and Hank III in his movie. That's like a Jim Jarmusch cast! All on a Dairy Queen janitor salary. I'm not kidding. He's THAT good at talking people into stuff. I had some music on the soundtrack and got a decapitation cameo. Watching a guy that determined to take almost absolutely NOTHING and turn it into something called "It Came From Trafalgar" made me realize I had absolutely no excuses not to follow my passion for film.  My hat is off to him.

Q. 4: What's your dream distribution plan for the film?
A: Sony buys it for a zillion dollars and plays it on TV every day between every 25th episode of Law & Order and we all get rich and fat. And April will finally get her own damn working TARDIS.  (You DID say "dream" distribution plan!)

Q. 5: What does the future hold in store for your film and for you?

A: This film marks a giant leap upwards in the sense that it has by FAR the best production values of anything I've ever made.  It's sort of a 'graduation' project. Kinda like going from a garage band to a polished act. What Gypsy Heart means is that in technical terms, I have grown to the place I feel I need to be to move forward with the next step - that being putting together financing, a professional cast and crew, and moving forward with my Hearse Driver feature.  To be perfectly honest, I may not even continue to make films. A real feature "push" is the one piece of unfinished business I have left in my movie career, and its success or failure will determine whether I even remain in this industry. I am very fortunate in that there are several other things I can do, and will forever be endlessly grateful to everybody who ever supported us, worked on this and all our films, and came to screenings. 

But now in that Bizarro dream world where Sony gave us a zillion dollars...well...the future is this: April will run a ranch that rescues animals from the pound, Melissa will learn how to drive, Casey Spradling will buy the Playboy Mansion, Ashley W will go on tour with Coheed & Cambria as his backing band, I will run my own pro-wrestling promotion, Glenn will buy back the soul he traded to the devil to get his painting skills, Courtney will buy world peace and also every pair of heels she ever wanted, and Johnny McPhail will hire Quentin Tarantino to work for him (with Sabrina as both his secretary AND limo driver in yet another dual role.)
Thank you for actually reading all that! Now check out the trailer!

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