Monday, October 14, 2013

Interview with Caleb Emerson.

Full Name:
Caleb Emerson

Do you have a nickname?
I do not.

Boston, Massachusetts

Current hometown:
Los Angeles, CA

Favorite city:
I love Los Angeles, I love Boston…
I spent about 10 years in Providence as well, and that can be a nice place.

June, '76… so I'm 37

How would you describe yourself physically?
I'm very tall, I frequently have a beard. I'm kinda dumpy…I have nice legs though.

How would someone else describe you physically?
Probably the same, except for the nice legs. I tend to be clothed most of the time, so most people wouldn't know. There's a very lucky, short list of ladies out there that can tell you about them though.

The first thing people notice about you is…
Probably that I'm tall.
I’d definitely go with tall and bald. That’s how I recognized you as soon as you stepped through the door at the Creation Weekend of Horrors.

Hair Color/Eye Color/Race?
Brown, quickly turning grey. Brown. Western European mongrel/white. Although I have a somewhat dark complexion and people frequently think I'm Jewish or some kind of Middle Eastern. I'm sure not though.

Sexual orientation?
Straight. I've been accused of the other, usually in reviews of my movies. But if I'm gay I haven't figured it out yet. And my wife would be shocked.

Religion, if any?

Are you superstitious at all?

Do you smoke/drink?   If so, what?   Any bad habits?
I smoked for a long time, but I quit many years ago. I drink a little, but rarely to excess. I'm a beer with dinner kind of guy. I do love a salty margarita though… usually if I'm out at a Mexican restaurant.

Current occupation/Dream job:
I'm an television editor. Most of the year I work on the Comedy Central show "Tosh.0", and over the summer I edited the Bio show "The Ghost Inside My Child".

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I watch lot of movies, and I love to hike/explore nature.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
Zombies are pretend.
That’s cool.
Good luck “pretending” they’re not gnawing your nards off when the inevitable zombie apocalypse happens!

Weapon of choice:

Do you have any special skills?
All of my skills are special. I do a great movie trailer VO. I have really big feet.  I can eat an entire tub of hummus or guacamole at a single sitting, no matter what the size.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
I went to The Rhode Island School of Design. My degree is in Film/Animation/Video, but I studied plenty of other things there too. Drawing, painting, figure modeling, stone carving, stained glass etc.

Any pets?   If so, what are they and what are their names?
2 cats. They're my wife's cats but they live at my house. They're named Looper (he's 10, so he's not named after the fucking Bruce Willis movie) and Uschi. I also have a tank of nameless fish. Fish are more of a hobby than a pet though.

What is your favorite animal?
Specific animal? My dog Tuck that died a few years ago. Animal species? I'm fond of sharks and alligators.

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
There is not enough time in the world for me to list my pet peeves. I'm becoming more of a grumpy old man with every passing minute. Most involve dumb people who talk too much.

Favorite/Least favorite Food:
Favorite? Bananas, hummus, peanut butter, coffee.
Least favorite: mushrooms, squash or anything that came out of the water.

What is your favorite quotation/motto/saying?
I quote movies all of the time, usually in conversations with people who have no idea I'm quoting movies. Not even my favorite movies, just random quotes.  I sort of do that in my movies too, I have people say things from other movies. Not like a cool reference that the audience is supposed to get, but just kind of the way I do it I guess. Maybe that's obnoxious, I don't know. Pretty much anything that Bud in Repo Man says… or The Kid in Box of Moonlight. Rupert Pupkin has some pretty unforgettable lines.
I do that too. I say “I blame society.” From Repo Man all the time. And when someone says something and they seem to be expecting  response and I can’t think of anything to say I quote Quentin Tarantino from Pulp Fiction during his conversation with Harvey Keitel as The Wolf and say “Oak’s nice.”

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
Oh, jeez…marrying my wife was pretty great. Moving to California was pretty great. Premiering my first film was pretty great. I'm having a kid soon, and I'm guessing that will be quite memorable.
No shit! Are you going to name your kid Peanutch?
No shit at all. Peanutch is taken, and Peanutch Jr. doesn’t have that magic ring to it. His name is Charlie.

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
When I was 22 I fell asleep on the highway with my cruise control on 65 and drove off of an off ramp and hit a cement wall. Nothing about that was fun.

Ever had your heart broken?

Ever broken someone’s heart?
I don't know.

What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
I feel like I answered that with "what's the best thing that ever happened to you". Maybe that says something about me that they are the same answers.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
I don't think I've ever done anything really terrible.

If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be?
I think the only situation I could see myself killing someone in was if they were trying to hurt me or my family, in which case I wouldn't really worry about the consequences.

How did you get started doing what you do?
Making movies? Or my job? I got started making movies cause I was a movie nut as a kid, and my dad had a VHS camera that my friends and I would make bizarre little things with. Then I went and studied film at RISD, then I went to work for Troma so those 3 things made me a film maker. I've since made 2 feature films, several shorts and I've directed a few web series episodes as well. As far as my day job, I moved out to LA 7 years ago to see what I could do. I did a bunch of random jobs in tv and film. I just did whatever the hell I could to pay the rent, and I figured that one of the things I did would stick…and it did. A friend of mine who is an editor hired me as his assistant editor on a comedy show…that lead to another job, which lead to another job etc, etc.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
Meh, I hate that question. Give it a shot…you'll find out retry quickly if you can hack it. It's really, really hard and takes tons of your time and soul, and most people can't pull themselves away from fucking football and video games long enough to do it. Make your stuff.
I kind of hate that question too, but every time I’ve been to a celebrity Q&A some asshole asks “I want to do what you do. Do you have any advice for people that want to do what you do?” so I figured it would be kind of conspicuous if I left it out.
Yeah, I understand it. But unless I’m having a face to face conversation with someone, I don’t think I could really answer the generic “what’s your advice” question with anything helpful. A young director contacted me recently asking for advice, and I asked him why he wanted advice from me. He said something like “Die You Zombie Bastards!” is a classic and I want to make a successful indie horror comedy like that. I then bluntly explained to him all of the terrible parts of indie film production and distribution and basically told him to do the opposite of what I did, cause I made a movie that’s semi-famous in some circles but never made any money, and now I’m still in debt because of it and editing someone else’s stuff for a living.
Wow. Point taken, sir. Funny thing is, on the rare chance that people tell me I should write a book, I always say, “Yeah. I did that. I have five books out there for sale. Didn’t work out so well for me.”

What projects are you working on?
I'm finishing a short film called "Ollo de Nollo" hat I started like a year and a half ago and half abandoned. I didn't really abandon it, I just suddenly started getting lots of work and it sat on my hard drive for like a year. I just re-picked it up a few weeks ago. I'm about to try my hand at a kickstarted campaign too. We'll see how that works out. My seconds feature "Frankie in Blunderland" is being released soon too, which is exciting. I'm really proud of that film.

What are you watching?
Does that mean TV? Movies would be "have watched lately", right? Like much of the world, I just finished Breaking Bad the other day. I loved that show. I also like Sons of Anarchy. I bailed on Dexter last year, and my wife and I just bailed on Homeland last night. If you mean movies? I just saw the new Insidious the other day, that was pretty good. We watched Killer Joe the other night which is the best movie I have seen in years. I haven't seen anything new in the theater in a while aide form Insidious Chapter 2. The Conjuring was great. Than James Wan seems to know what he's doing.
It means whatever you want it to mean, sir, although I think you got the gist of the question.
I had some major problems with The Conjuring although everyone I know seems to have loved it.
Mostly I didn’t like the way that the Warrens were portrayed as action heroes towards the end of it.
I know it was supposed to be a movie, but it was also supposed to be based on a real-life event and having to watch the Warrens cavorting about like Lara Croft in Tomb Raider really fucked up the suspension of disbelief for me.

What are you listening to?
Nothing new. I'm not one of those guys who says that there is no good music anymore, I just don't really know about it or find it. I grew up in a record store and spent much of my 20's buying music so I have a pretty good chunk of music, and I rarely buy anything new. I listen to mostly rock, metal and punk I guess. I'm seeing Deicide in a few weeks so I've been listening to them a lot to get excited for the show. Motorhead is always great. Midnight and Speedwolf are two new bands that I just discovered this year at the Maryland Deathfest. Actually, I have no idea if they're even new… I just had never heard of them before, ha!
I was pissed that my spell-check made me add Motorhead to my spell-check dictionary. I was all like, “What the fuck, Spell-check! How do you not know about Motorhead?”.
Oddly, not only do iphones know the word Motörhead, they capitalize it and put the umlaut in. Yet another reason to use apple products.

What are you reading?
Finishing a book about Rodney Alcala. I read a lot of true crime, and ever since moving to LA I tend to be interested in things that happened here. Lots of bad things have gone on here, many of them in my lifetime. Earlier this year I found out the The Hillside Stranglers lived really, really close to where I live right now and most of their bodies were dumped within a couple of miles of my house. The Night Stalker too. Anyway, I read mostly history, biographies, autobiographies, crime and journalism. My attention span doesn't really allow me to read novels very often. I sit there and read the same page over and over.
If you’re into True Crime you should definitely check out the Henry C. Lee books. IMHO they’re some of the better ones from the genre.

Favorite author/book?
"Pulp" by Bukowski is probably my favorite novel. I would love to make a film of that some day. It's one of the only novels I've read more than once.
Oh shit! Pulp is the first book I read by Bukowski! Since I’ve gone on to read as much of his stuff as I could easily get my eyes on it’s my least favorite of his novels, but if you ever get to direct a film adaptation of it I’d love to see it!

Favorite band/song?
Motorhead, Black Sabbath and Ween probably.

Least favorite band/song?
Any contemporary hip hop.

Desert Island Music/Movies/Books: You know the deal. Five of each.
Clutch : Clutch
Butthole Surfers : Hairway to Steven
Ween : Chocolate and Cheese
Steely Dan: Can't Buy a Thrill
Motorhead : Overkill
Jaws, Revenge of the Nerds, Helter Skelter (the old one), Clash of the Titans (the old one) and I'd probably want some kind of porn if I were stuck on a desert Island. Maybe The Fashionistas…it's really good and it's like 4 hours long, so I would appreciate the variety.
Books? I don't know. As I said, I rarely read book, so hopefully there would be 5 really interesting memoirs or biographies there. Hopefully about criminals or entertainers.
I just downloaded Kenneth Anger’s two Hollywood Babylon books. They’re about celebrities and criminals and celebrities as criminals.

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
I like my life. It might be nice to be a full time movie director. I could also see how the realities of that might ruin my enjoyment though.

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met?
You get three choices: Alive. Dead. Fictional.
I'm very socially awkward, so even if I met (or, when I meet) someone I admire a lot I usually don't even say anything, ha! But I'll play along like I'm an emotionally healthy human being. Now I'm nitpicking in my head. I think I'd love to meet Lemmy, but what the fuck am I going to talk to Lemmy about. "Hey, I love Motorhead" "Cool, thanks buddy". I'd love to meet Jerry Lewis too, but I would imagine that would be hugely disappointing, cause I bet he's a raging cock. Alright…Jerry Lewis, Jim Varney and…I don't have an answer for the fictional one. Actually, yes, I do. SuperSoul from Supervixens. I’d like to meet her.

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
I used to deliver produce with my friend Jay when I was like 17. That was a pretty great job. I was also an extra on tons of TV shows and movies when I first moved to LA, and that was pretty great. The lifestyle that accompanied it was pretty rough, but I enjoyed it very much. I haven't really had any really awful jobs.

Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?
Well… you could have asked something about one of my movies or projects that I have been involved with, ha!
Dude, I know that you know Lloyd Kaufman. And you and I both know that if I sent him this list of interview questions that every answer would be a reference back to whatever his latest release from Troma was. I don’t expect you to give me the Lloyd Kaufman treatment as that shit gets annoying after a while, but the survey is a blank slate, you can put in whatever you want, my friend, so please do.
I know, I’m just being an asshole.

Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
I know many people. If you'd like to interview any of them, let me know and I can try to connect you with them.
Alright, don’t take this as being glib or insincere, but I would like to interview all of them.
Anyone doing something as an artist, musician, film-maker, actor, producer, whatever that’s interested in being interviewed to promote whatever project they’ve done in the past or are working on now I’d be interested in interviewing. I’ll take all comers.
Damon Packard is a genius. Trent Haaga, John Lechago, Aramis Sartorio (aka Tommy Pistol) are all great film makers and friends of mine. Effects Artist Tom Devlin. Daniel Strange, Thea Martin, John Karyus would all be excellent interviews
I’ll definitely look up the people you recommended I look up.

Pitch parade: Give me all of your links for things you want to promote.   All of them.
Check out Die You Zombie Bastards!  &
And don't send me a fan letter telling me you illegally downloaded the movie cause you "couldn't find it anywhere". That's one I don't really understand. It's still in print and you can buy it new for $10 or $15 and you can find it used on ebay for like $6. You can also get the disc from Netflix. And you could stream it on Netflix for 3 years (that contract is up now though) Or, just don't tell me where you saw it. Or buy a damn t shirt or something.
Check out Frankie in Blunderland! - It's coming out later this year from Wild Eye Releasing and Maxim Media! All new trailer just posted the other day!

And here's 2 episode of Written By a Kid that I directed. One of them has Elvira in it!
I also have a new movie called "Ollo de Nollo" that I'm finishing up now. It's a short, so I don't know where you'll be able to find it…but look for it!
And I'll be announcing a new project soon, so stay tuned.
You’ll be glad to know that when Die You Zombie Bastards! Was streaming on Netflix I made my room-mates watch it. Well, actually, I think I was watching it, but they wandered into the living room as room-mates are prone to doing and they sat through the rest of it so I guess that counts for something.
Thank you, I appreciate that a lot.

Thanks for interviewing me, Scott!
Thanks for letting me interview you, Caleb!
Keep me posted on the projects you’re working on and maybe we can do a follow-up interview when you’ve got your new project up and running!
About the Interviewee:
Well, much of what I’m going to write here was covered in the interview, but I’m a guy from Gloucester, Massachusetts and I currently live in Los Angeles, CA. I directed the 2005 film “Die You Zombie Bastards!” and the 2011 film “Frankie in Blunderland. I also directed a couple of episodes of the Geek & Sundry show “Written by a Kid” last year, one starring Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson and one starring Dave Sheridan and Jeff Lewis.  I have been involved with many projects over the years from Troma Entertainment including Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger part 4 and Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead. I shot a couple of films for Providence director Richard Griffin. I was an editor (and writer and guest) on the Vh1 show Scream Queens and I am currently an editor on the Comedy Central Show Tosh.0. Boom. Suck it.

About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre has probably read everything you've read and can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
He is the Assistant Program Director for The Arkham Film Society and produces Electronic Music under the names Master Control and LOVECRAFTWORK.
He is currently working on a novel-length expansion of a short-story titled, "The End Of The World Is Nigh", a crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, post-apocalyptic, zombie epidemic project.
You can check out the blog for the book here:
You can check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here:
You can check his author profile at:
You can follow him at GoodReads here:
You can check out his electronic music here:
And here:
You can check out his videos at:
You can check out his IMDB profile here:
You can follow his Twitter here: or @TheLefebvre
You can follow his Tumblr here:
You can check out his Etsy here:
You can join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
You can stalk his Facebook at:
You can e-mail him at:

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