After his debut film, 'The Gruesome Death of Tommy Pistol', had me rolling outta my chair at the PollyGrind Film Festival, I got to shoot the shit with a guy that the horror world will definitely be hearing from in the near future ...Aramis Sartorio.
Jeff: Comedy definitely seems to be your forte. How long have you been at it?
Aramis: I did sketch comedy with four friends in high school. We were called 'Cheese Theater Productions' and I did it for 11 years. Everything I know I learned from doing that.
Jeff: The film is definitely more of a comedy than a horror film. Was the horror element always going to be a part of the film or was it added later on?
Aramis: I wanted to mix all the elements into it. Comedy, horror and drama. Comedy comes naturally first, but for sure it was going to be a horror movie.
Jeff: What kind of stuff did you grow up watching? Comedy? Horror?
Aramis: Both, I always needed them both to even me out. I'd watch something scary then pop in something funny right afterwards. That was my routine.
Jeff: You produced, directed, as well as starred in 'Tommy Pistol', what do you think is the most difficult of the 3?
Aramis: Producing was the most stressful. Trying to find the money to make it all happen was definitely the hardest.
Jeff: Which of the 3 do you enjoy the most?
Aramis: I know at the PollyGrind FF Q/A someone asked me that and I said writing. I thought about it more and now for sure I'd have to say acting. When I'm on point, it gives me such a high and such confidence. I feel unstoppable. I love acting. The others I feel I'm still growing into and learning more and more everyday.
Jeff: What was the most difficult part of getting this film made?
Aramis: WAITING!!! It was done on such a low budget. A lot of favors made it all happen. So when you're making a movie like that you just have to take what you get and just know you're going to finish it. I never would have accomplished it without my amazing, supportive, loving wife and the amazing crew. I knew no matter what I was going to finish it, but I couldn't predict when.
Jeff: You recently starred in Caleb Emerson's 'Frankie in Blunderland'. How did that project come about?
Aramis: I've spent a lot of time with Caleb because he edited 'Gruesome Death' for me. Marta Estirado was a huge fan of Caleb's cult movie 'Die You Zombie Bastards'. She wrote the script and asked Caleb if he would just read it and give feedback. Caleb did, he loved it and asked if he could make it. She said yes. So when Caleb was asking friends and casting for it, he asked me if I would be interested in playing Frankie. I said yes before he finished the sentence. The script found it's cast. Who ever read the script and didn't understand it, they passed on it. Their loss.
Jeff: There are some scenes in 'Tommy Pistol' that, for a lack of a better phrase, are pretty fucked up. Was there ever a moment during filming where you thought, "wait, this scene might hurt my chances of getting the film shown or more importantly getting a distribution deal"?
Aramis: Never, I went into this with one mind frame. If it's too much for you, then fuck off. At the time I was watching a lot of foreign horror films and I thought, why the hell are they getting away with the most fucked up kills I've ever seen and our US films suck. Lame and boring. I wanted to do something different, and just let it go. I think for my first film, if I was to hold back I would have been disappointed with myself. Also, whenever I told my wife Karen "Hey, what you think of this." If she said no that's too much, I kept it and made it worse.
Jeff: Anyone that has seen your film will agree that John Karyus' performance as 'Skanky' is truly incredible and wrong ...really, really wrong. Is there anything the guy won't do?
Aramis: God! I hope not, because I'm going to test him for sure in my spin-off movie called 'Skanky'. Writing that now.
Jeff: What's next for 'The Gruesome Death of Tommy Pistol'?
Aramis: No release date yet. Talking with a distribution company. Just looking for the best deal that won't bury it in a shitty library of movies and never come out. I need to spread it like wild fire. My goal is to be a CULT hit!
Jeff: What's next for Aramis Sartorio?
Aramis: Focus, focus and more focus. As much as I can. I'm hungry to do it all! Writing 'Skanky' and a few acting gigs for now. One thing at a time.
Jeff: Thanks again for taking the time to talk to us and I hope to hear from you soon for future projects.
Aramis: For sure I'll keep you posted and thank you.