Interview with Movie maker, Douglas Vermeeren by Yahoo freelancer Stan Romero
The following is an excerpt from a recent interview with movie director/producer Douglas Vermeeren in regards to his upcoming movie Creepy Zombie. Douglas Vermeeren is the director and producer behind several hit documentaries in the personal development and inspiration genre.
Stan Romero: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.
Douglas Vermeeren: It’s good be with you.
Stan Romero: so,why did you want to become a filmmaker?
Douglas Vermeeren: As long as I can remember I enjoyed movies. Like many filmmakers of my generation I was profoundly affected by the films of George Lucas and Steven Speilberg. I still remember the first time I saw Star Wars when I was 5. My Dad took our family to a drive in movie theatre and it was magical. Another movie that profoundly influenced me was Richard Donners Superman. To me it was larger than life. I remember as a young boy thinking that these were nearly document ion of real life events. In other words I thought C3PO and Superman were real people. As I grew older and realized these were movies I really wanted to be part of that word.
Stan Romero: What was your first movie experience?
Douglas Vermeeren: There were really two major events I think that could be considered my first experience. My first was when my grandpa gave me his old 8mm movie camera. It was then that I first began to think about how a movie was created and what it was like to be behind the camera. The second was my first time to the set as a background extra. I was still in elementary school and I loved everything about it.
Stan Romero: When did you start making your first productions?
Douglas Vermeeren: In middle school and high school I looked for every opportunity to bring video into my school assignments and book reports. I regularly signed out the schools audio Visual equipment. The librarian joked that most students couldn’t get at the gear because I had a permanent booking on it. Looking back it was probably true. I was shooting all the time and a close group of friends and I tried to create our own projects.
Stan Romero: What was your first somewhat professional effort?
Douglas Vermeeren: While in college I created a short that I entered into a small community film festival. It was well received but family obligations kept me away from the awards ceremony and although we won a prize I still to this day don’t know what we won. Upon my return and hearing that we were recognized for our efforts encouraged me to go deeper into my film studies.
Stan Romero: No doubt The Opus was a big moment for you. How did that project come about?
Douglas Vermeeren: I actually am still very involved in personal development and still publicly speaker from time to time. I recognized that this was a genre that many people were very excited about and I had a lot of connections in that world. I decided to make my first major movie because so many elements just lined up.
Stan Romero: What did you learn from your first film?
Douglas Vermeeren: There were so many things that I found I didn’t know. Some mistakes were very expensive. For example, I made a lot of mistakes in raising money. I didn’t follow correct procedures and ran into some trouble with the securities commission. (In the end I had to pay a big fine.) I also hired a lot of people based on their enthusiasm rather than their skill set and had to pay a lot of money to fix mistakes or reshoot entire parts of the project. But overall I learned a lot here that made the entire experience worth it. While there were a lot of bumps in the learning curve the movie was very well received and so far has been translated into more than 23 languages worldwide and picked up as a book.
Stan Romero: What it easier for your next two films, The gratitude Experiment and The Treasure Map? And why?
Douglas Vermeeren: It was much easier. I guess if I were to share advice with any upcoming filmmakers the thing that I learned was if you do a great job on your first film distributors and audiences are excited to see what’s next. It’s kind of like that idea that you only get one change to make a good first impression. The Opus did that for me.
Stan Romero: So now you are shifting to a completely new genre. A lot of people are talking about this dramatic switch from inspirational films to the exact opposite with horror. What inspired you to movie into the horror genre?
Douglas Vermeeren: I believe that people watch films to some extent to feel emotions they don’t normally experience every day. They felt that in the inspirational films I created and I believe they will feel that in the horror film I am currently working on. It will be a fun ride. In addition, I guess its kind of a wink to my high school friends who made movies with me then. We would watch horror movies every weekend and we saw absolutely everything in the video rental store. We then went out and tried to duplicate a few things in our own films. I guess its a chapter in my life that I hadn’t yet found closer with. So this time I get to do it with a reasonable budget and experience.
Stan Romero: So what’s next after this?
Douglas Vermeeren: I haven’t decided yet. Our office has received a few scripts and I’ve written a few as well. I don’t know that it will be in the horror genre. I have a feeling that it will be more of an action adventure or sci fi.
Stan Romero: Thank you for being with us today.
Douglas Vermeeren: Thank you.