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Three Questions With is an on-going feature we will be posting from time to time with responses from various people to the same three questions.
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Up next is Shane Ryan. The lovable, but terrifying actor and brilliant filmmaker is the man behind and in front of the camera in the Amateur Porn Star Killer series, which hits DVD as a box set in September, the director of My Name is A By Anonymous, which also hits DVD in September, and one of the stars of Albert Pyun’s upcoming film The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper.
MadSinCinema.com / IMDb
What’s your favorite found footage film and why?
SR: I’m sure this is the one that everybody claims or everybody hates claiming because it’s so famous but I gotta go with The Blair Witch Project. It’s the first found footage film I ever saw and the way that I saw it was like a real found footage film, so it had tremendous effect, really changed my way of how I thought about film.
My cousin gives me this blank VHS tape around New Years (6 or so months before the movie hit theatres). I mean it was blank, no labels, no cover, nothing. He just says “watch this” with a grin. Me and my friend and her boyfriend put it on in the middle of the night. None of us had seen or heard of a found footage film. We were completely freaked, and even had to stop it half way through to go out for a drive and some pizza to calm ourselves. Came back, finished it, and we were all left traumatized. I don’t know if the film eventually had end titles or not but this one just went blank after you see the last shot. I didn’t use the internet then, though even if I had and searched online I don’t think there would have been any info on it at that point to verify it was fake.
So, that being my first experience, the way that it happened, how it landed into our hands, etc. It had one of the strongest, most life-changing responses, to how I viewed cinema. When the news came out that it was fake I had a blast taking my friend to see it who didn’t know. It was the kind of ongoing cinematic experience you treasure, and can only hope will happen again.
But now that I’ve seen a fair amount I gotta say Zero Day is probably the absolute best, the most important. I’ve only seen it once, however, along with Gang Tapes which I thought was great.
What scares you the most – ghosts, aliens, demons, witches, trolls, monsters, big foot, gangs, thugs, crazy people, or any other person, place or thing that has been or could make a cool found footage film – and why?
SR: Aliens if done right, because who the hell knows what’s out there in this vast universe, and if its intentions with us would be good or bad. But I think real people are the most terrifying. Serial killers, crazy people, homeless. Good people with horrible thing done to them who have nothing to lose and become bad; that’d be a scary found footage film for me. I meet people like this a lot in real life, and many I can only hope I’d never catch them at the wrong time, when they’re on a high from whatever drug they use to escape. When they’re bi-polar or schizo thoughts kick in. I befriend lots of homeless people, sometimes give them rides, talk to them for hours, and usually I do this with ones I get good vibes from. But sometimes that crazy part of them kicks in and I can only imagine if they had a camera what they might capture that I don’t see in them when they’re amongst us during the day trying to act normal to scrape to get by.
Although sometimes they get crazy in broad daylight. One guy was sitting next to me and Kai Lanette at lunch and started sawing his arm off with glass right there at the restaurant. Was half way through his arm before we noticed because he did it so calmly, we weren’t paying attention even though he was 3 feet from us. They’ve been through a lot, or are already mentally ill, and that side comes out eventually, or regularly. And lots of people get hurt or killed. Or just die naturally right there on the street. One guy I knew died just behind the Circle K I regularly talked to him at just a couple of months ago. He was an alcoholic. Sweet guy, but old and homeless. Just died right there on the street. To know people go out like that, that’s just haunting. If that was a found footage movie, that would scare the shit out of me in a very depressing way.
If a camera was to follow you around on an average day, what might we find out about you?
SR: Funny, I was just thinking how I am always nothing like what people assume I am based on my films. I don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, don’t gamble, don’t do hookers (I was thinking about this when I was in Vegas as well since I couldn’t find anything to do yet the only traveling I consistently do is go to Vegas). I believe in peace and monogamy but make violent and sexual films. So, it might be depressing and boring. I don’t click with many people. My girlfriend recently dumped me. So, you might find me working on a film (mostly editing or on a computer), crying over how shitty life is, sucking it up and putting on a smile and trying to find positive strength again. Going online to try and get a date and realizing being 5’6 I might as well give up on life because girls “online” only date guys 6 feet or taller, regardless of how tall they are, or how big or small their boobs are (which I could care less about). Me cursing out loud to myself how superficial and disgusting women are these days (but mainly the online women, and I told myself I would never go online to find a date). Then going back to being positive about women and wanting to support women victims of whatever, and making PSA’s with my leftover footage from my trafficking film I never got to make to fight the cause.
See, I’m a little bi-polar myself, so it all makes sense. You’ll see me get frustrated with directing since I really only wanted to act since I was 5 years old. But then everybody will reject me for a part, even all of my own friends, so then I’ll get all pissy and say fuck this shit I’ll just make another movie, and it’s just kinda been a cycle my whole life. Aside from last week when I finally got the lead part in a film thanks to you. Hmm, so I have no idea what kind of found footage my life would be. I have been trying to get out a lot more. Keep smiling (as I will quote what Kevin Gage always says to me, it’s actually great simple effective advice that I’ve been trying to apply).
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