Quantcast Joshua Nelson interview - AUNT ROSE "NO ONE GETS OUT"

Joshua Nelson
Joshua Nelson has been acting, writing and playing music in New York for years. He formed a production company with friend & director James Tucker and after a slew of projects together; all of which he wrote & starred in, Joshua focused to make his latest film a horror movie. We caught a screening of 'No One Gets Out' & we knew from his writing style alone that he knew his stuff! The film's been picked up for DVD distribution and will be released this Halloween under the title of 'Aunt Rose'. Here's your chance to learn a bit about the man behind 'Aunt Rose'. Read on! - by Robg. 8/05
What are your earliest recollections of the horror genre? What were the first films or characters you remember really scaring & having an impact on you?

I was raised on horror EARLY on... I was watching 'The Twilight Zone' and 'Outer Limits' at like age 2, then by 5 I had seen 'THEM' and 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers', by 7 I had seen the Exorcist - to this day the ONLY film that still really, really scares me, but it also addicted me to horror. I was a huge fan always, especially of the late 70's - early 80's were the best though. 'Maniac', 'Mothers' Day', 'Basket Case', 'Dawn Of the Dead.' They all had a HUGE impact on me!

According to your bio, you have pretty extensive acting experience in various television shows and feature length films. Can you bring us up to speed on some of the productions that you're the most proud of? Or even ones that were just the most fun to work on?

Working on a television sitcom was really an amazing experience. It's about the most fun someone can have,and I wasn't being paid that much! (laughs) I also had a great time working on the Vampire film 'Strange Things Happen At Sundown', not only were the cast & crew great to work with but playing a Psychopathic Mafia-Vampire was a blast! And obviously working opposite Al Pacino (in Sea Of Love) was and is the highlight of my career, especially since he is my inspiration to act in the first place.

The thing that really drew me to 'No One Gets Out' (aka 'Aunt Rose') was your sharp writing. At what point did you start focusing on writing, on top of acting?

First, thank you for the compliment. What happened was I found myself not working enough. The frustration became so unbearable that I decided to write my own damn roles. So, I wrote some small one-act plays, that lead to me writing full length off-off Broadway plays, and that lead to feature length films.

Tell us how you hooked up with director James Tucker and formed Savage Roses productions?

I had written a play called 'Savage Roses' that had a nice but short off-off Broadway run. A short time afterwards, I saw an ad online from a director looking for a low-budget, character driven script. I thought, if I could put it onstage I'm sure I can film it for a VERY low-budget. He read the script and liked it enough to want to shoot it. We were in correspondence over the internet for like 8 months, then he flew to NY and we shot the entire film in 6 days. And it's a feature. Once we sold the film the distributor changed, the name to 'Locas 4 Life.' So, we used Savage Roses for the name of out Production Company. I would never have been able to make my films without James. Not only is he extremely easy to work with but he is a great director and all around filmmaker. He has taught me so much and I can't wait to work with him again!

The two of you have worked on 4 films that you've written & starred in. All of them slightly different in tone and genre. What led you to make your most recent collaboration a horror film?

Our first film was a lesbian love story set in the world of Latina gangs. Our second film was a dark, psychological thriller, & the third was romantic comedy. None of those sell very well in the market. I have found 2 things do sell; Movies with star names attached and horror films. So, since we have very little money and NEEDED to sell our next project and since horror is my absolutely true love and hobby anyway, I thought it was time.

What were some of the main influences you drew from when writing 'No One Gets Out'?

This one was definitely an amalgam of all the horror films I watched in the 70's. I actually tried to get that 70's vibe with the actors I chose and the overall feel of the movie. I even went for the "thing in the attic". (laughs)

Again, the writing really stands out. There's really good consistent dialogue, and a great pace overall in 'No One Gets Out'. There are also monologues & scenes that show the shallowness of actresses, the effects of a horrible upbringing, a parent's point of view and even a rationalization of a lesbian relationship. Did you draw from real life experiences when it came to writing 'No One Gets Out'? And are a lot of these monologues ways of you to sprinkle out your own personal opinions thru-out the piece?

No, thank goodness none of this movie came from my real life.What kinda sicko do you think I am? (laughs) It's weird, when I start writing, everything just comes out from the characters perspectives. Probably a lot of it is, in some way, a reflection of my beliefs or personal ideas or just me reformatting much of the cool stuff I watched in the late 70's. I do use monologues a lot in my films. Must be all my theatre training. Oh, and for some reason there is ALWAYS a lesbian in my films. I think it was a passed life thing. (laughs)

What exactly did you shoot the film on? I want to say video, but certain portions look like film. Set the record straight.

We shot it on the Panasonic 24P DVX100. A great little camera! It has a built in film look to it.

You've played in bands for years (we'll get back to that in a bit) and in your cast was the lovely Velocity Chyaldd who fronts the band, Vulgaras. Did you know her from playing shows in NY or did she audition for this role?

I had seen photos of Vulgaras and seen Velocity around a bit in the NY club scene. Honestly, you can't miss her. When I first saw her, I didn't even have the balls to say hello to her. But when I wrote the character of Robin for 'No One Gets Out' ('Aunt Rose') I basically, without realizing, wrote it for her exact image. I auditioned a ton of actresses for the role but none that fit that wild, sexual, sick, charming, vicious yet lovely tattooed bitch that I needed. I said, I want someone exactly like Velocity. Then it dawned on me... Why not ask Velocity to audition? I saw her band Vulgaras perform (www.Vulgaras.com) and watching her perform on stage was all the audition she needed. By the time the blood was dripping down her naked breasts, I knew I had my female lead villain!

Speaking of, had you always written this with yourself in mind for the lead role?

Hell yeah! At least I know I'll get the job!! I am an actor first and foremost so I do try to write things with myself in mind.

Overall, you had a pretty great cast. How long did the casting process take and was it difficult putting together this group you had envisioned while writing?

Thank you!!! Casting is so important to me. I don't care how well a script is written or how well it's shot or how much damn money you have to make it, a great film is ALWAYS due to it's cast. I was so lucky to get the people I did for this film. Not only did I luck out with Velocity but the film also features stars of other horror films like Raine Brown and Frank Franconeri, both great actors!!! I was also extremely proud of Kevin T. Collins and Elizabeth Cooke, my other leads. I can guarantee you those 2 will become huge names in the near future, they have such star quality!!!! I was really lucky to have such a wonderful cast.

What would you consider the most difficult part of putting together an independent feature, such as 'No One Gets Out'?

Money, Money, Money & more Money! Well, the lack of it anyway. It's hard to get the things you want without a lot of money. We made this film on a tiny budget, but with a LOT of pre-production and a very understanding cast & crew, anything is possible. Our great asset on this film was the Special Effects Artist Jeremy Selenfriend from Monster In My Closet. Not only were his FX amazing but he really knew my financial limitations and went above and beyond by giving me major effects and a very big discount! (cheap plug - www.Monsterinmycloset.com)

I noticed a lot of subtle nods in your film to Italian horror. (Not to give away too much, but for example, the red eyes). Was this intentional & are you a fan of Italian horror?

Not my intention but I'm sure things come out of my subconscious. Yes, I am a fan of Italian horror, primarily Fulci!

Can you tell us a bit about plans for release for the film? It's gone under the name change of 'Aunt Rose', correct?

Yes, once again the distributors changed 'No One Gets Out' to 'Aunt Rose'. I'm not crazy about the title but the box art kicks ass!!! It should be available in Blockbuster video stores across the country just in time for Halloween!

Getting back a bit, you've also played for the band 'New York's Finest' and you currently manage a band. What are the biggest differences for you creatively between writing films, acting and making music? Does one medium influence the other?

Well, I'm not involved with music in any way anymore. 'New York's Finest' was just another example of my frustration of not being a working actor. We dressed up like cops and put on a great show filled with lights and sirens, strip searching audience members. (female's only) - you get the idea. Problem was we cared more about the show than the music. We looked great but sounded like we needed more work. I'm just a performer so I needed an outlet. Music seemed like a good choice.

A lot of people say that you have to be in California to "make movies", yet there's a dozen or so fantastic filmmakers here on the East Coast. (Most of which we're featuring this month on Icons). What's your take on the currently growing (and promising) local independent filmmaker scene?

You can make a film ANYWHERE!!! Romero made history by shooting in Pittsburgh!!! It's easier to work in NY and/or L.A. because of all the resources but there are talented filmmakers all across the country and in every small town. All you need is to be driven and dedicated. Then find some talented people and get going! New York has some of the best indie filmmakers around, and I'm proud to be a part of the New York scene!

So, what's next on your slate? What are you currently working on?

I have the pleasure of working on a great new Zombie film tentatively titles 'Last Rites' by Insane-O-Rama Productions. (www.Insane-O-rama.com). It's one of the most creative zombie films that you will see. I think it will change people's perceptions of what low-budget horror films can be. It should be out in early 2006. I also hope to be working on Allan Rowe Kelley's (I'll Bury You Tomorrow) new film 'Unhallowed Ground'. He is another amazing filmmaker that will probably hit it very big shortly. In closing I just wanted to thank you so much for this opportunity. You have such a kick ass website and I'm honored to be a part of it!!!

We're honored to have you, Joshua! All the best!

Visit: NoOneGetsOut.com and JoshuaNelson.net

All Content Copyright 2005 Icons Of Fright.com.
No articles may be reproduced in any manner without expressed permission of Icons Of Fright.com.
Back to Interview Index