On March 2, 2012, the incredible short film, Familiar , had its world premiere right here in Toronto. There couldn’t be a better place for Fatal Pictures to unleash their latest film, since the production company is based in the city. Co-founded by Richard Powell and Zach Green in 2007, the company has built a small but strong string of short films. I had an opportunity to speak with producer Zach Green about Fatal Pictures’ latest short Familiar , as well as the future of the company.
“I went to film school here in Toronto for Post Production (Editing). I ended up editing a short film for Richard Powell, who was at school for Production,” explains Zach. “We worked together for a few years after graduating school before starting Fatal Pictures Inc in 2007.” That meeting led to the 2008 short, Consumption . A disturbing and bloody tale of a woman who has a dinner date with a man and becomes the main course.
The shocking short lives up to the ideas behind Fatal Pictures mission, as Zach explained. “The vision for Fatal Pictures is really to produce films that really make a statement and have an impact on you. I want you to walk away from these films and have them in your minds weeks to months, if not years, in your memory. I want you to relate to them and really feel what they are going through.”
Relating to the characters in Fatal Pictures productions became even easier when the incredible actor Robert Nolan came along, starring in their second short, Worm . “When Robert had first auditioned for the part of Geoffrey Dodd in Worm , I thought he had some great qualities and was able to portray certain emotions really well. So myself, and of course Richard, thought he could do what we really needed in Geoffrey Dodd. Turns out he did a wonderful job in Worm . [He was] critically-acclaimed for his performance.” Nolan did such an impressive job, that Zach and Richard didn’t even question who would star in their next, and most recent, short. “When Richard was finished writing Familiar , we of course knew Robert would deliver yet again another critically-acclaimed performance,” Zach remarks.
With Robert Nolan seeming to have a firm place in front of the camera for Fatal Pictures, I asked Zach if he had ever thought about acting himself. “I only have an interest in being behind-the-scenes, finding the talent, crew, managing the budget, and promoting or whatever it is I need to do. That’s just where my main interest and strengths are and that’s where I succeed best as of now.”
With Zach having such a strong presence behind-the-scenes, we talked about the challenge of getting exposure for a short film. “It’s not the easiest task to get your film out there and really get accepted. You can honestly just hope for the best. You can just do your best work and hope for the best. Thankfully people are responding really well to the films.”
Knowing that it’s never easy to get your film exposure, we began to talk about some of the changes to the theatrical landscape in Toronto. The NFB Mediatheque theatre is set to close in September, the Cumberland theatre also recently closed. There’s also been a change at the Bloor Cinema since its been purchased by Hot Docs and has switched formats to screening mainly documentaries. I asked Zach if he thought this would hurt companies like Fatal Pictures. “It is sad that’s happening, but there are still many small indie theatres all over Toronto that I’m becoming aware of.”
Since Familiar had it’s world premiere at the Projection Booth theatre, I wanted to know if Zach thought these changes could benefit the local indie theatres that remained. “Yes, I think it definitely opens doors for theatres like the wonderful Projection Booth, it’s a fabulous theatre and I encourage everyone in Toronto to check it out!”
With three short films completed, Zach spoke about the work he’s currently focusing on, and the future of Fatal Pictures. “The Worm feature film will be next for myself and Richard. Currently I’m in the middle of reading one of the final drafts of Worm , which will be Fatal Pictures debut feature. I’m also promoting Familiar . Look out for the film at a festival near you!”
Things are certainly working out for Zach Green and Fatal Pictures. Familiar is an incredible short film, evoking memories of Canadian horror giant David Cronenberg, while still blazing a unique trail for Fatal Pictures, and the idea of a feature film based on Worm should get horror fans excited. To keep up to date with all their work, you can follow them at their website.
Stay tuned for TFS’ featured topic this month. We’ll be exploring short films of all genres and time periods, celebrating the upcoming Worldwide Short Film Festival and introducing you to some of the people who make it their business to give short films their due accolades.