Surviving the basement with Broadstone
Friday, September 14th 2007
Any conversation that involves pedophilia, attempted murder, depression, peeping toms, horror, and moviemaking is just fine in my book--even when it’s done in a creepy basement. The more I think about it, the more I realize my interview with Christopher Alan Broadstone was super wicked. Starting off dining on fabulous frozen yogurt (my new favorite obsession) our conversation quickly turned into a bit of a therapy session. I always seem to genuinely want to help everyone I meet, even if I don’t know them in the least. And once I’m full of frozen yogurt, I’m a million times nicer than I would be on a normal everyday basis. It brings out the mother in me.
From the center of Little Tokyo we traveled to the basement (in the old Santa Fe train depot in downtown LA) where Broadstone shot his short film Human No More. This particular short is one of three on his recently released DVD entitled, 3 Dead Girls. The shorts Scream for Me and My Skin precede Human No More on the DVD. Visually, all films are amazing. It’s clear that Broadstone has a clear artistic vision and knows exactly how to carry it out. Each shot worked exactly how it should with each moment. I was impressed. Scream for Me was shot on 16MM and everything about the cinematography works well with the writing. “It’s a very layered film,” he said. He has a lot of frustration with the people who write the film off as violence for the sake of violence. “You didn’t watch it enough,” he said to me when I told him I didn’t prefer that particular film.
I believe this is true because even the other two films that seemed less complex, I had to watch a couple of times to the full effect. He makes films for people to actually digest as they’re watching them, which I highly respect. They are far from mind numbing. You actually have to engage yourself in what he’s feeding you. My favorite of the bunch, My Skin, has won several awards at a variety of film fests starting in 2003. Broadstone described this one as the commercial favorite. It’s clever and pleasing. Scream for Me has also taken awards. The movie Se7en came to mind as I was watching Broadstone’s DVD. His films are more psychological than campy. Movies that are psychologically fucked up are definitely scarier than outright violent murder films.
The basement (being used for storage now) was a lot smaller than it looked on film. Broadstone said he spent a lot of time creeping around on a ladder while filming.
“I tend to live in my brain a little more than I should,” he explained. As a child he hung out with his parents a lot, generally had one close friend, read books, and built things. “Most of my inventions sucked,” he said. He must have meant the faulty alarm clock he made as a child, because, his films definitely DO NOT suck. Another thing he liked to do as a child was spy on people. Always a voyeur, he eventually stopped doing that because he was afraid he’d get caught. “I liked sneaking around,” he said. “I don’t know why.” I think everyone likes to sneak around. We just don’t all admit it.
“One thing I knew was that I didn’t want to go to college,” Broadstone said. So after high school, he spent his time playing music and writing.
If you haven’t gotten this already, Broadstone wrote his films as well as directed them. Also the author of the novel Puzzleman, Broadstone began writing at a very young age. Like me, he attempted his first book at age 10, when he was in 5th grade. Mine was about a girl who traveled through time. His was about a boy who turned into a werewolf. Which reminded me of the Tales from the Crypt episode…you know what one I’m talking about!!! Right? RIGHT? If you don’t know what I’m talking about--just close down your browser. You’re not allowed here anymore.
Regarding his writing Broadstone said, “Guess I’m just twisted and dark, through and through…”
I think I would have gathered that without any recounting of childhood memories. Especially since, in the middle of our conversation, amongst the squeaky pipes, he said, “That was the night I was accused of murder.” I can’t say that I hear that phrase everyday. I only hope to one day utter a phrase Broadstone once did; “I’m God.” Or perhaps, “Get out of my way or I’m going to fucking kill you.” Ahhhh… a man after my own heart…Broadstone is fascinating, to say the least. And he ate yogurt with me, so he rules.
Find out more about Christopher Alan Broadstone (his writing, his music, and his films) and BUY his work at www.blackcabproductions.com
Also check him out at www.myspace.com/blackcabproductions
I want to remind everyone to please go out and see Adam Green’s film, Hatchet. It’s really a fantastic treat. I’ve been itching (more like tearing my flesh off) for a slasher film for years now and this one is classic. For more info on Green and his film, read my interview with him and definitely go to the site. I urge everyone to support independent horror! Indie horror is my life! Plus, I love Victor Crowley.
Coming up in the future is my coverage of Shriekfest Film Festival, the Spike TV Scream Awards, and more talk about the beauty of frozen yogurt.