Interview with HUMANITAS Drama Fellowship Winner Adam Simon
Adam Simon is an up-and-coming filmmaker out of Los Angeles, CA. His story is an amazing one of blood, sweat, tears, cement slabs and the American dream. Adam has been writing and putting together films for years, only recently getting connected with the right people who have catapulted his indie films into the forefront. Adam is also partnered with the awesome Rob Prior who is an amazing artist in the comic and filmmaking industry.
Both have put together a few films, one of which is going to be in limited release here in Richmond in November at another event.
His first Indie film project is Synapse; Joshua Alba (Alpha Dog), Sofina Brown (CSI) and Henry Simmons (NYPD Blue). Synapse is a gritty cop drama in a science fiction setting following a DEA agent hunting down a memory dealer that has a secret in his mind that threatens to unravel society. We spoke at length about this film, another of his scripts that was recently picked up for production and his deep love of the Punisher comics.
Comic Book Movie: So how did you get this film made? What did you have to overcome to get it done
Adam Simon: While I was filming this (Synapse), a script I put together five years ago […] while I was living on the streets, kicked out of my pad for a few weeks. Sleeping on a cement slab near the promenade, in Santa Monica, near the acting school I was going to. […] This script (Man Down) got picked up by Empower Pictures and goes into production October 20th.
CBM: That’s awesome, who are the principals in Man Down?
AS: Man Down has Gary Oldman, Shia Lebeouf, Kate Mara and two others I can’t announce yet but this cast is tremendous and a force to be reckoned with.
CBM: Can you tell me a little about this script?
AS: Absolutely, it’s about an Afghan war-veteran and his friend who are traveling across the country in search for his wife and kid, in a post-apocalyptic world. Nothing is what it seems, it’s a psychological thriller.
CBM: Is this somewhat in a dystopian future or more of a wasteland?
AS [chuckles]: A little bit, yeah! I keep saying something like this, because this is how my twisted brain works…I always say that if Hurt Locker and Shutter Island had a baby, it would be Man Down [both chuckle]. It’s just like Synapse in a sense if Joe Carnahan’s Narc and Blade Runner had a baby, it’d be Synapse.
CBM: So Man Down is going to start production and Synapse is going to be showing soon, how did you start production? Was there a short, a pitch?
AS: We bled for that brother […] We Bled for that thing. You know, there was a different director attached originally. You know, projects take a different direction at one point or another. We shot a concept video, we shot a pitch trailer. We shot three scenes from the movie, we storyboarded the entire film and shot an animatic of this storyboard.
CBM: Like a Proof of Concept?
AS: Yeah, we basically did that. We were really trying to kick down the door but we kept getting the same feedback. First time director, first time writer. First time director, first time writer…So we gave Empower the ability to go after another director and try and build the funds to get it done.
While this was happening we went out and independently shot another project on our own. Throwing together whatever money we could, we had cops chasing us at one time because we had no permits where we were filming [laughs].
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