Thursday, July 23, 2009

Marc Clebanoff on "Break"

Where did the idea for Break come from?

MARC: The idea for Break came from my mind simply trying to incorporate very specific actors and elements all into the same film, while doing it in a way that I knew would be very saleable.

You couldn't pick a more different movie to make after The Pink Conspiracy. Was that planned?

MARC: I don't think I've ever made a film that was planned. It always tends to happen for me through circumstance. To be honest, as much fun as making a comedy like The Pink Conspiracy was, I prefer to make films that are more dramatic or suspenseful, so in that regard, Break made a little more sense for me.

What was the process for writing the script? 

MARC: I wrote Break based on several actors I had at my disposal. After working on my last film, The Pink Conspiracy, Chad Everett had asked me to write him a really dark supporting role. Concurrently, my good friend Frank Krueger and I were working on putting something together that incorporated martial arts. Not only are we both long time practitioners, but we were looking to do something with Xin Wuku, the infamous "urban ninja". To cap it all off, my long-time associate Michael Madsen and I had been looking for something to do together as well. With those elements in mind, I locked myself in a room and wrote Break, a comic booky noir action thriller about a hitman hired to take out a terminally ill crime boss and his lover.

How did you fund the film?

MARC: Initially I wrote Break with the intention of doing it on a micro budget. I was very fortunate that I was able to find an investor willing to put some real money behind it. It was sort of an accident though. I wanted $250K. So I asked for $350K. Low and behold I ended up getting the $350K. All the money came from one private investor though.

Break has a terrific cast: Chad Everett, Michael Madsen, Charles Durning, and the late David Carradine. How did you gather such a talented group (what's the secret)?

MARC: There is no secret to attaching talent. I've just been fortunate to establish relationships over the years. With the exception of David Carradine, everyone in the cast was either in my previous film The Pink Conspiracy, or I already knew them. 

Chad Everett, Frank Krueger, Sarah Thompson, James Russo, Mackenzie Firgens and Whit Hertford were all in The Pink Conspiracy. I had known Michael Madsen for close to a decade and we worked on a film called Hell Ride together the year prior. Xin Wuku was a martial arts connection, and Charles Durning I met at a film festival. I told Charlie about the film I was developing and he asked me to write him a role. I thought he was kidding. He wasn't. So I did it. Carradine was the only actor I had no real prior relationship with, but I did know his manager, which helped.

What obstacles did you have to overcome to make the film?

MARC: I encountered plenty of obstacles. Primarily location related obstacles. Considering Los Angeles is the birthplace of cinema, it's a pretty un film-friendly town. Even with a decent budget like we had, things were still tight. It's all relative. Bigger budget, but bigger elements. 

Once I was ready to sell the film, however, the biggest obstacle presented itself - the economy. A film like this with a bread and butter cast is typically a no-brainer sell. Unfortunately with the global recession, buyers were making bottom dollar offers, which has made things difficult. 

Luckily we have been able to get some amazing domestic distribution and we are more or less riding out the storm before we handle most of our foreign business. Things are already looking up. The fact that Break is so easily accessable is a good thing. 

It's not easy for a small independent film to get on the shelves in Blockbusters the way we have, or move as many units as we have been. Fortunately I have a very diverse cast, many of whom have very extensive fanbases. That combined with the unfortunate death of David Carradine, has made Break a pretty in-demand title.

Official Website:

Also: Marc is currently running a contest. You can purchase the film via Amazon, Barnes & Noble Online, Blockbuster, etc. and then submit a picture of yourself holding the DVD. The most creative pictures are going to win a 12x18 Break movie poster signed by the cast, including David carradine (he signed it just 4 weeks before his death).

No comments: