After a fairly extensive career as an actor/director/producer/cinematographer, (hopefully, I didn’t leave anything out), in short films, Kelton Jones has made his first feature. DRY BLOOD will be released next month by Epic Pictures via their Dread Central Presents label. Kelton was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for the readers here at Voices from The Balcony.
1) Tell us a little about yourself and what made you want to become a filmmaker.
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a filmmaker. As a kid, I wanted to be a stuntman like Burt Reynolds in “Hooper.” Several broken bones later I decided directing and acting made more sense. I would go hang out on film sets whenever they would shoot a movie near the small towns where I grew up. The first one I remember going to was “Convoy” by legendary director Sam Peckinpah.
2) You have quite a few credits as an actor, how did that help prepare you to direct?
Acting, directing, and writing
3) You’ve also directed several short films. What’s the main difference between directing a short and a feature? Or is it the same process just on a smaller scale?
The rules change a lot when you do a feature. The cost of everything goes way up, so the stakes get a lot higher. To make a short you need a great script, talented actors, and an eager crew. For a
4) You’ve followed DRY BLOOD up with another short, do you plan to continue doing both or would you rather just do features?
Features are my passion. Absolutely. Though I do make several short films a year, mostly to explore different aspects of storytelling and hone my skills. Most of these I don’t release publicly. I also work with a lot of friends on their personal projects. Filmmaking is a collaborative art and as a
5) Tell us a little about how DRY BLOOD came about. What does it take to get a film like this off the ground and actually made?
I met Clint Carney in a screenwriting group he formed years ago. I fell in love with a script he wrote called “The Violent” about the high desert punk rock scene in the mid-nineties. We were raising funds to shoot “The Violent” when we realized that to do it well, we needed a much larger budget. We realized to get that kind of budget we needed to do something great to get our foot in the door. Clint wrote the screenplay for “Dry Blood” and we both knew that this was the film we wanted to be known for. We broke down the script and created a shooting schedule and budget and went to every person we ever met and asked them to believe in us enough to invest in our movie. Luckily many of them did and we got to bring this film to life.
6) DRY BLOOD’s basic plot of an unstable person in an isolated location to get themselves back together has been done a few times before. What sets it apart from films like POD, RESOLUTION or even THE ALCHEMIST COOKBOOK?
What drew me to Clint’s script “The Violent” was its similarity to the ideas explored in Camus’ book “The Stranger.” Clint’s screenplays have a very literary feel to them. “Dry Blood” reminds me more of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” than it does any other film.
7) You also have a starring role in the upcoming thriller THE EVIL DOWN THE STREET, tell us a little about that.
That’s a very different role than the one I played in “Dry Blood.” In “The Evil Down The Street” I play a husband and father whose wife is possessed by a demon. The film follows his struggle to keep his family together as he comes to terms with the idea of facing something that is s beyond his control.
8) Do you plan to keep working as an actor, or concentrate on making your own films now?
I plan on doing a lot of both. I’m constantly writing and developing my own projects and acting in great films being done by other filmmakers.
9) What are some of your favorite films and cinematic influences?
I’m very fortunate to have been able to meet and work with many of the filmmakers I admire. I recently shot a documentary for Robert Zemeckis that was written and directed by his brilliant wife Leslie Zemeckis. Robert was a huge influence on me growing up. His films always used cutting edge special effect that somehow
10) Anything other upcoming projects you want to share with the readers?
I’m in another great horror film “The Untimely Demise Of Miranda Veil” which is currently in post-production. And the documentary I shot for Leslie Zemeckis, “Mable Mable Tiger Trainer” is available now.
Thanks again to Kelton Jones for taking the time out to answer my questions. You can check out his film DRY BLOOD January 15th. Hopefully, it will be first of many films of his we can cover.