Here’s our interview with actor/producer/director Hans Hernke in the english version…
Mick: Hans, THE PERFECT HOUSE comes out on October 1st as the first movie at Facebook’s video platform. Can you tell us more about the whole situation? What will people have to do to watch it and what will it cost?
Hans: Basically when Facebook announced they were doing a VOD platform called “FlickLaunch”- our head director/producer Kris Hulbert immediately found a way to contact them. The owner of FlickLaunch, Craig Tanner and Kris had a great talk, and from there a deal was made that “The Perfect House” would be the first independent film to premiere and be distributed on Facebook WORLDWIDE! All people have to do is go directly to “The Perfect House” fan page or to FlickLaunch’s site to watch the film for $5 – and that would be a 7 day rental. When people do this, it shares what the person is watching on their FB “Wall”, then all their friends see that they are watching “The Perfect House”, if their friends are interested, then they can click on that link and can pay $5 to watch the film also. We are hoping that this creates a huge domino effect worldwide and the stream of revenue will be constant every time someone watches the film.
Mick: One thing that caught my eye, when I watched the film was a lot of violence. In Germany fans often complain about cut movies. Will THE PERFECT HOUSE be uncut?
Hans: Yes, at times the film can be very intense and violent. Not to worry Germany and other parts of the world…”The Perfect House” will come to you UNCUT and in it’s original form when it’s released on Facebook on October 1st, 2011. I am sure the DVD release in early 2012 will also be uncut too. There will be a ton of bonus features as well!
Mick: The film contains 3 short-stories which all take place in this perfect house over several decades. The idea reminded me of IF THIS WALLS COULD TALK with Demi Moore and Cher. While this one wasn’t a horrorfilm, did the concept have any influence on THE PERFECT HOUSE?
Hans: Good question Mick. The Demi Moore film you had mentioned had no influence whatsoever when it came to making “The Perfect House”. Basically how it all evolved is when Kris, Randy, Andrea, and I met for the first time, they were discussing doing a short horror film called “Dinner Guest” that would take place in this house. Randy then had the idea… “well what if there were more stories to tell in this house?” That’s when everything started evolving into 3 stories about this perfect house.
Mick: What are the stories about? What makes each one special?
Hans: The first story is about a family that has taken refuge in the basement during a violent storm. You get to know these characters pretty quickly and what their motives are. The violence and intensity in this story is a throwback to the Hitchcock style of horror films. The second story is about a guy named John Doesy who kidnaps innocent people and keeps them cages in his basement. He has kept one of his kidnapped victims alive for the past 5 years, a young girl. She witnesses the torture and brutal killings that John Doesy “performs” on each of his victims. There is an origin back story planned in a prequel to the John Doesy character and how he became to be this sadistic person. The intensity and violence in this story is a throwback to the 70’s and 80’s horror films, with some splashes of dark tongue and cheek humor as well. The last story is about an older guy who invites the family next door over for dinner…but with other motives in mind then just dinner time. Can simple things like not returning a garden tool make a person crack and go mad? You will find out in this story. The intensity and violence in this story is a throwback to the horror films we have today – it goes all out and never stops. All of these stories are tied in with a “Real Estate” story about a young couple touring the house with a quirky real estate agent, but soon discover the horrors that had happened in the house by the previous owners over the years.
Mick: Imdb.com says your budget was 150.000$. What is the most expensive thing, when you create a movie like THE PERFECT HOUSE?
Hans: Our budget started at $5,000 and then suddenly grew from there. Originally we were going to shoot the entire film in Los Angeles, but it was hard to find a basement location and house that would suit the look and needs of this production. Kris Hulbert decided to shoot the film in Buffalo, NY at his grandfather’s house (which actually was the house he had in mine when he wrote the script). The key actors and crew were flown from Los Angeles to Buffalo. The rest of the cast and crew were all talented local Buffalo, NY hires. The budget started getting bigger and bigger, more things kept coming up at the last minute that were added to the budget. Savings, 401k’s, second mortgage’s, and loans all made this film possible. The expenses during post-production got very expensive. We wanted really good sound for this film, so we found Digital Dreams in Burbank, CA. They did an amazing sound job with the film and added a Dolby Surround Sound track to it. That was expensive but worth every penny. The VFX were done through LIT Post in Hollywood. They were another expensive addition to making the film’s VFX look good.
Mick: You are not only one of the producers, but also part of the cast. What else?
Hans: I did triple duty. A lot of us on the project wore many hats, went above and beyond our jobs to get things done. While on set, I was the 1st Assistant Director and Producer. While I was filming the scenes for my character, I gave up those duties to the 2nd Assistant Director to William Robertson. I wanted to give this character 100% of my attention. The character of the Male Victim has quite an emotional and physical roller coaster to him. After I was done filming, I would go right back into 1st Assistant Director and Producer mode to keep things on track.
Mick: You play the male victim in the second episode and are getting your ass kicked pretty badly. How much fun was that?
Hans: It was pretty challenging role, but I had fun taking the challenge. The night before we started filming the torture scenes, my friend Randy Kent (co-director and producer) asked me “Tomorrow is going to be tough, can you handle it?” I said to him “I got this all mapped out in my head bro…” At first I wasn’t sure how I was going to act during the torture scenes, I was nervous that I couldn’t cry on cue. Once we got into that moment of being tortured, I visualized as if it was actually happening to me and it was a really overwhelming feeling. Tears poured down my face and I was shaking all over, screaming. When we were done with a take, I would say let’s keep doing this while I still have it in me, so we’d go for another take. There were times I did get hurt, I was kicked, constantly dragged, thrown into a cage, hair pulled, and banged up. My vision was literally out of 2 pinholes on the special prosthetics I was wearing around my eyes. I had to get up at least two hours early to get the eye prosthetics on each eye and to get me all bloody and messed up. I had to have someone guide me around set so I wouldn’t hit or knock anything over. It was very hard to see!
Honestly the first couple of times when I watched the film and saw those torture scenes, it almost sucked me right back into the moment I had when we were filming, it still gives me chills to see it.
Mick: You played a lot of different roles in the past from tv-series like FRASIER to ZOMBIE FARM. Is THE PERFECT HOUSE just another project or are you a horror-fan?
Hans: Well, I have done a few horror films, “The Perfect House” being the most major one of all. I am a horror fan, but it takes a good one to get me sucked in. Horror has to be done right for me to get into it. I have enjoyed working on other horror projects like “Zombie Farm” and the upcoming film “Aaron’s House” with my friend Brian Barsuglia who directed and produced both of those films. I guess I don’t want to be type-casted as a horror actor the rest of my life, but when the opportunity for work comes…why should I say no, right? I do like comedy, drama and some action as well, and some friends are mine are begging my next film be a chick-flick so they can watch that instead of a bloody horror film LoL.
Mick: What are your favorite horror-movies?
Hans: SAW (first one only), HOSTEL, DEAD ALIVE are some of them.
Mick: Last question: Your name sounds pretty german? Do you have any german roots?
Hans: Yes I sure do. My grandfather is the one with the German heritage. I have never been to Germany but would like to someday. The German in me likes a good beer bratwurst and an ice cold beer!
Mick: Thank you for the interview!