To my repeat readers, it's safe to assume you have recognized my deep love for independent films/filmmakers. Indie art is (generally) free from the pressure of big-time production studios, who a lot of time don't even give the director final cut of the film. When I found out I had the opportunity to interview an indie filmmaker I was quite excited! Michael Coulombe is an indie filmmaker who resides in LA as a writer and script supervisor, where he's worked on over 200 films in the past nine years.
He told me how exactly he get started in the industry. Michael was 30, working a full-time job, and not quite happy with it. He had written a book and was testing his love for writing by penning a play called You Can Call Me Eve. One day a friend, Jim, approached Michael asking him to help write a script, but due to what Michael thought was a lack of experience, he respectfully declined. Jim did bring something to Michael's attention: script supervising. With his interests peaked, Michael decided to learn the craft of script supervising, quit his full time job, and went on the path to fulfill his dreams!
Recently I had the pleasure of viewing his directorial debut Ax, which was pretty well done; with great direction, wonderful framing, and a great story Ax is gloriously indie. I got to ask him where he got the idea for this short film.
I asked him about Ax, and horror films. Ax was a concept adapted from a short story Michael wrote about a man who thinks an ax forced him to kill his wife, which is an awesome concept I think. Though this was not Coulombe's first foray into horror films; in 2009 he and a friend founded the Big Bear Horror Film Festival. What is extraordinary about this feat was it all took place during the writer's strike of 2009, which was a follow up to the 2007/2008 writer's strike, and the recession.
Michael was able to give me some insight on his current projects, and I must say I am very excited to see what he has to offer to the world of art with his upcoming projects! Currently he has a short film The Purpose Of Apples, which was written and directed by him. Too, he has two short films in the final phases of post-production, which he plans to put through the festival circuits soon, Pains of the Past and The Deal.
Recently Coulombe was hired to write a short film Malo Facto, which begins filming on the East Coast soon. You Can Call Me Eve was adapted into a script, by Michael. But what seems like his golden ticket is the big project he is working on. Michael also wrote a script Eden Falls with Martin Rogers and writer of THE ORIGINAL Friday The 13th and 3 time Emmy winner Victor Miller. When I found that out I was floored! Not just because I love the original Friday The 13th, but because a great filmmaker is getting the chance to branch out and make the big pieces of art they want to make! Eden Falls and You Can Call Me Eve are both in pre-production.
The final question I asked Michael is the most cliched question any interviewer will ask someone who is following their dreams: do you have any advice for someone trying to break into the industry, or someone who is new to the industry? His answers show how much he cares about the industry. He told me, "every aspect of filmmaking is imperative and I think it’s important for everyone to learn the importance of each department," and that, "I am a HUGE believer in collaboration." His philosophy is, even if you are working for free, work like you ARE being paid. If you are doing a great job, and you are even doing it for free, someone will notice.
One final thing I should add is the huge influence his manager has on him. Michael's manager is Shaun Cairo with Shakir Entertainment Management, and he stated how he has been such an influence with is work. I cannot thank Michael enough for taking time to answer my questions, I wish him the best in his future endeavors, and who knows maybe one day I can collaborate with him!