Interview by Joshua T. Gravel
Part one of the SHOCK FESTIVAL DVD primer, preparing you for the experience!
Over the next five weeks we get down and dirty with the creative forces behind the Shock Festival tribute trailers.
The Shock Festival 3 Disc set (2 DVD + 1 CD) is available February 9th, 2010 at
Alternative Cinema and other DVD shops.
Meet Director & Illustrator David Hartman, who’s created some of the sickest and strangest illustrations and storyboards for ROB ZOMBIE, BUBBA HO-TEP, TENACIOUS D, and SPIDERMAN the animated series, to name a few. David shares with us his love for all things horror and how to have fun with your kids and firearms!
Could you give the Alternative Cinema audience some background information on your career in film and the arts in general?
Well, my main profession is as a director in television animation. Directing shows like GODZILLA, STARSHIP TROOPERS, JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES, WINNIE the POOH and tons of others. I also have done work with Don Coscarelli (PHANTASM) including visual fx for the film BUBBA HO-TEP and storyboards and design work for his MASTERS of HORROR episode on Showtime as well as a few independent projects. I also do tons of horror illustration. A lot of work for Rob Zombie including a couple music videos. Lots of comic book work and illustrations for various publishers. Basically I dabble in tons of stuff but my true passion is in horror.
I understand that you have made a couple of music videos for Rob Zombie, how did you get into making music videos?
Rob saw my art somewhere and got in contact with me about doing some illustration work. I did a bunch of illustrations for his re-release of HELLBILLY DELUXE. I sent Rob some of my cartoon work and he liked what I was doing with CODENAME: EMBRYO (a web series I started but only did 2 episodes). He had a new album coming out and asked if I would do a video for "AMERICAN WITCH". We had a lot of fun working on that and then did "LORDS of SALEM". I have some artwork in his forthcoming album "HELLBILLY DELUXE 2".
This is the amazing American Witch video that can be seen on Rob Zombies tour screens. The animation is by famed Zombie artist Dave Hartman!
What got you into animation and particularly could you tell us about your work on the GODZILLA and the LENORE animated series?
I had an internship in high school working for a local animation studio in Ohio. I decided then that I wasn't really into animation and didn't like having to draw frame after frame of the same thing. A friend who moved to Los Angeles told me about a gig he had storyboarding for Sony Pictures Television and he basically got my foot in the door. From there I saw this other world to animation that included storyboarding, design work and directing while the frame by frame drawings were done by another studio. I always wanted to direct and was happily surprised by this work system that was never discussed in my internship. Form there I worked my way up storyboarding on various shows and then got my first directing gig on GODZILLA. Really from then on I have been directing action shows for animation. LENORE was a fun project. It was a series of web cartoons I did with Roman Dirge while at Sony Pictures. Roman brought the project there; we met, and became friends right away. I had a lot of fun while working on those. We were pretty much left alone and didn't have to go through huge approvals to get story ideas realized.
What brought you to the SHOCK FESTIVAL project and what drew your attention to the specific trailers you made?
I met Stephen Romano through Don Coscarelli while working on BUBBA HO-TEP. I had a horror movie I pitched to Don but had trouble getting the script going. Don introduced me to Stephen and the three of us worked on the ideas for the story while Stephen wrote this thing. It is really great and I hope to someday get it made. I'm sure Stephen would too.
So Stephen asked if I would help out doing some art for the posters in his book as well as direct a couple trailers. I absolutely love watching horror and exploitation trailers of the 70's and this was the perfect excuse I needed to make something similar.
DEAD BUGS ON THE CARPET looks like it could have fit right in with a giallo from the seventies while both EVOLVER and WARPMONSTER look like the type of creature features I would have seen on Saturday afternoon television in the early eighties, were there any specific trailers or films which influenced the look of the films or the pacing/editing of the trailers?
DEAD BUGS has an obvious early Argento feel to it for me. Of course this whole thing was shot in the matter of a couple hours in my family room and bathroom so it doesn't really convey the vibe completely but that’s what I was going for. EVOLVER is the one trailer I wanted to do the most. I saw the poster in the book and fell in love with the concept and the 70's "LEGEND of BOGGY CREEK" vibe it was surrounded in. It was also a good excuse to dress my daughter up as a feral child and give her a gun.
Can you tell us a little about the actors you worked with?
This is my usual gang of idiots. We all have been making short films together since the early 90's back in Ohio and then all eventually moved to Los Angeles to pursue careers. Bryan Baugh is also a horror illustrator and usually always plays the killer. Mike Baker is my DeNiro. He always plays our straight man. Our wives love this stuff as well so it usually is just a fun way to hang out and make something rather than getting drunk and hating ourselves the next morning.
Who worked on the technical end of the production, specifically cinematography, music, and special effects?
That’s pretty much me. I do all the filming, editing, etc. Stephen Romano supplied me with the music with clips from old studio production cues and public domain stuff. This really added to the feel for me and worked out better than if I got someone to try and match the score.
Are there any current or future projects you would like people to know about?
You can always go to my website WWW.SIDESHOWMONKEY.COM to see my art, other short films and up to date info. I am currently directing a couple pilots for studios as well as art directing a pretty high-profile show to come out next year. Got some work coming out through Rob Zombie in the next year as well as a very cool series of shorts I have been directing for Don Coscarelli.
Thank you Dave for taking the time to answer our questions and you should all make sure to check out his above listed website to stay current with his many projects.
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