Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Pit Ventures into New Territory: An Interview with Matthew Gunnoe

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Filmmaker Matthew Gunnoe has the spirit of an auteur; he enjoys being involved in all aspects of producing a movie. And his love for the horror genre is going to be demonstrated in The Pit, currently in mid-production for both SyFy and the Chiller networks.

The vision is going to be uniquely his, and as the screenwriter, he does not believe in rehashing old ideas or being cliché driven. As a director, some movie enthusiasts may say he belongs to the Lloyd Kaufman school of thought: "Make Your Own Damn Movie!" Desire is all it takes. Gunnoe knew he was destined to be a filmmaker ever since he went to the drive-in with his family but as for how he got into the trade, that was a question of how he wanted to get in.

“I’ve been in the film Business for about 15 years, really starting all out in 2000. Before that, Mechanical Engineering (I had to have a real job to fall back on).” reveals Gunnoe. “As far as film school is concerned, the best education you can get is making a film, period."

When asked about how new filmmakers should approach getting their ideas done, "My advice is to save your money, read books on every aspect of filmmaking (library or internet), and then use your money to actually make your movie.”

When asked about the origins of The Pit, this producer reveals that SyFy wanted a creature feature. He said that he could not do a Giant Lobster vs. the Mega Tuna kind of movie. “It’s just not me,” confides Gunnoe. “She said that was cool, but just put a creature in it. So I started with the alien and built the plot around that.”

The main story will focus in on three girls, Stephanie (Amber Sym), Megan (Brittney Cardella) and Chelsie (Victoria Wyberanec), who find themselves knee deep in the Florida Everglades after rescuing their mute dog. On one end, there will be a deadly encounter with drug runners—who this director says will be more than your typical cookie cutter hillbillies. And there is a government conspiracy concerning aliens at the other end.

“This film is made for horror fans, and I believe in giving the fans what they want," says Gunnoe, "which includes, but is not limited to or just “T&A.” The Pit is about a lot more than just attractive girls; that would be boring. The reason sex sells, especially in horror, is the same reason bacon goes with eggs—it just works. If you sit down to a breakfast of just eggs, there’s something missing."

Some activists may say otherwise, but Gunnoe will protect his property. He responds, “I don’t consider it exploitation of women. That reference has always bugged me. Generally people don’t consider Indiana Jones and the like, the exploitation on men. These are just elements of entertainment and they’ve been a part since the beginning.”

He goes on to further reveal the fact that female leads have been used throughout the years and how the attraction started with Nosferatu (1922). Back then, they only showed less gam. Even Fay Wray in King Kong is still considered to be quite the looker. But on the audience side, many females enjoy watching horror films.

The television version of The Pit will be very tame, but the video release will promise to be very revealing. This director promises that the uncut version will have plenty of alternate and extended takes will be offered. But as for how the alien tale will pan out is still a mystery that will not be revealed until viewers are seeing the final product.

Produced, Directed and Written by: Matthew Gunnoe.

Cast: Jim Winburn, Darryl Baldwin, Amber Sym, Brittney Cardella, Victoria Wyberanec, Jarrett Ricker, and Melissa Heflin.

The film's homepage is here:

The Pit Homepage

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