Home > Horror News > Interviews > Interview With the Director of Lonely Joe

Rated: 5.00/5 | Votes: 5 | Views: 329 |Submitted: 11/05/07

Michael Coonce hails from Texas by way of New York and is bringing us a horror film based on actual events from his home state; that is to say he was born in Texas and now resides in New York, where filming is taking place. The movie is : “Lonely Joe,” which stars Erica Leerhsen who you may have seen in Wrong Turn 2 or Blair Witch 2.

Lonely Joe was both written and directed by Coonce with a synopsis reading:

"In 1993, Solvay, New York Deputies responding to a missing persons report, found the body of James Connelly and the body of Joe Gainard. All evidence pointed to Joe as the killer of James, but before he could leave the scene, Joe died of natural causes.lonjoe2 Almost as soon as the bodies were discovered, people began disappearing for no reason other than they were at the railroad tracks, between Markers 313-330.

Ten years later, Michele Connelly, James's older sister and a New York Journal Reporter, returns to investigate what actually happened to her brother and the more than thirty people who have disappeared.

Along with long-time friend Ben Bradrum, Michele faces off with the local Sheriff, and uncovers a trail of bodies dating back more than fifty years - and soon finds herself feeling as if she is part of the story she is investigating."

Michael Coonce was kind enough to answer a few questions for us and I thank him for taking the time for the interview. Readers should be sure to check out his website www.lonelyjoe-themovie.com ,which also features a link to their Myspace page.

TERRORTUBE: Lonely Joe is said to be based on a true story, how true to the true story (as far as you know) did you stay in bringing it to film?

“The majority of the backstory in the film is true. The present day investigation and the plot that our lead goes through is all imagination.”

TERROR: You co-wrote the script with your wife, if you would like you can say something good about her and that working relationship right here at the beginning seems like the place.

“My wife (Michele) was the one that came up with the main character having a love interest. Initially, I was against it, but she finally talked me into it. Her input has only made the film better, she's an incredible woman.”

TERROR: How did you go about casting for the film?

“It took a few years of research and making contacts. We knew from the beginning we would be hiring as many local actors as possible. When it came to the principle role; I was on the phone for six months trying to convince agents that this film is worthy of their clients.

On our next film, I’m hiring casting Director up front. I never want to have to talk to another agent ever again. Though I know Ill have too.”

TERROR: Is there any sort of theatrical release planned?

“We wrap production this coming Monday, that night we're flying off to LA to talk with different companies about distribution. So, we'll see after I get back.”

TERROR: Is this the sort of film the type you’d consider making a sequel to, or is it a stand alone masterpiece?

“A sequel is already in the works. The story will pick back up two weeks after this one ends.”

TERROR: How did Lonely Joe get picked to be your first full feature?

“We wanted to play it safe. The horror genre is very popular right now. It's also the most forgiving when it comes to have an unknown cast and crew. As long as you have a great story, acting, and footage. You’re more likely than not to recoup your investors money.”

TERROR: Would you say you’re more of a Texan or a New Yorker?

“I’m probably both at this point. I still like Texas, though I rarely go home anymore. I also love New York, this is where I have decided to settle. The winters here are crazy, but the other 6 months are perfect most of the time.”

TERROR: I read that the film had a $1 Million budget, did that work out perfectly?

“It's all working out. 1 Million isn’t that much money anymore.”

TERROR: Which is more fun: directing or writing?

"They both have their highs and lows. I like writing because I can do it whenever I want.

I like Directing because it gets me out of the house and I can see the particular vision for the film come to reality. It's very cool.

When it comes to directing, there aren’t any breaks, you just have to keep moving forward.”

TERROR: Any favorite horror movies?

“I like all of the Resident Evils and SAW's.”

TERROR: Seen any good movies lately?

“I went and saw the third Resident Evil when it opened. Been busy ever since. I know there are a lot of films on DVD now, so Ill be renting them when I have time. Just been so busy lately, haven’t had time.”

TERROR: Any advice or parting wisdom to aspiring filmmakers?

“People should do their homework. I talk with a lot of people and I think its neat for people to be starstruck, but at the same time, most people don’t realize that a lot goes into making a movie. It isn’t all smiles and crafts services. There's thing constantly going on that have to be tended too.

I’m still learning as well.”

- Wes Laurie


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