WRITER | ANTHONY GREENE
Before we started production on Headcase I was doing the same thing that I’m doing now: tending bar. But before that, I was in New York City trying to make it as a stand-up comedian.
I met Ken Simpson and Alex Jordan at Castro’s Lounge, where I served them beer. I decided to approach them about this film I had written, because I knew they worked in the industry, but mostly because I was procrastinating making Headcase on my own. It was too big of an undertaking for just me; I needed to partner up with someone who had more experience than I did. They seemed like good guys who were also frustrated and ready to make their own independent film.
I had a lot of fun making Headcase, although the financial obligation and the pressure of making my first film made me stressed out most of the time. We had a great cast and crew that really made the film an incredible experience.
DIRECTOR | KEN SIMPSON
Just prior to Headcase I was in a real creative slump. I had worked for 11 years in the industry in various capacities with a dream of directing a feature film that just never materialized. When I met Anthony Greene and he told me he had written a feature film script I have to admit I was more than just cynical. But his earnestness and enthusiasm was infectious, so after reading only 70 pages I called Alex Jordan and told him that this project had real potential and was worth getting behind.
I feel like I could write several textbooks about what I've learned through the process of making this film. It was a long, gruelling production fraught with all the usual pitfalls of micro-budget filmmaking. But we had a phenomenal cast and crew that believed in the film and made it all happen with great humour and sheer determination!
Ultimately It gave me confidence in myself as a filmmaker and the skills that I've learned while making Headcase has informed every project since. I'm incredibly grateful for the experience because it really has fulfilled a life long dream.
PRODUCER | ALEX JORDAN
In early 2008 I was just coming off of producing, and production managing, a poker television show in the Bahamas, and also finished promoting another low budget feature film called “Long Pigs.” Ken Simpson told me that Anthony Greene, from Castro's Lounge, had a script for a feature film called, “Headcase” and he wanted me to read it. I was keen to launch a low budget film under my company banner name, so I told Anthony I would produce the film - so long as Ken was the director.
The experience of making that film encompassed every emotion possible! Casting and shooting was fun, challenging, engaging, and fulfilling. Too many words and feelings to describe! The post process was long and tedious - a really dark time actually, but our Indiegogo campaign gave us a big push and brought new life to the project.
Since then I've been working as a production manager on many Hollywood films and television productions. Essentially everything I did for “Headcase” before, only now I actually get paid! Seriously though, Headcase really helped me become the kind of producer that I am today. It gave me the skills and experience I needed to excel in the industry.
CO-PORDUCER | LARA AMERSEY
Before Headcase I had been working as an actor for about 5 years. I met Alex Jordan and Ken Simpson on a TV series called “Monster Warriors” and we all got along really well, so when Headcase came around I just jumped on board with them.
Initially I was brought on to do the casting but as the production went on I did a little bit of everything; locations, continuity, transport, craft, as well as assisting the make-up, wardrobe and camera departments. There was rarely any downtime!
I would say that for any young filmmaker looking to make a $50,000 film is to consult people who have done it before and really listen to them because it's always going to cost you more than you think it will and you don't want to spend that kind of money to have it never finish.
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER | ANTHONY PACELLA
I got a call from Alex Jordan that Ken Simpson was doing his first feature film as a director and I had worked with both of them previously. I thought they were two standup guys and I wanted to lend a hand and was looking forward to the opportunity to working together again because the one thing we definitely did on our last set was have a good time, so I was interested in coming to Toronto to have some more fun.
When I reflect back on my experience with Headcase, I felt appreciated for what I did and I felt part of what I did and I think that's really important. I not necessarily even a verbal acknowledgement, it's just the camaraderie of working together and respecting each other and allowing everybody to have a little bit of creative input on that project.
CINEMATOGRAPHER | ALEX DACEV
In 2008, I was officially out of the film industry. I wanted to be a cinematographer. It was all so depressing that I was seriously thinking about opening up a small business.
Ken Simpson told me about this feature film “Headcase”, that he had coming up, and that he asked me to shoot it. Even then I was thinking, “Ok fine, I'll shoot it and get it over with. But I'm still out of the industry.” But something happened over the course of the film: seeing the material, seeing Ken take the challenges and over coming obstacles; it was inspiring. I remember going to bed really excited and I couldn't wait to get back the next day.
Since “Headcase”, I’ve shot four other feature films, several web series and various commercials. I’ve actually been able to make a living as a cinematographer, and I have to give a lot of credit to Headcase for that. You hit a lot of bumps and obstacles when you make a film for $50,000. but the stupid thing is, I’d do it all over again!