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Biff Bam Pop EXCLUSIVE: Andy Burns Talks to Michael Eklund About ‘Stegman Is Dead’

Michael Eklund is one of the hardest working actors around. Along with starring on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and Wynonna Earp, he’s a familiar face to movie fans. The Vancouver-based Eklund has been featured in Chokeslam and The Sound (with Rose McGowan) in 2017 alone. He’s currently starring as the lead in Stegman Is Dead, a new crime film directed by David Hyde and co-starring Michael Ironside (V, Total Recall, The Machinist). In Stegman is Dead, Eklund plays Gus, a low-level criminal hired by Don (Ironside) to retrieve an incriminating video tape.

I first discovered Michael Eklund’s work in 2011’s The Divide, where he stole the entire film about survivors of a nuclear holocaust. When I had the chance to talk ask talk to him over email about his work, I jumped at the opportunity. Eklund is smart, articulate and passionate, and in possession of outstanding acting abilities. On that note, here’s our interview:

Andy Burns: You, sir, are one of the hardest working actors I have ever seen. Before we even get into Stegman is Dead, talk to me about why you like to stay so busy, and how you stay organized?

Michael Eklund: Well, that is nice of you to say. However, I would disagree. It seems to me that every time I turn on the television or see a film there are more and more extremely talented actors and film makers creating and displaying amazing work. It is a very exciting time right now for artists as well for the audiences. There are no more excuses. If you are not working then you can literally pick up a camera and create your own work. Write something. Shoot something. Create something. Art can be created anywhere. And it isn’t limited to anyone or any kind. The work that is coming out from all territories of the world is inspiring. The bar is being raised at an accelerated rate like no other time I have ever seen. It just keeps getting better and better. The gap, or rather, the road block in the way of working and creating and being permitted to work and create has been closed and removed. You seriously have no reason or excuse nowadays to say that opportunities are not there. We live in a time with the technology present that we are able to create our own opportunities and if you are not then you have no one else to blame but yourself.

I know I could be doing more. Creating more. And if I don’t someone else will. And you don’t want to be caught sleeping at the wheel, because if you are you can be sure that the next artist is going to run you off the road. If I don’t stay busy then I will find myself rolled over in a ditch with my hazard lights on and help isn’t on its way because everyone else is too busy to stop. So being organized is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity. If you don’t have your stuff figured out or don’t have your shit together than you better do it quick and you better do it now because in this business no one owes you anything. It no longer is a question of how you do. It is an answer of you must do.
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#FXC17 Exclusive Interview: John Bolton On Horror, His Art & His Graphic Novel: Shame

Artist John Bolton has had a long and storied career in comic books and sequential art. He made the jump from working in English magazines such as Warrior, to burgeoning American periodicals like Epic Illustrated, in the early 1980’s. He’s been working in and around the mainstream comic book industry ever since, as comfortable drawing superheroes as much as he is painting fairies, vampires and demons.

Drawn to the genres of fantasy and horror as both an illustrator and painter, Bolton has worked alongside some of the greatest writing names the comic book industry has known, including Chris Claremont on Marada The She Wolf and Black Dragon, both for publisher Epic Comics. With Neil Gaiman in The Books of Magic for DC Comics, he created the look of the reluctant boy-wizard, Timothy Hunter, based on his eldest son. His acclaimed graphic novel series, Shame, alongside writer Lovern Kindzierski, is where Bolton’s efforts most currently dwell, with the first three acts being recently complied into a single hardcover volume.

There’s a sense of wonder, amazement, power, and sexuality inherent in Bolton’s work, combined alongside an overt menace that makes a viewer full of trepidation. Even when his sense of horror is not manifest, nothing is ever as it seems in Bolton’s completed visual offerings.

On the eve of an infrequent visit to Toronto via the 2017 edition of Fan Expo Canada, JP Fallavollita caught up with John Bolton in an exclusive interview via email, and asked him about his process, his female-driven subject matter, and his recent work on Shame.

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Interview with War Machine’s Topher Grace

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Biff Bam Pop! Founder and Contributing Writer Andy Burns, and other interviewers, had a chance recently to chat with actor Topher Grace, who folks might remember from That ’70s Show and as Venom in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, and now stars in Netflix’sWar Machine with Brad Pitt. Come join us for this fascinating discussion after the jump.

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Andy Burns Interviews Actress Carolina Bartczak of X-Men: Apocalypse

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Earlier this week I had the opportunity to speak with Canadian actress Carolina Bartczak, known for her work in Smurfs 2 and Brick Mansions.  In X-Men: Apocalypse, opening this week in North America, Carolina plays the small, yet pivotal role of Magda, Magneto’s (Michael Fassbender) wife.  Meet me after the jump for the interview.

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Marie Gilbert Interviews John Paul Ruttan and Ella Ballentine of Against the Wild 2: Survive the Serengeti

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A few days ago, I posted a review of a new film, Against the Wild 2: Survive the Serengeti. I really enjoyed the film and, so will you. I also had the pleasure of interviewing the producer/director Richard Boddington which you can read here. I wanted to ask the two young stars of the film what they loved best about doing this film. Join me after the jump with my interview of John Paul Ruttan. Read the rest of this entry

Against the Wild 2: Survive the Serengeti, with Producer/Director Richard Boddington

 

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I was asked to view a film called Against the Wild 2: Survive the Serengeti which was written, produced and directed by Richard Boddington. The review of the film will be followed by an interview with Boddington. What if your backyard was the Serengeti and your children were lost? Read the rest of this entry

Interview with This Changes Everything’s Co-Producer, Katie McKenna

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The word on This Changes Everything, the latest documentary film from the socially charged husband and wife team Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein, is starting to spread. After debuting this past September at the Toronto International Film Festival to resounding applause from its audience, the film is already premiering around the world in a unique and ultra-relevant way.

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Exclusive: Andy Burns talks to Lost After Dark Director Ian Kessner

Earlier this week we spoke with Kendra Timmins, one of the stars of the new 80s slasher throwback film Lost After Dark. Today, we offer for your consideration our email conversation with the film’s director, Ian Kessner. As you’ll see from our chat, Ian is  passionate filmmaker with a love for the genre. On that note, let’s get right to it:

Andy Burns: Ian, congrats on Lost After Dark. I had a lot of fun watching it with a crowd – everyone was in on the nods and winks to horror films past. Which films from the genre did you grow up loving, and why?

Ian Kessner: Watching it with a crowd is the best.  Hearing them laugh and scream in all the right places brings joy to my heart. Some of my favorite slashers growing up were Friday the 13th, Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Happy Birthday To Me, Sleepaway Camp, My Bloody Valentine, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.  I saw them all on VHS rentals I managed to get my young hands on.  I think they had such a big impact on me because they were a safe way for me to experience fear and death from the relative comfort of my safe suburban home. Read the rest of this entry

Exclusive: Andy Burns talks to Lost After Dark’s Kendra Timmins

Today (September 1st, 2015) sees the release of the new horror film, Lost After Dark. Co-written by Bo Ransdell and Ian Kessner and directed by Kessner, the film is set in Spring 1984, when are group of high school friends decide to take off for the weekend to spend a few nights at Adrienne’s (Kendra Timmins) family’s cottage. However, things take a turn for the worse when the school bus the friends have stolen breaks down, leaving them stranded on a deserted road, near an abandoned house that’s sole occupant is Junior Joad, a long-thought cannibal killer. Mayhem and murder ensues.

I had the chance to check out a screening of Lost After Dark at the end of August with cast and crew in attendance, and I enjoyed the film quite a bit. It’s a love letter to ’80s horror films and knows exactly what it is. While it’s a little long at times, there are some genuine shocks and surprises throughout, and you can’t say that about every horror film out there.

Lost After Dark’s lead actress Kendra Timmins was kind enough to answer some questions via email about the film, the shoot and much more.

LOST-AFTER-DARK-BD-cover-797x1024Andy Burns: Kendra, I was at the screening at the SoHo and the audience seemed to have a great time – what’s it like watching Lost After Dark with a crowd?

Kendra Timmins: It might sound strange, but it’s actually such a relief to see Lost After Dark with an audience. We knew as actors that we had something really fun to work with in terms of a script and a genre, but because it’s set in the 80s and an homage to a genre that is beloved by so many horror fans, that can easily be lost on an audience. So hearing people laugh and scream and have fun in all the right places, is so gratifying as an actor.

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Exclusive: Andy Burns talks with Ejecta directors Matt Wiele and Chad Archibald

Ejecta is a science-fiction thriller that combines found footage and real film to create a unique viewing experience. Filmed on location in Collingwood, Ontario, Ejecta stars genre favourite Julian Richings as a reclusive writer/blogger Bill Cassidy, whose experience with extraterrestrials has him in the sights of a clandestine group who are eager to learn what he witnessed the night of a solar storm.

Biff Bam Pop was lucky enough to chat with co-directors Matt Wiele and Chad Archibald over email about Ejecta, the creation of the story, filming on location, and much more.

Andy Burns: Matt and Chad, congrats on a very trippy and cool movie. Can you talk to us about how Ejecta came to be?

Matt Wiele: Trippy is good! Glad you got a high from watching it. Ejecta, in it’s original form, came about through wanting to make a tense “found footage” or “POV” style film that centered around a small scale alien crash and the claustrophobic aftermath of what that might look like. The evolution of the film and the story happened after shooting the initial material and wanting to expand on it. Make it bigger and better while still keeping it set amongst a small number of characters with opposing interests in the alien presence and witnessed/recorded crash.

Chad Archibald: Initially I had worked on the film on a different capacity and I loved the concept and the entire experience. I had worked with Matt in the past but it was exciting seeing him in the directors chair oppose to producing. I think everyone was excited to be making an alien flick with a bit of a twist, along with the fact that Julian was in it. After the film was cut together, the team decided to take the found footage element and push the movie even further. I was asked to come on board to help direct the additional segments of the film and Ejecta in it’s current state is what we came up with!
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