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Andy Burns talks to Awakening The Zodiac director Jonathan Wright

Opening in Toronto for a limited engagement this Friday before its arrival on VOD Tuesday, June 13th, Awakening the Zodiac tells the story of Mick (West) and Zoe (Bibb), a young destitute couple hoping to change their fortune when they partner with paranoid, gun-toting, Gulf War veteran, Harvey (Craven) on a deserted storage locker. The locker’s contents appear to be worthless until Harvey makes a discovery deep inside a piece of furniture: an old 8mm film reel. Curious, they load it into a projector and watch something that will change their lives forever. The forty-year-old footage depicts two gruesome murders taken by the killer himself. Harvey has a strange feeling and realizes two things: Those were murders of the savage Zodiac Killer, the most elusive serial killer in history, and there is a reward of $100,000 for any information leading to his capture. Zodiac is out there, and he’s still killing. Determined to uncover the secrets of the films, Mick, Zoe and Harvey begin their search for the Zodiac.

I had the chance to talk to director Jonathan Wright about Awakening The Zodiac, and the enduring legacy of one of thr 20th centuries most notorious serial killers.

Andy Burns: Jonathan, congrats on Awakening the Zodiac – I really enjoyed the film. What inspired your interest in the Zodiac and making this film?

Jonathan Wright: The thriller is my favourite genre of films. The idea of a person going around murdering random people and taunting the police is absolutely terrifying. The fact that the Zodiac was never caught, and could still be out there sends chills down my spine.

AB: Could you give us a little insight into your creative process – how did you come up with the story, what sort of research went into crafting the screenplay?

JW: When Michael Baker came to me asking to direct this movie, I literally jumped at the chance. We wanted to craft characters and a scenario that we’ve never seen before. The film is procedural, but we didn’t want to make a detective movie. Early research revealed that the San Francisco Police Department still have a $100,000 reward for evidence leading to the arrest of the Zodiac killer. I spent countless hours going through FBI documents and witness accounts which spawned numerous theories about who the killer was and how he operated. I also delved deep into code breaking. The infamous cipher known as the 314 cipher has never been broken and supposedly includes the Zodiac’s true identity.

AB: What was it about Shane West and Leslie Bibb that made them the right choices for Mick and Zoe, respectively? Read the rest of this entry

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Gilbert Reviews Teri Wilson’s Romantic Comedy, ‘Royally Roma’

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Have I mentioned how much I enjoy being the senior writer for Biff Bam Pop? I get to interview the most talented people. Lately, I’ve been doing book reviews for the site, and while I’ve enjoyed reading all the books assigned to me, Royally Roma by Teri Wilson has been my favorite by far. Set in the eternal city of Rome, Teri Wilson takes her readers on a spectacular adventure of mistaken identity. Meet me after the jump for the review. Read the rest of this entry

Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Zhen Lyu’s Intruders

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I love working for Biff Bam Pop because not only do I get to interview some really cool people, I also get to review films and television series. This time, our fearless leader, Andy Burns, asked me to review Zhen Lyu’s science fiction book, Intruders. It was an interesting read, but would the book make a great gift idea? Pull up that easy chair and meet me after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Rob Zombie Likes It Raw: Talking About Movies With Shudder

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Rob Zombie is no stranger to controversy, especially when it comes to his work as a director.
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Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Dick Cavett

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Just a few weeks ago I got the chance to meet Dick Cavett on the 2016 TCM Classic Cruise. There were onboard interviews with him, he introduced several movies, and he also told amazing stories of Hollywood that spanned the decades. Recently, the Decades network started replaying his old talk shows from the sixties, seventies, and eighties, so even today’s generation may have heard of this fantastic interviewer, writer, and talk show host. If you’re hip to the man, there are a lot of gifts you might want to give or get this holiday. Meet me after the jump for… Dick Cavett!

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Gilbert Speaks… with Actor Jeff Teravainen of “Dark Matter”

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I can’t say this enough! I love working for Biff Bam Pop! Not only do I get to review some awesome television shows, but I get to interview the actors who star in them. When I was offered the chance to interview Jeff Teravainen, who plays Lieutenant Anders on Syfy’s space opera, Dark Matter, I jumped at the chance.

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Jeruzalem’s Paz Brothers Talk Technology And History

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Their zombie apocalypse movie Jeruzalem premiered at the Jerusalem Film Festival last summer, before hitting Fantasia, FrightFest, and Sitges, among other notable festivals. Now it’s out on iTunes, VOD, as well as a run at Toronto’s Carlton Cinema (read our review here). We talked to the brothers about the genesis of the film and where they are headed next.

You’ve discussed how Jeruzalem is not “found footage” but “POV” and that it was the invention of Google Glass that helped you bring your concept to fruition. What other ways does technology impact the narrative of the film that maybe aren’t as apparent to the audience?
Most of the time, when we are making a film we can use an unlimited amount of audio channels but only one channel of video. By using the “smart glass” interface we were able to tell other stories at the same time (in the way that people check their smart phones while watching a film) and that was a great tool for the storytelling. We were also fascinated by the contrast between the history of the old city and the newest wearable technology. Read the rest of this entry

The GAR! Podcast: The Interviews

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Usually every Friday at this time Biff Bam Pop! presents the newest episode of The GAR! Podcast, the Glenn Walker and Ray Cornwall weekly podcast where they talk unrehearsed about whatever happens to come to mind, an audio-zine for your mind, a nerd exploration of a nerd world. This week however, GAR! is on a short hiatus. In its place we’re featuring some of the interviews that you might have missed before GAR! came to Biff Bam Pop!. Stay tuned for some of the previous guests of The GAR! Podcast, after the jump.

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Write or Wrong – The Dirk Manning Interview

WoW----Final-Front-CoverDirk Manning is the writer of the Write or Wrong column at Newsarama and the writer/creator of Nightmare World for Image Comics, and that’s just the tip of the creative iceberg. For the last five years I have been a huge fan of his Newsarama column, frequently sharing it with my writing friends and writers groups that I belong to. Several of the columns have been combined into a book: “WRITE OR WRONG: A Writer’s Guide to Creating Comics,” available now from Amazon here.

Recently I had the opportunity to ask Dirk a few questions. Here’s that interview:

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Exclusive Interview – Jon Kirkman Talks Time And A Word: The Yes Interviews

I’ve made my love for prog rock legends Yes unabashed here at Biff Bam Pop. We’ve had interviews with band members up and more to come, and reviews of live performances. As a fan, the next piece of Yes memorabilia I’m excited about comes from UK rock journalist and broadcaster Jon Kirkman. A longtime fan, friend and expert on the band (check out our previous interview with Jon about the Union multidisc set here), Jon’s next endeavour is a mammoth coffee table book on the band titled Time And A Word: The Yes Interviews, due out next month. Jon was kind enough to take some time out of completing the book to let Yes fans around the world know what to expect from this exciting project. Check out the trailer for Time And A Word: The Yes Interviews below and then start reading our exclusive interview after the jump!

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