Q&A with Chris Niespodzianski of ‘The Other Side’
Hitting VOD today, September 1st, The Other Side is a thriller that follows a man as he searches for his wife and protects his daughter during the zombie apocalypse. Based on the award-winning short film of the same name, the film has been building buzz and gaining accolades at festivals all over the country; including best acting for Chad Conley at the Horror Hound Film Festival. Fun fact: the film was shot in Pennsylvania, the birth place of zombie films ala ‘Night of the Living Dead’. I recently got the chance to speak with writer and director, Chris Niespodzianski.
What was the peak (best moment) and the pit (worst moment) of the process of making, ‘The Other Side’?
Well the best moment I believe is happening right now. The film being released on all major internet VOD platforms such as Vudu, Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, and YouTube VOD on 9/1/15… then being released on all major cable VOD platforms on 9/18/15!!
What or who are some of your filmmaking inspirations?
My personal inspirations have a very wide range of variety. In no particular order, and definitely not a finished list by any means:
Movies: Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Night of the Living Dead, The Godfather, Goodfellas, The Princess Bride, Pulp Fiction, Shawshank Redemption… I could go on all day!
Filmmakers: Wes Craven, George Romero, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, John Carpenter, and this list goes on as well!
Halloween scared me to death as a kid. Night of the Living Dead scared me but made me think at the same time.
What was the production process like for The Other Side? How long was the shoot? How did you secure financing?
We shot for a total of about 20 days. Started with a 9 day stretch and then weekends after that til we were finished. We secured financing through family, friends, friends of friends, and two Indie GoGo campaigns.
This film was based on your short film of the same name. What made you decide to develop it into a feature? Was that always the plan from day one?
We were going to make a feature film, it was just a matter of developing the right project. After the short film got some recognition and won a few awards, people started telling us they wanted more. They wanted to know more about the people in the film and what caused the situation they were in. So we had to expand upon that idea.
What did you want to achieve by taking on the very popular zombie sub-genre?
We wanted to dare to be different. With all of the remakes, sequels, and reboots that Hollywood puts out, we wanted to try to tackle a tried and true genre and re-define it if at all possible.
Your film received numerous accolades at some horror festivals… did you expect this kind of reaction when you were making the film?
We were hopeful, but you never truly know what you have (as a film) until you are sitting in the editing room and start to put the footage together. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times on set when I questioned if we could pull it off… but positivity and hard work from all involved, and here we are!
The film has been successful in the terms of getting distribution, and playing at festivals. What would be your biggest piece of advice for up and coming horror filmmakers looking do the same?
The best advice I can give is to keep making movies. Always keep your budget and other limitations in mind when writing/developing an idea, make adjustments based on available resources and just do it. You’ll never know what you’re able to do if you don’t try to do it.
With VOD and digital releasing becoming so popular, why do you feel your film fits well in that platform?
We are a true independent film. Micro-budget in all of it’s glory. We feel we made an original take on the zombie genre and think that our potential fan base would be right at home buying or renting the film from Vudu, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, XBox, Google Play, etc. We are David in an industry full of Goliaths. Everybody loves to root for the little guy!
Are you working on any upcoming projects? What can we expect next?
Me, my brother John, Chad Conley (Chris Sullivan in The Other Side), Rob Liscio (Joe in The Other Side), Matthew Bright (Officer Todd in The Other Side), and a bunch of other people who also worked on The Other Side recently made a short film about a soldier returning from Vietnam with PTSD called “Some Gave All”. It’s a little bit of a departure from a traditional horror film, but the horrors in this film are real and our veterans suffer from them daily when returning from war.
Other than that, we have two to three other projects in development. You can always check out our IMDB pages for more info on what’s coming next!
‘The Other Side’ is now available on Vudu, Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, YouTube VOD and opens on major cable VOD 9/18.