There’s a new independent horror film being released in select AMC theaters this weekend: the teen cyber-slasher flick Smiley. The movie’s titular villain is a serial killer who can be called on to kill anyone over the internet. But this isn’t your typical slasher -- there’s a pseudo-philosophical subtext to it exploring the power of online anonymity and the internet as an extension of human nature. Michael J. Gallagher stops by to talk about the dark side of the cyberspace and the process of making and distributing an independent feature film.
About Our Guest:
Michael J. Gallagher is the creator of the online sketch comedy series "Totally Sketch" and the director of the independent horror film Smiley. He has been studying and producing film since he was nine years old.
0:26 - Introduction and clip
3:32 - When did you know you were ready to direct a feature film?
5:33 - You have experience with sketch comedy. Why did you choose to do a horror film? Was it really just for budgetary reasons?
8:07 - The film touches on some pretty dark themes. Was it difficult to return to sketch comedy and that mindset after working on Smiley?
9:18 - You and several of your actors have made names for yourselves through the internet, but your film takes a very pessimistic view of the internet. Is this basically just a 90-minute F.U. to your YouTube commenters?
12:23 - Your group takes a very cynical look at groups like 4chan and Anonymous, and you’ve even been threatened by Anonymous as a result.
14:25 - In the film, Roger Bart plays a professor who theorizes that the internet could evolve into a new type of organism. Did you and your co-writer Glasgow Phillips come up with that? What was the inspiration?
16:50 - Tell me about how you ended up with this unique distribution model.
20:10 - Why did you name your serial killer Smiley? Why not Frowny or Winky?
21:10 - Show close
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