Home Actor Interviews Interview with Jason Turner

Interview with Jason Turner

An animated picture of John Snow, or the Iron Detective sitting at his desk drinking with a hallogram of his assistant.
"The Iron Detective"

What got you into film and videos?
I am a child of the 80’s. My parents let me watch fantastic films and sometimes I would watch scary films that I wasn’t supposed to be watching at a friend’s house. In grade school, I was doing my own stories on cassette tape and eventually, when I was able to play with a video camera, the filmmaking bug had bit me hard. I was always studying films, trying to figure out lenses, lighting, and the tricks that make the professional things look so good. I was particularly drawn to Star Wars, Blade Runner, Excalibur, Robocop and The Terminator.

If you had to choose one particular movie scene, what would it be? And how did it influence you or your work?
There are so many, but the Tech Noir shootout scene from The Terminator was such a beautiful scene. The music, the haze, and Arnold Schwarzenegger wading through the crowd. I saw that on a summer night with my Dad and my brother at a drive in. To a young boy, this was really exciting stuff. The guns, and the fact that the bad guy was like villain in a slasher flick, except that he was a robot underneath his skin. I was just completely blown away, and wanted to make dark, atmospheric stories that could excite as well as terrify.

What elements did you consider when making the campaign video?
I mostly thought of how I wanted people to get to know who I was and where my film making inspirations had come from. I am very confident in the work I have produced so far, and if the right people had a chance to see it, they might be interested enough to give the project a chance. I don’t do anything halfway. I go full tilt boogie!

How did you come up with the storyline? What inspired you? Who inspired you?
I came up with the character in high school, and just sketched him for a long time. I wanted someone who was tough like Robocop, cynical like Deckard from Blade Runner, and had a dual personality similar to Batman. I wanted to play a comic book character essentially, but have more underneath the suit that just an angry anti-hero. This guy has lived through some interesting times and has a bit of a dark past that he tries to escape. As for the biggest inspiration, other than Arnold Schwarzenegger, I really looked up to Harrison Ford, Peter Weller, and Kurt Russell. These guys were in some amazing films. As for directing and style, my man Ridley Scott has the best eye in the business, as far as I am concerned. I really enjoy interviews with him and behind the scenes documentaries. I learned a lot by studying his work.

What tools did you use when shooting the film?
Lots of props I had collected or built over the years, and called in some favors with a lot of talented friends. We primarily shot on RED, but the animation, was Adobe based with Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere.

What’s the best film making tip you’d like to share with our readers?
Film school if you can afford it. But the best training you could have is to be on a film set. Learn every job, and do every job if you can. It’s hard work, but if you stick with it, you can learn a lot of secrets and be proficient in making your own films that much better. Get a business card and always have it handy. You could get your next gig from doing a good job on your current gig.

How about casting? How did you choose the cast members for the film/video?
I wrote the main part for myself, as I was getting frustrated with the acting opportunities I was not able to secure. I have since been getting more and more challenging roles in the years leading up to now. As for the other parts, I chose friends who I knew I could count on to get the job done. There were a few parts where auditions were required. I study people’s reels, look at their film work, and then offer a part. I know talent when I see it. And I am blessed to have several talented people who agreed to work on this.

What do you think will make this film so special?
The world that is presented is unique and has a lot more room to grow. Cyberpunk has vast possibilities and we’ve just scratched the surface.

How is this different than your most recent projects?
It is something that has to be seen to be understood. I have worked on many dramas, but this one is so dense and vibrant, that it really stands out. I did a lot of physical work, fighting and using body language to express emotions. Similar to a creature suit performance. See the shorts and you will understand.

Previous articleFriend Dog Studios
Next article35 Directors Pick Their Favorite Movies of 2016
Melody Stewart is the founder of act.land and President of iactingstudioskc.com. She is a filmmaker in Kansas City.