This week’s TDQ Q&A is with film producer Daemon Hillin. Daemon spoke to us about his company, Benetone Films, and their latest effort, “PERNICIOUS” as well as how a kid from California ended up working for the biggest film company in Thailand. Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A with Daemon Hillin:The Daily Quarterly: What made you want to be in show business?
Daemon Hillin: I have loved film ever since I was a kid. Film can take you on a journey no matter what kind of day you are having. Growing up I didn’t really have a clue what producing was, but as my business savvy increased I really found a great opportunity to pursue something that I love with all my heart.
TDQ: Who was your favorite film producer growing up?
DH: Steven Spielberg without a doubt.
TDQ: Who are your influences?
DH: My Grandfather and my Mother. Couldn’t have done anything without them.
TDQ: What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
DH: “You are your word.”
TDQ: What is the worst advice you’ve ever gotten?
DH: That’s a tough one, because the advice might have been good, but the timing bad.
DH: Benetone Films is the biggest production company in Thailand. We have been rated number 1 by the Thai film commission six years in a row. We do about 100 commercials a year, eight Bollywood Films and two US films. My partners are some of the smartest and kindest men I have ever met. Not only do I contribute, but I am also taught by a great group of guys!
TDQ: You grew up in California, what led you to a production company in Thailand?
DH: Fate is a funny thing. I had been visiting Thailand my whole life spending time there for vacation. When the opportunity came up to make a film in Thailand I jumped on it and pushed with all my heart to make it happen. The film went well, then Benetone Films bought my US company Hillin Entertainment. We are now eight films deep in four years.
TDQ: Tell us about Benetone’s first theatrical release, “PERNICIOUS.”
DH: Our first Theatrical was actually “A Stranger In Paradise” starring Colin Egglesfield, Stuart Townsend and Oscar-Nominated Catalina Sandino Moreno.
Pernicious is my second film that I shot in Thailand that we have a theatrical for. This film was really myself and Rachvin and Kulthep coming together and trying to take Thai folklore and pretty ladies and turn it into a gruesome film.
We then hired James to flesh out some ideas based on our parameters, and, boom, we had “PERNICIOUS.”
TDQ: What other projects are you working on?
DH: By The Rivers Of Babylon (Thriller), starring Crispin Glover, Connie Stevens, Mark Boone Jr, and Joely Fisher. We are in post and this will be finished soon.
“Killing Winston Jones” (a dark comedy), starring Richard Dreyfus, Danny Glover, Jon Heder, Danny Masterson, Aly Mychalka, Tyler Labine, and Lyne Shae. Also in post.
“Oliver Storm and The Curse of Sinbad’s Treasure” is in development. It is “Goonies” meets “Indiana Jones” and will be shot in Thailand.
TDQ: How do you think the Internet and Netflix and Vimeo has changed how people watch films? And is it a good change or a bad one?
DH: I feel like these platforms have put the Indie Film maker on a more equal footing with the big guys. We can actually place our films on the same platforms and get the necessary exposure. If distributors say no to our film, we aren’t shut down; we can go direct to the consumer.
TDQ: Where do you see yourself and Benetone in five years?
DH: I see our budgets getting much bigger and our distribution flourishing. I’ve never been more proud of a company. This is my life!