The Daily Quarterly: What made you want to be in show business?
Steve Parker: Being a film buff to the tune of watching feature-length films at 100 per year for years was what got me started. That, and a friend who was listening to me critique a newly released movie’s opening credit sequence. I was explaining how they’d clearly chosen to portray the character in a specific way by the composition they used in the credits. My friend said to me, “Steve, you want to make movies!” After spending a week in shock, I realized she was right.
TDQ: What was your favorite thriller/horror movie growing up?
SP: The original “Halloween” is just amazing. Still love seeing it. As a general thriller, “The Hunt For Red October.”
TDQ: What is the best advice you ever got?
SP: “Instead of cutting film on a flat-bed, you could try this brand new thing for the Mac called Adobe Premier.” My very first film was a music video shot on 16mm, and I was so frustrated by the old-fashioned way of cutting a film. I’ve never looked back, and never shot on film again. Good riddance.
TDQ: What was the worst advice you ever got?
SP: The worst advice is actually recurring. “You can fix it in post.” Horrible advice. Get it right by design, the first time. Like Hitchcock.
TDQ: Who are your influences?
SP: The directors whose films really got me interested in making movies were a bunch of the indies like Gus Van Sant, John Greyson (“Lilies” especially), in terms of directors have to be at the top of that list. But I’d say I’m also particularly influenced by actors, like Sean Connery, Glenn Close, Jack Nicholson, and Bette Davis. Their performances are amazing, and a great performance tells even more story than was in the script.TDQ: Tell us about your latest film, “The Dark Place”
SP: “The Dark Place” is a mystery-thriller set on a winery, where the main character has returned to make peace with his mother. He left on bad terms, addicted, and regrets his past. With his father and brother tragically gone, he wants that one remaining part of his family back. Upon his return, he finds his mother has a new family, and it quickly becomes clear that he, his mom, and their family winery are all in grave danger. He must use all his skills to survive and save the day. His unique skill is a real condition, hyperthymesia. An almost video-playback like memory which has been a disability for him. It has kept him replaying the worst moments of his life endlessly. Now, instead of trying to suppress that ability, he needs to use it to piece together the mystery. Turn by turn, you’ll be trying to work out who is after him and his family.