Bill Oberst Goes “COYOTE”

Bill Oberst

Bill Oberst Jr.

I have made it clear that I am a huge fan of Bill Oberst Jr.! He is one of the finest actors and I have the privilege of interviewing him for my show “Conversations with Friends and Creators.”

(You can see it here).

Check out Bill’s new movie COYOTE. Here is the summary:

Coyote is a surreal look into the broken mind of mentally disturbed writer, Bill (Bill Oberst, Jr.) as he chronicles his nightmares and hallucinations. Compulsive insomnia drives Bill over the edge of sanity as his aggressive behavior evolves into a sadistic rampage.

This movie is directed by the amazing up and Trevor Juenger.

Here’s an interview with Bill did for the movie:

When did you first get in touch with Trevor Juenger?

I wrote to Trevor last January after finding some of his online clips. I thought his work typified what cinema is supposed to be; thought-provoking and fearless, and that’s exactly what I wrote. We exchanged a few mails and nine months later he sends me COYOTE with a note saying “I started working on this screenplay after you contacted me way back when. I’ve had you in mind before the first letter was typed in this thing. I can’t see anyone other than you in the role.” Trevor knows how to get an actor’s attention.

What was your initial thought when you finally read the first draft for “Coyote”?

Well, I smiled a lot because I really like odd, thought-provoking material. Then I thought, “If this could be actually be filmed as it is written, it might be a cult classic.” My second thought was “What if we fail?” And then a quote I loved as a boy popped into my head. It’s from Teddy Roosevelt: ‘The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood…who, at the best, knows the triumph of high achievement and if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.’ There’s a lot of dust and blood and sweat to mar my face in “Coyote”, so I took it as a good sign. I’m going to give my heart and soul and all my strength to Trevor and his team to make this weird and wonderful script a reality. By this time next year I want people all over the world walking out of film festivals saying, “Hmm I’m not sure what the hell I just saw but I think I wanna see it again.”

I’ve had the pleasure of reading the script for “Coyote” and it’s a pretty out there movie. Is this going to be a different project for you, compared to the other movies you’ve worked on? It will be different because most of the movies I’ve done have been linear in their storytelling. Certainly there’s a place for that; big showpiece dramas like the Hallmark Channel movies I do, for instance, really have to be done that way to reach their mass audiences. But there is also a place for film that plays like thought; cinema that feels like being inside your own mind…or someone else’s mind. Our minds are messy places with random, stray thoughts and forbidden corners and constant time-shifts. Our minds are not linear (at least mine isn’t) and neither is “Coyote”. It’s a bizarre script full of night visions and imaginary horrors mixed with real life. I am German, and maybe that has something to do with why this appeals to me. Trevor reminds me of the German Expressionist writers and directors of the silent era, who set the tone for horror itself. I think he is a director for people who love cinema as an art form.

What are you most excited about when it comes to working on “Coyote”?

I’m most excited about playing a character who doesn’t talk much. I did that in short form in the Facebook application ‘Take This Lollipop’ and it turned out to be the most popular mass appeal thing I have done. I got thousands of mails from people who watched it; booked two features off of it and I never said a word in that performance. Trevor has made the lead character in “Coyote” a very laconic guy. He speaks mainly through voice-overs from his own head. That’s a hard form of acting, but like I said, I’m German, so I’m very into self-discipline. I’m already doing character work on Trevor’s project even though we don’t shoot until July. I don’t want to let him down.

Do you think that because Coyote isn’t a straight-forward horror movie or typical, that it’ll be harder for people to approach? Or do you think Trevor’s usual arthouse influence and style is what’s going to make it stand out?

The arthouse style is totally the sell here. I don’t think you can go too artsy on a film like this, although you want it to be coherent. But you also want the audience to enjoy deciding what it means to them. Horror fans are smart. I know them. I am one myself. It’s a misnomer to think that because a person likes the horror genre they don’t want to think. Good horror takes place in the mind. I want “Coyote” to be a film that delights and disturbs, at the same time! A film you can watch at 3am and feel really weird and unsettled afterwards. It’s only a movie, you know, but if film doesn’t disturb and upset a little, what’s the point? I’m a little biased here, because I have a face made for horror. Me and Lon Chaney are both described as “ugly fuckers” on IMDb. So I’m OK with the company.

Sell us on “Coyote” but in five words or less.

Nude woman sucks insect thumb.

Check out the trailer:

Coyote Trailer from Trevor Juenger on Vimeo.

NOTE: The interview is courtesy of Trevor Juenger/Coyote site.

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One thought on “Bill Oberst Goes “COYOTE”

  1. Don, thank you for your very early support of Trevor Juenger’s film Coyote! The movie has just started to make its way into the public eye and already has 20 positive reviews on IMDb http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2385041/externalreviews I think Trevor may have made a cult classic here, and I am grateful to have been a part of it. I appreciate your kind words and your support for indie film more than I can say.

    Bill Oberst Jr.
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2454994/

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