Artsploitation Interview w/ George Moise, Director of Counter-Clockwise
1. What was your inspiration for the story of Counter-Clockwise?
Well, the inspiration came from Walt. He's a big Philip K. Dick fan and read a short story that inspired him. Instead of a time machine it was like a rift in spacetime where someone walked through it and appeared in the future. I added the time machine, but the core concept of a guy traveling 6 months in the future to a dark upside down world is all Walt.
2. How is this different from other time travel shows, like Back to the Future and Doctor Who?
I've only seen one episode of Dr. Who so I really couldn't comment on it. As far as Back to the Future, in that movie Marty goes back 30 years, in our movie Ethan goes forward 6 months. Also, the creation of time travel is an accident in our movie, whereas Doc worked towards that goal for 30 years.
3. What was the most challenging element of getting Counter-Clockwise made?
Extensive reshoots. Part of it was figuring out the tone of the main performance, and part of it was realizing a lot of the scenes could be better. That was hard, and expensive. But seeing the scenes get better and better was very encouraging.
4. Could you elaborate on the creative behind the fantastic teleportation animation sequences?
Ha, that's very nice of you! First of all I did all those: I designed them, animated them, composited them. I was going for an 80's retro tone, kind of like INNER SPACE meets THE FLY. Very low tech. The last thing I wanted was a bunch of fancy 3D schematics like IRON MAN.
5. What was your most memorable day on set / and why?
Probably when we shot the car scene where Mike gets kidnapped. The actor playing Rossio, Caleb Brown, had some difficulty figuring out what I wanted, and I had trouble telling him. We're friends, and hang out, so I knew what a wild man he was. I finally said, "dude, just fucking act like you do when we get breakfast. That's what I want." When that clicked in, and he let go, it was very thrilling to watch. Another memorable day was the interrogation scene. Cliff Morts, the cop, was so funny and so real, he gave me a million good options and I very very happy.
6. How was it working with Michael Kopelow?
Michael's amazing, and my best friend in the world. As I said, it took a little time to figure out the right tone for his character, but once we did, he was great. You'd never know that was an issue. Michael was also, no kidding: craft service, props, production designer, 1st AD, signed actors in and out for SAG, and producer. Not to mention the writer. I'd like to make a movie with him where he was just the actor or just the writer.
7. What would your ideal compliment be from an audience member who just watched Counter-Clockwise?
Wow that's a good question. I guess I would want someone to tell me they could tell that every shot, every cut, was very carefully considered and executed. That would make me very happy, because I agonize over that stuff.
8 Anything we should know about working with dogs in movies?
Ha, get a well behaved one! Charlie, that's the dog's real name, was, from what I've heard, an unbelievably well behaved dog. He just sat there and breathed. He almost never ran away when we needed him.
9. If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently - if anything?
Ha! I wouldn't have done so many reshoots! Oh my God, so many.
10. What's next for George Moise?
Well, my next film is called THE SMELL OF NIGHT. It's an homage to 80’s action movies about a reckless LA cop assigned to investigate the murder of his commanding officer and mentor. But all the evidence points to him as the killer. He’s forced to enter the seedy underworld of political corruption to clear his name and uncover the mystery.