A (Socially Distanced) Conversation with Zack Bernbaum

In a weird surprising turn of events, I found out that the director of The Dancing Dogs of Dombrova isn’t too far from me, so we met in person at a park, and sat the proper 6 feet apart and had a conversation.

We talk about Covid, theatres, his recent short film The Announcement and a bit of the journey that Dancing Dogs has had.

Andres: How have you been for Covid? Have you been busy?

Zack Bernbaum's Headshot

Zack: Like as busy as you can be? I have things in development that I was hoping to have been pushed farther along by this point. But Covid kind of interrupted things. You know, there’s something new that you’re trying to get off the ground, putting the pieces together is complicated on a good day. But now it’s even more so. I’m optimistic that things will progress and get back to relative normalcy, things are just going to take some time. I’m fortunate that I wasn’t about to film something, or in the middle of filming something. Cause I feel really bad about people who were in either situations. You put in all this time, effort, and money just to be shut down –

Andres: And then to try and have to find it all over again.

Zack: Yeah, if you can. So I feel bad for people in those situations. I was fortunate, but I also don’t know if I want to be filming something to that scale at the moment under the conditions you have to be in. There’s so much stress already in the filmmaking process, and trying to be creative and then having to go like “oh shit, I don’t want to kill someone, or send them to a hospital.” I don’t want to be responsible for someone getting sick, or passing it on to others. So that might be in the back of my mind. I’m fine not filming something big at the moment, but I’m sure by early next year, or later this year, alright, I just want to make something.

Andres: Yeah, pretty much.

Zack: How have you been?

Andres: I’ve been good. The good thing about the whole break was, a lot of times prior I was trying to focus on the site, while also focusing on work. The day job and all that. So now I was finally able to focus solely on the site. Except, for the first month. I admit, I spent the first month just playing video games and nothing else really. Just super lazy.

Zack: I think everyone did.

Andres: My first break in years, and I went “ooh, video games, every day.”

Zack: But it’s also the emotional toll of it all. Like shit, this world is kind of fucked. I can’t think straight right now. What games did you play?

Andres: I was playing the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, I think it came out soon after lockdown started. And eventually also played The Last of Us 2 [a second interview where it’s brought up]. I didn’t really get around to finish either of them.

Zack: The Last of Us 2 is a brutal game – I’m a PlayStation guy.

Andres: Same.

Zack: The Last of Us is probably my favourite game. The second one is, I would say equally good. But in a different way.

Andres: Yeah, I’ve gotten into arguments with friends who’ve said that The Last of Us 2 is a bad game. “It’s garbage.” And this and that.

Zack: I’m assuming you got to the point why people say that.

Andres: Yes, I did. There’s a friend at work who said that his favourite part of the first game was Joel –

Zack: Sure, yeah. He’s a good character.

Andres: But when they got rid of him so quickly, and then he went “now the game sucks.” Then I’m thinking that’s not a good explanation. Because you’re not liking the story to the game, but not that it sucks. You weren’t a fan of where they chose to go.

Zack: But even still, without experiencing the rest of it and dropping it and saying “No, I’m done. This sucks.” Maybe if you keep playing, we’ll find out why, or what does that say as a story, as a player, as a character, as an experience.

Andres: One of the other writers [shouting out Arianne again], they played the game, and they were telling me about the game here and there. The part I’m stuck on because legitmately, I’m a bit too scared to move forward – is when you play as Abby and you go into the hospital, and not going into the basement. And deal with that massive.

Zack: So you know what’s there?

Andres: I’ve been told, I’ve been warned.

Zack: It’s definitely creepy. It’s not the biggest part of the game, but when it happened, I was like “Holy shit!”

Andres: How long were you stuck on it?

Zack: I wasn’t stuck on it. Wait, have you tried to beat it but haven’t been able to?

Andres: I have not attempted. But Arianne spent a day or two on it, another friend spent a day or two on it as well.

Zack: I passed it on the first go around. I may have died a couple times, but at least on the first “attempt” at it. But I’m also playing at the regular difficulty.

Andres: I probably played the one below the most extreme I think. I enjoy a slight challenge.

Zack: I want to not throw my controller at the screen.

Andres: Yeah, and as much as I love both games, the reason why I love it isn’t really the gameplay of it. It’s because of the story. It’s a movie. It’s designed like a movie.

Zack: What I find amazing about games, like I’m a single player gamer, you know primarily for story engagement. It’s less than “oh you’re playing a movie” but rather, you’re inhabiting – you know, there’s very few strong video game adaptations. It’s because it’s hard to capture the feeling of inhabiting the character and making choices for a character. Even when you don’t necessarily have the choice. There are parts of The Last of Us 2 where there are things that you have to do, that you don’t want to. And then being forced to make those choices, is so hard.

Andres: Yes, I played a moment with Ellie where you’re forced to use a tire iron. And she kept bashing it on someone. The choice to never cut away from her, never who’s she hitting. It’s making you watch what you’re doing. They’re telling you “go on, you HAVE to do this.”

Zack: And there are a number of moments like that within the game, and you can try and recreate it in the movie and make a character do something that you don’t like, but to make you be the one to press square. “But I don’t want to.” Well, you either you don’t, and the game doesn’t progress, or you have to do it. And to have that level of intimacy.

Andres: I recently covered Fantasia, and there was a director I spoke to (John Hsu) who directed a film called Detention. It’s based on an indie game out of Taiwan about when it was ruled by China. But it’s a game adaptation and I think the movie is spectacular. After seeing gameplay of it, it feels like a proper adaptation to it. But that director is also doing VR work as well. He made me interested in all the other things that go into that. It got to make me think about the differences between VR, and games, and even movies, stories.

Zack: Yeah, there’s so many different avenues for a story.

Andres: Also because of Fantasia, I got to see Clapboard Jungle – which I loved – the film version.

Zack: Which I’m in!

Andres: Are you? I saw your name and thought you might be in the series version.

Zack: Yeah, I look a little different then. [Laughs] I’m on screen for maybe 10 seconds. My part was filmed back in 2014 or 2015.

Andres: He [Justin McConnell] helped produced your last film, right?

Zack: Yeah, he executive produced Cold Deck so that’s how I know him. And that’s when the interview was from, around that time period. So for Cold Deck, I got involved because they were looking for a director and producer. The main person on it was Stéfano Gallo. He started it, wrote the original script, raised a bunch of the finiacing. So they were looking for somebody to direct and produce, and I’m like, yeah this is a cool project. But to direct and produce fully for this, on this budget, it’s just a lot. So I came to exec produce and found them the producers. And it was more of an oversight type of thing. Justin was there as an exec producer as well, even before I was on board because he and Stefano were friends. So Justin was very instrumental in selecting who directed and helped produce, and that part of the process. I really like Justin, he’s a really good guy. Very talented, and hard-working.

Andres: Yeah, seeing his documentary was seeing all this constant work and sometimes the sadness of seeing one or two of his films almost get there, and then have to stop.

Zack: But it happens to all of us. You have some of the finiacing, some of the cast, some of the gear, and then you’re looking for that least piece, and it just doesn’t work.

Andres: Originally, before going into being a critic, I’ve wanted to be a screenwriter. There was one short I wrote back in like 2014, and every year, I try and make it. But something always happens. This year seemed the most possible, and we were going to do it for May, but then, Pandemic.

Zack: It’s like an on-going joke of like “this year will be it!” but never happening.

Andres: Pretty much. After my whole month off as a break and video games, I bought a MacBook and starting writing and being more productive. Wrote this very short 9 page script, small cast of 2, and hope to try and film in November or something. Cause that would be way easier of a production to do.

Zack: Yeah, if it’s small cast, and a couple locations –

Andres: It’s one, and it’ll probably be my own apartment.

Zack: Yeah, and if you know someone who has cameras and geas, and actors. It can be done. I know people who have been filming. TV shows are back to filming. Big studio movies are back.

Andres: It’s weird and scary. Movies like The Batman that have started and stopped, and started and stopped.

Zack: That’s something I wouldn’t want. But there are studios that can back the insurance, and we don’t have that. Which is the big problem. But that’ll be the question moving forward where literally everyone is signing liability waivers.

Andres: So did you film The Announcement prior then?

Zack: Yeah, we got really lucky. We shot it about two or so weeks before everything shut down.

Andres: In around February then?

Zack: Yeah. Covid was – around. We weren’t really tracking it here in Canada, the borders were still open. Nothing was closed yet. So nobody was worried about it and went “I don’t want to do this short.” So we got really fortunate, filmed it about two weeks or so before everything shut down. And the nature of it being one shot and everything like that, post-production still took a bit longer than anticipated because everyone had to transition to work from home. There’s also, if you think about it, the composer Erica Procunier who is awesome, it’s 12 to 13 minutes of wall-to-wall music. That alone, it’s hard to explore and be creative when everything shuts down and the world is on fire. It’s hard to just be creative. It’s hard to say “I’m going to work on this 12 minute short the day after the world shuts down.” So it took a bit more time to get it up and running, the post-work flow. But luckily, we didn’t have to edit. We select the take we wanted, pick our in and out point and send that to all of our departments. It was helpful because for editing – to edit on a short like that, or to edit anything without being in the room with the editor, it’s hard. You want to have that personal dialogue, and explore and yeah, there’s so much that comes from that interaction. Like “You do a cut, and then I’ll make notes, and then I’ll do a cut, and you make notes.” It works, there’s nothing wrong with that, you do lose some of that flair, that discovery. So luckily for The Announcement, we didn’t have to do any formal editing. We still had an editor on board to help with the post-work flow and the process. But there was no cutting.

Andres: Was it a single day shoot?

Zack: Yeah, it was a rehearsal, prep day and then shoot day. It was over a weekend. Saturday was a pre-light, art department dress, after rehearsal, some blocking. Stunt, coordination, safety. And then we filmed it all on the Sunday, wrapped out. It was fun though, it definitely makes you think about a lot of things at once. Assuming everything goes well throughout that entire take, we’re not cutting for 12 minutes, and there’s a lot of beats to hit. It gave a buzz and excitement you know, watching things back on a monitor afterwards where there’s no dialogue, there’s no nothing. It’s basically a silent take for 12 minutes. Everyone was crowding around – when we were allowed to do that around a monitor. It was exciting and we were captivated by it, and we’re like, “okay this is cool, this is working. People are digging it.”

Andres: So for The Dancing Dogs of Dombrova, you have a story credit on it? And then Michael Whatling has a sole credit, so how did that begin? Did he approach you, or did you guys kind of brainstorm it together?

Zack: So the genesis of The Dancing Dogs of Dombrova is that, it’s inspired by grandmother – my bubbie, like where she comes from. My grandmother is from a town called Dąbrowa Górnicza. She had a dog named Peter, a lot of the stories in the film about you know, World War 2 and the Halocaust, and the death marches. Those are real stories, so a lot of the stories are truthful or inspired by things that my grandmother went through. The title of the movie kind of came first, we were spending time with my grandmother and my family, my sister’s dog starts jumping, and my bubbie is like “oh she’s dancing!” And then we’re like “It’s a dancing dog” and my grandma is from Dombrova, this title kind of sparked and resonated. I kind of sat with it for a while, but it kept gnawing at me. I guess no pun intended – but eventually, I was like if it came to me because of my bubbie, I guess there should be some sort of grandmotherly influence on the story. Being the grandson, I kind of have this certain insight on that sort of relationship, especially with ancestry and heritage. I kind of came up with this idea of this brother and sister going to Poland, to find the remains of this dog, and then I started breaking it down. Like, okay, who could these people be? What could this quest be like, who would they interact with? A couple of pages of thoughts of what do I want this to be, like the tone of it, I kind of want it to be – mostly also because the title alone is absurd and strange, and the premise itself was strange. So alright, there needs to be some level of absurdity to it, but I don’t want it to be too far out there and wacky so it landed on this absurdist drama tonality for it. And then I took it to Michael because he and I worked together on another project that we’re developing called Cut for Stone, and really enjoyed working with Michael and he’s a really, really talented writer. And kind of pitched him this idea, like “hey what do you think? I’d like to develop this, would you like to be involved?” and he really resonated with the story, and the concept. So he and I brainstormed out from there about what the story is and then he went out from there and did his stuff, he presented to me. We talked about it further, and once we were happy with it, like roughly, this is what the story could be. He then and went and wrote the script.

Andres: I was curious a bit about your production company, Ezeqial Productions and the history of it. It was there for your first feature, right?

Zack: Yeah, so I’ve operating under the banner of Ezeqial Productions since I was at Ryerson for Film School. So I think I started using it as a “production company” probably back in 2008. It didn’t officially become incorporated into a real entity until 2012 I believe. And so, the features I’ve been involved with, I’ve executively produced both And Now A Word From Our Sponsor and Cold Deck, so Ezeqial Productions had an association credit on those projects. And then with The Dancing Dogs of Dombrova, was developed in house, so it was a full production credit on that one. But also, speaking about family and history, the name Ezeqial, it’s for me, my Hebrew name is Yechezkel. Named after my grandfather, like the bubbie from Dancing Dogs, her husband before I was born. I’m named after him. So when I was thinking about names for the company, I thought that would be kind of nice, to honour part of my heritage. But because Ezekiel is a biblical name, and I’m not making bibical movies, I didn’t want to be misconstrued that it’s a religious production company. So I changed the K to a Q for artistic purposes, it still sounds the same, but it doesn’t look –

Andres: Nobody’s going to look at it and expect bible stories.

Zack: Exactly. So even bringing it back to Dancing Dogs, family and heritage and where you come from, it’s important to know, cherish and keep in your thoughts.

Andres: You’ve mentioned Cut For Stone, there’s also two other films in development, are all three of those films that you’re planning to direct as well?

Zack: That’s the hope. For me, I’m a director-producer. You know, Cut For Stone similar genesis of Dancing Dogs, I had this idea, broke it down a little bit and took it to Michael. And he wrote this really awesome script and so for me, these are projects that I hope to direct. If we get too busy and you can’t or it doesn’t make sense from a finicial structure and there’s other people involved that could help get the movie made or to the next level. That’s always a consideration. But I try to find projects that I am excited by both creatively, and practically. Always would hope to direct them, but it’s not an exclusive mandate.

Andres: So then you have a story credit for Cut For Stone as well?

Zack: Yes, I do, it says it on the script. Like story by Michael and I, but written by him.

Andres: Is that something you prefer? To direct from other people’s works, or is scriptwriting something in your back pocket?

Zack: Yeah that’s the thing. For me, I’m a storyteller. Looking at a blank page and saying “I’m going to write 100 pages” is not where my brain goes. Being able to talk to writers and collaborating with writers, and break story, and talk through character and theme. And being able to read a script and see what works, and doesn’t. How do we come up with creative solutions or ideas to reframe something. It’s something I seem to have a knack for and interact well with screenwriters, but I’m not really a screenwriter. For those projects I have a story credit, especially if they’re developed from the ground up. There’s another project I have called (An)other, I don’t have a story credit on because the writer worked on it from the ground up, the heavy lifting of crafting this story. And I was there to collaborate and help guide that. But it wasn’t as hands on as me saying “hey I have this document. What do you think?”

Andres: That was one I read the little synopsis and went “oh that sounds amazing.”

Zack: It’s a cool script. It’s something I’m pushing forward right now. Katherine Fogler who’s in Dancing Dogs is involved in it as well. It’s a really cool idea, it has this sci-fi – it’s a sci-fi and family drama. In the vein of Colossal, or Being John Malkovich, that kind of sci-fi. Where it’s grounded and it has –

Andres: A strange little twist.

Zack: yeah, a strange little twist. And it’s never commented on the why’s or how’s of it. Because it’s almost not the important part, the important part is what does it reveal about the character and how does it influence and reveal who this person is and what do they want. Versus, “oh it’s flashy.” I almost consider it like a blue-collar sci-fi.

Andres: So when you filmed Dancing Dogs, you filmed it in Romania?

Zack: Correct.

Andres: What was that experience like?

Zack: Cold. [Laughs].

Andres: It looks cold! So you got that part.

Zack: [Laughs] Well that’s good! The film was set in Poland, but we went to Romania for a number of reasons. The cinematographer and one of the producers on this, Stephen Chandler White. We’ve been working together since – back in Ryerson, so over ten years. And he had been to Romania a number of times, and had filmed there and had a lot of connections to local producers. So that was kind of a beneficial avenue to explore further, instead of trying from the ground up. Especially since we were able to put the project together, quite quickly. Which is rare. But, by keeping the budget a little bit smaller, we were able to say “hey, we have this script that we’re happy with.” We can film this in 3 or 4 months, versus spending the time in – if we were going to film in Poland, it would probably be in the following year. By the time we starting building those connections and that trust. Another part of it was just from a budgetary perspective. It makes sense to take it to Romania. And really glad that we did. It’s a beautiful country, it looks great on camera. And it has some really wonderful actors. The project really flourished in Romania.

Andres: Other than your two leads, was everyone else from Romania?

Zack: Only a handful of us that went over seas. The two leads Katherine and Doug, were obviously Canadian. Everyone else was local. We did casting, callbacks and tapes.

Andres: They all seemed to fit well with the movie, they were great.

Zack: They were! It was remarkable. Like for one, a lot of them are performing in not their first language. In terms of English, but also a lot of them had to learn another language, they had to learn Polish. Which is not easy to do, and even further, the actor that plays the Rabbi doesn’t even speak English, but he’s performing in English. He literally had to phonetically learn his lines. And it’s remarkable watching him – like I wouldn’t be able to do that. The dedication of these performers were really remarkable.

Andres: I’m Spanish, and I can barely speak the language, and for them to go and learn one that’s not of my blood. And perform it on screen –

Zack: And for him, he didn’t just learn his own lines, but the other actors as well? Because he knew when they were finishing to talk, and it was his prompt. Like there wasn’t any awkward silence and then he spoke, he was actually acting and reacting to Katherine and Doug. It was really cool to experience that, and I think he did a really good job. But beyond that, it’s also that dedication is something that you don’t see everyday.

Andres: Once you submitted the film to the festivals, were you expecting all these accolades? I wrote some of them down. Audience Choice, Best Actress, Best Feature – twice. Best Director.

Zack: It’s nice. You don’t really go into it to win awards. Obviously, you’re making this it’s a story that you feel passionate about, and you feel like you need to tell. Not just want to tell, but need to tell it. And this one in particular, because this one is so personal of a story. But the biggest thing is, you just want to find an audience. You want people to engage with the film that you’ve created. And hopefully they enjoy it. But for me, the biggest thing is just saying like “hey, please watch this.” Because there’s so much content out there, there’s so much choice of what people can watch. So not only to be selected for festivals, and the amount that we were selected for was awesome, but to have audiences show up and be engaged with it, and going to these festivals and having Q&A’s, and be able to talk face to face with this audience is for me – the special part. The awards are sort of the cherry on top. Obviously, it’s nice, it’s helpful. Having those laurels and awards, for sales – it’s great. But really, that audience participation is what makes it special. And I guess it’s harder these days with less in-person screenings, Doing more digital and pre-recorded Q&A’s. I feel that’s something that you miss out for that festival experience.

Andres: Yeah, it’s weird. Even with TIFF just ending, every year I attend, and try to cover it in some form, and normally I watch about 15 movies or so. This year I did four? And it’s weird cause it’s digital, and their system was strange. You could “rent” it for after 6, but after you can watch it any time for the next twelve hours. After you watched it. So I thought I was going to end up watching even more considering there was even less films for the festival, but I don’t know.

Zack: I saw a few things, I saw One Night in Miami

Andres: Oh, yes. It’s amazing!

Zack: Which was good! I really liked that. I also saw Nomadland, which was also really good.

Andres: I didn’t get to see it but Arianne did, and said it was really great.

Zack: And then there was a third, but I can’t remember. I remember liking it. [It ended up being Concrete Cowboy. He remembered a few days after the interview and told me.]

Andres: I saw Shiva Baby.

Zack: I wanted to see that one.

Andres: It was kind of hilarious, but also anxiety inducing. It did get picked up, so it’ll be around. I saw that, One Night In Miami, Good Joe Bell, which was okay. And then I also saw Violation.

Zack: I think I heard some good things about that one.

Andres: It was really great. I saw some people say, it was like a rape-revenge flick, but through the lens of Lars Von Trier? So it was spacious and meditative at times. It was one of the films I was glad to watch at home and not in the Ryerson theatre. Cause it made me feel so trapped, and I was glad I was able to pause it and go walk around the apartment. It was really good! And one of the co-directors and the main actress is from Toronto Film School, which is a really cool thing. So, after the festival run, how was that been? With distribution and stuff?

Zack: Yeah, well the film comes out tomorrow – as of recording this. [My sit down with Zack was on Monday the 21st, it was released on the 22nd.] After Whistler, we hooked up with our sales agent Concourse Media, which was very good. Which was not only International sales, but they also got it for our North American distributor, Film Movement. It’s been good! It’s the kind of thing that once you make those sales and it’s in their hands, you’re involved – but much more removed from the process. You’re kind of at the mercy of “alright, when do they want to release it, what do they want to do.” They’ve been doing a good job, and I’m really excited to get it out there. That’s the point, you want to share it with audiences. Get people to watch it.

Andres: Did you get your copy yet?

Zack: Yes, I got a DVD of it. It just arrived this morning, very happy about it. It’s nice to actually have on the shelf. Some of my movies were harder to get. So I asked them if I can get a copy, and they’re like “yeah here! We’ll mail it.” and I’m like perfect, that’s great.

Andres: Do you have copies of all your films?

Zack: I do now. It took me a while to get one of my first film And Now A Word From Our Sponsor, but for Cold Deck I have one, and now Dancing Dogs. It’s nice to have – as much as everyone is watching digitally these days and I’m sure 90% of your sales are going to be iTunes, and Vudu, and Amazon or wherever else. Having a physical copy that you can put on your shelf and you can say “I made this” is really cool.

Andres: I’m very much a physical media person still. If I can, I’m getting that. I spent way too much time on iTunes during lockdown. I just bought so many movies or TV shows, like “oh there’s a sale of the entire Saw series for like 30 bucks, sure.”

Zack: Yeah, there’s seven of those? That’s a good deal.

Andres: Yeah exactly! It’s not bad. And then – I started Buffy and I’ve never seen it before.

Zack: It’s very good!

Andres: It’s very good! And the entire season was $39.99 – or series. And for all of it for forty bucks? I can’t go wrong. And everyone has told me how good it is.

Zack: I remember in high school, I was kind of shitting on the show without ever seeing an episode. I had a girlfriend in grade nine or something who was in love with Spike. And I’m like “Spike is stupid.”

Andres: And then you saw Spike, and you’re like “I get it.”

Zack: And then a few years later, and I gave it a try. Everyone says it’s good. And then I saw all seven seasons in like a week and a half. I was like “this is really good. I see the appeal, yes Spike is pretty awesome.”

Andres: Spike is probably my favourite character on the show. When I was in high school, the girl I was seeing was obsessed with Robert Pattinson, and Twilight. So for a long time, I was like, no I don’t like him, I don’t want to see anything he’s in. But now he’s one of my favourite actors.

Zack: He’s a great actor. He and Kristen Stewart have done a very good job of changing the conversation and rebranding themselves. And doing some very interesting choices.

Andres: There was a Twitter post I saw once, if someone today said that Pattinson and Stewart would be in a movie about vampires, I’d line up right now before it even comes out. It is very interesting and cool to see how they were able to readjust and such.

Zack: But also look at Leonardo DiCaprio back in Titanic, a teen heartthrob. And now you’re like, no, anything he’s in, he is the “go-to” A-list actor. Just because you do something early that’s not as prestigious doesn’t mean you’re not a good actor. Or good talent. Sometimes –

Andres: Sometimes a gig is just a gig.

Zack: Yeah exactly! But yeah, they’re both really good.

Andres: What are some of the actors you’re one day hoping to work with?

Zack: It usually depends on what I’ve seen recently. After seeing One Night in Miami, and Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr. is pretty phenomenal. My girlfriend and I had tickets for Hamilton before everything shut down, she had seen it, and I hadn’t. So we watched it on Disney, and after “The Room Where it Happens,” I’m like this guy is amazing.

Andres: Did she see the original cast?

Zack: I don’t think she did – but she saw it early on. After Nomadland, I’d also love to work with Frances McDormand, I do have a soft spot with Stanley Tucci. It’s always role dependent. There’s so many unique and interesting actors that like, even when I’m creating a lookbook or casting breakdowns and stuff like that, there’s the go-to of “Oh yeah this could be X.” Like who would be that out of the box type of choice, like when I see that actor take that risk, and say “this is what I usually do, but go with me on it.” I find that it can go poorly, but more often than not, there’s something – it becomes a lot more interesting. Even like, back to Batman but when Heath Ledger was the Joker. And the fan outrage came and people went “Oh the guy from The Knight’s Tale?” and no, the guy is an amazing actor.

Andres: I have gotten into arguments with friends over Pattinson as Batman. Since it was announced.

Zack: It looks great.

Andres: It was when he was announced, not for the trailer. I feel the trailer was to shut anyone up who was against it. But somebody on Facebook was like I don’t really like him. So I asked what was the last film you saw with him, and they said “most of New Moon.” And I’m like well a lot has changed.

Zack: I just saw The Lighthouse, and it was such a weird movie – but both him and Willem DaFoe are so unhinged.

Andres: I have no idea if I like The Lighthouse. But their performances are amazing.

Zack: I don’t know if I totally liked it either, but from a filming perspective, it’s fucking amazing. And for performances, some of the stuff they’re doing and willing to do, is just so out there. And the choices they’re making, and how extreme it’s getting. It’s captivating. Just watching them. I don’t know if I “like” it. But thinking about the types of performances these people are giving, yeah that’s out there. That’s something you don’t see every day. There’s always actors I want to work with – I don’t usally have a list on hand.

You can go rent or buy his latest film The Dancing Dogs on Dombrova now. I already have.

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