Exclusive Interview: Director Andrew Jara Talks ‘LAST DAYS’ And Upcoming Plans For The Film
I met Andrew Jara at Fright Night Film Fest in Louisville, Ky. back in June while he was there screening his movie LAST DAYS, a post-apocalyptic/zombie thriller. The movie is a cool slow burn, it’s shot well and has a great small cast and definitely one people will want to check out and festivals should really be on the lookout for.
Check out my latest Versus with writer/director Andrew Jara as he shares in detail, how he came up with the idea for Last Days, his influences and lots more! Definitely keep an eye on this talented guy from El Paso, Texas!
Alien Bee - First off tell how you come up with the idea for Last Days.
Andrew Jara – Well, I’m from El Paso, TX and at night, the city is dead. There is no one on the streets even though it is quite large. So it really came from that feeling that you get where no one is around. There was that and the idea that if you pick out a small group of random people you never know who is who and what their true motivations are. I really wanted to have a sense of what the end of the world could be for regular people that didn’t have all the answers.
Alien Bee - Were there any movies that influenced you to make this?
Andrew Jara – Oh yeah, I love John Carpenter’s The Thing. I must have watched it ten times when we were filming. I love those kind of slower paced film where things keep building and building until the end. We were trying to keep the audience guessing and wanted to play with trust. Who can you really trust and who you should put your trust in? Carpenter does that so well in The Thing. But we looked at all types of films like the styles of Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. Like our film, both are set in a very tight, confined area. So we wanted to see how they did it without relieving the tension. We also used the George A. Romeo’s template for how the zombies should act. One shot to the head, slower walking dead type of stuff. I tried to use as much from films I loved as possible to help tell this story.
Alien Bee - I like the post-apocalyptic feel to the film. Would you call it that or a zombie film or both?
Andrew Jara -I like to say it’s a thriller set in a zombie world. It’s definitely post-apocalyptic and we tried to stress that. Our characters are running out of food, they don’t always make the headshot or know how to hot wire cars. They make real mistakes. We wanted to keep it real in that sense, which hopefully added a sense of danger and unpredictability to the story.
Alien Bee - You just screened the movie at Fright Night Film Fest. Do you plans for other cons/fest screenings?
Andrew Jara – Yeah, we are trying to get it into festivals all over the country right now. Trying to spread the word as much as possible. As a filmmaker, you want as many people to see it. The horror community has been great and they have shown us a lot of love even though we don’t have any stars so we are trying to get it out to them.
Alien Bee - You’re looking for distribution. How’s that going?
Andrew Jara – It’s going slowly. As I said, we don’t have any stars but hopefully what we do have is good characters and a different type of story that I hope people can enjoy and relate to. So hopefully as we screen it in more places, we can get more interest. But finding distribution can be slow so for now we’re just enjoying taking it out to people as much as we can.
Alien Bee - Do you have any other projects you have planned or are you just focusing on Last Days right now.
Andrew Jara – Yes, I’m always working on scripts. But I also finished a documentary entitled, Humble Spirits: A Family of Fighters, about boxing. That one just got selected to play at the Plaza Classic Film Festival so we’re excited for that. I’m also focused on getting Last Days out to people and getting a buzz around it.
Alien Bee - Is there a website, Facebook page or Twitter where everyone can keep up with Last Days?
Andrew Jara – Yes, we have all of that, where you can check out trailers, clips and interviews.
Alien Bee - Would you like to say anything to everyone checking thsi out?
Andrew Jara – I just really wanted to thank the sci-fi/horror community. They have really embraced our film. It’s scary taking your film out to festivals especially when you have a thriller like ours that takes it’s time but so far the reaction has been great. People have come up to me after the shows and told me how much they like it or they seek out the facebook page so it has really been great getting to meet these people and having them like something you worked so hard on.