Last weekend The Overlook Theatre ventured out to Santa Rosa. Our quest was to explore the fabled Silver Scream Festival. Unlike every other horror gathering to hit the Bay Area in recent years, the Silver Scream Festival was to emphasize films and not just act as a money pit.
As it turned out SSF2016 was exactly as it advertised. The second floor of the Roxy 14 was blocked off for Silver Scream screenings and booths. The Roxy 14, which has no street parking, offered their parking garage for free, ticket prices were cheap, and the fest offered 4 continuous rooms of movies.
Early Sunday morning KillDozer had eaten breakfast and watched 2 films before Huntress, The Impostor, and I (Lord Battle) had even arrived. It was the second film on that rainy Sunday morning that struck KillDozer in such a way that he felt inspired to reach out to the filmmakers for an interview. Thus Digging Up The Dirt was unearthed.
For thousands of years, only religion has offered an answer to what happens after death. Science is about to change that. With the help of a physicist, a blind medium, and Thomas Edison's final experiment, Brayden Taylor embarks on a quest to contact the afterlife. For his love to transcend dimensions, he must defy the laws of quantum physics. He must defy the balance nature demands. He must defy ... the God Model.
- Written by Philip T. Johnson
KillDozer: Introduction. Let's start off with who you are and your relation to the film.
Kenneth Hughes: I am a producer of this film and I acted in the role of: Dr. Louis Mastenbrook.
KillDozer: What if anything drew you to the character of Luis Mastenbrook Phd?
Kenneth Hughes: To be honest the director originally asked me to oversee his writing of the movie and to get it done. He wanted me to be the lead in the movie and then decided I was better as Louis Mastenbrook. In supporting and collaborating with artists I like to give them a lot of freedom to lead as they see fit. The actor in me had a bit of that whiny need for the bigger role but my dedication to the process wanted to discover and help realize his vision and feel for the project. In the end…I loved my role in the movie.
KillDozer: What did you do to prepare for the role? Were you inspired by any actors/characters from other Science Fiction films?
Kenneth Hughes: When I take on a project it is because I am inspired by the story (or because I am going to make money allowing me to continue to fund projects that I am in love with). I read it many times, out loud, in the park, anywhere…I listen to how it sounds, what it means, I discover new secrets to it and/or possible meanings in areas that are not spelled out. The colors fill in…and mostly I try to find myself living that story. The real me in that life. It’s mostly an internal game with me and goes on all the way through the shoot…and there are no limits on where inspiration can come from as long as I stay honest and open.
KillDozer: Is there actual science behind this science fiction tale?
Kenneth Hughes: We are big physics geeks. Phil wrote it based off of M-theory which is mind bending stuff. Time and Space may be obsolete under the new and improved 11 dimensions. We were even in the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival surrounded by physics professors from MIT, Harvard, etc. and we asked nervously if we did it right and they were very enthusiastic. Creating and destroying Universes is serious stuff!!
KillDozer: What was your shooting schedule like?
Kenneth Hughes: It was about 3 weeks long and as most independent films…fast and insane! We shot in Chicago and it was winter and COLD!
KillDozer: Have your been touring with the film as it screens at various festivals? If so, how has the response been?
Kenneth Hughes: We won an award at our first festival (Boston Science Fiction Film Festival) and had a warm response at the two screenings at The Silver Scream film festival.
KillDozer: You give such a strong and convincing performance, do you identify with your character in any way?
Kenneth Hughes: Deep thanks for your compliment. I did really start to resonate or delude myself with this brilliant scientist and his weirdness. I suppose I am a bit weird…so there is that…
KillDozer: This film brought up mixed emotions from the audience viewing it at Silver Scream Fest. What are your personal feeling about science and God?
Kenneth Hughes: This is a great conversation that is not the root of the film but certainly an interesting question. I would guess one of my diverse views is that Science and God are one and the same. No one knows the connection or complete identity of either. But the most interesting people in the world are the ones that dedicate themselves to asking this or related questions.
KillDozer: What do you hope people will get out of Einstein's God Model?
Kenneth Hughes: In all my projects I hope people find the project entertaining and creative. Once upon a time people thought the Earth was the center of our Solar System. They also thought the Earth was flat. Currently, you have people saying climate change is not happening…so hopefully, they are inspired to ask more questions about their views on Science, Muiltverses and death, so that they can be inspired to appreciate all of it a bit more.
KillDozer: I noticed a lot of "dancer" credits on your resume, are you professionally trained in dance? If so does that help you with your acting? and in what way?
Kenneth Hughes: I worked as a professional dancer on a lot of my early projects but view all my work through dancers eyes. Dance and Acting are the same…our bodies and gestures and language are in every sound and motion we do.
KillDozer: Were you in on the fund raising of the film? If so what was that like?
Kenneth Hughes: We did not fund raise. As a producer it fell to me to get the majority of the post production for free or token honorariums. I grew up in Los Angeles and have worked there my whole life so I had to pull on all my relationships with people to excite and convince them to spend their hard earned spare time doing this project…it was a beast…but really special to be supported in the way we were. Phil worked incredibly hard on the project as well.
KillDozer: Brad Norman is amazing in the film as well how close to his character is he when off camera?
Kenneth Hughes: Brad is a great guy and very funny. He had that comfort of someone that knows himself so he can take risks. He is a diverse, plays music, paints…all things that I found interesting to learn about.
KillDozer: When might we see this film released?
Kenneth Hughes: 2016!!! We are finishing the festival circuit and then releasing this year. People can get the details off our facebook and twitter or our website: www.einsteinsgodmodel.com.
KillDozer: Any plans to work with Philip T. Johnson in the future?
Kenneth Hughes: I enjoyed working with Phil. He works very hard and I respect that. We are talking about a web-series of this project pretty soon. Our American Dr. Who, if you will.
KillDozer: These are just some fun quick questions I like to ask
a. Are you a horror or Science fiction fan? If so, which one do you prefer and why?
Kenneth Hughes: I LOVE SCIENCE FICTION. I like the inventions and attempt to sway people to think they are seeing the future as it will be. The imagination and stories are always attracting.
b. What is your favorite piece of movie memorabilia that you own?
Kenneth Hughes: I have a lot of stuff…but my first headshot is so bad that it is genius.
c. Who would be at the top of your "people I must meet one day" bucket list?
Kenneth Hughes: Ha! Great question!
Brad Pitt (I actually met him but a longer meeting would be cool)
All the heads of Canne, Sundance, Berlin, Toronto, SXSW, Venice, Tribeca, Film Festivals
Rich people that love funding original films, docs and art
d. Did you keep anything from the production of Einstein's God Model?
Kenneth Hughes: Because I used a lot of my own cloths…I have most of those. But…honestly…I like the film, trailer and website. We worked so hard and personally on those that I am always proud to see them and remember all the little things we did to get them to where they are now.
KillDozer: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Like I said before I loved the film and feel as though it deserves more attention.
Kenneth Hughes: Thanks for your support and interest.