Synopsis: “A grisly murder perpetrated by a deranged killer, Jake Johnson’s wife and daughter were murdered by a Psychotic vigilante only known as The Laughing Mask. As the police look for clues and the body count begins to rise, Johnson will play a dangerous game in order to avenge his family’ death”.
We recently sat down with director Michael Aguiar to conduct an interview.
1. What inspired you to be a director?
I’ve always been interested in the storytelling aspect of movie making. From writing to setting up the scenes, the idea of coming up with an story and then seeing it come to life was always really interesting to me. Movies like Excalibur and Angel Heart are prime examples of storytelling at its finest.
2. What are your greatest challenges as an director?
As an indy director, the lack of funds to bring your vision into life. To have scenes left on the page because the budget wouldn’t allow it is very frustrating. Also dealing with Horror films, there is a stigma attached to it where people wont allow you to use locations or thing you’re a child stabbing maniac when you approach them to be a part of the project.
3. What did you like most about working on The Laughing Mask?
Working with Bill Scheikert our DP was a tremendous experience, shooting the film was a blast, and even though I could barely move after the shoot was done, every day on set was a great learning experience.
4. Can you tell us a little bit about The Laughing Mask in your words?
The Laughing Mask is an old school thriller. I wanted to go back to at time when Horror films weren’t defined by the amount of gore on screen but the story you wanted to tell, and before shock took over for story. You’re going to go into the rabbit hole and see inside the mind of a killer, who he is and how his world operates. It’s also a revenge story
5. Which do like more, directing or writing?
I’ve been a writer for a long time before directing, I enjoy the writing process, the imaginative and crazy ride that starts with one single sentence at times and develops into a full story, then creating individual characters, their backgrounds and what makes them tick. Bringing them to life on screen is just a natural progression of this process so its hard to pick, but for pure enjoyment I’d choose writing.
6. Are there plans to make a sequel to The Laughing Mask? Is there anything else you’re working on?
There is a very twisted, crazy, insane sequel story for The Laughing Mask , but after nearly 4 years working on this project we needed a little bit of a break, so my next project is a short called After Hours written by Australian writer Adam Paul Weber, a very cool twisted story, then we will shoot the teaser for The Wolf’s Museum of Mistery Movie that Wolf himself is working on, but my next feature is currently being written and is called Harbinger (it’s a working title) and deals with the deadly sins of man wreaking havoc in our world.
8. What was your inspiration for making The Laughing Mask?
There is a 1916 serial called The Iron Claw, and The Laughing Mask was a character I’ve always been fascinated by it, the look and that creepy smile stuck on my mind for years. I wanted to jump into a vigilante type of character but wanted him to be insane, where just a fine line between him doing good or going completely berserk.
9. How did you come up with the character?
I wanted an insane character tethered by a small shred of humanity. The Laughing Mask WILL Kill, there is only one thing making him kill the right people (the guilty) I was also a huge comic book fan and the Punisher as a character is an insane man but never really portrayed as such, but what if there was someone out there, hell bent on giving justice, but was a completely psycho? Should we root for him or send him to an asylum?