Interview with the multi-talented Harley Di Nardo about his new film Dead Envy
Following the theatrical release, your new film is Dead Envy will be heading to DVD and VOD on 3rd September. What can people expect from the film?
A Rock n’ Roll stalker/thriller film, set in a hair salon, with fun twists and turns.
As well as writing and directing the film, you play the lead character David Tangiers, a former rock musician who now works as a hairstylist. How much of the character is based on your own personal experiences?
So, I am David Tangiers. He is me… I had to write what I know and get this one out there. I had been writing it for a while. It went through many incarnations, and titles, but now it’s done and about to be released to the entire world. I am excited to see it through, and then it’s on to make the next one.
The film presents itself initially as a straightforward thriller but then takes a different route to what you may expect, especially when it comes to the visual style. What were your influences for the look and style of the film?
I’ve always liked the look of the film Buffalo 66 (1988). That movie’s style has always stuck in my head. Old, vintage… I love that stuff. As far as the thriller thing goes, I’ve always liked movies that cross genres. I think this film has the heart of a relationship pulsating throughout it. That makes it different. I like that.
The rock-based soundtrack plays an important part in the film both as part of the story and in creating the mood of the scenes. Were any of the scenes inspired by the music or did you incorporate songs which you felt suited the film?
I definitely had songs in mind, but the editor and I played with it. I wrote some of the music as we went along. The idea has always been to make music a major part of what I do in film. I want to always make music and film and have them play off of each other. That’s who I am. The soundtrack is coming out the same day as the VOD release September 3rd, on iTunes.
Were there any elements of your original script which you were unable to include in the final film?
Yes, there was this scene at the dinner table between David and his wife. She bugs him to tell her what he’s been up to because he’s been secretive. He tells her he wants to start playing and making albums again, and she gets really upset, basically telling him to give up on his dream so he can focus on the salon. She’s supportive but at times she can’t take it and lets him know. We all relate to that on some level. Dream killers. Trying to kill your dreams when you still believe in them. In the end, we took it out because we felt the point was already made, but that would’ve made it a stronger film. I got to listen to my gut a bit more.
What was one of your favourite scenes to film in Dead Envy?
Definitely, the scene where Javy (the antagonist) takes David out and has him all drugged out. He puts something in his drink. David gets all wasted and dances in these flickering lights while we intercut with Dawn, our psychic who has visions of a deadly future. It gets pretty Lynchian there. I’m proud of that.
Prior to becoming a filmmaker, you were a successful musician. What prompted you to start writing and directing films?
I always loved film. I love creating. I’ll probably do another music album, then another film. I love it all. Also, music leads the scenes and vice versa.
Do you have any other projects which you are working on?
Yes, I am working on a paranormal thriller. A single mom is repeatedly sexually assaulted by a demon. Due to lack of finances, she is forced to hire a demonologist off of YouTube to help her. It’s mixing the old movies about ghosts and spirits and the new internet hipsters…
What advice would you give to someone who wants to direct their own films?
I’d say, find a way. No one is coming to save you. It’s up to you to make your own work until people notice and will be willing to pay you for your talents.
Dead Envy is available to pre-order on iTunes.
To learn more about Harley Di Nardo visit: www.cine-museproductions.com
Follow Dead Envy: www.deadenvythemovie.com