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Bonkers horror short UNHOLY ‘MOLE and interview with director David Bornstein

Here’s a completely crazy but fun short film to watch today called Wicked ‘Mole’.
The film follows a selfish man who sells the soul of his unborn child to the Devil in exchange for forcing his wife to make guacamole for him. As you can imagine, things go horribly wrong.

The film was directed by David Bornstein and below you will find an interview with him talking about the project. This is in collaboration with FilmQuest Film Festival.

Without spoilers, tell us what your film is about, its characters and its themes. Is this a proof of concept or a standalone story?

Unholy ‘Mole is an indie dark comedy/body horror about a selfish man, Godrick, who sells the soul of his unborn child to the Devil in exchange for forcing his wife to make guacamole for him. Godrick gets what he wants, but with unfathomable consequences. It’s a karmic bullshit story of toxic masculinity/misogyny getting hit over the head.

What was the inspiration for your film? How did the idea come to you?

I went to film school at the University of Arizona, as did my producer Heather DiPietro. A mutual friend of ours had a toxic ex-boyfriend, I don’t think I ever met him, but I know that after they broke up, he would try to get back into her life.

One tactic I knew of would be to text her and her mutual friends, including Heather, asking if they knew what our friend’s guacamole recipe was. By our friend’s own admission, her guacamole isn’t really anything special, which made it even more obvious what her true intentions were.

This was a lifetime ago, the exact conversations that led to the birth of this script escape me, but this was the seed that started it all.

Tell us about yourself. What is your background? How long have you been a director?

I was born and raised in Southern California and was diagnosed with high-functioning autism in my childhood. I’m originally from Orange County and studied film at Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo before transferring to the University of Arizona. I have worked consistently in production since film school, while continuing to focus on directing.

What inspires you to work in genre cinema and tell these types of stories?

I think genre cinema is the most malleable. I always want to find myself making a film I’ve never seen before, and genre cinema offers endless possibilities for exploration. I don’t consciously try to make a genre film, but that seems to be what my subconscious draws me to most of the time.

What are you most proud of about this film?

I’m proud of the journey this film has been on since it was released to the world. My greatest hope is that my films find their audience, and this one has literally traveled the world. I could talk about all the challenges I overcame in the process of making Unholy ‘Mole, but more than anything I’m proud that there are people out there who love this movie. This is why I dive into the trenches in the first place.

What is a favorite story or moment from the making of the film that you would like to share?

I have to say, having the opportunity to see Ray Wise was hands down my favorite moment in the making of ‘Mole.’ We originally planned to hire a local theater actor from Arizona, where my producer Heather and I attended film school, to voice our Devil.

He turned down the role so we shot for the moon. We approached Ray’s representatives with no real expectation that he would say yes. To our surprise, he and his team were very much in agreement. Our dubbing session, although brief, was one of the most fantastic and validating experiences he has ever had as a director. Working with Ray Wise was a pipe dream come true.

What was the most challenging moment or experience you had while making your film?

We were basically cramming 3 days of filming into 1.5 days. I think everyone felt the crunch throughout the day, I was in a position where I had to do what I could to get what we needed and make our day lively. Incorporating practical special effects added another layer to the challenge, luckily most of our gags worked but our filming time was extremely limited.

If so, how did your film change or differ from the original concept during pre-production, production, and/or post-production? How has it changed the way you approach future projects?

We changed the title of this film once production finished. We realized that the original title was a huge spoiler of the climax, the title Unholy ‘Mole was proposed to me on set by one of the crew chiefs, I want to say it was our director of photography Rafael who came up with it, but I could be wrong .

Regardless, I liked the sound of it and that’s what ended up renaming the film. I imagined this film to have a much more expressionistic staging, but this disappeared first when we opted for a vacant location which, although a blessing, did not lend itself to this aesthetic.

I’m happy with how the film ended up turning out, but it was another reminder that budget constraints more often than not take something away from a film instead of leading to magically better results.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received as a filmmaker and what would you like to say to new filmmakers?

I would actually give two pieces of advice because they go hand in hand here: watch as much as you can and always focus on what was done well, even if the film you’re watching isn’t good. My advice to new directors; practice patience. On set and in your professional career, this quality will be useful to you in more ways than one.

What’s your next project and when can we expect to see it?

I’m currently in post-production on my next short film Zits! We’re still trying to get final funding, but we’re aiming to complete Zits and get it on the film festival circuit by early next year.

For specific updates on Zits, you can follow our Instagram page @zitsthefilm. Or you can follow us on our Seed & Spark page (https://seedandspark.com/fund/zits) to get the same exclusive updates we give to our donors.

Where can we find more of your work and where can interested people contact you?

I can be reached at any time through my Instagram page @dabornstein. I also have a Vimeo channel where I host most of my work. https://vimeo.com/davidbornstein/

Bonus question no. 2: What is the film that most inspired you to become a director and/or had the greatest influence on your work?

I always lean on two films when asked this question, both have unlocked my path as a director for different reasons. The Shining was the first film I saw that opened my eyes to the possibilities of the medium.

It was the first time I recognized layers within the work, beyond the superficial level popcorn entertainment, this captivated me to the end. On the flip side, the employees. This film showed me that this medium is fair game for anyone if you have something to say and are willing to put in the work for it.

by Joey Paur
Source: Geek Tyrant

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