DG: What is your name and company URL?
MR: My name is Michael Rich and my personal website is michaelrich.me.
DG: What is your specialty...filmmaking or screenwriting?
MR: I'm a director who dabbles in screenwriting.
DG: What are you currently working on?
MR: I am currently working on developing a horror feature film, as well as a short film titled "The Man Who Returned" based on a 1930s pulp story.
DG: Who do you consider your mentor and why?
MR: I had an interesting film professor in college named Gil Bettman, who helped me make my thesis film, which played at Shriekfest 2016. He taught me a lot about camera placement and lenses. He's a straight forward guy and helped me realize what's actually important to telling a story and to just ditch all the nonsense that doesn't matter.
DG: Great advice! I loved your thesis film "Ambulance"! Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?
MR: Horror and sci-fi movies are just so much fun to watch! I dread watching a bad drama, or romantic comedy, but horror films always deliver the goods in at least some regard. Whether it's gross-out effects, or cheap scares, they're worth a watch. And when they happen to actually be well-made, that's just a cherry on top.
DG: I agree! What do you love most about this business?
MR: The camaraderie. That moment when someone believes in the vision you have and is willing to go along for the crazy ride that is filmmaking.
DG: What do you dislike most about this business?
MR: I see a lot of lower level workers get exploited and demeaned. I had a boss tell me I should just "move back to where I came from" because "I don't have it." It was totally vicious and mean, but I promised myself I would never treat anyone like that if I'm ever in a position of power.
DG: Wow! No one has the right to do that to anyone. I'm so sorry that happened to you! What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
MR: Winning "Best Super Short Film" at the 2018 Shriekfest. I wanted one of those bloody reel trophies so badly!
DG: I love it!!! Any advice you'd like to give newbies?
MR: I'd say just do it! If you want to make movies nowadays, the only barrier is yourself. Grab a cell phone and run around the backyard with some friends and try and tell a story. Don't worry about reading how-to books or watching YouTube tutorials. Just shooting movies is the best way to learn.
DG: I agree. Great advice! Anything else you'd like to say?
MR: Long live Shriekfest. And please take 10 minutes to watch my short film "Cabin Killer" here: https://youtu.be/ecEx98bjpeU
DG: Thank you so much Michael! It was great chatting!