Newfoundland filmmaker G. Patrick Cordon Interview

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Just because Halloween’s come and gone doesn’t mean we can enjoy a spooky movie. Especially when that movie is written and directed by Newfoundlander and MUN Alumni G. Patrick Cordon. Corden’s latest film, “Incredible Violence”, follows Cordon, played by Stephen Oates, attempting to make a horror movie. The only problem is that he wasted away his loans and a shady organisation is looking for an owed horror movie. He gathers several struggling actors and, to keep the effects budget low, decides to murder the cast one by one.

We recently talked to G. Patrick Cordon to talk about his experiences in the film industry and inspirations.

Where did the idea of this film come from?
I made a short film called “Audition” that this movie is loosely based on. Strategically, the idea was to make a horror movie because I heard they’re easier to sell and it turns out that’s true and it really worked but in the process I ended up making a pretty personal movie.

Do you find Newfoundland to be a good place for film production?
It’s as good as any other place. If you mean geographically, there’s enough different landscapes in Newfoundland that you can make it seem you’re in a bunch of different places except a majorly big city or a desert. Crew and cast wise, it’s top notch but it’s not exactly rocket science. You can take probably any person off the street and they could do any job on a film set. A teacher once told me that how far someone makes it in the film business is how tolerable they are to work with for twelve hours. It was especially cutting advice as he went on to fail me. 

What can you tell us about your film education?
I didn’t go to a film school. I took broadcasting in college in Ottawa because I wanted to do live TV and making movies just kind of happened. I moved back home and my cousin Laura heard some people were making a movie and wanted volunteers. From there, I met people that were going to be working on a TV show that turned out to be Republic of Doyle and from there I met people that were willing to work on a short story I wrote called Fuck or Fight and yadda yadda yadda. Ian Vatcher, Duncan De Young, Pat Leblanc and Laura Condon all worked on that movie. In fact! That was Steve Oates’ first movie role. I just remembered that. So all of those people ended up working on Incredible Violence. 

Do you feel your time at MUN helped you in pursuing your filmmaking career?
I didn’t have cable when I went to MUN and only had one VHS tape which was This Is Spinal Tap. As a result, I have watched that more then any other movie in my life. I think I took a German film class at some point so I may have watched a Werner Herzog movie because of that but I really can’t say for sure. I mostly just smoked pot and watched wrestling with my high school friends from Gander which is a real shame cause I could have volunteered at CHMR. I listen to that station once a week and think about that missed opportunity.

Can we expect any new projects in the near future?
Near future? Probably not. Maybe in a year I’ll be shooting something if everything goes perfectly, which it won’t. Tough to say when it’ll be after that. 

If you could work with anyone in the entertainment industry, who would it be?
Probably Steve Oates one more time.

You’re in the movie, but you’re not. Did you find Stephen Oates to be better at being you than you?
I’m old friends with Oates. I told him repeatedly not to try to do an impression of me, just look at it as someone that happens to have the same name as me. After the fact, other people have told me that he is doing certain mannerisms that I do, but I don’t see it. Since making the movie, Steve has gone on to co-star in 2 TV series and star in 3 movies, so if Oates was me, I’d be killing it right now career-wise.

Who are your favourite directors and what are your favourite films?
Top 5 favourite directors that aren’t super obvious like Kubrick or Tarrintino are probably P.T Anderson (Boogie Nights), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster), Lars von Trier (Dogville), John Carpenter (They Live) and David Lynch (Mulholland Drive). I really want to put Mary Harron up there for American Psycho cause it’s such a good movie but I haven’t liked anything else she’s done.

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