Interview done by:
Dave Reda has performance in his blood. As Italian immigrants, his
great-grandparents realized their American dream by owning and
operating their own movie house. His grandfather later opened a chain
of theatres and drive-ins. Not satisfied with merely playing films, his
father left the family business and worked as a Jazz pianist in New
York City. Recently, Dave has produced, directed, and acted in his first
horror feature BIT PARTS. Here is our interview with the man himself:
April 5th, 2007
HF: Welcome, Dave, and thanks for doing this interview! Can you please
introduce yourself and tell us a little about Bit Parts?
DR: Sure, my name is Dave Reda and I grew up in San Jose, Ca. I started out
mainly as an actor leading up to a few national commercials and then moved to L.
A. I started my own sketch comedy show, “Click This!” here, and refined my craft
directing, producing, and acting all at once. We ran for 3 years until I pulled my
troupe together to make the film Bit Parts. Being a major horror fan as well, I
wanted to make a horror film that could really happen, something that might
Bit Parts is the story of an L.A. plastic surgeon who goes crazy out of guilt and
remorse for wrecking his daughter’s face in an auto accident he caused. He then
decides to pose as an L.A. casting director and seek out the perfect replacement
parts off young starlets new in town. He holds auditions seeking the perfect eyes,
HF: How and why did you decide to do Bit Parts? What drew you to this story?
DR: Being a huge horror fan I approached my writer Jon Rosenberg about doing a
horror script that could really happen in today’s world but not kill us in budget.
Luckily, Jon had just finished writing a zombie script for his director friend Frank
Coraci, (Director of Click, The Waterboy, Around the World In 80 Days…etc)
where money was no object. It put him in the perfect mind set to write a film still
strong in story but LOW in budget for me. A script that could utilize everything we
had in our arsenal, but wouldn’t kill us in costly details…
HF: The film is very professional-looking. Did you have any previous directing
experience before Bit Parts?
DR: I had directed some plays early on in my career and small stuff, but my show
gave me a hard 3 year crash course in film making. Since we mocked so many
different types of movies, commercials and T.V. shows all at once, I had to learn
how to pull off each style truthfully or the sketch would fail. This along with being
raised on Hitchcock, Romero, Hooper, and Raimi’s films did a lot to put me on the
path I am on today…
HF: You started out in comedy, specifically with a comedy troupe and a sketch
TV show. Why did you decide to make the jump to low-budget horror?
DR: We had won a couple of film festivals with “Click This,” but no one knew
what to do with a T.V. show. I pitched the show to the vice presidents of two
major networks, but both were a little too scared to take a chance on an
unknown troupe. At this point I realized my troupe and I needed to change and
grow or die. Being such a huge horror fan and with Jon Rosenberg being a huge
horror fan, it was the next logical step for us…
HF: How was the film financed? How hard was it to get the project funded?
DR: The film was funded mainly through independent investors and our own
pockets. Our executive producer on the film was Karl Schweitzer, my best friend
since childhood. When I approached Karl with the idea he was excited because he
had been wanting do a project like this with me for a long time. When your best
friend puts that kind of faith and money into you, it puts a huge fire under you to
HF: Bit Parts has some very funny, subversive comedy that reminded me of the
humor in Re-Animator and Evil Dead. How did you and writer Jon Rosenberg
balance the horror and humor in the film?
DR: It was actually pretty hard for us to hide our comedic side for the film, we
are both such huge fans of those films and others like Shaun of the Dead. Jon is
such a great writer, he was really able to capture a creepy vibe with this
underlying sense of dark humor and horror with the film. We spent a lot of time
going over the story and adding more and more, the story really lent itself to
anywhere we wanted to go…
HF: All of the actors were great in the film. How did you find them and what was
the auditioning process like?
DR: Some actors came from “Click This!”, others we got from Backstage West
and online submissions. In the film actors audition in an abandoned warehouse,
and to see if life would imitate art a little we held auditions in my friends recently
closed down costume store. We put paper up on all the windows and thanks to a
recent rain, the roof was leaking down into the store here and there a little. It’s
funny, just like the film the actors didn’t even think twice about it.
HF: Was the part of Bobby written specifically for you?
DR: Yes, Bobby was written with me in mind for sure but in a lot of ways we are
very different. Since I was directing and with Jon’s trust I was able to improv
some of my stuff and give the part a little more of me at times and that was a lot
HF: How hard was it to direct AND act in Bit Parts?
DR: Rough! Having little time and money made playback not always an option,
so I had to direct a lot of the time from in front of the camera. I had to have a lot
of trust in myself that I would give the best performance I could too, and that can
shake you up a lot. Luckily I had talented actors to work with, and my own
troupe, which eased pressures a lot.
HF: The gore and special effects in Bit Parts were great! How did you manage
such great FX with a low budget?
DR: The actor that plays Detective Giallo in the film is my long time friend Peter
Redman. Pete owns a costume store in the city of Orange, this was huge for us
because we got all the blood, latex, make up, and even some costumes we
needed for free. With an independent film, it’s the little things that can kill you, and
it’s the wonderful friends and connections you have that can save you!!
HF: At first glance, Bit Parts looks much like French horror classic Eyes Without a
Face. Was this film an inspiration to Bit Parts? What other films (horror or
otherwise) inspired your film and why?
DR: Believe it or not, neither Jon nor I had seen Eyes Without A Face prior to
filming, but have since. I think it’s quite a compliment to be compared to that film,
so I am happy with that. So many films have inspired Jon and I, and are the
hugest reason we are where we are today. I am a huge fan of Kevin Smith and
Robert Rodriguez, they are like independent film fore-fathers. These guys are
quite an inspiration to film makers everywhere because they are proof the dream
can work if you work for it. Also, any film from Hitchcock, Argento, Sam Raimi,
Tobe Hooper, George Romero. I was a child of the 80’s and was lucky enough to
have a video store across the street where I grew up. I was in there everyday
renting movies, learning everything I could gleam everyday.
HF: Bit Parts contains a great social commentary on the dangers of the booming
plastic surgery business, especially here in Southern California where young girls
receive plastic surgery even before they are fully developed! What are your
personal thoughts on people who go under the knife for purely cosmetic reasons?
DR: I think it’s really sad when you have little girls who are 16 under going
surgery and alterations and they aren’t even done growing yet. Along with trying
to make our horror film we definitely were trying to make a strong statement
about how scary important beauty is in this town…Worth dying for…???
HF: Your film is available at major retailers, including Borders, Virgin Megastore,
Blockbuster and Rasputin as well as online through Amazon.com and Netflix. How
did you manage to secure such wide distribution? Do you have any advice for
other low-budget filmmakers looking to get their films in retail outlets?
DR: I knew from the beginning that what format we chose to shoot on would
have a direct effect on getting a distribution deal but kill us on cost. Even though
HD and Mini-DV is easier and cheaper to work with than film, unless you have
made a masterpiece, your film will be limited in its options. Making the film the
best I could on film secured us a distribution deal through Koch Entertainment and
Cinema Epoch. Their faith in us and our film is huge, and they are the reason we
are in so many stores. Can’t thank them enough for that kind of support for a
little independent horror film.
Now, after all this I am not saying you should only shoot on film, you have to do
the best with what you have. Mini-DV, and HD are a great way to teach yourself
the art of film making before you go out and kill yourself with film costs. Not to
mention, HD is becoming more accepted as a film format all the time and justified
correctly in your film could be your way in! Also, I would say never give up no
matter how long it takes. It’s a lonely rough road that will test your metal the
whole journey, but it’s all worth it if you believe in it and can keep going. By the
end of the road you will also know if film making is truly for you or not!!
HF: What are your plans for the future? Do you have any other projects in the
DR: We do have some new ideas and plans in the works, but right now I am
doing everything I can to get the word out on Bit Parts. Since we are a small film
we have to do most of the promoting ourselves which is monopolizing all my
time right now. As long as I have the opportunity to feed my horror side and
comedic side through my films, I will be fine.
HF: Thanks so much for your time, Dave! We highly recommend Bit Parts and
hope to see more of your work in the future! Anything else you’d like to add?
DR: It’s so important to support independent film. I believe the horror fan of
today is a lot more diverse and a lot smarter than Hollywood gives them credit
for. It’s through the independent film and film makers that will focus on story and
not just gore. This will force a change for all to follow…I am very excited to
announce we are doing a MySpace contest with the Horror-Fanatics where one
lucky winner will win a special severed body part! This will be a really fun contest
and we appreciate the Horror-Fanatics greatly…Thanks so much for the interview
and all the wonderful support. I wish you all the best…Also, please visit our
website at www.bitpartsthemovie.com
Support a great independent horror movie! Buy Bit Parts on Amazon!