David Ury is a man of many talents. He can act, he can write and he can direct. And he does all of these things with refined precision. You’ll be able to see the man tackle the role of Schizo-Head in Rob Zombie’s upcoming shocker 31, but if you’re eager to see the man on screen prior to the release of Zombie’s new flick, you can tune into his awesomely hilarious new short film Augustine. Augustine, for the record, is a wicked throwback to ‘80s genre fare and it’s rewarding on all fronts.
Fortunately for us here at HFN, David was more than willing to sit down and field a few questions about his new projects. Ury offers some great insight, and if you love all things horror, especially delivered by one passionate gent, you’ll want to check out the man’s thoughts on both projects!
Horror Freak News: Before we get into Augustine, I wanted to throw a few questions in your direction regarding Rob Zombie’s 31. So tell me, how insane was it on the set of 31?
David Ury: Pretty darned insane. There were a lot more chainsaws, and puddles of blood than most sets I’ve been on. Every single day I went to set there was a new surprise waiting for me. It was a great gig. One of those jobs where you wake up every day feeling lucky.
HFN: Give me an idea of what it was like working with Rob, and what kind of a guy is he?
DU: Rob is a great director to work with. He’s just a very nice, patient, caring dude and he makes a point of making sure that his cast is comfortable and ready to play.
HFN: How bloody and gruesome can we expect 31 to be?
DU: Oh man, it’s certainly the bloodiest thing I’ve ever worked on. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It’s pretty extreme.
HFN: As for Augustine, tell me about the inspiration behind the film?
DU: Co-Creator Tahmus Rounds and I met on the set of the show Bones when we played co-workers at a corpse farm (Where else?). We started hanging out and one day he showed me all these crazy toy robots he’d built. He’d always wanted to use them in some kind of project so we started writing a little story which became Augustine. It was initially just an attempt to show his robots off. The scale of the project ended up getting much larger than we’d originally intended.
HFN: Was this a passion project for you, first and foremost?
DU: It was really just kind of a fun way to learn how to make a film. I had been toying with the idea of going to film school or at least taking a fancy film making class at one of the LA schools but the costs were pretty high. Then I figured I might as well put that tuition money into making a film and see what happens. I had a few folks I’d worked with over the years in TV and film that I thought might be down to help out.
HFN: The film feels like a really fun nod to over-the-top 80s fare, is that a reasonable assessment?
DU: That is right on the money. It’s an homage to the films we grew up with. My dad used to take me and my brother to see any movie we wanted…no matter how inappropriate. So from age 7 , I was watching pretty much every horror flick that hit the theater (or vhs). Motel Hell, The EVil Dead, Return of the Living Dead, The Fog, The Stuff were some of my faves.
HFN: Any influence from some of Full Moon’s projects in the flick?
DU: Actually, I was not familiar with Full Moon until you and writer Chris Crum from Ihorror mentioned them when discussing our short. I’ll have to check out some of their films.
HFN: You really nailed that let-loose-and-have-fun vibe in the picture. Was this the goal from the jump?
DU: Yes. We tried to push everything as far as we could while still maintaining a tiny, infinitesimal speck of dignity.
HFN: You’ve got a great, spirited cast in the film, how was it directing this energetic youngsters?
DU: We were lucky to have such talented folks who were basically willing to donate their time to help us create this silly movie. I met the male lead Reid Ewing when we worked on Disney’s Zeke and Luther together. And we’d cast him and the female lead Shelby Young previously in a little parody of an Onstar commercial that we had shot. So we already knew they had chemistry. Tracey Lee, Seth Cassell and Sarah Hester were all cast through auditions. Each one of them really came through for us. Poor Seth had to lie in the freezing cold ground of Topanga Canyon to get that shot where his guts are hanging out and the robot is chomping on them. He was a trooper.
HFN: This was your first short film in quite a few years, any plans to shoot more shorts in the future?
DU: Well, we’re about to release a new project called Grizzly and Hash. It’s a buddy comedy about a couple of bumbling homicide cops played by myself and Tahmus Rounds with Augustine Co-director David Neptune directing. The first episode should be this month on the Helpmefindparents YouTube channel so please subscribe today and get ready for it.
HFN: And finally, give me two highlights: Highlights from your 31 experience, and highlights from your Augustine experience.
DU: From 31….working with Malcolm Mcdowell. It’s pretty mind blowing when you join a project that stars someone whose work you worshipped as a kid.
From Augustine….Well, it’s interesting because acting in someone else’s film and making your own are such different experiences. I think for Augustine the highlight was actually showing the final cut to some test audiences and seeing their reactions. Just knowing that, after all those hard nights of editing and tweaking the film , we finally had something that people could watch and enjoy.