Andy Petersen is a multi-talented film director based in Orlando, Florida. His upcoming project “Saltwater Cowboys”, staring Harvey, Conrad and Jesse, is on robbing two drug dealers. His pervious notable short film is “Vigorish Debts”. The founder of Futurehead Productions, Andy’s style is all about blending comedy, drama and action.
Interview by Stephen Thompson, Ph.D.
Welcome to OpenBeast. Let us about yourself.
My name is Andy Petersen, from Orlando Florida. My entire Life has revolved around film and its entity. Even when I was young, all I wanted to do was make motion pictures. I finally got my break when I moved out to California with my family in 2007. After a few months of living in Oakland, I decided to move down to San Diego for film school. After two years of completing every film and lighting course offered, I decided to quit school and move back to Orlando. I went back with plenty of ideas and knowledge. I knew I was going to write and direct films. The next few years after moving back to Orlando, I became a head lighting Director for the Band “There For Tomorrow”, Directed Music Videos, Commercials, and Short Films. I also became a cam op for the YouTube series “Fireball Run”. I am currently writing a feature length film with my producing partner, Nick Slatkin. It’s about about the Square grouper days in Everglades City based in the 80’s. It would be a cross between Boogie Nights meets Blow, meets No Country For Old Men. But with our own style!
Why and how did you get into the movie business?
I got into the film world by choose as a young child. While everyone was watching Cartoons and playing with GI Joes, I was watching Stanley Kubrick Flicks. I have no Idea where the love for film came from, with my mother being a teacher and father an Engineer. Beats me. I just fell in love with everything that goes into a film. I wanted to learn everything about it. I wanted to create my own work and give an audience something new.
Talk to us about your Saltwater Cowboys.
“Saltwater Cowboys” is a short film I wrote with the intention to show my talents in world of film. It is a story about three men who come up with a well thought out plan to intercept a drug deal and rob the dealers and everyone involved with the course of action in a gulf drug “drop-off” Process. I created the story with the true events of “Square Grouper” in mind. I have always been fascinated with that story and I just wanted to create a fictional world and show my homage to the events. I wanted to mix a small portion of that story with my own take on a fictional world of Drug dealers and what “could happen”. My drive for the film truly came forth when I finished the script and casted a brilliant group of actors who portrayed my characters the way I truly envisioned them. With so much positive energy pouring out through pre-production and Production, I knew I had to do something special with this film. I am pleased to say that my vision fully came through after I edited the film. It is very important to me that people see this film and give their take on my style of film-making and what not only me, but my cast and crew can do with no budget or back support on this. Everything from this film came from my pocket and I could say a cliche line such as, My blood, sweat, and tears came out while producing this film. Even though it’s said by many, it is nothing but the truth. I am also happy to say that everyone has completely supported me from the beginning and everyone who was involved have done their hardest to push this film, especially my co producers, Cameron Bigelow and Masood Ahmed. I felt as though this film was different than most short films produced these days. By different, I mean this film has a typical story with a stylistic twist on the “Crime” genre. My intent for the film was to create that stylistic twist and show audiences a new take on the genre. I wanted to push limits with subjects of the genre and basically create a film that people can sit down and as the credits roll, say “That was different”. I want people to think! I want them to want more and ask questions. A sense of mystery behind the film is the basic intent of what I want my audience to experience. I am extremely pleased and outrageously humbled to know that the film is receiving raving reviews and great feedback from international film festivals. My dream of being a filmmaker is not to create something for an award or money. My dream is to step into the industry and create something new. I want people to accept my work and just want more from me. This is a hard industry to “Break out” in, and I understand that. I have fallen plenty of times, but I take my mistakes and correct them right away, and with those corrections, I always lift my chin and get back up and find ways around my mistakes to create something new. “Saltwater Cowboys” is only a short film which has a much deeper background to become an epic journey. A feature length film is defiantly in the back of my mind, not to mention already written for this story. My heart is 100% within this film and if given a chance to create a feature, I know I could make my audience say “That truly was different”.
So how do you select cast and locations?
The Way I select my cast and locations is my own taste on my projects. Basically, I write out exactly what the character is and then I find the right person to portray my character. I basically fill their head with my Brain in multiple cast table reads until everyone is all on the same page. And For the Locations, I just spend my free time driving and thinking of ideas. Scouting what would be a perfect spot and figure out what the hell could happen in that spot. Make a scene out of it. It goes the same with my music in my films. I love to write around a Location and I always have the Music in mind before shooting happens. I play the music for My Actors before production, and they just copy and paste it in their memory so they know what the mood should be during the days shoot.
What is Vigorish Debts all about?
“Vigorish Debts” is basically about two brothers that get in deep with a small town mob member. They find out they need to pay him within 48 hours or something very bad will happen. With nothing great in mind, they decide to take the little money they have and take it to a local, Jewish Bookie who is willing to take any beat (Including the cricket match they go in on) due to his legal history. With this set in stone, the brothers meet the bookie and flip the exchange. Little do they know, the bookie has plans of his own with their money. The story just became an unraveling twist, shit hits the fan flick. Dark Comedy in a new twisted way. 6) How do you get inspired? I get inspired by my idols, The Coens, Paul Thomas Anderson, Tarantino, Fincher, etc. They have a film come out; I’m there in a heart beat. I study their films. I create ideas similar to theirs and put my own style into it. I look up to so many filmmakers and their films. Then there are some days when I just close my eyes and vision a scenario for a film and hours later, I begin to create my new film idea.
Any upcoming projects or initiatives you would like to discuss?
My Producing partner, Nick Slatkin and I are currently working on adapting the Square Grouper story. We want to make a fictional tale about the events that took place in everglades city in the mid 80’s. The story would basically tell the drug trade in both California and Florida during the 80’s.
Do you have a message for your fans and supporters?
To anyone that is a fan of my work or anyone that supports me, I just want to say, I not only do this for me, I do it for you.