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Michael Roesch & Peter Scheerer

Michael: "We were very lucky that we
finally made it".

Conducted by Phil Davies Brown
March 23rd, 2006

Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer have been very busy lately contending with writing or producing roles for the majority of Uwe Boll's movies. The duo will soon be directors in their own right, as their debut feature film Brotherhood of Blood is released after much fan interest.

I caught up with the duo as they were anticipating the DVD release of House of the Dead II: Dead Aim which was released today in America.

How did you become interested in filmmaking and how did you break into the industry?
Peter: We have loved movies since we were kids. We grew up with the old Spielberg and Lucas movies, and both wanted to break into the industry since a young age.

Michael: It obviously wasn’t so easy. We were very lucky that we finally made it.

Did you both work on a lot of short films and complete training of any kind?
Michael: We have known each other since school, and started to shoot short horror and action movies while we were in high school.

Peter: After having shot several of these movies, we started to write feature-length scripts.

You both worked in fields such as journalism and advertising before moving into film. How easy was it to make the transition?
Peter: In the beginning it was very tough to get into the industry. I think it’s like that for every writer out there.

Michael: When we eventually sold our first script the movie never got produced, but other producers and agents liked the script, and so we soon got our next writing assignment.

How did the two of you meet Uwe Boll?
Michael: We met him a few years ago at the Berlin Film Festival. We were young students trying to break into the industry, and Uwe had just finished one of his first movies, so we became friends. Later, when he was an executive at a German studio, we sold him the script for an action movie called ZERO HOUR.

Peter: The financing for ZERO HOUR collapsed, and the movie was never made. Uwe remembered this later, and hired us to write a script for him.

Peter: "Of course his first movies were
the most impressive".

You have pretty much worked with him since Sanctimony. Which of Uwe's American films have you enjoyed working on most?
Peter: Of course his first movies were the most impressive. Working on these big budget productions for the first time, with hundreds of people on the set, is a terrific experience.

Michael: We’re movie aficionados, and to work on big budget movies was a dream come true.

Uwe's video game adaptations have received harsh criticism, how does this affect your confidence when you prepare to write another screenplay or set about producing another movie? Does it spur you on to work harder or does it have no effect?
Michael: With every script, we are writing the movie we wish to see on the big screen. In the end, it is for the director to decide how he wants to make the movie, how he wants to change the script.

Peter: Movies reflect the vision of the director, not the vision of the screenwriters or the producers. At the end of the day making movies is a directorial medium. As a writer you must be prepared to have the director change every line of your script.

Your most recent film House of the Dead 2: Dead Aim just premiered on TV in America and will be out on Lionsgate DVD March 21st. When did you become involved with the sequel, and can you tell us about your ideas for the story, and how it eventually turned out?
Peter: We are horror fans and had been wishing to do a zombie movie for a long time. We were on the set of the first HOUSE OF THE DEAD, and neither the director Uwe Boll nor producer Mark Altman, nor the other producers were really happy with the results. We pitched them our ideas about following an AMS anti-zombie platoon into their final mission, and they liked it very much. We were then hired at this early stage to write the sequel, long before the first movie was even in theatres.

Michael: We wanted to go in a completely different direction than the first movie. In HOUSE OF THE DEAD 2 the AMS anti-zombie forces are sent to clear a campus over run by zombies. They are in search of material for the very first zombie, the zombie that spreads the whole zombie plague. If they find the material, they could develop an antidote. The idea was to send a platoon to the very heart of the zombie plague, to a point of no return, and then let hell break loose.

You are both involved in some capacity on all of Uwe's upcoming movies, are you big fans of computer games and horror movies?
Michael: Yes, we are both big horror fans! I’m not the big video games player, but Peter is.

Peter: It is a good excuse to play a videogame if you have to write a script for that game.

Peter: "It is a good excuse to play a videogame if you have to write a script for that game".

Can you tell us what we can expect from Dungeon Siege and Far Cry?
Peter: With FAR CRY we stay close to the storyline of the game. We think it will be a fun movie, like DIE HARD on a tropical island. Uwe is planning to shoot it spring 2007 in Thailand or India.

Michael: DUNGEON SIEGE is an epic action adventure with a great cast. The material looks great; it is Uwe's best movie yet. Right now the visual effects guys are working on the more than 1,000 digital effects in the movie.

I think Uwe also plans to do some original stories too, doesn't he? Is it likely that you would be involved with those?
Michael: Uwe is working on the script for SEED right now, which is an original story. He was also a screenwriter on his earlier movies, so he is going back to his roots right now. SEED is a very interesting horror movie, about a guy who survives the electric chair and comes back to seek revenge.

Peter: We don’t know whether we will be involved yet, but maybe in a producer capacity. We’ll see! It could be a very interesting movie.

You also recently completed work on your first feature Brotherhood of Blood as directors, how did that go?
Peter: We just wrapped the movie a few weeks ago, the shooting went very well! When we started the project, we planned to have a very small movie with maybe one or two good actors, but then a lot of people read the script and agents and actors loved the story and it was surprisingly easy to get a great cast - even on this size of budget.

Michael: We're now aiming for a limited theatrical release, before the eventual DVD release. Sid Haig and Ken Foree from THE DEVIL’S REJECTS are in the movie, as well as Victoria Pratt.

The film has a great cast, did you pursue any actors or did they all audition?
Michael: We had some names in mind, like Sid Haig, Ken Foree and Victoria Pratt. We had sent them the script, and we were so excited when they called back immediately wanting to be in our movie. We’ve been horror fans since we were kids, and it was awesome that horror legends like Sid and Ken liked our script so much.

Peter: We were also lucky to have a great casting director, she suggested names like Jason Connery of "Wishmaster 3", Will Snow of "The Lost World" and Rachel Grant of "James Bond: Die Another Day".

When can we expect to see the finished film?
Peter: We’re in post production right now, which will take a few more months.

Michael: We’re aiming for a limited theatrical release this fall or winter. And later it will come out on DVD, of course.

Which do you prefer, writing, directing or producing?
Michael: Writing and producing are great, but directing is the best. To shoot BROTHERHOOD OF BLOOD our first movie got us hooked on directing!

Peter: BROTHERHOOD OF BLOOD was the first time that one of our scripts hasn’t been changed completely! Like most screenwriters, we had encountered that problem that all producers and directors say in the beginning. They tell you that they will not change your script, then they start to change it here and there, and by the time we see the finished movie, there is not a single line left from our original script. That’s the reason why most screenwriters want to direct their own movies sooner or later - like we did with BROTHERHOOD OF BLOOD.

Is there anything else you would both like to achieve in the industry and finally, what can we expect to see from you in the near future?
Peter: In the first instance, we want to make great movies. We’re movie fans; we want to tell new stories which we want to see in the theatre ourselves.

Michael: Right now we’re working on some ideas for our next movie as directors. It will again be a horror movie!

"Thank you ever so much for taking part in this interview Michael Roesch & Peter Scheerer.
And we wish you the very best of luck in the future."

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