Interview By: Ruby LaRocca
When I first met Liam Makrogiannis I knew him as my friend’s son. I soon came to find out that not only was he already an accomplished actor, but in less then 2 years he would become a peer within the horror community establishing himself as a writer and director. His is so far beyond his age that at times I am amazed at how smart, insightful, and creative he is. His family is so incredible, including his father Evan who is also a filmmaker and it’s so beautiful to see a father help his son’s ambitions come to fruition. Liam is about to embark on his first feature as director and writer. It is so important in our small bubble of family and friends within the horror community to support each other and this is the perfect example. Liam is the future of our scene, and unless you like all your favorite movies being remade into travesties, you need to support the truly underground and independent filmmakers who are making movies for the right reason. For the LOVE of it. Please read Liam’s words and realize that he is going to make a movie, and many others, for the right reason his entire life. Support him now and you are saving the future of horror itself.
Please donate today!!!
And now, meet Liam…
RL: How old were you when you saw a horror movie for the first time and what was it?
Liam: Technically the first horror movie that I saw was Sleepy Hollow but I was like 4 and don’t remember much from that experience. So, the first horror movie that I saw and actually remember is A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.
RL: What did you think afterwards? Did it change your taste in films immediately?
Liam: It was a fun movie and the deaths were very creative. My thoughts afterwards were that… if this is scary, what could Texas Chainsaw Massacre be like. It made me think about and wonder how other horror movies would compare.
RL: What’s your favorite horror movie?
Liam: My favorite horror movie comes from the horror Sci-fi genre, it is Ridley Scott’s ALIEN. I believe in aliens, so I like to see how people depict these creatures from space. Before this movie aliens were depicted as small men with big heads and large eyes and green or grey skin. Ridley Scott’s “xenomorphs” gave a fresh new idea to what aliens may look like. What’s horrifying about ALIEN is if you were to put yourself in the shoes of some of those characters, I think that is truly the scariest thing ever. Being trapped in an area you are not familiar with and a creature people have never seen slowly picking them off. There is no hope.
RL: When did you decide you wanted to make your own movies?
Liam: I decided I wanted to make my own movies when I first watched some of the greatest movies like ALIEN, STAR WARS and BLADE RUNNER. I was young but they made me think of my own scenarios and ideas. I want to turn these ideas into movies. Filmmaking is a style of art and expression that I loved ever since I could remember.
RL: Who are some of your influences, directors & actors?
Liam: One of my influences as a director also happens to be my favorite, and that is Ridley Scott. He influences me because his movies are like paintings come to life. By this I mean the shots he thinks to film are just amazing and so artistic. Scott’s work is very thoughtful and in my opinion not many directors can do what he can. He directed ALIEN and BLADE RUNNER, both of which I love and study. I also really enjoyed PROMETHEUS. My favorite actor who is a main influence on me is Harrison Ford. He acts in two of my favorite films of all time, which are BLADE RUNNER and STAR WARS. Harrison Ford is a huge reason why I really enjoy those movies. In both parts he gives his characters such feeling and personality. Harrison Ford makes his characters well rounded. His work is excellent.
RL: How often are you working on a project?
Liam: Once I am done with a project I think of something else I am interested in doing, something other people would enjoy as well. I have scenes and ideas popping into my head all day and night. I try to picture them on a screen and how would it look with actors, special FX, etc. The past few years have been busy for me. Most recently I acted in THE SUPER, THE DEVILS TOY, THE TURNPIKE KILLER and I also wrote and acted in a werewolf short film called DEVIL MOON. From there I went into writing SURVIVE, and even as we head towards shooting SURVIVE, I already have thoughts of what is next.
RL: What do you plan to do next?
Liam: My next plans would include making another film another film of my own because I really enjoy the whole process and I think I have some ideas that might work. I’m thinking a vampire film, one that pays homage to the original vampires like Dracula and Nosferatu. Vampires interest me greatly. They are violent and yet sad and tragic. People fear them but are also mystified by them. I’d love to pay homage to the old school vampires. The ones that killed, drank blood and did not sparkle. I’d also like to continue acting in films as well, so I’ll be on the look out for roles I might be suited for.
RL: Do you plan to always stay within the horror genre?
Liam: Yes my work will always be horror related, especially my favorite sub genre, Sci-Fi horror!
RL: What’s your favorite type of horror?
Liam: My favorite type of horror is Sci-fi horror. Seeing both elements from both genres combined can really make a movie scary and even as unbelievable as it sounds, the movie’s idea can be true someday. Sci-fi horror blends the worlds of the fantastic and reality. It makes for good and frightening stories.
RL: How old were you when you took your first acting role?
Liam: I was eight years old when I acted in my first film.
RL: What was the movie and role?
Liam: The movie was a short film called “The Last Boy”. It was about the actor Jerry O’Connell when he was a child. He grew up in NYC with a very eccentric and artistic family. I played the lead role, which was Jerry.
RL: Is that something you also want to pursue more?
Liam: Absolutely! I love acting. It was my first dream. It is an amazing art form that allows me to escape my life when I get into the character and become them.
RL: What’s your favorite part of the entire process (writing, acting, directing) and why?
Liam: My favorite part of the entire process is everything lol. I like coming up with the story, making the characters a reality and then directing. I also love acting. It was a passion of mine since I was like three. I still love acting and I love doing horror films!
RL: Can you tell us about your upcoming project?
Liam: My upcoming project is about a bacterial apocalypse that turns everyone into an infected flesh hungry zombie. SURVIVE is also about how a group of strangers live together in a house not only surviving the zombie apocalypse but surviving each other, as humans. As humans we are our own worst enemies. Feelings like hate, fear, jealousy, they are things that ruin the world. This movie mostly symbolizes moments in time like 9/11 and things that go on today that come from hate and fear. Each character in the house represents a certain type of person that has a flaw which will bring their downfall or has what they need to rise up and live on.
RL: What sets it apart from other zombie movies?
Liam: SURVIVE is a zombie film that is made with my own thoughts and ideas along with some influence from the old school classics. This is a zombie movie that has a lot of symbolism and meaning, which most zombie movies today don’t really have. Of course there will be a lot of ripped flesh, guts and gore plus some retro goodness in it. I love movies on VHS and collect them. I love going through my father’s collection as well, it makes me think of the great old days of horror. I wanted to have some footage shot on an actual old school VHS camera to really bring out the retro vibe. So SURVIVE will have some good 80’s influence and fun, but it was important for this film to have meaning along with the horror.