“At this point what else would I do,” Alex said before taking a drink of his beer, “It’s all I’ve ever done.” 13 years ago Alex and Rachael Drummond (who stars in The Shower) packed up their car and headed to L.A. An almost cliché story that I imagine most waiters in L.A. have told. “I was rejected from film school and was like; What the hell? Let’s just go!” The 37-year-old film maker has made his way waiting tables for more than a decade. A career he wears as a badge of honor (Check out his blog Waiterdirector.com as proof). “There’s a million blogs out there and I just didn’t want to another one about Hollywood. So I said what could make mine stand out?”
After a decade of grinding it out, what made Alex finally step up to the plate and direct? The writer/director/waiter gives credit to an unusual source. “It was actually Clerks. Kevin Smith wanted to make a movie and just did it. It was back when they didn’t have the stuff we have now. So I thought that’s what I need to do.” Much like Smith, Alex knew budget and time would be restricted, as is the case with most indie films, but Alex had another hurdle to over come that most indie directors don’t encounter. “My wife was pregnant during the filming. Like really pregnant.” When asked if it was difficult to direct his wife (especially so far into her pregnancy) Alex smiles, “You know, it was such a short shoot that there wasn’t really time to nitpick. If the takes were done right we were moving on.”
Just then genre legend Jeffery Combs walks by on his way to grab some lunch and Alex casually points. “That’s just awesome. It’s cool to have all these celebrities in one place like this.”. Alex admits to being a fan of horror films and has his fair share of stories about his run ins with horror royalty. When asked what his favorite horror movie is Alex thinks for a second. ” I use to say the original Halloween, but as I get older I realize it’s he Exorcist. I read The Friedkin biography and was blown away!” His love for the genre is clear and he makes no bones about it.
“This is our sixth film festival and so far they’ve all been a blast,” as he sets his drink on the bar. ” I’m just worried if the crowd here will dig it. It’s more of a comedy with horror elements.” Alex is referring to his directorial debut “The Shower”, a horror comedy about a viral outbreak that renders its victim’s homicidal maniacs. The Shower is minutes away from its first (and only) screening at MCN and Alex is noticeably nervous, but is trying hard to not show it. A sign he has a lot invested in his first feature. “I knew from the beginning that I had to work within my means and went for more comedy than horror, Shaun of the Dead was a big influence. I hope it goes over well here.”
With the screening minutes away, we quickly finish our drinks and I say far well to Alex as I head to the screening room. Alex and star Adam Karell (Check back later for our interview with Adam) introduced the film and I plunge head first into The Shower. I won’t say too much about the film here, but I will tell you Alex’s fears were unwarranted. The Shower was a hit. The handful of people I discussed it with all agreed The Shower was funny as hell. BUT still had enough horror elements to satisfy the rapid horror fans that Alex was fearing.
Later that night and after the convention I met up with Alex again at the bar. “I’m so relieved the movie played out, you never know for sure how audiences are going to react. Horror fans can be brutal.” The director is noticeable more at ease now that the screening has landed. A few beers later the conversation is more informal and ranges from blockbuster movies to proper ways to discipline our children (Side Note: Alex does not agree with locking children in cages and flicking lit cigarettes at them! Damn Californians!). It’s easy to see that Alex is more than film maker. He is a fan of films and can easily spend hours talk about movies (which we did). As the night winds down I ask Alex if in those years jockeying tables did he ever want to pack it in and head home Alex shrugs, “Sure there were times when I had doubts, but as long as I can remember movies is all I wanted to do. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
The Shower is currently playing the festival circuit. For info on screenings and distribution check out the official site: www.theshowerthemovie.com