Date of publishing: 17th
Rob Carpenter grew up 40 minutes north of Montreal
and moved to Vancouver in the fall of 1996 to persue
acting in the film industry. Rob adopted a 'hands
on' approach to his career and decided it was worth
taking risks in order to learn about the film industry
as a whole. He began by creating his own short experimental
films and served as Writer, Director, Actor and Cinematographer.
Two of these films (Trauma, and Hunted) were shown
at the Vancouver’s Festival of Independents
in 1999. In the same year he joined another Vancouver
filmmaker, Vince D'Amato, to became a core member
of Creepy Six films. They have since made 3 feature
films (Vampires vs Zombies, Human Nature, Hell Hath
No Fury) that have all reached the global video market.
In the fall of 2005, Rob returned full force to his
first love of acting. He's been cast in over 30 film
and TV projects to date and continues ride the wave.
In Trevor Cawood’s compelling short film TERMINUS,
a man (Rob Carpenter) manages to escape from the shadows
of his towering worries, but does so at a gruesome
cost. His private fears and anxieties manifest themselves
as daunting figments of the imagination in this visually
innovative, surrealist piece.
Download the full movie (8 minutes) at: http://www.terminus-movie.com
Or on YouTube at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=nyiktNfn4AA
Nuytens: What did
you think when you first read the script of Terminus?
Rob Carpenter: Honestly, the first
thing I liked was that it was set in the 70's! One
of my favorite decades regarding films and overall
style. The other thing was the dark humour that was
laced into the story.
Gilles Nuytens: What
attracted you in this script to accept the role?
Rob Carpenter: I tend to love characters
who are tortured in some manner. Whether they bring
it on themselves or another character inflicts it.
Depending on how you look at it, that's where Terminus
was a great project to do. He's being stalked by this
entity that is possibly a figment of his own imagination.
So both apply to his torment.
Gilles Nuytens: What
do those creatures represent for you?
Rob Carpenter: I think the creatures
represent all the stresses of society and life in
general. As much as we try to ignore or sometimes
run from what weighs us down as human beings, it can
eventually catch up to us.
Gilles Nuytens: Is
it fair to compare those creatures to reflections
of people’s anxieties?
Rob Carpenter: Most definately. I
think there are many ways to interpret this
project but that's one of the things that stands out
for many people.
Nuytens: Your character
is literally crushed by a bus at the end, and the
creature goes off to annoy someone else ... what do
you think this means, is there any sense to it?
Rob Carpenter: The director (Trevor
Cawood) wanted to leave that up to the audience to
decide for themselves. For myself, I feel it represents
that others have the same torments that he had and
he wasn't alone in the end.
Gilles Nuytens: Why
do you think the story happens during the 1970's?
Is there any special reason why this happens then
and not now?
Rob Carpenter: Outside of the director’s
specific visual concept, I think what is being said
within Terminus applies to today’s society immensly.
The stresses and feelings of solitude are something
a person will always deal with no matter how much
Gilles Nuytens: Critics
say that the success of the film is a lot due to your
performance, and I have read that you didn’t
yet have an idea how the creature would look like
when you shot it. How did you prepare for that?
Rob Carpenter: That's an amazing
and humbling compliment! I have to say that Trevor
is one of the best directors I've had the pleasure
of working with. He knew exactly what he wanted and
communicated that extremely well. As well, I knew
that my 8 foot cement co-star was a scene stealer....
so I had to give it my all :) As far as performing
with something that wasn't there at that moment, it
actually lent itself quite well. This creature was
something my character was only able to see, so it
helped as I was performing to know that people passing
by couldn't see what I was imagining.
Nuytens: Has this
movie opened some doors for your career?
Rob Carpenter: I've been sent a few
scripts thanks to Terminus. The web site had had approximately
400,000 hits in less than a month. I'm just happy
to be apart of a project that so many people have
had the opportunity of seeing. That's definetly a
great door to have opened.
Gilles Nuytens: What
kind of memory do you keep from this experience?
Rob Carpenter: Outside of working
with a great group of people, I think the best memory
for me was filming back home in Montreal! I was excited
to see my family and have them be part of the experience.
Gilles Nuytens: Is
there anything else you'd like to add about this short
Rob Carpenter: With all the projects
I've had the pleasure taking part in in the past couple
of years, Terminus stands out as the cream of the
crop. I look forward to working with Trevor again
if the opportunity arrises. He's a very talented artist
and director who has a very bright future ahead of
Gilles Nuytens: You
got a small part in Flash Gordon, how was this experience?
Rob Carpenter: I had the best time
on set. I played a fortune telling monk who warns
of Flash Gordon’s arrival all spoken in an acient
language. I had my head shaved for the part due to
a detailed make up job of a painted skull. About 4
hours of work before hitting the set, it looked great.
It was great to be apart of the cast and crew who
love being a part of the show.
Gilles Nuytens: Darklands:
what can you say about this movie? Does it have anything
to do with the 1996 movie of the same name?
Rob Carpenter: Completely different
film. I play Henry James, a hunter who disturbs an
acient buriel ground. This feature should be finished
in 2008 sometime. Darklands is where I first worked
with one of the producers of Terminus. You can see
a teaser trailer of the film on youtube. I can hardly
wait for the finished project.
Nuytens: As an actor,
what draws you to a role?
Rob Carpenter: I tend to be drawn
to awkward or odd characters that I can break down
and make somewhat real and believable. I love it if
a character is a personal challenge. You know, one
that makes me dig deep into myself to get an understanding
of them. Whether it be a lead or smaller role, they
have to be interesting to me.
Gilles Nuytens: As
a producer and director, what kind of movies do you
Rob Carpenter: I spent a few years
producing low budget horror films. I like the genre
from growing up in the 80's because I think they can
be just great, shocking, silly, fun and at times 'make
your skin crawl' entertainment. More so, I learned
a lot about the business that has helped me grow much
more as an actor by being apart of the 'behind the
scenes'. At the same time, I enjoy comedies, dramas
and action films. Overall, if I read a script that
kicks my imagination into gear (no mater what the
genre is) I'll consider it. It's all about story telling
and how it's told in the end. I'm just in the process
of editing a short dramtic film I wrote and directed
called 'Endings'. Overall, when it comes to directing,
the creative process with an exciting story is what
I enjoy the best.
Thanks so much for opportunity to talk! Have a Happy
about this interview on the forum