Up and coming film director and screenwriter Mischa Webley has caught the eye of many at film festivals across the country with his latest film 'The Kill Hole, starring Chadwick Boseman, Tory Kittles and Billy Zane. The thriller is about a troubled Iraq war vet who is forced to pursue one of his own into the Pacific Northwest wilderness to confront a war crime that has haunted them both. The Portland Oregon native sat down with me to go over why the film was made and his hopes to get the message of the life of veterans after service in the military and how difficult it is to adapt to civilian life.
Me: How long did it take to make "The Kill Hole" from development through production?
Mischa Webley: The entire process took about three year's to complete. The project was green lit in 2010 then we started production.
Me: Is this your first film? What films have you done before this?
Mischa Webley: The Kill Hole is my first feature film. You would not know any of my past films!
Me: What does the title, "The Kill Hole," mean? How did you come up with the idea for the film?
Mischa Webley: The term Kill Hole comes from the ancient people called the Mimbres. They were potters from New Mexico that would "kill" their pots by breaking holes in the center of them releasing the spirit out of the pot allowing it to join them in the afterlife. These pots would be of any living thing they knew from family to pets. Eventually the Mimbres vanished. I came up with using the title for the film because Tory's characters (Sergeant Drake) story resembles the same type of characteristics of the kill hole.
Me: What and who inspired you to make the film?
Mischa Webley: My grandfather inspired me to do the film. He too was in the military and he would always tell me stories about the war. What interested me the most about his stories was the loneliness he felt when returning home and not having someone to talk to about what he had seen and done while serving in the military. Hearing his story and others, I wanted to expand on that loneliness.
Me: Interestingly you cast real veterans for your film and I could feel the level of intimacy the characters while watching it. Can you give me an idea of the level of realism they brought to the film? Did they give you additional insight on how to improve scenes along the way?
Mischa Webley: Thank you, yes after speaking with a few veterans some were interested in partaking of the film. I could not of asked for a better experience-not only did I learn a lot about these men and their experiences, but they would offer suggestions along the way that was very helpful when doing the scenes with them.
Me: As a film director Mischa, what suggestions would you give the government to help veterans assimilate back into civilian life?
Mischa Webley: Well I am no politician but I think that they need to listen to these men and find ways to accommodate these guys more in the programs that are given to them.
Me: Everyone has seen the Chris Dorner story and I would like to know what thoughts went through your head as you watched the story unfold? Do you think that your film could not have came at a better time?
Mischa Webley: After doing my research and talking with veterans, these soldiers are trained to shoot first and ask questions later. They are not trained to have remorse. The way Chris Dorner went about his mission was the wrong way to handle things. There are many organizations in the military that us civilians do not know about let alone what really goes on behind closed doors. I feel that my film will shed light on what these soldiers go through in combat and how it affects them when they come back home.
Me: How do you feel about war films like yours, Zero Dark Thirty and Argo resonate with audiences?
Mischa Webley: Well thank you for the compliment! Right now I feel people are angry with the past wars and especially the war in Iraq. People get to see both sides of military life, and with my film from the soldiers perspective which is refreshing in many ways since we dont get to see their side too often.
Me: Why do the movie in Portland?
Mischa Webley: I am originally from Portland and wanted to shoot the film in an area I was familiar with. Portland is beautiful with many hills and grass- a lot of great scenery. I received a lot of support from the city and residents as well. It is a great place for filmmakers right now.
Me: When will the movie premiere in theaters? DVD?
Mischa Webley: The movie will premiere in Los Angeles, New York City and Portland on March 15. The DVD release will be on April 9th at all video retailers.
Me: Good luck to you and thank you for your time! I hope your film does fantastic!
Mischa Webley: Thank you and I hope so too!
If you would like to view the trailer to the film check out the video below this article. You can also keep in touch with the film and director at the following social sites: