“It’s about a magician’s assistant who discovers that the magician she works for has been dabbling in black magic,” Bishop says about the segment he directed called Dante the Great. “And has summoned a demon that’s given him real magic powers in exchange for human souls.”
He said he pitched the idea about the magician who gets real magic powers and makes people disappear. “It’s a collection of shorts, and it’s a license to do almost whatever you want – you get to experiment and have fun – there’s no rules set on you. And there’s no weight of carrying a movie.
Bishop talks about discovering Jaimie Alexander when he cast her in his 2006 thriller The Other Side, and she went on to do a slew of other movies and TV projects including Thorand Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
“It’s one of things where some people just kind of stand out – with or without me she would have been just fine. If I didn’t find her somebody else would.”
His first feature project was the zombie movie Dance of the Dead, which he had trouble getting off the ground, so he decided to just go out and make another film on his own to prove his abilities.
“So out of that frustration, I just said, okay, I’m just going to scrap up as much money as I can scrap up, and I’m just going to make my own independent film, just to prove to people that I can actually do it.”
The film was The Other Side – which he ended up making for $15,000 – and he explains that he basically ended up writing the script based on availability of certain locations to achieve quality production value.
“It was the hardest shoot I’ve ever done, grueling, but fun,” he explains about The Other Side, which premiered at the Slamdance film festival.
It was after his first movie got noticed that he also got a deal for the film he had dreamed about making for years, Dance of the Dead.
Even though Bishop said he had a one million dollar budget to make Dance of the Dead, the process was remarkably similar to his low budget flick. “We were putting all the money on-screen, makeup, effects, it had an ensemble cast, which is not ideal for an independent movie with a lower budget.”
Watch the full interview to also hear Bishop talk about the short he made called The Birds of Anger, a Hitchcock-style mashup between his classic film The Birds and the hugely popular Angry Birds game.
Gregg Bishop grew up in Powder Springs, Georgia and started making movies with his father’s Super 8 film cameras when he was 7 years old. He completed over 50 short films by age 16. Bishop attended McEachern High School where he wrote & directed his first full-length feature, a spy-thriller, at 17 years of age. Bishop attended the USC School of Cinematic Arts in the Film ProductionPROGRAM. When he was a junior at the filmschool, he wrote and directed the short film Voodoo, which is now screened at orientation for incoming USC film students along with the short films Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB by George Lucas and The Lift by Robert Zemeckis. After graduating from the University of Southern California filmschool, Bishop took the profits he made from his short film Voodoo andFINANCED his feature film The Other Side himself with $15,000. The supernatural action/thriller starred Jaimie Alexander in her first leading role and premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah where it was picked up for a 2007 theatrical release. In 2008, Bishop began developing the movie as a TV series at Fox Television Studios. Bishop directed and produced Dance of the Dead in 2008, starring Jared Kusnitz, Lucas Till, Blair Redford, Laura Slade Wiggins and Justin Welborn. The movie had its World Premiere at the SXSW Film Festival and was hand-picked by director Sam Raimi for distribution through Lions Gate Entertainment and Ghost House Pictures. Bishop wrote and directed The Birds of Anger starring Jaimie Alexander for NBC Universal G4Films in 2011.