When it comes to their art, M. Shawn Crahan (Slipknot) and Corey Taylor (Slipkot/Stone Sour) have never been the type of guys to cave in to the harsh words of their critics. Throughout their careers, these two men have always fought the hard battle to free themselves from the sort of genre trappings that many of their contemporaries fell into. This constant battle is one that has set them apart within their own metal scene, but now Corey and Shawn are taking the battle to a whole new front, the world of film.
Two days ago I sat down with Corey to talk with him about his and Shawn’s new production company Living Breathing Films. If anything can be said for the man it’s that he feels passionate about his art, and whether you like it or not, he and Shawn (aka Clown), are set to take the film world by storm. Their goal is simple, to make the kinds of films that they feel lack presence in today’s market, and while their mission may seem quite daunting, the boys are more than up to the task.
HeyUGuys: So your company is called Living Breathing Films right?
One thing I was wondering was, with all these metal guys such as Dee Snider, Rob Zombie and more recently Slash, making their way into the film world, how are you going to set yourself apart from that and not become just another one of those “metal bands that wants to direct films”.
Basically the same approach we take to music, we’re gonna take to film you know? The great thing about it is that we are kind of ensconced in our genre, but you’ll never know what you’re gonna get with us. We’ll 180 on you and feel completely alright with it. So the reason we set it up like we did, is so that you’ll never know what kind of film you’re gonna get from us.
We’ve got this sort of crazy arty one that Clown is doing, and another is one with a more Taxi Driver vibe, where it’s more about the journey in the story than anything else. Kind of like a Psychological Thriller. We don’t ever want to pigeon-hole ourselves, we’re not getting into this for the cash. It’d be nice but at the end of the day I’d rather put out word of mouth movies than ‘fast food movies’ you know?
So you’re taking the whole “I’m a fan” approach as opposed to just trying to cash in?
That’s exactly what it is.
So you basically want to make the kind of films that you would want to see?
It’s not even so much that it’s the films I want to see as it is the films that I haven’t seen yet. It was one of the same reasons why we did what we did with Slipknot. Musically nobody was making that kind of music. We’re doing this because we feel like nobody is making our kind of movies. There’s a few but they’re really fringy or hard to find. It’s still about the journey for me you know? We want to make these kind of films that people see and go “You gotta see this freaking movie” you know? That to me is the biggest compliment.
So going straight to Video On Demand is probably out of the question because you would rather people get the full “theater experience” right?
Well I would love to have that, but at the same time, if it’s worth it just to get it out there than why not? We’re not going to just come out and do Behind Enemy Lines 7 or anything like that.
Yeah there are like a million of those things.
Right exactly! There is a difference between direct to video, and just putting it out just to get it out there. There are ways to use these devices to our advantage, and if we can just put something out there like that to build interest, then why not? It’s hard to get into theaters these days. Even in a limited release it takes time and sometimes you only get about 10 theaters and you’re like “Well there goes the budget” basically.
Well even the Indie films these days aren’t really Indie films because they have these big budget companies backing them for distribution. They say “Oh we’re not Fox we’re Fox Searchlight, it’s totally different!”. Do you think it’ll be hard for you to break through that barrier and actually get people out to see things?
It depends. There’s one good thing about knowing the people that you’re working with. You know what they’re looking for and you can almost use that to your advantage. At the same time, if you develop a reputation for quality then they’ll come to you. It’s kind of a mirror image of what we did with Slipknot where people were so ready to label us as a novelty act, and we just blew that up right a way . It got to the point where people were watching us and studying us and how we cultivated our fans. That’s kind of what we want to do here. Just let people come to us. We’re not gonna go out and beat people over the heads to become fans of our movies. We’re gonna do our own thing and if people come, they come, and if they don’t, then we at least got this beautiful piece of work.
So it sounds like you’re not planning on taking a back seat and are actually going to be pretty involved with the production aspect of your films.
That’s just the artist in us. We want to see certain things done a certain way. And it’s not like we’re going to just enforce that right out of the gate. We really want to try and collaborate and be students of it. The best teachers are those who never forgot to be students, and never forgot to learn as they were doing it. There is a very thin line between not knowing anything and being an expert. For me it makes more sense for us to kind of be hands on but still be learning at the same time. I’m not the kind of guy whose gonna take a 10 million dollar budget an wipe his ass with it. We’re smart about what we do, and we’re smart about how we want to do it, and we like to work fast.
Do you plan on putting in some of your own capital investment, because it could be a very dangerous investment putting in all the money you’ve saved up through your career in music.
Only a dumb man invests his own money, but at the same time, there is something to be said about being proud of what they call “labors of love”, where you put your own money into it. Money shouldn’t be something you’re afraid of. I mean, if it tanks it tanks, and if it makes money, than the payoff is just that much greater.
So whatever it takes to get the vision out of your head and onto the medium?
Do you plan on taking helm as Director at all.
Well Clown is just so much better when it comes to that aspect.
So maybe writing perhaps?
Well I definitely want to write, but I still need to learn how to put a script together and learn how to pace it and do the acts and all. As much as I love movies, I’ve never gone out of my way to really learn the nuts and bolts of it, but now that we have the opportunity to do it, I’m really gonna try and learn as much as I can so I can try and sit down and write my own thing. I definitely want to write and from a producer’s standpoint I definitely want to help him (Shawn) get the story there and I know he’ll get the visual aspect there. We’re a team.
After sitting and talking with the guys for awhile I got the distinct impression that above all else, this was a project made purely of passion. The hopes is that audiences will come to love and appreciate their films for their unique style and standpoint, but at the same time, they fully plan on doing things their way. Like Corey said, this is more about being a labor of love than anything else, and to quote Shawn “Why not?”.