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The Yap’s Own Joshua Hull in the Director’s Chair

by on July 23, 2014
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Joshua Hull

Last night, Film Yap writer Joshua Hull found himself in the position of the filmmakers he writes about here on our website.

Sitting in a director’s chair, casting a spirited shadow on a large home movie screen behind him, Hull conducted a table read of the script for his third feature film, “Chopping Block.”

This film completes what Hull calls his “Anti-Growing Up Trilogy,” which began three years ago with the zombie comedy, “Beverly Lane.” Like that film, “Chopping Block” finds a group of clock-punching corporate drones thrust into mayhem. (Hull sheepishly admits that he uses this mayhem as a way of punishing these people or testing their ability to deal with spontaneity amid the grown-up monotony to which they’ve surrendered.)

The cast members of “Chopping Block” had no problem being spontaneous, shouting ideas and ad-libbing lines. They bounced on a couch with delight as they excitedly read the script in co-star Alex Raaen’s basement; their energy reverberated off the purple walls lined with movie posters. Like a proud father watching his child in a play, Hull occasionally mouthed the actors’ dialogue as they read. His exuberance was endearing, their eagerness was infectious.

Chopping Block - inside
(Left to Right: Raymond Kester, Michael Malone, Jas Sams. Photo by Seth Reddington.)

Their enthusiasm was understandable given the film’s wickedly fun premise.

“It’s about what happens when five bumbling kidnappers discover that the person they kidnapped is basically Laurie Strode,” Hull said with a chuckle.

After being laid off from cubicle life, the three lead characters pictured above decide to kidnap their boss’s daughter. Little do they know, she is a long-time survivor of serial killer Sadie Grace, who hunts for her as the kidnappers try to collect ransom money.

“It’s ‘Horrible Bosses’ meets ‘Halloween,’ ” Hull said.

That pitch is a perfect summary of Hull’s style — comedy amusingly interrupted by horror. Hull has largely dark, morbid taste in movies, but behind the camera, he exudes youthful innocence. Like a mischievous big brother, he aims to playfully spook viewers rather than fill them with dread. He approaches everything with a twinkle in his eye and his tongue planted firmly in cheek.

“You can’t take life too seriously,” he said. “At the end of the day, even if something doesn’t go right, I’m still making movies. And that’s a lot of fun.”

Hull literally wears his love for film on his sleeve, his arms animated with tattoos of film reels, cameras, Stormtroopers, etc. These permanent marks embody his long-term dedication to filmmaking.

Much like his characters’ kidnapping scheme, filmmaking doesn’t always go according to plan. “You have to take what it gives you,” Hull said.

At the moment, it is giving Hull an enthusiastic cast and crew ready to make a hilarious crime/slasher comedy.

chopping block cast
(Left to Right: Bryan Wilson, Michael Malone, Jas Sams, Raymond Kester, Alex Raaen. Photo by Joshua Hull.)

“Chopping Block” begins filming today in the Fishers area. Stay tuned for interviews with the cast and crew, as well as updates and photos from the set.

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