He is the filmmaker of The Man Who Loved Flowers Dollar Baby film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Brendan Michaels: I’m a filmmaker, I just graduated from Columbia College Hollywood about 6 months ago. I write and direct my own films and I’m a full on cinephile.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?
Brendan Michaels: I was maybe 15/16 years old and it was a combination of having family in the industry and watching a series of films that inspired me. The main ones were Drive by Nicolas Winding Refn, Nightcrawler by Dan Gilroy, Boyhood by Richard Linklater, and Lost in Translation by Sofia Coppola. When I saw those films I realized the wide range of emotions a film could take you through and I wanted to tell stories and hopefully have people respond to the love I have of life and cinema.
SKSM: When did you make The man who loved flowers? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Brendan Michaels: I made “The Man Who Loved Flowers” back in 2018 (Man, that feels like a long time ago). I hadn’t shot a short for a couple years and had been having trouble with a script I was writing at the time and thought, “Hey, why not try and adapt something?” This answers your next question but I remembered a few years ago that I had found out about Stephen King’s Dollar Babies from a video that had fun facts about Stephen King, if I remembered correctly. I looked through them and chose “The Man Who Loved Flowers” because my dad told me how much he loved “Night Shift” when he was a teen so I looked for something there and “The Man Who Loved Flowers” seemed like the easiest to do on a tight budget. It didn’t really cost anything aside from getting a permit to shoot in Santa Monica which was a few hundred bucks. The other locations were places I was familiar with and had connections to shoot there so I just went guerilla and shot there with a very small crew. It took about a day to shoot everything if I recall correctly.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Brendan Michaels: There’s the general special feeling of me feeling like I was composing these great shots and how exciting it was to make these images I liked on the spot. I love the spontaneity of filmmaking and I got to meet some great people on it like the composer, Isaac Gonzalez. That was his first film score and he killed it! A funny moment would be in the scene when the woman slaps the man I had my mom as an extra and she had the most fake surprise. It was very funny to see. I cringed at first cause it was so over the top but I like the campiness of it all.
SKSM: How does it feel that all the King fans out there can’t see your movie? Do you think that will change in the future? Maybe a internet/dvd release would be possible?
Brendan Michaels: It’s available on YouTube so you can see it.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?
Brendan Michaels: I don’t read criticism because at the end of the day you make the film for yourself and hope others connect.
SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Brendan Michaels: I don’t think so. It’s not the most professionally made film and I think the whole rights thing with the Dollar Baby stuff is tricky so I’m fine with it being on YouTube.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Brendan Michaels: I like Stephen King. I’m not a die hard fan per se mostly cause I haven’t read his novels aside from “The Man Who Loved Flowers” but I like a lot of the films based off his work like The Shining, Doctor Sleep, Gerald’s Game, Carrie by Brian De Palma, Misery, Shawshank, and one I think gets too much flak is It Chapter Two. It’s everything I wanted from It and I feel like people don’t appreciate the big swings in films anymore so I was happy to see Andy Muschetti do something crazy with the material.
SKSM: Did you have any personal contact with King during the making of the movie? Has he seen it (and if so, what did he think about it)?
Brendan Michaels: I wish! I highly doubt he’s had the time to watch it. If he has, I’d like to think he appreciated the attempt.
SKSM: Do you have any plans for making more movies based on Stephen King’s stories? If you could pick -at least- one story to shoot, which one would it be and why?
Brendan Michaels: I don’t have any plans for the time being but the man has so much work that if I want to go back to King’s world he definitely has enough material for me to scour.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Brendan Michaels: Well I just finished the final cut of my thesis film, “Impressions of Love”, which I’m very proud of. It’s the biggest film I’ve made so far and I’m happy with how it came out. I’m writing a lot as usual so we’ll see which one I finish first and take out to shoot.
SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Brendan Michaels: Probably that I’ve only read one Stephen King short story and none of his novels.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Brendan Michaels: I highly doubt I have many fans outside my friends and family but if you enjoyed my interpretation of “The Man Who Loved Flowers”, I sincerely appreciate the support and if you could share it with everyone you think would be interested, I’d be very appreciative of that.
SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?
Brendan Michaels: Support independent film and support all films and appreciate everything in your life that makes you better.