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Cullen Hoback - filmmaker, "Freedom State"
April 30 , 2006 - Manzana Rotisserie Grill - Portland, OR

I first met Cullen Hoback, the young film auteur, at the Cinequest 16 Film Festival in San Jose, CA in early March 2006. We chatted for a bit about his works and what we thought about other films and such. He is funny, driven, and opinionated in a savvy, confident sort of way. Cullen is a creator who enjoys thinking, and wants others to think as well. There is a bit of psychoanalysis to his approach to both filmmaking and when talking with people. We made sure that we would keep in contact again.

We met again in the Pearl District in downtown Portland, OR later the next month to chat a bit about his past and present, his approach to his projects, and to discuss his latest film “Freedom State.” What we ended up talking about was the above and a lot more. There was some definite analytical diatribe along with subjective reasoning for who and how people are, and how that fits in with acting and creating. To some, Cullen might come off as someone who just goes with a thought on a rant, while others might get the depth in which he dwells, eager to pull up thoughts and ideals to challenge others to view life just a bit differently. In any respect, it was an interesting late Sunday afternoon chat over pasta and salad.

As a bit of background, Cullen was hails from Southern California, but moved to Portland, Oregon to get a different feel, and that’s where he felt his creative juices flowing the best.

We had ordered food while outside at the sidewalk tables on a rather warm day, and had already begun talking when it occurred to me that this was the proper place to begin the interview chat process.

K2K: As we were just talking about actors and what you are looking for, describe it in your own words. What are the actors that you “fear the most”?
I think when people go into acting for a few different reasons... I’m most afraid of the actors who go into it to try to escape themselves. I generally think that if you don’t know how to play yourself, you wouldn’t know how to play someone else either. You have to understand yourself first. I’m more interested in working with actors who are playing extensions of themselves, or drawing on their own life experiences, who aren’t afraid to play themselves. I think that there’s a misunderstanding or something in terms of the “ease” of playing one’s self. I don’t think that it’s easy to play one’s self necessarily. There are certain actors who learn how to play themselves first. I’m more interested in that.

K2K: From my point of view, that’s where Hollywood has gone wrong these days in that most actors are hired to play themselves, in a way. Christopher Walken is always Christopher Walken, Jim Carrey is always Jim Carrey. No matter what roles you put them in, the personalities always come through in that certain way.
That’s the difference between an actor and a star. A star is someone who you go to the movies to see them play variations on a theme, variations of themselves. Whereas an actor, in a traditional sense - your Johnny Depp, your Edward Norton - these are people who are out there trying to learn what it is to be someone else, and to play that other person. That’s not to say that they couldn’t play themselves, maybe even started there... but what I’m interested in... particularly in a place like Portland, where you don’t have the perfect person to play the perfect part... you have to take into account what your talent pool is and work with that. I think that finding people who have those life experiences that relate to a character within the script itself, is advantageous to a place like this. Then I think that when you get to a bigger acting pool, it’s important that that person still be able to play themself, but can go beyond that and get into the minds and hearts of other people as well. So has Hollywood gone wrong then? No. I think that there will always be a place for the star. There’s also a place for the actor.

The thing is, I’m not looking for “beautiful people” who play themselves. As an example, I am looking for people who have that “something” about them that is captivating to watch, and is themself, but can grow from that to play other characters, other versions of that... But I guess if you were to compare that to the Hollywood star prototype, I am looking for local “stars.” But not “beautiful people.” People who really know what they are.

When I say beauty... beauty is a complicated word. I don’t think that was the right word to use in the first place. When I say beautiful, I’m thinking more in the context of what people perceive as being a beautiful star. Where do you find beauty? Do you find it infinite and in death, or in a flower? There’s two different types. There is that which is finite and that which is infinite. I think that’s why a lot of people go into acting in the first place. They want to have that infinite beauty. You have your classic stars, and when you capture them on film, they’re beautiful throughout time... so long as you keep the prints alive.

K2K: So, how long have you been taking psychology? (laughs) You have a psychological view of the film industry.
Maybe. I don’t know. I have too much time to think about those things, and not enough money coming in to make projects. (laughs)

K2K: Next question... quick, while your mouth is full...
(As Cullen chews his salad.) That’s the best way to answer anything.

K2K: How long have you been involved in filmmaking?
In filmmaking? For a long time I thought I wanted to be an actor, like when I was in junior high and high school. By the end of my high school, I had my own local access show. It was called the “Somewhat Late Show.” I was the host and we did sketch comedy. It was kind of a cross between Conan [O’Brien] and Tom Green, at that time. I think that was the mixture, except not as good. But we had at least 5,000 viewers at that time, which is great for public access. It was just highschoolers doing a bizarre show. I guess I’ve been doing [filmmaking] for about eight years, in making and working on film.

K2K: How old are you now?
I don’t answer that question.

K2K: You’re not an actor, so you’re safe.
Oh fine. I’m 24. That’s it. I would say that freshman year in college was the first time that I’d ever produced anything that would have substantial quality or won festivals or anything like that.

K2K: So you weren’t going to tell me that you’re 24?
It didn’t take much to get that out of me. I don’t answer that question, then it turns and I quickly answer the question. This is what we were talking about [earlier], you’re persuasive. With age, people have this very specific idea of where you should be in life. Like, “Oh, you’re too young. You shouldn’t be making that kind of work.” Or, “You’re too old and you’re past your prime.” It doesn’t matter what the age is, people can throw that kind of rhetoric at it either way. That’s why I’m reticent to say it. Put it in your head whatever age you want to think that I am. I just want to forget how old I am. I think that there’s this whole march towards becoming more mature, more adult-like. I think that there’s that sense of age where, “I’m 34 now. I should act 34.” If you look at what that means... by virtue of not saying it, then you’re “not” that. Then you can be a kid or as mature as you need to be in any given situation.

K2K: What’s your background - schooling or whatnot?
Background? I grew up in the town that surrounds where [director] Tim Burton was inspired to make “Edward Scissorhands.” When he made “Edward Scissorhands,” he was ridiculing the nature of repetition and the multicolored pastel-like boxes that lined the streets. The castle on the hill was Cal Arts, and the surrounding neighborhood was were I grew up. Valencia, California.

K2K: Really? Valencia?
I grew up in Valencia. I couldn’t wait to get out. We don’t really have a choice in the places we grow up in, but it does influence what you end up rebelling against later in life. So I certainly don’t regret it. Anytime I’m in [Los Angeles], I’m very motivated to make art, just because I’m reminded of the reasons I got into it in the first place.

K2K: Are you thinking about moving back to LA?
There’s a small part of me that’s thinking of that. I don’t mean to compare myself, but I think it’s similar to that James Joyce complex where you have to be in that place where the art came from in the first place, even if you don’t like it there. I usually think it’s best to go where it’s not [happening], or at least not the main thing that’s happening. The same reason that I went to Whitman College. When I went there initially, a great English program and great Liberal Arts program. Small school, but film just wasn’t being done there. A great theater program. I thought, “This is a great place to make movies.” because I would find a support group, because not everyone was doing it. It’s like that marketing thing... Would you rather sell shoes in a place where people don’t know what shoes are, as clearly they’ll need them, or would you rather have 40 competitors but everyone knows what shoes are.

That’s why I went to Whitman, and that’s why I cam to Portland. Now Portland is just this blossoming place for independent film. I was looking at all of these independent theaters, venues, infrastructure... People can afford to live here and not go broke working on projects for little or no money. The same thing if you want to shoot on location in Portland... If you go to a bagel shop in LA and ask, “Hey can we shoot here?”, they say, “Wait... how much are you going to pay us? Universal was here last week and they put a hole in our wall.” You go to a bagel shop here and it’s, “Oh sure. We’ll shut it down. How many days do you need it for? Here, have a bagel.” If we put a hole in their wall, then... well, you want to help them out, but hopefully you don’t put a hole in their wall. You be careful. That’s the major difference - Where do you find the support for making [a film]? Yeah, it’s a lot harder to find money here, but you can make those connections and rally people behind the art rather than the industry. I think Portland is a great place to say, “Yeah, there’s the entertainment industry, but there’s also film as art.”

I think that’s like saying are you making ad copy or are you making a paper. Then this in combination with the rise of cheap digital technology that allows you to make something that emulates a multi-million dollar budget for under one million, or a million dollar budget for under a hundred thousand. There’s just more possibilities. One of the problems I’ve run into in Portland is, if you need a black actor, you’ve got three to choose from. Or you go to Seattle or something like that. That’s probably not true, but every time I’ve done a casting call where there’s been a part that’s not white, it’s hard to find someone to fill that role. It’s just not a big city. There’s a difference when you have a city of one million that incorporates all the suburbs.

K2K: In our earlier conversations, I notice that you pick out nuances and stereotypes the same as I do in people and things. Do you also get called judgmental like I do?
Judgmental? Um... you know, (pause) I think it’s important to not be afraid of coming out and saying things to push people’s limits. I think that it’s important to not be afraid of not being liked. What I mean is, someone who is always striving to be the pleaser, striving to always be liked, then all you are is a reflection of what you think other people want you to be. So where are “you” in that equation? Judgmental? I think I was called that more a few years ago. I don’t think I get that very much anymore. I think I’ve gotten better at retaining some of those thoughts. It depends on who you’re speaking with, and you’re relationship to the person your discussing. Even when you’re citing that individual, that’s the surface level of that archetype. Then there are a million different individual characteristics that go down, and a whole history that’s led to that point. There’s a lot more there to a person.

K2K: Sherlock Holmes was actually based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s best friend, a Dr. Joe Bell. This was a real person who could meet someone for two minutes, maybe speak with them or shake their hand, and size them up immediately - family history, past and current activities, even what they had for previous meals.
You know what it is... I wouldn’t say judgmental. I would probably go more with perceptive, observant, something like that. I find that people who I’m more judgmental of are those who are closer to that point of “normal,” on a spectrum. I find that I have a tendency to be more judgmental of that just because I don’t feel that they have explored themselves at all. Someone who is far more extreme, like... I was talking to this polygamist - a gay polygamist, a 60 year old woman - she’s the mother of a kid who is involved with live-action role playing. I asked, “Why wouldn’t you ever do live-action role playing?” She said, “Honey, when I poke something, I want to make sure that it bleeds. I’m kinky enough now.” We were talking about the nature of community and a few other things, and I have a feeling that someone like that... a lot of people would be very... that’s where judgmental really comes into my mind. I was far less judgmental of it, and more just curious. It’s great, in my mind, who has found a community where, if they all want to poke each other and have their S&M things, then good for them. It’s not for me, but it’s interesting to see something like that. I’m not judgmental of something like that.

K2K: I got told I’m judgmental as “Oh, you were judging that person by what you said” or saw about them, like it’s a bad thing.
That’s subjectivity. That’s like, can you really ever subtract yourself from a situation? I see the media news going more in that direction anyway. I don’t want someone who is pretending to be objective. There is no way you can completely subtract yourself. And if you are... that’s the same thing as selflessness, which scares the shit out of me. So fine, alright. You want to go full circle? I guess that, we’ve just coined that term... We say that judgmental is a negative thing. I think that so long as you be judgmental, but I think you have to weigh things out.

I think that people have a tendency to become whatever they do. The thing that you do most in your life, you want people to perceive you in that way. When I teach film over the summers, or I talk with actors, I say we’re all acting all the time, in one degree or another. You may not think that you are, but try putting on a completely different outfit - call it a costume - and see how people react to you differently on that day. You’ll find that so much of who you are is shaped by the other people’s perceptions of you, and your costume is closely associated with that. Like when you’re in a play and you put on a different outfit, or you wear different shoes, suddenly you feel like an entirely different person because the clothing... the way that people look at you, and the way that you are used to looking at someone in that clothing, changes how you think of yourself.

(At this point, as I had to catch a plane home, and we had yet to walk to the car at Cullen’s abode, we decided to continue chatting on the run - me with bags in tow, tape recorder held up, while Cullen continued his stream of consciousness delivery of what makes good actors and how “Freedom State” came to be. As we weaved our way through the streets, we both soon realized that Cullen was aimlessly following me - who had no idea where I was going - while lost in thought. We went back to talking about the role-playing kid’s mother... )

CH: His mother was just another person I was interviewing about what was her perception was of the community and how the participants there had shaped themselves. That’s when she started to talk about, “Well, I’ve been involved with alternative lifestyles all my life.” She had some term for her [community], Gay Poly something, I’m not really sure. It’s not true polygamy. It’s relationships with multiple... I don’t know.

K2K: What was the first movie that you’ve made?
The first movie was a 10 minute short called, “Giving Day.” It was kind of a cross between a “1984” type of society with a visual aesthetic akin to a black and white “Wrinkle In Time.” It was silent and was about someone breaking free of the conformity and repetition of the world around them. It’s just all of these visually repetitive images of people going through rote tasks in society, and then “The Lottery.” You know that short story “The Lottery,” where one person is kicked out every 365 days. They take out all of their aggressions and emotions on that one person by killing him. It was these three things combined that make up this short.

K2K: Did that win anything?
Yeah, yeah. It won a couple of festivals.

K2K: What was the first feature film that you’ve made?
I’m going to say “Freedom State.” I shot something that was feature length, that was student work. It was more of an education. It was me saying, “Can I make something that is using a comedy formula and be successful.” It did fine in a couple of festivals. I was 18 when I wrote it.

K2K: How did you get around to making “Freedom State”?
Well, it was an evolutionary process. I actually responded to a Craig’s List posting by the producer, Aaron Douglas. He had a short script. It was about a fat woman who was trailer park oriented. She had a little dog and come to a condo complex and break a lot of rules. But then the old lady who’s been giving her all of these fines dies, and she becomes head of the condo complex. That’s what it was about and he was looking for a DP. I showed him some of my past work, and he asked if I wanted to direct. I said if he really wanted me to direct, I need to understand more of what it was about. We needed to have the script evolve from that point. We kept looking at the script, revising it. It changed a lot, but it stayed in the condo complex. Then I stepped away and said, “Here’s five different ideas using this great actress I know up in Seattle, Megan Murphy.” She ended up playing Krystal in the film. The original name of the character was Krystal and that was the one thing that stuck. [Aaron] said he really liked the cult classic thing, and I wanted to make something that combined... Two of the things that I’m always interested in when seeing films is apocalypses and people in mental institutions. But I wanted to try a variance on that. It wasn’t really an apocalypse, and it wasn’t really a mental institution. More of the ideas of the two things. That’s where we went. I wrote about 30 drafts of the script from there, and a lot of it was regenerated through improv in rehearsal and things like that, using stories from the lives of the actors who are playing the characters.

K2K: The people in the film - Do they really believe that the apocalypse happened, or are they role-playing?
It depends on the character. Some of them are just playing along. Some of them really want to invest themselves in it. And some of them absolutely believe in it. Denise’s character absolutely believes it, but she’s believed it many times in the past. I think it’s more like when you were a kid and you believe that when you were standing on a rock in a field, that you were surrounded by lava. You completely invest yourself in this. You bring your brother onto the rock with you. Then you have to make a bridge out of sticks, even though theoretically sticks would be burning by the lava, but you have to jump on them very quickly. I think it’s more like that. It’s really more of a throwback to childhood pretending where you truly believe that this thing is happening. Also letting that imagination take form in such a way that it can help Krystal’s life evolve and to see beyond her husband. It also facilitates the growth of the relationship between her character and Dex.

K2K: What was the deal with those two? Is Krystal going to get a divorce and go for Dex?
I don’t think it really matters.

K2K: Was Krystal unhappy with her husband to the point of leaving, or did she check herself into the clinic to fix herself?
I think that she’s completely dissatisfied with her life and she went to learn what is the opposite of what she’s experienced for so long. I don’t think she was going there with the assumption that she would never see her husband again. In my mind and the direction it wasn’t that relevant. She was going there as an autonomous body to figure herself out. I think that was one of the things she learned at the end, she said, “What I realized I wanted was crazy love.” She wanted love. She didn’t know that when she went there. That was her self-discovery.

K2K: So what about her and Dex? Falling for each other?
Oh, yeah. Dex’s character, he has this line where he saw this prostitute on Sunset Blvd., and it was horrifying. I think this is an impression that was left on him, is that he’s afraid of sex or anything that relates to that. He’s never had a relationship of any form, outside of what you might experience in fourth grade. Yes, they are falling for each other, but it’s very prepubescent, almost like fourth-graders pinching each other in a flirting kind of way. I don’t imagine them going back and having sex any time soon.

K2K: Are you planning a full-feature version of this film? This one is one hour.
This film is done. It’s as long as it should be. There were other elements, other points to the plot that could assumably be shot and added. I feel like the piece is self-sustaining. I’ve heard a lot of people’s comments that it feels longer than it is, but it doesn’t feel too long, but just right. I’m not shooting any more. It’s done.

K2K: What are your next projects?
Well, I’m doing the documentary on live-action role players. It interests me as people finding fantasies in life, and cultivating a sense of community in a world that is moving away from it. The next project... there are a couple of scripts. I’ve been working on this project for a while, called “Transitions.” It’s a collection of characters...

(After we had made a bit of a circle through the district, we ended up in front of his apartment building. Entering through the front doors of a rather modestly modern building, we immediately were transported into a room representing an 80s disco - replete with multicolored (in primary tones) squared large lights on the walls. Ten seconds later, when opening a door on the far side of this room, we now entered an underground parking garage of standard style. To the right, Cullen’s vehicle, parked precariously at an almost 45 degree angle, in which I had to enter from the lower side up into the passenger seat and pull the door up to shut. Interesting experience it was. And... we continued talking the whole time.)

K2K: Through the disco and into the garage. Interesting. How did you assemble the cast for “Freedom State”?
Well, we had a few open calls. I knew that I’d wanted Megan to play the lead. I’d worked with her in the past, in a couple of shorts. Her roles were getting progressively larger as I learned how to work with her.

K2K: Is she hard to work with?
No. She’s incredible to work with. I just had never been able to use her in any lead capacity. It had always been short bit parts. That’s all I had access to. The cast... [We did] open casting calls at the Hollywood Theater. Basically I had pooled about 15 people who I was really interested in doing some improv exersizes with. Then having them read from the script, but I was more interested in who they were and what they’re life experiences had been, than I was in how great of a performance they were able to do on the stage. Improv actually has more... I was putting more weight on their improv abilities than I was on their cold read abilities. I knew that whatever their improv abilities were, at least I could get that from them. So I met with about 15 people from that point, 20 people... I sat down with each actor for two hours and sort of went through a therapy session with each of them. Literally, just breaking down their history, where they’ve come from, why they act... The psychology thing. What was useful about that was that it gave me a chance to learn who they were, and also find out some of their stories to see if these were people who - at some point in their lives - could have taken a different path and ended up in a place like this (referring to Lost Acres in the film), for their own mental health. From that, I siphoned it down to the cast that is there now.

K2K: But Megan was always your first choice.
She was always the first choice. I wrote her part specifically to be played by her.

K2K: What about Agrippa Williams?
Agrippa is also from Seattle. He has this sort of Samuel L. Jackson feel to him. I think he doubles for him. I think he doubled for him last month.

K2K: Watching him in the film, it was like watching Samuel L. Jackson driving the bus, without saying the “motherfuckers” at every opportune time.
Yeah. He says, “Damn!” [in that way]. There’s that in there. Agrippa is a sweetheart. He has to be loosened up a little bit. He has a tendency, when he moves, to sit kind of straightened back, or something like that, where he is leaning forward to deliver the lines. Once you get Agrippa loosened up, he’s great.

K2K: Aah. And that takes how many drinks?
No, we’re talking about marijuana. We’re not talking about alcohol.

K2K: So, heavy pot smoking on the set of “Freedom State.”
(laughing) That is not the case.

K2K: It’s unfortunate that you couldn’t have used an advertisement of (mocking the old “Freedom Rock” CD television commercial), “Is that ‘Freedom State’, man? Turn it up!” You might be too young to remember that commercial.
I was never actually sure if he was rolling tobacco, or what he was rolling. But he had self-rolled cigarettes. [Although I’m sure Cullen meant “hand-rolled,” as cigarettes rarely can roll themselves. - ed.] I wasn’t sure what it was exactly. His character says, “I’m not smoking anymore.” And he’s out there as a security guard. There is that question of what he was actually smoking. He’s sort of there half as a patient, half as a security guard.

K2K: You’re idea of mental facilitating, or mental help, is certainly different from the norm. These people can come and go as they please. Staff takes off en masse for an entire day or so. There’s no actual doctor to be seen anywhere. There is no real control over any situation. And there’s a bus available, free for the taking.
We’re only talking about a facility that manages 10 or 12 people, or something like that. It’s not a literal facility in that sense. It’s something you find in a book. It’s trying to make an aim at a sense of reality, but I would consider it a rest home for trust fund babies. You look at all the people there, and they all just happened to have a lot of money to be in this place. You spend a lot of money to hang out with people who are kind of “out there.” This is not a mental institution. This is not a place for people who are literally insane in any debilitating way. This is a place for people who are outside the social norm, and it puts them all inside one box to explore the world together.

K2K: Where did you find the location that is the Lost Acres home?
I was driving around. I had been looking forever. We had gone to the most horrifying mental institutions, places that had been shut down 10 years ago. One of them, where we actually shot one room, we shot in one of those old institutions. There was a book left on the floor from 1992. It had all of the patients’ names broken down, dates, and a code - 1 through 10 - based on, depending on what the number was, a two could have been molestation, a five could have been an inmate beating or something like that. These were things that had happened. This book had been left at the end in this giant warehouse of an institution - something around 500,000 square feet. Just absolutely massive. They’re knocking it down and building a planned community on it. We were the last film crew to be allowed to shoot there. There were some Navy SEALS doing bombing exersizes there. Very creepy stuff. Thrilled to be shooting there at four in the morning. We had grip guys hugging the lights - a) for warmth, and b) because it was fucking scary.

But we shot the actual home for Lost Acres, it was a home that had been passed down for generations. There used to be a windmill in the tower that’s there. The windmill was blown away in a storm in the late 1800s. They’re still thinking about rebuilding it when they get the money. I was just driving around, and that’s how I came across it. I drove up to the home and talked with the family who was there and that’s how we found it.

K2K: Within the beginning of the film, as Krystal is taking the cab to Lost Acres, the scenery shown is awesome. It’s lush with colors and depth on the ground and in the sky. It was almost three dimensional. How did you get that look?
Yeah. That is at the same location. I’m just going to give that one up to God on that day. The light was actually changing on a rapid basis. We were shooting in the middle of spring. In Oregon, if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute. It was beautiful at that time. Sean and I had talked a lot about emphasizing the greens in the film. We actually didn’t saturate that image as much as we did with most of the fantasy material later in the film. We did some saturation levels throughout the film, depicting how much... It was relating to how much fantasy, how much vibrance, how much light is going on within any given scene.

K2K: The whole film is very nicely shot.
Sean perfectly, technically executed the film. Sometimes it would take a little longer than I would expect, but in retrospect, it took exactly as long as it should have. Whereas I might have allowed something to be blown out in the corner, just so we could get a bit more material, he would make sure that we would put a gradient on it until it looked right. And that’s why I love working with Sean.

K2K: Out of this particular film, what are you hoping for?
Well, anyone who makes a film would like to see it in theaters. I think that there’s a place for it. When I initially came in, the design was such that we said, “Here’s something that would really have a market who would be interested in seeing something like this.” I would love to see it in art house theaters. It’s not the type of film that could be anything more than that. Then, a good DVD distribution would be excellent. I would be thrilled to see that. The other thing I would love to see from this is that it makes enough money to make another movie. That’s always the hope that you can continue improving your craft and making more work. Hopefully someone will see this, or several someones, and say, “Hey, that’s a guy who deserves a bigger budget.”

K2K: Speaking of budget... What do you do for a day job?
That’s a terrific question. I apply for credit cards. I’ve done some music videos, and I’ve done some commercials. The day job is doing things for the TV that I don’t watch. Then also doing these films. The documentary takes me about 28 hours per weekly basis. I don’t consider myself a documentarian necessarily. I’m more interested in the story that is underneath, and finding that narration.

K2K: Any words for upcoming filmmakers?
If you want to be a director, don’t waste your money on grad school, or undergrad school. Go learn about something else. Don’t learn about film in school. Learn about something else, and then apply that knowledge to film. Go work on movies. That’s what I would say. Save your $100,000. from grad school and go make a movie.

K2K: So, be a maverick.
A maverick. (laughs) Go out and do it.

(Cullen then switched thoughts back to upcoming projects.)

CH: I don’t know what the next project is. I’ve been talking more about that shroom film. I’m still very interested in that and looking for variations on that. I think it’s going to revolve around this start-up company with guys in their 20s. The start-up is all about helping... the company is designed to help people overcome their fears. It’s largely spinning off of the media and the government in trying to make people so afraid. They guys are saying, “If people are going to overcome their fears, that’s how they will truly be free.” So I see the film being a combination between “The Game” (with Michael Douglas) and “I Love Huckabees.” Something like that. That one was called “Transitions.” That’s the working title. It might be called “Fear, Inc.” I don’t know.

At this point, Cullen had come to a screeching halt in front of the Portland Airport as I had about 20 minutes to catch a flight out of town. As we unloaded my bags, we both agreed that doing “interviews on the run” was quite bizarre, but yet an apparently necessary evil. Sometimes cohesive thoughts come from motion than from just sitting around thinking. And so with that, we ended our chat for this time around. “Freedom State” should hopefully be picked up by a distributor before too long, so look for it at your local rental store.
Written by Philip Anderson

Philip Anderson is a musician, in addition to being a writer/photographer. He has performed as a guitarist/vocalist, as well as songwriter, in several bands over the past 20 years. As a writer and photographer, he has been published by several magazines and in several books, and had his works appear on television.

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