My name is Emir Skalonja. I'm an indie filmmaker from USA. I live in a tiny village of Angola in the state of New York, on lake Erie. I live there with my wife Nicole, our 19 month old daughter Alma and our two dogs (Spike and Noa) and our two cats (Scruffy and T.J.) I was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and I moved to USA in 2002.
How did you get your start in the film industry?
I always loved film. When I was 4 years old, a group of producers came to our daycare to cast for a film titled Psalm which is a story about a young boy, his divorced mother and their relationship with their neighbor. Apparently I said some pretty outrageous things for a 4 year old and ultimately I was cast haha
Can you tell us anything about your movies?
I focus on horror and exploitation. My films are pretty dark and grim and I guess you could say nihilistic. Most of my films, however, focus on strong female characters and the perseverance of their spirit. I also tend to have a lot of gore in my films.
What do you consider to be the strongest element of your work?
I guess I would have to say the atmosphere. I like to create pretty haunting and foreboding environments filled with danger and violence. I do tend to lend a special focus on extreme close ups of character's faces, body parts and blood and gore. I'd say I got that from watching too many westerns with my dad haha
Do you think you've changed as an Director/Producer since you first started?
Absolutely. Just the other day, when we released the first teaser trailer for Holland Road Massacre, my friend and graphic designer Jeffrey Kosh said I really matured as a director. There are some very special shots in my latest film that show my growth as a director. I've learned to focus on one single thing and make it good, instead of focusing on a dozen things and making a mess of everything.
What are some of your upcoming projects?
We have a drama/thriller titled Veronika, starring two awesome actress from Holland Road Massacre, Heather and Kristina. It's a story about a recovering addict, and suicidal young woman who is kidnapped and held against her will. Also, a huge epic film Anthropocene, about climate change and how our society breaks down, which we already started filming a few weeks ago. We continue in May.
Where can we found out more about you and your work?
They are all on my film/author page Emir Skalonka Author-Filmmaker and our production page Fox Trot Productions.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to try a career in Director/Producer?
As cheesey as it sounds, don't give up. Also, don't care what anyone says. If you want to make movies, make movies. You don't have to have a reason why you're doing something. Lastly, grow a thick skin. People will come at you relentlessly from all directions.
If you could work with any Director/Producer who would they be and why?
Robery Rodriguez because his book Rebel Without a Crew is my Bible, Quran, Torah etc haha. He's a Jack of all trades. Also, Rob Zombie. He's God to me. He could care less about what anyone says about his films. His films are awesome, very nihilistic and so character driven. He's truly had some despicable characters in his films. The Lords of Salem is my favorite horror film of all time.
A close tie between The Lords of Salem and Day of the Dead (1985)
I'm a fanatic when it comes to extreme metal, mostly black metal and melodic death metal. Insomnium, Arkona, Gra, Dark Funeral, Carach Angren, Dimmu Borgir, Epica are some of my favorite bands.
What is your personal definition of horror?
Dread...the true fear of the unknown that just might end your life in the most brutal way.
What is the last horror film you saw? What did you think of it?
Haha The Seed of Chucky. It was ridiculous. Chucky and doll girlfriend have a kid who is confused about his gender...and they all kill people (while trying to be decent parents) hahaha. I mean it was good, not great, not my favorite in the Childs Play series, but enjoyable.
Favorite country or place?
My house in the village of Angola is my favorite place because it's by the lake and there are not a lot of people around. It's very rural. But as far as a country goes, any Scandinavian country will do for me, namely Finland and Sweden. My dream is to one day finally visit Iceland.
Did you know anything about sweden?
Of course. I traveled through Sweden extensively when I was a kid with my grandmother. We took a ferry from Copenhagen and went through Malmö. We stayed there for a bit, then spent many days between Karlskrona and Stockholm.
Anything else you want to mention?
Thanks a lot for the questions and your support. I know you've been following my work for quite some time. So your support is very appreciated. Also, I wanted to thank all my fans and supports and my wife who's been by my side on this long rollercoaster of a journey!