First-time filmmaker Joshua Hull doesn’t have a flashy Hollywood story about how he got into writing and directing films. In fact, his ten-year journey to getting his first feature made all began because of some pretty big life changes that would generally knock any normal person flat on his or her proverbial butt.
“For so long I’ve been trying to manage my personal life, working a full-time job and trying to be a filmmaker,” explained Hull. “However, last year my five-year relationship with the mother of my daughter ended, and it was a life changing experience. Something like that just throws all your priorities into a bag and mixes them up. I moved back to my hometown and was at a breaking point in my life. Then I started to look around at my new world and realized I still had the need to tell stories. From there I started working on Beverly.” Beverly, as in Beverly Lane, his upcoming feature.
Hull has been preparing for his directorial debut since he was still in school. When most kids were focused on homework and grades, he was focused on making movies.
“I’ve been writing scripts since middle school. In fact, in high school I would get terrible grades because I was more focused on scripts than schoolwork, but I was lucky because my mom always pushed me to follow my imagination,” Hull said.
“Beverly Lane is my first film project ever. In high school and up until this point, I’d try to make movies, and we’d be weeks away from shooting and then the projects would fall apart. That’s been happening for about ten years now, but somehow for Beverly everything just aligned. That’s how I knew that the timing for this was right,” added Hull.
At its core, Beverly Lane is a comedy flick with zombies. However, Hull explained the film has a lot more going on for genre fans than just the undead and some chuckles. “Beverly Lane is a zombie movie, but I wanted to do something to give it a different spin because so many zombie movies follow a certain pattern,” explained Hull. “So, I started thinking about people who work in an office and what would happen if a zombie apocalypse broke out while you were at work alongside a group of people you don’t really want to be stuck with on any normal day, let alone when there are zombies running around killing people.”
“Then, for fun, I decided that Beverly Lane should mix it up a bit so when the apocalypse breaks out and these people are stuck at work, it’s not any normal day. It’s during a theme party at the office so you also are stuck with magicians, clowns, and all sorts of crazy people on top of that. I wanted to make the survivors have to choose between the crazy people around them or the zombies attacking outside,” Hull added.
With Hull having such a tumultuous journey to getting his first film project off the ground, I asked the newcomer to talk about how it felt the very first time he stepped onto the set for Beverly Lane.
Hull said, “I wish I had a better answer, but the first time I stepped on-set as a director, I didn’t feel much more than tired. Our first day started at 6:30 am. We planned a four-day shoot, and honestly, we set ourselves up for ridiculous failure.”
So why on earth would anyone be so bold as to shoot a feature film in just four days? Hull told Dread Central that having this much pressure wasn’t part of his original plan.
“Originally we planned Beverly Lane as a web series but realized that the story worked best as a feature. It was the best decision for the project, but unfortunately that meant we had to shoot a feature in the time span of a web series. I was lucky that I was surrounded by such a talented group of professionals, and they are the only reason we were able to pull it off,” discussed Hull.
Being a rookie director, Hull no doubt had a lot to learn. I asked him what was the biggest lesson he took away from his first time helming a project.
“The biggest thing I discovered while making Beverly Lane was that the idea that you can’t make a quality movie without a huge budget is just a load of garbage,” explained Hull. “We had $1,200 to make this film, and truthfully, most of that went to keeping people fed. My biggest fear the entire time has always been money, but it was surprising how little it took to get Beverly Lane made.”
“I have had so much fun already, and I haven’t had the chance to experience even half of the process yet so I’m sure there’s more to learn, but I still kick myself every day because now I can officially say that I’m a director. There is a journey for everyone, and if someone like me can get a movie made in four days, so can anyone else who has the passion to get it done,” Hull added.
With Beverly Lane currently in post-production, Hull is busy working on a new slasher script and looking to secure distribution for his directorial debut as well.
In honor of Hull being one of Dread Central’s “Indie Filmmakers to Watch”, we’re pleased to debut the brand new trailer for Beverly Lane, which you can check out for yourself below.
Got news? Click here to submit it!
See how little money you need to have fun in the Dread Central forums!