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July 2, 2010

Interview: Actor/Filmmaker Jim Van Bebber

Jeff Dolniak interviews actor and filmmaker Jim Van Bebber about his interesting film career.

CHC: Hey Jim! Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions about your film career for Cinema Head Cheese. First I'd like to start off by asking you, what films inspired you most to become a filmmaker?

Find Jim Van Bebber on

JVB: The films that inspired me very early on were "The Wizard Of
Oz", the original "King Kong", "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad", "La Belle
et La Bette" and "Way Of The Dragon".

CHC: What are your thoughts on acting, writing and directing at the same time in film? You did it throughout your filmmaking career. That's a lot to tackle in my opinion, especially if you wanna make the movie work. It did seem to work perfectly in your case.

JVB: For me, writing, directing and acting in my films is something
that I have done since my childhood regular 8mm films. By the time of
"Deadbeat at Dawn", it was just natural. I don't even think of it as
difficult. The more that I can infuse of myself in my films, the more
joy I get out of making them.

CHC: Did you ever think that DEADBEAT AT DAWN and MANSON FAMILY would become the classic genre films that they are today? You went through ALOT getting those films made.

JVB: I always set out to make films that will last into the future
and avoid current trends. I find it very gratifying that audiences
have embraced "Deadbeat at Dawn" and "The Manson Family" as important genre films as that was my intention. Thank you everyone!

CHC: I was introduced to your work by a friend who had a tape with ROADKILL and MY SWEET SATAN back in the early 90's. At that time I hadn't seen DEADBEAT AT DAWN so I had no  expectations . Both short films knocked me off my ass, as I'd never seen something quite like either film before . I probably could best describe them as enjoyable punches to the gut. Do you like getting  under the viewers skin?

JVB: I feel an obligation to the audience to evoke discomfort if that is the subject matter I am dealing with.

CHC: As someone who has been working on films for over 22 plus years and has seen practically everything an artist can experience, what would your best advice be for people aspiring to become filmmakers?

JVB: My advice is that if you want to be a FILMMAKER...shoot FILM! Learn f-stops and exposure and throw camcorders into the trash unless you are making a sex tape or wedding videos.

CHC: Jim, thanks for spending the time to answer questions for Cinema Head Cheese, and most importantly thank you for creating some amazing films for genre fans all over the world to enjoy!

If any one reading would like to check out Jim Van Bebber's films, you can find THE MANSON FAMILY and VISIONS FROM HELL: THE FILMS OF JIM VAN BEBBER at (click the links and you'll be taken there). You can also buy them at!

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