Jim O'Rear, Director # 3
Jim O'Rear, photo by Michael Turner
Jim onset with Lloyd Kaufman
"Thong Girl 4"
In the original scheme of things I very well set out to find the Top 6 Independant Movie Makers of 2010, searching relentlessly for hours and days thru thousands of articles all over the internet and as I searched I met some truely great Filmakers and Jim O'Rear has got to be one of the greatest guys you could ever meet, and definetly the most experinced in the Entertainment Field, with a career that spans more than two decades as an actor and stuntman in various films from every angle of Hollywood from A list to B list this guy has done work all over! However Mr. O'Rear began Making his own Independant Movies late in the Game, spending his first twenty odd years in show bussiness as an entertainer rather than a Movie Maker, Mr. O'Rear stepped up to the plate later in his career and started pumping out his own movies using his own scripts at first with no studio backing but with lots of connections and tons of entertainment experince and this has propelled him to reach goals much faster than the typical Independant Filmaker's I've been reasearching for the past year.
Name ? Jim O’Rear
Place Born ? Cordova, Alabama
Place Grew Up? Nashville, TN… Anchorage, AK… and Tampa, FL
Whats your favorite Place to Visit? Salem, Mass
Your Favorite Color? Black
Favorite Sport? Martial Arts
Your Eye Color? Hazel
What’s your favorite kind of Music? I listen to everything except rap
Are you Married or Single? Married
Where did you attend School? The American Academy Of Dramatic Arts – New York, NY
What’s your favorite Movie(s) ? Night Of The Living Dead (the 1967 original), Halloween (the original),
Stand By Me
Whats your Favorite TV Show? Pushing Daisies
Did you study to become a filmaker? If so what School? I did not attend school for filmmaking but did attend for performing arts.
Who are your Idols? and why are they? I don’t really have an idol, but I do really admire filmmaker George Romero – He’s a brilliant writer and filmmaker who knows everything about the industry and is just a fantastic guy.
As an Award winning filmaker, what did you win Awards for? Which Movie(s)? and from where did you receive your Awards? what year(s)? That’s a tough question because I don’t really keep track of awards. I don’t work in the industry with the intention of winning awards, I just want to make films and perform in roles that entertain. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the awards and am honored that people love the work, but I’m usually so focused on the next project that I don’t think too much about them. I can say that I’ve won Golden Reel Awards, Ace Awards, Golden Cob Awards, Best Screenplay Awards, and Best Horror Feature Awards for my films which include THE DEEPENING, SCREAM FARM, BLOODLINE, MORTUARY OF MADNESS, and VAMPYRE TALES from the years of 2005 to present.
How long have you been filming movies? What motivated or influenced you to become a filmmaker? How did you get your start making films? How old were you when you made your first feature film? And what was the Title of that film? I’ve been working in the film industry as an actor, stuntman, screenwriter, producer, and director for about 30 years. However, I didn’t start making my own films until 2004, when Ted Alderman and I teamed up to make the anthology film VAMPYRE TALES, featuring myself and Scream Queen Debbie Rochon (AMERICAN NIGHTMARE). I never wanted to make my own films but a combination of things made it happen. I had produced and edited a television show for a Warner Brother’s affiliate called UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT in 1990 that ran weekly for almost 3 years, so I already had the knowledge of how to produce, direct, edit, and put a product together. I met Ted Alderman on the set of a film that I wrote and co-produced called ACONITE (which starred myself, Gunnar “Leatherface” Hansen (TEXAS CHAINSAW), Reggie Bannister (PHANTASM), Linnea Quigley (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD), and Debbie Rochon (AMERICAN NIGHTMARE)). Ted was frustrated that the indie films he had acted in had not been released to the public and I was frustrated with the fact that almost every screenplay I had written had been screwed up by the film company that had purchased them. So, we decided we’d make our own film and get it out to the public…and that’s exactly what we did. We created VAMPYRE TALES, a vampire anthology, and it got a distribution deal right away.
How many feature films have you already completed? What Genres? And what were the Titles? How long did it take for your first film to reach distribution? What was the films Title? Films that I have been involved in making as a producer, director, or both include ACONITE, VAMPYRE TALES, THE DEEPENING, SCREAM FARM, WITHIN THE REALM, RED LIPS, ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, and TORTURE ROOM. You probably notice a common thread in those titles… all of them within the horror genre. Projects that I’m currently working on as a producer/director, that are in various stages of production, include TENNESSEE GHOSTS, UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT: THE MOVIE, THE LEGACY OF PAINE, and PRANK CALL… yes, still dealing within the horror genre. I’ve been very lucky when it comes to distribution. Almost all of them received distribution deals within two months after completion. With SCREAM FARM we received three offers immediately the day after the premiere screening. VAMPYRE TALES was the first to receive a deal and it took approximately two months.
How many films have you worked on, if any besides your own films? Have you worked with any other Directors and if so how was the experience? Who has been the most notable person so far to work with? and for what reasons?
I’ve been working in films for 30 years... too numerous to count, really. My first horror film was DAY OF THE DEAD (in 1985) for George Romero, which started me on my career in the genre but I’ve also been involved with projects like LETHAL WEAPON 3, COP & ½, STAR TREK 4, COCOON, SUMMER RENTAL, MORTAL KOMBAT, RUNAWAY TRAIN, and many, many more. So, yes, I’ve worked with a variety of directors and actors over the years. Every experience is different and each comes with it’s own challenges and learning curves. There have been so many good directors and actors I’ve worked with, including Amanda Plummer, Chris Sarandon, Martin Sheen, Robert Englund, Eric Roberts, Jon Savage, Mel Gibson, Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Burt Reynolds, Maximillion Schell, Jeff Burr, Jim Wynorski, and many more. Probably, my favorite director I’ve worked with was Henry “Fonzie” Winkler. He was the most even-tempered and kind man and made sure that every single person on the set was treated with equal respect and importance. I think my favorite actor to work with was Martin Sheen, who was much like Winkler… he cared for everyone on set and even showed up on his days off just to hang out with the cast and crew.
Jim O'Rear and Misty Poteet and Kayla Perkins from the Horror film "The Devils Playground"