Director Craig Singer took some time out to chop it up with Reviews & Dunn about his new film, 6:45.
Reviews & Dunn - What can you tell us about your latest film, 6:45?
In brief, Craig Singer - 6:45 I would define as a wonderful unnerving journey that allowed me to focus on telling a story that was as challenging as it was chilling. A young couple very much in love goes on a romantic getaway where things go tragically wrong. Things deteriorate, and capturing their heart-pounding anxiety was the task at hand. I think we pulled it off.
Reviews & Dunn - I am a big Hip Hop fan, and I was surprised to see The 45 King and Remy Ma as part of the cast for 6:45. How did they end up joining the film?
Craig Singer - With Mark (the 45 King), he is a dear friend. We have worked together in the past, and I was thrilled he was able to join the 6:45 film family. He is a pleasure to work with. In the case of Remy, I was not familiar with her, and when we met- I just fell in love with her talent and professionalism. She came fully prepared and did a fantastic job. Her husband Papoose stopped by one day, and it was equally nice getting to know him.
Reviews & Dunn- The film has a bit of a twist ending. While I will not go into spoilers about 6:45's ending as a movie buff yourself, what would you say is your favorite twist ending of all time?
Craig Singer - In addition to a twist, there is a very satisfying ambiguity to our final act. Most of my favorite films have the same sort of ambiguity. I suppose it is subjective, but it is nice when a film does not tie things up neatly with a box and shiny bow. It is nice when a film washes over you and to have the opportunity to think a bit without being spoon-fed what things are supposed to mean. There is an emotional weight to 6:45 that I believe audiences will enjoy leaping down our deep dark rabbit hole. My favorite twist ending would have to be the bittersweet ending of the original Night of The Living Dead.
Reviews & Dunn - Growing up, when did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in the film industry?
Craig Singer - I started relatively late when I was about 30 - I always loved films but thought it was something other people did. I grew up in a small middle-class town, and movies seemed unimaginable in terms of a career. In school, I made a PSA on gun control that won top honors in a nationwide competition. That was the first time I thought perhaps I could toss my creative talents into the ring if I had any creative talents. I would write letters to my favorite filmmaker Elia Kazan and share that I could not afford film school, and he wrote back to pick up a camera and shoot & not to worry about film school. Fortunately, I took his advice. Shooting no-budget films and a steady diet of watching every sort of film has been my film school. Additionally, my late start gave me many years of doing every job imaginable, which helped inform my view of the world and naturally crossed over into the sorts of stories I like to tell.
Reviews & Dunn - Your 1995 debut Animal Room saw you working with Neil Patrick Harris, two years fresh from Doogie Howser MD. Was Harris always your first choice for the lead?
Craig Singer - Yes, I always felt Neil was perfect for playing Arnold Mosk in Animal Room. He loved the script, and we met in NYC and discussed the project. He was wonderful and brought so much to that role. It was also Amanda Peet's first film, and she was a joy to work with, as was Matthew Lilliard and the rest of my cast.
Reviews & Dunn - Have you considered doing a follow-up to your 2006 film Dark Ride?
Craig Singer - That is a great question - I get asked that all the time. I would love to revisit Jonah, and my writing partner Robert Dean Klein and I have actually talked about what a sequel might look like. I think it might be fun - I loved exploring the world of Dark Ride. I also feel Dark Ride is perfect for immersive New Media like AR, VR, and the Metaverse. Stay tuned :)
Reviews & Dunn - With an unlimited budget and complete creative control, which would you pick if you could reboot any horror franchise in 2022?
Craig Singer - I am not a big fan of reboots, but if I had to pick and had an "Unlimited budget" :) - perhaps a film like Night of the Comet or even the Larry Cohen film The Stuff could be fun. The only remake that would be great is Papillion - the Schaffner version, not the Michael Noer remake. I would cast Russell Crowe and Steve Buscemi.
Reviews & Dunn - Is there anything you would like to add? In addition, where can fans find you on social media?
Craig Singer - Just that filmmaking is a privilege, and it is good never to confuse rights and privileges. There is an immeasurable amount of work that goes into any film. It can be very lonely - it is crucial to work with artists who care and love the work as much as you do. That sort of enthusiasm is infectious and a requirement, in my opinion. I once read that directing a film is a hostage negotiation with reality - pretty spot on.
6:45 debuts on Digital &Blu-ray March 22. Look for my review closer to the release date.