The Questionnaire with Michael Mercy / By Dotan SchachterDec 18th, 2010 • Categories: Filmmakers, Main Questionnaire, Producers, Writers
What are you doing these days?
Watching movies instead of making them. I do a weekly movie review show with fellow filmmaker Matthew Crandall called “Armchair Directors.” Most of the comments we get are about how people are surprised that we’re not “pretentious snobs,” even though we’re filmmakers reviewing other people’s films. I also do the occasional comedy short, most recently a boxing comedy with former WBF World Champion Fitz “The Whip” Vanderpool, who was a great sport.
What turns you on creatively?
Enthusiasm. I’m not the type of director who is full of enthusiastic energy right off the bat. I usually need an enthusiasm jumpstart. That’s why I have Matt Campagna on all of my shoots.
If you were a mind-reader whose mind would you like to read?
I think we’re all entitled to our own absolute cerebral privacy, so I wouldn’t want to delve into anyone’s private thoughts. But if I had to pick one person, it would be George Lucas, just to find out what the next big retcon will be to the original Star Wars trilogy, so that I can brace myself.
If you could travel in time, which era would you visit?
Pre-industrial Japan. Honor, integrity, respect and self discipline are very important to me, so I think I’d fit right in with the Samurai.
What is your favorite sound?
My wife’s singing. My Toy Fox Terrier drinking water. Silence.
What is the album or song that influences you the most?
It changes over the years. Currently it’s a song called “Era,” which was MMA fighter Fedor Emelianenko’s old entrance theme. It’s beautiful, yet has a machine-like strength, intensity and deliberateness to it as well. It says “no retreat, no surrender” while reminding you of the prize at the same time.
Who would you like to collaborate with? And why?
I feel very fortunate to be already collaborating on a regular basis with several great talents, who are also good friends. Usually you can’t work with the same people you hang and have fun with, but I’m very lucky to know a number of people just like that. If I had to pick some “celebrities” though, I’d go with James Cameron and Clint Eastwood. Cameron because I admire his attention to detail, and Clint because he’s The Man. Even if I screwed something up on Eastwood’s set, I’d consider it an honor if he called me a “no good punk.” I’d brag about it to no end.
What drives you crazy?
Unanswered e-mails. I shudder at the thought of how many opportunities have been missed because someone couldn’t take 30 seconds within a 48 hour span to answer an e-mail. It’s a form of disrespect when you don’t write back to an important question/request. Respect has unfortunately gone out the window along with the postage stamp.
What makes you laugh?
Crispen Glover in Back to the Future. Just the sight of him cracks me up.
If you had 3 wishes what would they be?
A new shoulder and 2 new knees.
What is the craziest thing you ever did?
Wait 3 years to marry my wife. I should have done it the night I met her…or at least the next morning.
What makes you feel embarrassed?
Honestly nothing. You have to care what people think in order to be embarrassed, and I stopped caring right around the time some kids started making fun of my corduroy pants during recess. If something makes you happy, as long as you’re not causing harm to yourself or others, it should never embarrass you. Those corduroy pants were stylin’ and I didn’t care what those fools said last week. . .err. . .I mean in 1982!
What are your favorite web-sites (not including the ones that you are participate in)?
Theforce.net is one of the only ones I can think of that I just lurk. A great source for all your Star Wars needs! It also soothes the pain of the prequels to watch others lament over them as well.
What is the silliest thing you have ever done?
Drank alcohol in an attempt to be cool or have a good time. I got through half a beer before I realized it just wasn’t for me. Messes with my concentration. I’m proud to be “Above the Influence, “ and I love that there’s a movement by the same name that encourages young people to stand up to peer pressure and not drink in order to have a good time.
How would you make the world a better place?
Leading by example is pretty much the only thing you can do. Think of others before you think of yourself. Treat others with respect, and remember that there are no momentary lapses in integrity.
What is your biggest weakness?
My shoulder and my knees. And chocolate.
Where will you be in 10 years?
No idea. Wherever life takes me. God is in control.
Write a question that you’d like to ask yourself and answer it.
What was your most fulfilling filmmaking experience?
Watching an entire theatre of people break down in tears while watching my feature film, “Acuity.” If just one person called up an old friend or relative and said “I love you” after watching that movie, then the whole thing was worth it.
Who would you like to see answer this Questionnaire?
Stage actor/director and my good friend Ray E.J. Porrill.
Love – Selflessness
Death – Sooner than you think
God – Strength
TV – Stephen J. Cannell
Family – Loyalty
Politics – Thankless
Internet – Communication, Knowledge, Youtube
Happiness – Luana
Music – Passion
Directing – Storytelling + Puppeteering
Michael Mercy – Isaiah 41:10
The founder of Scorpio-Dragon Pictures, Michael Mercy is a graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Honors Film Studies program. Born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, Mercy is a filmmaker of many talents. He directs, produces, writes, edits, designs costumes, does cinematography, special effects and acts in his movies. His short film “The Passenger” won a Platinum Remi Award for editing at the 2007 Houston International Film Festival and his feature length drama “Acuity” was nominated for Best Picture at the 2007 Faith & Film Motion Picture Festival in Nashville, Tennessee.
In addition to directing short films, Michael Mercy has also directed several music videos for Fane, the singer/songwriter that composes all of Mercy’s films. The music video “Simplify” won a Gold Remi Award in the category of Low Budget Music Video at the 2007 Houston International Film Festival.
His official website can be found at www.michaelmercy.com