PopHorror had the opportunity to speak with director Ace Jordan! He is best known for the 2016 film Silent Retreat, which we just recently reviewed. Other projects of his include Kill Devil Hill and his upcoming project Silent Retreat 2:Bedlam. Check out our exclusive interview as Ace Jordan breaks the silence and dishes out how he got his start in the filmmaking industry. Also, be sure to watch the Silent Retreat trailer below.
PopHorror: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us Ace! Your film Silent Retreat was so cool. How did you get started in filmmaking?
Ace Jordan: I started by just being a huge movie fan. When I was in junior high school, I started writing my own short films. I read every book on screenwriting I could find to learn how to do it. I even wrote little sequels to my favorite movies until I starting writing originals. In high school, I got a video camera and made parody shorts of my favorite films while trying to sell my original feature scripts to Hollywood. At 18, my first job was script doctoring an indie action film. One of the producers asked me to write a teleplay for an HBO show in development. After those projects didn’t pan out, I got a little disenfranchised with Hollywood. I spent the next two years writing music with a friend, in addition to working and attending college classes. A few years later, I asked a local cinematographer for a job. After numerous attempts, he finally gave in. I worked as an assistant cameraman on commercials and one indie film. I took what I learned on these productions and started making my own short films, which got better over time. The cinematographer I worked for decided to start doing more post production so he could spend more time with his family. In the process, I began editing for him. I learned a lot and excelled at editing. Eventually, I started my own post production company. I used the money from the post company to finance our first production, Silent Retreat.
PopHorror: That sounds like quite the journey! What was your ultimate vision for Silent Retreat?
Ace Jordan: Originally, Silent Retreat was only intended to be a stand-alone film but, it spawned into more. We are now in development of a sequel that dramatically expands the scope of the story and deals more with the backstory featured in the flashbacks. If it does well, there may be a third film in the series but, at the moment we have no immediate plans for that. Also, I would very much like to turn Silent Retreat 2 into a stand-alone haunted attraction that takes place in a creepy top secret government research hospital.
PopHorror: Fans will be super excited to hear there will be a sequel! The actors probably are as well. What was the process like for casting the crew?
Ace Jordan: This was actually easier than it might seem. First, I hired a casting director and someone to assist with locations. Then, I hired some department heads, camera, grip, lighting and production design. Each department head hired their own crew.
PopHorror: We bet it was fun meeting and working with a bunch of new people! You probably have some awesome memories to look back on. What is the best thing that happened to you while shooting Silent Retreat?
Ace Jordan: When the child actor, Aidan Flynn, was wrapping in Big Bear, he drew this little crayon picture of me saying thank you and how much he was going to miss everyone. It was a difficult production and that really touched me.
PopHorror: Flynn was very impressive in Silent Retreat. He will definitely be an inspiration to other young actors. Who are some of your inspirations in the movie industry?
Ace Jordan: I’m not sure you would find many similarities in our work as I try as hard as possible to be unique and original. However, my two biggest inspirations would be Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick for his richly detailed masterpieces and Spielberg for his big, fun, entertaining “Hollywood” films.
PopHorror: Both of those directors are great at what they do and work very hard to entertain viewers. What was the hardest part about making Silent Retreat?
Ace Jordan: The hardest part for me was not having enough time (and money) to do things the way I wanted. Indie filmmaking is such a challenge.
PopHorror: Silent Retreat turned out to be a great horror movie. What’s your favorite scary movie and why?
Ace Jordan: Probably The Silence of the Lambs although, I’d consider that more of a dark and thrilling movie. As far as scary goes, I really love The Changeling starring George C. Scott. It’s just a masterful haunted house film that doesn’t overuse the jump scares. It’s more clever and atmospheric. The ball scene might be my all time favorite scene in any horror film. It’s just so beautifully subtle.
PopHorror: Great choices! What areas of filmmaking would you like to explore in the future?
Ace Jordan: I think I have IMDb credits in over 10 different areas so, I’m not sure there is all that much more that I want to explore. I just auditioned for a movie and got the part. However, I had to turn it down for scheduling reasons. I may want to act more in the future but, my on-camera work will likely be in non-fiction TV and YouTube productions.
PopHorror: Awesome! We are definitely excited to see more from you. You are a busy man but, we have one final question for you. What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers?
Ace Jordan: I would tell aspiring filmmakers to find a reliable source of financing and make sure you have the ability to at least make your money back because that will keep you working. Also, I would tell them to NOT be a filmmaker unless it is an obsession. It is very hard work and not nearly as glamorous as it seems. There will be times when you question why you are even doing it so, make sure it is more than a hobby or an attempt to become famous. It really should be part of you.
PopHorror: Great advice! We are sure new filmmakers will appreciate hearing that from a talented director such as yourself. Thank you again for chatting with us! It has been a pleasure.
If you enjoyed this interview and learning more about Silent Retreat you should check out this awesome horror story when you have the chance! It is available on Amazon Prime for free and you can watch it right here.