Interview: David Sumner Talks About His Thriller ‘ReSet’

United States Army veteran, David Sumner, has always revered the art of filmmaking, and while in the military, he made a deal with himself to fund his own feature. ReSet – a psychological thriller following a young woman and her abduction from an unstable captor – is Sumner’s debut and screened at several film festivals including Sin City Horror Fest, Detroit Bloodbath, Hardcore Horror Fest, Phoenix FearCON, and more. 

We had the opportunity to ask David a few questions about his experiences making a low-budget thriller and what his ideal double feature would include. 

Director David Sumner

PopHorror: ReSet was your feature filmmaking debut, and you admit to having a very light budget with minimal filming locations and few actors. How did you prepare and organize yourself and your team to utilize all your time and resources in the best way possible? 

David Sumner: So, I knew I was going to have very little money for this film so I wrote a script that could be shot in a few locations with few actors but would hopefully still be interesting. This plot allowed me to save effort on the location and still have variety in terms of events.

I put a lot of thought into shot selection and how it would affect the story. I figured that I would have to use the budget through the most creative ways I could think of. I wanted to make different locations visually different but still maintain continuity. Essentially, I needed to direct the shit out of this movie.

PopHorror: I read in a previous interview that you mentioned you are an Army veteran, and you funded ReSet with your pay from the military. First and foremost, I respect any individual that serves in our country’s armed forces, so thank you. How long has the initial idea of ReSet been sitting in the back of your mind? 

David Sumner: I’d say probably since 2017. I wanted to set the goal of making an independent film that was feasible with limited financing.

Alyssa Corella in ReSet

PopHorror: Was there anything you were forced to scrap due to time or budget constraints that you really wish could’ve made it into the final cut of your movie? 

David Sumner: If I didn’t have the budget constraints then I would have liked to have destroyed a lot more of the house. Danielle would have scratched through the drywall and there would have been more exterior scenes.

PopHorror: What was this journey like for you; going from an idea on paper to filming to finding distribution for your film, ReSet? 

David Sumner: It was painstaking and so much of it was just setting up the production blueprint of what needed to be done and then methodically ticking things off the list.

PopHorror: Who are some of your filmmaking heroes? 

David Sumner: The ones that inspire me right now are the ones that can do the best with the lowest budget. Kevin Smith showed with Clerks that a great script can make a microbudget film good. John Carpenter showed with Halloween that meticulous direction can make a schlocky premise into a modern classic. Robert Rodriguez showed with El Mariachi that you can make a compelling action thriller with essentially film processing money if you’re a bit crazy.

PopHorror: What do you hope audiences take away from ReSet

David Sumner: More than anything, I hope that people are entertained, emotionally invested and that they don’t regret spending the time to watch it. The best compliment that I can get is when someone tells me that the movie stands along with higher-budget films.

PopHorror: If you could program a double feature, what two films make your bill and why? 

David Sumner: Tremors and Apollo 13.

PopHorror: Where can folks follow your work, David? 

The following website has all the links: davidsumnerfilm.com. There’s also ReSet’s official Facebook page ReSet 2022 Oficial Movie Page | Facebook

We would like to thank David for his time and hope you check out ReSet, now available to stream on all major platforms.

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