Exclusive Interview with Edward Gusts / Actor/ Screenwriter
Filmmaker Edward Janis Gusts began his career as an actor, filming small roles on CSI and Heroes. Quickly becoming a fixture in the independent film genre, he starred in the feature film SPIKE which premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Turning his attention to producing, he cowrote and starred in Stained (2015) and is currently in production on the Independent feature RIDGECREST. His Screenplay for THE HEALED is his most ambitious project to date, and the attention it is receiving at ISC is the catalyst for making sure that this film makes it to the big screen.
NY Glam: What projects are you currently working on?
Edward: I am currently in production on the feature film RIDGECREST. It’s a movie that explores loneliness, biohacking, and demonic possession. After that, I’m going to find a way to make THE HEALED happen.
NY Glam: What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?
Edward: The best films for me are the ones that manage to surprise me yet make me feel that there was no other way that the plot could unfold. I believe that a film has to have an arc to the story. The characters have to change. Sometimes, films get so caught up in being “real” that they become mundane, but the best films can take something that would bore us in real life and make it riveting.
NY Glam: As a screenwriter, what is the most important aspect of building a character?
Edward: 3 dimensions. Maybe it’s because of my acting background, but I hate it when a character is described as a “Typical” fill in the blank. There are no typical people if you actually pay attention to them. If a character is a security guard, that is his job, not his entire life. Is he training to be a Cop? Is he putting himself through college? Is he taking care of his sick mother? Did he have a shitty date last night? You don’t need to write the 500 page biography of every character in your script, but they at least need a perspective. Even if they just say one word and get killed; if the audience gets the feeling that this is a complete person, it will have an impact.
NY Glam: How important is for you being a finalist at International Screenwriting Competition –ISC?
Edward: It made me decide that I have to get my movie made, so I can’t overstate its importance. Making a movie takes a long time, and if it’s a project you care about; it takes a piece of your soul. Making anything and putting it out in the world runs the risk of it being misunderstood, hated, or ignored. And the more that happens, the harder it is to do. As a producer, THE HEALED will be the biggest project I have undertaken to date; knowing that ISC sees something of value in its blueprint is paramount in giving me the courage to take that risk.
NY Glam: Top 3 favorite projects that you have been involved in?
Edward: I am proud of so many projects, but I think I will go with Spike, Stained, and Alien Expedition. Spike was the first time I starred in a movie. Stained was the first thing I produced. And Alien Expedition was just a damn fun movie to make.
NY Glam: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?
Edward: Recently, I’ve taken up oil painting. I really enjoy the wet on wet, Bob Ross style. Maybe it’s because making films is such a long-term endeavor, but I find it quite satisfying to make a piece of art and have it completed in an hour or two.
NY Glam: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking?
Edward: Pull the trigger. Get started. In the past, you needed permission, you needed half a million dollars, and you needed to know someone so that you could get your movie out there. That is no longer the problem. Make a movie with your friends. Tell everyone you know. Submit it to festivals. Put it online. Learn by doing. Then do it again.
NY Glam: What can we expect from you in this actual year?
Edward: RIDGECREST will be finished and released this year. I have plans to do much more, but until I get that off my desk, I am forcing myself to have tunnel vision. It’s too easy to chase one thousand ideas but never finish one.
NY Glam: Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more? …social media…website
Edward: @Edwardgusts on Instagram