Filmmaker / actor Joe Ripple got a unique start in independent films. He was cast as an actor in a local film, being directed by the late Don Dohler. Joe was in the local police department at the time, and they had several police related scenes that were written into the script. After his part was completed, Joe asked Don if I could stay around and help with those scenes. After the film was wrapped, Don approached Jim about directing. The two made five films together before he passed in December of 2006.
The Baltimore County native knows that the top three film categories that are usually picked up for distribution are Urban, Alternative Lifestyle, and Horror Films. Joe was once told by a distributor that if you make a horror film, you are almost assured distribution. What shocks most people about Joe is when he tells them that he doesn’t usually watch horror films, because he doesn’t want to be tempted into copying something that he might see. Joe realizes being a micro-budget production company has its limitations, and with those limitations, it really makes you think about how to accomplish what you are looking for to the best of your ability. Resources are always limited, and it’s difficult sometimes to get people to “buy in” to what you are trying to do. Scheduling actors can sometimes be tough, because in this area, it’s all about trying to get as much exposure as they can. It’s hard to work around an actor that’s doing two other films and a stage play.
Joe runs the security and film festival for The Horrorfind Weekend Convention. He has directed Harvesters, Stakes, Vampire Sisters, Crawler, Dead Hunt, Sealed Fates and Jebediah. As an actor he appeared in Kevin Kangas’ Hunting Humans and Bounty, Chris LaMartina’s Witch’s Brew and Erik Christopher Myers’ Roulette.
Joe feels that it’s important to always try to give back. He founded an organization called “Scares That Care!” after Don died, to raise money for sick kids. To date, the organization has raised $10,000 for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Cancer Center, $10,000 for The Kennedy-Kreiger Institute, and this year the organization is about halfway to it’s goal of $10,000 for the “Make-A-Wish” Foundation.
Joe’s favorite filmmakers are the guys that are in the trenches with him, making something out of nothing. Guys like Kevin Kangas; Chris LaMartina; David Cross; Wayne Shipley; Erik Christopher Myers; Lee Doll; Ryan Thomas; Robert Ziegler; John Johnson and so many others. These are the true artisans, and nobody works harder at trying to entertain people with what they’ve got. For more information about filmmaker Joe Ripple’s company, visit Timewarp Films at www.timewarpfilms.com. For more information about “Scares That Care!” visit www.scaresthatcare.org.To join Horrortalk, go to – www.horrortalk.com. To learn more about the Horrorfind Weekend Convention – www.horrorfindweekend.com.