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As the director, writer, producer and star this talented actor took time out to chat about the challenges of handling everything behind and in front of the camera. This gritty and dramatic movie focuses on a marijuana grower forced to team up with a suspended narcotics investigator to solve a murder. Hutson plays the role of Carter stars along with Cheech Marin and A.C. Peterson. This Vancouver-born actor is known for his roles in the recent films ‘Residue’ and ‘Candiland’, as well as 'Insomnia', 'Reindeer Games', and guest roles in hit CW shows ‘Supernatural’, and 'Smallville'.

Colleen Bement: Let’s chat about your film ‘Dark Harvest’.

How difficult is it to direct and star in such a major film?

James Hutson: It's pretty crazy. I wouldn't advise it to anybody. I'm an actor first and foremost, since I was nine years old. The natural progression of my career was I wanted to make a movie, so when I was on set actually making a movie, acting was always the number one job. Directing other actors was pretty wild. I would be in scene during scene with another actor, and while the camera was rolling, I would be saying let's try it again, or can you make this adjustment, and they would be hearing direction from a guy that's in character. But at the same time pretty exciting because I'm in scene, so I know how it's going and if it's coming off truthfully, or if we're getting what the story needs. So in some ways it was the hardest thing and I wouldn't advise it, and in other ways it was a really sweet spot to be in where I was the writer, director, actor so I knew kind of where the story could and could not go.

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Film inspired by a cop's story 

CB: How did you come up with the story?

JH: I used to have a gig as a starving actor for the police. Young recruited officers would go through training exercises on how to arrest people and how to deal with those in jail having a mental breakdown, so they hire actors to do that. I used to ask the older cops if they knew any interesting stories. At that point I was in my mid-twenties and I wanted to write a movie. I heard a story about a cop that busted an apartment on Christmas Eve, and thought there was a table full of hash, and it turned out to be a sound engineer cutting up sound insulation foam. That was always the nucleus of the movie. A cop that did a bust that went sideways, and got a bad nickname out of it; he was trying to fix his reputation. The story of that cop became the beginning of it, and I expanded and elaborated and made it different.

CB: Do you and your character share any similarities?

JH: Vancouver was always famous for marijuana, so I would say a lot of young men have been involved in the marijuana bit.

My parents are hippies and I grew up around a lot of pot. There are certain aspects that I felt comfortable with because my character was this huge pot dealer, and I had things to draw upon for that. 

CB: Any other projects in the works?

JH: I've got a bunch of different movie ideas that I'm writing, and I just need to get through the business of 'Dark Harvest' so that I can get going on the next one. I've done a couple movies for the same filmmaker in Vancouver. One was called 'Candiland' with Gary Busey, and the other was one was 'Residue'.

Had guest roles on 'Supernatural' and 'Smallville'

CB: Tell us about your guest roles on ‘Supernatural’ and ‘Smallville’.

JH: In ‘Smallville’ I was running this MRI machine, and the character has some sort of electrical charge to him. It destroyed the MRI and killed everybody. I did a small part in 'Supernatural' as the hotel manager where the two main characters were coming to kill some sort of futuristic vampire. That was fun to work on those types of shows because they're so much different of a machine than my movie. The two guys on 'Supernatural' are pretty big stars and have a huge following. I look for the opposite. I look for people that are gritty actors in my movie.