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Griff Furst is an accomplished actor with credits that include television work on shows like “Banshee,” “The Magnificent Seven” and “Focus.” He is also a filmmaker whose latest film titled “Cold Moon” is scheduled for release in select theaters and via VOD on October 6, 2017.

Based on the book by the late Michael McDowell--the author of classics such as “Beetlejuice” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas”--the movie is a southern murder mystery about a young woman who seeks vengeance on those that took her life.

In a recent exclusive interview, Griff discussed the film and his hopes for the future of his career in entertainment.

Movie, plots, and stories

Meagan Meehan (MM): What inspired you to seek out a living as a professional filmmaker?

Griff Furst (GF): All of the great storytellers before me, and my parents were artists which inspired me too.

MM: How did you hatch the script for “Cold Moon”?

GF: I'm constantly reading news articles, magazines, books, etc., and looking for great stories that haven't been told. This was when I came across this work and knew that I had to make it.

MM: What most appealed to you about the plot and themes in "Cold Moon" when you read it?

GF: Examining the alcohol-infused decline of Nathan Redfield was interesting to me since I always love a story where you have a character on a self-inflicted downward spiral.

MM: How true to the story is the movie?

GF: Yes, very much so! We gave Michael Mcdowell writing credit on the movie because we used so much of his dialogue.

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It’s quite similar to the book, just slightly abridged.

MM: Who are your favorite characters in "Cold Moon" and why?

GF: The Redfields because I like the darkness.

MM: "Beetlejuice" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas" were both amusing and slightly dark films that were perfectly fine to show children. Is "Cold Moon" in the same vein, or is it darker?

GF: It’s not obscenely violent, and I don’t think there’s any really bad language in the movie. The implications are dark, but what is actually shown in terms of violence is pretty modest. I would put the graphicness of the movie on par with “Black Mirror.” The original draft of “Beetlejuice” was actually much darker than the final version. Michael McDowell’s first draft of the screenplay iOS floating around online somewhere and it’s much more adult-oriented!

Films, genres, and advice

MM: Do you regard yourself as being a big fan of the old-school supernatural thriller genre?

GF: I'm a fan of almost any great story that is told well. But horror, action, and thrillers are my usual pleasures.

I have a four-year-old now, so I also watch a lot of animation!

MM: Which writers inspire you the most, particularly those who write in the genres of horror or thriller?

GF: Michael McDowell, the man who wrote the novel called “Moon over Babylon” is a big inspiration to me. I loved Stephen kings and I was a kid and I still do. I appreciate all great storytellers since they all inspire me.

MM: Can you tell us about the cast who worked on “Cold Moon” with you?

GF: My favorite person to cast was Josh Stewart. The character of Nathan Redfield is a black belt role. And for me the key to playing him comes down to one question: I asked Josh what happened to the bodies. He knew and thus got the part!

MM: From a career point of view, where do you foresee yourself being in ten years?

GF: Hopefully I’ll be really busy in front of the camera, and directing a feature film every one or two years!

MM: What advice might you provide someone who is aspiring to enter the industry, especially as a filmmaker?

GF: My advice would definitely vary depending on the person. But in general, my advice is, do not get involved to be famous. Study the heck out of your craft, be committed to being the best person in the world at what you do, and do other things too. You have to seek out rich and meaningful experiences outside of storytelling in order to be the best storyteller you can.