A screenwriter for several years, Brett Bentman was tired of people turning his scripts into atrocious films so decided to start directing everything he wrote. One of those self-penned self-directed films is title “Apocalypse Road, ” and it was just released on VOD. Inspired by John Hillcoat classic’s Movie “The Road,” the story tells of two sisters who are separated during the depression in post-apocalyptic future.

Recently, Brett Bentman spoke about his beginnings, his writing inspirations, and how he found “the best actors in Texas” to star in his film via an exclusive interview.

Making movies and writing films

Meagan Meehan (MM): What inspired you to become a filmmaker, have you had your big break yet, and what inspired the script for your latest film?

Brett Bentman (BB): I was a screenwriter for years. I guess at once point I had gotten fed up with people taking my scripts and creating these awful pieces out of them, or not finishing them at all. That drove me to create my own films. I was able to pen and direct “Kreep,” a western, a few years back and although the film isn’t out yet, it helped me get my feet planted. I also learned how not to make a film on that set, which I tell people is the most important part of making a movie: learning how NOT to make one. After that western, I was disgusted with the process and how I had lost my vision while on set.

I came home, started writing AR and decided to film it the way I wanted. I used the cast I wanted, the crew I wanted, the investors the film needed and the producers that work the hardest. I wanted to create a world where we could make two or three more movies in the same universe. We call it the AR universe, and there are more stories to be told in it.

MM: Do you consider yourself to be a fan of making movies that include a message?

BB: Yes, if you’re not putting a message in your film, find another job. Don’t get me wrong, some of us want to see explosions and superheroes but the reason those Marvel films have done so well is they make exceptionally well, and they have a message.

It’s funny though; everyone thinks AR is something different. I have my own interpretation on the end and beginning, and it’s fun to hear everyone else discuss what happens next…

MM: Do any other filmmakers and/or screenwriters particularly inspire you?

BB: I like Taylor Sheridan a lot. That dude is a killer. He inspired me to write simple, easy to follow scripts. My goal is that, as a reader, you should be able to only read the dialogue and understand what the heck is going on…he’s so good at that.

Inspirations, cast, and advice

MM: And as a filmmaker, has George Miller been an influence because the setting is somewhat reminiscent of the themes of “Mad Max”?

BB: A little, yes. I have always thought McCormack's “The Road” would have been a great film, but I didn’t love it.

So, I took some influence and inspiration from what I thought that film could have been and tried to morph it into my own vision for the end of the world.

MM: What was the experience of working with the cast like?

BB: What can I say? Hands down the best actors in Texas, period! What Katie Kohler and Ashlyn McEvers were able to do with those roles, blow my mind. Then you have Lance De Los Santos who doesn’t even speak in the film but scares the hell out of you along the way. The entire cast was amazing. I owe it all to them.

MM: Career-wise, where do you aspire me be in ten years and what words of advice can you give to aspiring movie makers?

BB: The cheesy answer is winning an Oscar and living in Los Angeles surrounded by models and hot tubs, right?

In reality, I see myself married to my partner in crime, Tiffany McEvers, making films that make people FEEL something. That’s why I do it. We started B22 films together, and we have several great projects coming up. It’s going to be fun for the next ten years, to say the least. The best advice I can give anyone looking to make movies is this: choose your producers wisely. A bad producer can ruin your movie quicker than a lost hard drive. Interview them and make sure they buy into the vision because once you lose that, you’re toast.