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INTERVIEW: Dead Man’s Burden Actor David Call And Writer/Director Jared Moshe

Originally Posted: October 11, 2012

Nicole Barylski

"Dead Man's Burden" Actor David Call and writer and director Jared Moshe (Nicole Barylski)

Jared Moshe made his writing and directorial debut in "Dead Man's Burden" which had it's East Coast premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF). Moshe along with "Dead Man's Burden" star David Call stopped by the Maidstone to discuss filming in New Mexico, Westerns and where to get the best coffee and scones on the North Fork, Call is apparently pretty opinionated on this subject.

When asked how was filming in New Mexico, Moshe responded, "Filming in New Mexico was amazing but making a Western in New Mexico is living a Western" and Call laughed and simply replied, "Exhasting!" Moshe continued, "We were shooting at the end of a two mile dirt road, there was no cell phone reception, there was bad weather, dust got into everything, everything broke, it rained, it snowed, it sleeted, there were wind storms, it was adventure." Call chimed in, "The mountainside flooded." To which Moshe explained, "Yes their were Arroyos that would just sort of come rip-roaring down and sometimes you could only get in with four wheel drive vehicles."

Apparently another one of the issues about filming in New Mexico is they put green chili on everything. Both Moshe and Call were huge fans of the green chili but the rest of crew did not agree. Moshe said, "Honestly the biggest complaint we got from the crew was the green chili. Some of our LA crew had sensitive pallets and they didn't want the green chili and they do put it on everything down there."

"Dead Man's Burden" was inspired by four Westerns. Moshe said, "Unforgiven" in terms of structure, "The Searchers" by John Ford in terms of the way the landscape is a character and the isolation, "Once Upon A Time In The West" in terms of the way it takes the mythic and really puts it in terms of personal stories and "Winchester 73" which stars Jimmy Stewart and really sort of influenced the darker elements."

Call who has always watched a lot of Westerns went back to review a select few to get ready for his role. Call said, "When we started talking Jared said that Wade's character who is the other main character in the film was John Wayne and my character was Clint Eastwood in terms of their acting style and types of characters." After hearing that he went back and watched "Fist Full of Dollars", "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly", "Unforgiven", and "The Outlaw Josey Wales" which was a big one for him. Call said, "I not only watched Westerns from an acting standpoint but also watched Westerns that dealt with that specific time period or specific background of the character."

When Moshe was asked why he set the film during that time period, he responded, "I love the Civil War, for me I think in a lot of ways the Civil War defined the country and a lot of the problems that we still have in this country are sort of out of that period." He thinks part of the reason we still have these problems is they were never really dealt with after the war and according to him one of the reasons we didn't is because of the Western. Moshe who is a big history buff explained, "The Western was actually a myth that was created after the civil war to reunite North and South by looking West." He continued with the history lesson, "You sort of whitewashed over the past and all these divisions but the wounds still festered underneath and that really interested me and inspired me and that's what I wanted to look at through the lens of a family that was literally ripped apart by the war."

The story of "Dead Man's Burden" is very unique in a way because one of the main characters Wade who is from the South and despite his family's strong Southern ties he goes and fights for the North. Moshe said, "It is a very rare occasion, their were Southerns who did fight for the North and that is what helped inspire me to write this story." He continued, "Most families were sort of decimated by the war, they lost all their sons from the age of 14 to 30 and it really left a mark. I don't think that their was a family in that period who survived without some sort of scar someway or another."

"Dead Man's Burden" was the first movie allowed to film on Georgia O'Keefe's property. They filmed in an area right behind Georgia O'Keefe's house which is called the painted desert. Moshe was inspired by the area saying, "It's this beautiful land and if you look at it you can see how she was inspired in a lot of ways." Moshe took advantage of the opportunity to film there and said it is one of the centerpieces of the film. He gratefully said, "It was a real trust of faith of the people who ran that property to let us do that and I think in a lot of ways it really helps elevate the film to a new level."

When asked if this was their first trip to the Hamptons Moshe said it was his second time in the Hamptons both times being for HIFF, while Call spends a lot of time on the North Fork. Call passionately stated, "There is this amazing place in Greenport called Aldo's that has literally the best coffee and scones you will consume in your entire life, I am very opinionated about these things." Guess you should check it out next time you are in Greenport, who knows maybe you can enjoy your scone and coffee next to Call.

For more information about the Hamptons International Film Festival visit: hamptonsfilmfest.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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