William Lee, Master of Movies Macabre

There are very few people today who can stand on principle while not only motivating people but instilling a sense of excitement in those around them. One such person is William Lee founder of Cinema Lexzikon an independent film company well known for action horror movies. Not only is Mr. Lee a writer, producer and director with vision, his tenacity and passion for film making is inspiring to say the least.

Born in New York, his family moved to Ohio while he was still a boy. Even then his creative talents were at work. Building Haunted House sets in his basement, he was well known for scaring the pants off neighbors and friends. (Is there something about the people from NY or NJ that just makes them want to scare the hell out people?) As with most directors of note, his film experience began with a Super 8 movie camera, filming friends in his own version of Bruce Lee movies. The talent behind the camera was apparent from the start as he received honors at a San Francisco Film Festival. From this experience he also took to heart sage advice from the master, Bruce Lee, when he stated, "You can't fill a full glass with more water." Quality not quantity, more is not always better.

 I asked Mr. Lee for his advice to aspiring film makers. "Make sure you have at least some skill or talent. You have to have a passion for it, be ready for a life long commitment that takes dedication and persistence, especially persistence. I've been doing this for 24 years. In the end finding the right team that has a unified vision is key to success." When I asked his insight into directing, he related a story about Professor Richard Long who told him "Don't plan results, plan plans" In other words, a good director has to be able to adapt, adapt, adapt. A director who says we will shoot this, this and this and then an actor doesn't show up just winds up shooting himself as he goes over deadline and over budget. In independent films, this is the kiss of death.

Digital or film? Mr. Lee is a confirmed digital convert. With the advances in digital cameras, lighting becomes easier and allows for shots that are more realistic.

 Digital editing is as close as an Apple computer. There is no waiting for film processing with digital which helps to lower costs as well. Since the shoots are mostly on weekends lasting 8 to 12 hours a day, digital editing allows the director to view shots and adapt at will.
It's a busy time for Cinema Lexzikon. Pure Terror is set to be released in April, Soul Ripperz 1 (the first of three Soul Ripperz films) is finishing post production, Soul Ripperz 2 has completed filming and Demons Rising is in pre-production. If this isn't enough to keep Mr. Lee busy he let me know that there are 12 or so scripts waiting in the wings.
Want to know more, visit the Cinema Lexzikon website.