“Chop Chop” is a new movie by Rony Patel where a pizza night leads to chaos when a young couple are pursued by a murderous psychopath…but the couple harbors a secret of their own. The film will be released on October 20th via many streaming services.
Rony Patel co-wrote, directed, and produced the film and he recently discussed it via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you decide to enter the film industry and what inspired “Chop Chop”?
Rony Patel (RP): I went to film school, I attended Temple University where I studied film with a business minor. The goal was always to make filmmaking a full-time career. Once I moved to LA, in addition to working a day job and making short films, I had started writing and pitching full-length features – actively seeking financing, producers, representation – you know the typical grind. And so, one morning on my way to work, sleep-deprived, I was listening to this movie podcast called The Movie Crypt, they had Adam Wingard on (dir. of the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong). And they got to talking about one of his earlier films “A Horrible Way to Die”, a fantastic little horror indie. The filmmakers, at the time in a similar boat as I was in then, had managed to shoot this film on a very small budget using a lot of the readily available resources. Although I admit I had read numerous other similar stories, there was something about hearing their process out loud that struck a nerve that day. Creative juices did the rest, and soon after “Chop Chop” was born.
MM: What was this like to co-write with someone else?
RP: It was amazing, wouldn’t have it any other way. With Andrew and I, everything just fell right in place; The humor, the horror, the satire of it all – EVERYTHING. I am and will continue to be a big advocate of collaboration where writing goes.
MM: How did you get into directing and producing as well as writing and which of these roles do you most enjoy?
RP: I really enjoy the process of bringing everything together and then micro-managing the heck out of it. So, Producing and Directing it is for me. Haha. I have been doing the writing, producing and directing for as long as I can remember. And I have enjoyed all three so far.
MM: What’s your favorite part of the movie and why?
RP: CASTING. Without a doubt. It is nearly impossible that this film works without a great cast. I’m sure the audience will agree when they see Chop Chop.
MM: What’s the most memorable behind-the-scenes story you have?
RP: There are literally too many to choose from. Not much of a story, but one of the most stressful moment was when the actor who was originally supposed to play the Villain (Teddy) dropped out a night before the shoot. It was a BIG role! So myself, Andrew and my wife Prachi (also a co-producer) stayed up all night making calls, scrambling through various actors’ profiles on Backstage website looking for that perfect talent who then also had to fit this very particular body and face type because we’d already spent money on the costume and make-up effects and all. Hours and hours later out comes David Harper to save the film. And what a talent he turned out to be. Speak about happy accidents.
MM: What other films have you directed and what are they about?
RP: Other than Chop Chop, only short films so far – mostly horror. You can find some of them on Vimeo.
MM: What are your ultimate career goals and what subjects might you tackle in the future?
RP: My goal is to keep working. Ideally, I’d like to do both Direct and Produce when and if I can. It’s a little too early in my career to put a pin in anything particular to be honest. I like horror/serial killers, I like dramas too, and I also like marvel super-heroes. I’m open to everything.
MM: What projects are coming up for you soon and is there anything else that you would like to talk about?
RP: I’m working with some ideas yes, but nothing set in stone yet. We’re just waiting for things to be safe again. Times are changing, and nobody seems to know what does and doesn’t work until it suddenly does. We just have to wait and watch. I personally believe this is a great time for filmmakers to shake things up a little. Experiment. Take chances!