“D-Railed” is a new movie by Suzanne DeLaurentiis who isn’t just one of the most accomplished film producers of our times, she’s one of the most inspiring. Suzanne’s films, including her latest film “D-Railed”, employ a staff of military veterans and student filmmakers. DeLaurentiis takes pride in offering opportunities to those that might normally not get them and he recently discussed this via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): Where did you grow up, Suzanne?
Suzanne DeLaurentiis (SD): Mount Holly and Atlantic City, New Jersey
MM: And I’d remiss to ask, are you related to the other famous DeLaurentiis family?
SD: There are many DeLaurentiis’ in the industry. We are all related in some respect. I’ve worked with Dino DeLaurentiis in the past. He was quite the icon in the film business and my cousin Robert DeLaurentiis was very successful in television.
MM: How did you get your start in producing?
SD: I made my own horror film in the late 80’s that I wrote, produced, and directed. I raised the funds on my own and it did pretty well. It allowed me to open my own production company.
MM: When did you know ‘this is working’? When did you feel you’d chosen a successful career path?
SD: In my early 80’s when I opened my company, I was getting a lot of great projects off the ground and was getting the opportunity to work with some great people.
MM: And what has been your biggest success to date?
SD: I would have to say, “10th & Wolf.” It was a big budget mafia drama with an A-List cast, A-list director and A-list writer. I really enjoyed shooting back East on my home turf.
MM: How did “D-Railed” come about?
SD: I have an organization at my company called, “Operation Hollywood,” where we train and employ former military as well as veterans. I try to do a small independent film every year or two so that I am able to train veterans as well as give opportunities to student filmmakers and up-and-coming actors and actresses. This was one of our smaller films that allowed me to implement that program. Not to mention, I love the horror/thriller genre. As far as the actually developing the idea for “D-Railed,” I was trying to come up with something different. I feel like D-Railed is more of an art piece.
MM: Where did you film it?
SD: We filmed it in L.A and Philadelphia.
MM: And you shot on a real train by looks?
SD: Yes. We filmed at Travel Town in Burbank. The train car that we shot in was a historical train that was part of their museum.
MM: I imagine, with Lance Henriksen in the film, that it had no trouble getting a distributor either?
SD: We had no problems selling it at all and we are so thrilled that it is winning so many awards on the film festival circuit
SD: Yes, quite a few and I must admit, it’s really an honor. I’ve seen some amazing movies in these competitions. We feel very blessed.
MM: What’s next for you?
SD: I’m in the process of working on two big budget features. I can’t quite talk about them yet… but very soon..