Continuing from Part 1 of our interview with Prozak, we delved into his passion for film. On top of being the director of Tech N9ne’s “Bout Ta Bubble” music video, the avid film-lover has also directed two paranormal investigation documentaries with another on the way and directs all of his own music videos. Prozak also discusses the paranormal, sharing his fascination and why it means so much to him to investigate the otherworldly.
You’ve done a lot of work in film as well. Which is your bigger passion and do they lend themselves to each other in what you do?
If I had to say which one is a bigger passion it would be music because it’s what I’ve done first and it’s what I’ve always been doing. They definitely go hand-in-hand. I direct my own music videos. We just wrapped up the fifth music video for this new album that I’m releasing. Who knows? I’m on video number five and I might have five more by the time the album drops. I direct and produce all my own videos and commercials. I’ve done several commercials for Tech N9ne and Strange Music. I directed the “Bout Ta Bubble” music video for Tech. They definitely correlate because I can bring in my direction and vision and video skills into the music scene, not only for myself but to help other artists that I truly believe in and whose music I really love.
From the “Bout Ta Bubble” video it strikes me that you have a good sense of movement and editing. Which directors do you draw inspiration from?
Well I guess some of the directors I think about…Alfred Hitchcock needless to say. It’s not so much directors in particular but I just love movies. I love movies bro. I watch everything–all kinds of documentaries and all kinds of films. Certain things stick out to me. I think I gather inspiration from all kinds of things. Shots that stick in my head. Much like an album. If someone is listening to this like “What is he talking about?” If you listen to a record, you walk away from it and you say “This track and this track stood out to me.” That’s how movies are to me: shots will stick out to me. You see certain things that they do and it inspires you, you say “Ah, that’s phenomenal” and then when you start writing your own stuff, some of that will bleed in and you’re recreating things that inspire you and you’re morphing that into something that’s your own and it just kind of goes on and on and on. It’s not necessarily anybody in particular but it’s just a little bit of everything kind of inspires me.
The Haunting On Hamilton Street was very successful, drawing a sellout crowd upon it’s premiere. What was it about that event that made it go over so well?
Well we made two films, The Haunting On Hamilton Street One and we just premiered this October A Haunting On Hamilton Street Two at the Temple Theater in Saginaw, Michigan. Both premieres were held there. We did two nights each year and we sold each night out at 2,000 people per night. So 4,000 came to see the first and 4,000 came to see Haunting Two. I think that the success was due to extremely hard work promoting it. Every promotional sense of the word: from radio to television and a million more I could bother you with and I also think it’s the right thing at the right time because we premiered these the weekend before Halloween when everybody is in that particular mindset. Also the paranormal investigation is a really popular thing. It’s huge. Look at movies like Paranormal Activity. I believe this year again they were the number one film at the box office. You’re talking about millions upon millions of people worldwide attending and purchasing tickets to see it. I think people have a fascination with what happens after death because after all, that is the number one question, the unknown. Also, these films have a lot of history and we’re exploring and investigating buildings that have a lot of history behind them. People are also interested in that particular side of it. I think it’s a combination of things but those have been two of the best achievements in my career. Besides music, those have been very proud moments, both of those films.
Tell us about the upcoming Haunting on Potter Street.
Haunting on Potter Street is actually now finished. It’s done. We believe we have the final cut and we’re getting ready to press it up. We’re exploring a place called the Potter Street Station. It’s a train station that was built in 1881 here in Saginaw, Michigan. It’s got a lot of history behind it. It’s a massive building–takes up three city blocks. There’s just a ton of history involved. There’s still segregated rooms. You have the men’s waiting room and your women’s waiting room and this was back when race and gender were still separated in public. There’s a lot of activity in the building, a lot of reports of seeing apparitions and things walking through walls–both by residents as well as former volunteers or employees of the area. It was one of the most requested places that we investigated. After taking a tour of the building we decided that that was the place.
Growing up you used to leave tape recorders in graveyards?
With that and obviously the making of these movies you have quite an interest in the paranormal. Why is the paranormal so important to you?
Well it’s important to me for a few reasons. I’ve always been really fascinated with it. When I was a young kid I had an experience that I couldn’t explain that kind of haunted me, so to speak, for many a years after it happened. It’s a fascinating thing bro. Keep this in mind: CBS in 2010 reported a statistic online in October and according to their poll 46.7 percent of Americans polled believed in the paranormal. That’s almost half of the population. That’s a huge thing to consider that virtually half of the people in the United States believe in ghosts. That’s a phenomena, that’s huge. So, why is this? And when you’re a kid you hear all these stories man. Think about when you were a kid. Do you have any of these experiences when you hear people say “You know Aunt Sally over there…Grandma so-and-so, you know after her husband died, she woke up and felt him sitting on the bed…he was there for a minute right as he would’ve passed in the hospital” or “the day he died he came back to say it was okay.” You hear this shit all your life. You hear stories from so many people and you think to yourself “What are these?” Are these hallucinations? Are they dreams? What is causing these things? And these people are so passionate in their beliefs that this particular thing happened that defies everything we know as reality and that’s intriguing as hell to me.
How important do you think it is to expose evidence of the paranormal and why is it important?
I think it’s important for many reasons but the reason I do it particularly is, we don’t know what these things are that we’re seeing or hearing or what these things happened. It’s not for me to prove anything particular–I don’t support any certain religion. It’s just basically: here’s what we did, here’s where we went, here are the things that we found that we ourselves couldn’t explain. Take it for what you want it to be. Take it how you want it. It’s like anything else: you show somebody something and then you how it to a 100 people and you’re going to have a bunch of diverse opinions on what they think it is or what they’re explanation would be. You take it for what it is. I see that it is important to myself and for a lot of other people and therefore I do it. When I created the first film I had a lot of doubters–if you will–around me that said “You’re putting a lot of time into this…is it worth it?” When I first rented the Temple Theater people said “Do you know that that place holds 2,000 people?” I’m like “Yeah!” Then they’re like “Well…why did you rent it?” I said “No, don’t worry, I rented it twice!” They laughed harder like “What the fuck did you say? Dude, you’re not going to get 2,000 people to come!” And I’m like “Oh well we’ll see” and 4,000 people came. I guess if you believe in something and you go after it and you see it through then there can be success there. In this particular situation I believed that success would be the end result and indeed it was.
Speaking of paranormal, we understand that Paranormal is the title of your upcoming album. Did the making of this album coincide with your film work and get inspiration from that?
Stay tuned for the final part of our three-part interview with Prozak where he talks about upcoming projects with Strange Music including his next album Paranormal!
– Interview conducted by Jeff Nelson (@JeffreyPNelson), Senior Blog Editor