Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Jason Eisener, 30, didn't grow up anywhere near the the streets of Los Angeles that he watched via The Terminator, or Manhattan's underbelly as seen in another personal favorite '80s genre film, Street Trash. But, as he tells it, Nova Scotia is a fine place for an aspiring filmmaker.
"Growing up in Nova Scotia was awesome. I'm still very close friends with the friends I grew up with. One of the best things making movies back home is that, I don't think people were very used to having kids running around the streets making crazy movies, so everyone was very welcoming to it."
"We did this one movie, that actually hasn't come out at all yet, in 2004 called Streets of Domination; we had this car that we spray-painted black, cut the roof, and called it 'The Coffin,' and all of my friends were dressed as gangsters, driving around in it. There was no insurance on it, it wasn't safety-inspected; it was a car I bought from my friend for like $300. I remember we got pulled over by cops, while shooting a chase scene on our street. The cop was like, 'Boys, what the hell are you doing?' I said, 'We're shooting a movie!' Then he asked, 'Is it safety-inspected? Is there insurance?" When we told him no, he was like, 'Alright, boys—I wasn't here.' [Laughs.] That's happened so many times, where we get stopped by cops and they were just happy we weren't shooting or stabbing anybody."
"There's a big film community in Nova Scotia. I think it's the third or fourth largest place where people make films in Canada. It's very film-friendly. There are so many amazing places to shoot, and, like I said, the film vibe is so awesome that I could say, out of nowhere, 'Let's go shoot something tomorrow,' and there would be so many people ready to help out immediately. Everyone's down to come out, work for free, and help people. That's why I haven't been able to make a move somewhere—I love it back home, I love the vibes there. I love the people and the energy."
"When we made Hobo with a Shotgun, there was a push to shoot it in Toronto or some other places, but, especially because it was our first film, we felt that we had to shoot it at home, with our friends, in our community. When we needed extras, we'd just put a call out on Facebok and tons of people would show up."
"I don't know if I'll ever move to Los Angeles, honestly. We'll see. I'm trying my best to make it work back home. I've entertained the idea a little bit. With V/H/S/2, I spent a lot of time in L.A., doing our sound mix. The first couple of times I went there, it was always for business, so I never got a good vibe from the city, but being there for V/H/S/2 and hanging out with Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, I've been able to chill out there and get a good vibe from it. Maybe at some point I'll have an apartment there, if I can afford it. Back home, the rent is so cheap."