Interview: Reginald Buchanan
Interview by Prarthana Mitra
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he trailer for Reginald Buchanan’s mystery/crime/gore/thriller The Killer Postman is impeccably shot and edited to exacerbate the sense of the macabre founded on the character of a classic serial killer. But underneath the stylised sets and protracted portrayals, there lies an honest depiction of postmen toiling away at a thankless job. Once stripped of its grotesque trappings, Micah Ellars trailer based on Reginald Buchanan’s novel evokes consideration, if not sympathy, for those fringe characters in our lives, we forget to remember. In conversation with Buchanan, he reveals more about the immersive and rather unique multi-media project.
1. Having read up about your novel, I realized this is quite a unique premise for a thriller. Describe the thought process behind writing it in the first place? Which masters of the craft (both literature and cinema) inspired you?
Answer: Working as a postman (letter carrier) for the United States Postal Service (USPS) for 14 years gave me the idea for my novel. I decided to write this novel because it would be the very first time that a novel involved a serial killing postman and a homicidal transvestite. I wanted people to experience what a letter carrier’s job involved and how the USPS management treated them … coupled with a few bizarre murders.
2. What is it about this genre that appeals to you?
Answer: I’ve always loved the weird and strange when it came to stories/novels. The stranger, darker, or more macabre a story or movie was, made me more interested in it. I really love the Murder Mystery genre.
3. Tell us about your collaboration with Micah Ellars (director of trailer). How would you qualify your creative partnership?
Answer: This wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for my deceased wife. She always said that The Killer Postman is a movie. After thinking it over I decided to honor her and try to make it into a movie. After vetting about 20 other film and video production companies I decided to select Casting Life Films. I was lucky to have Micah Ellars make my video. He’s a director at Casting Life Films. I provided Micah Ellars with a copy of my novel and a short script and he wrote a script too. Micah combined and formulated this information and directed a masterful video that made me believe that it was possible to make this into a movie.
4. Have you worked with a film crew before? Tell us about the shoot, and how you and Ellars prepared for it.
Answer: I never worked with a film crew. Micah Ellars (Director) put this excellent movie trailer together.
5. The trailer manages to capture the essence and intrigue of the plot rather well. Does it visually resemble what you had in mind while writing it? What was your cinematic input?
Answer: Micah’s excellent directing and input made it very exciting and different without changing the spirit of my story. The cinematic input was formulated from a combination of the novel, my script, Micah’s script and his great directing. Micah had an outstanding way of making our 3-minute video exciting and interesting. It was well done and actually brought my novel to life.
6. The backlash that the book received for the portrayal of postal services seemed a little misplaced to me. I felt that is a skewed way of looking at a work of fiction. Moreover, the movie (and the book) seems to portray the angst and frustration that goes into the thankless job of delivering mail. Tell us a bit about the controversy and how you went about rectifying it.
Answer: While working for the USPS in 2003 the idea of a murder mystery came about involving a postman (letter carrier). I thought that this would be great because no one has ever published a novel about a murderous mailman. The backlash came after I wrote my manuscript, and after letting everyone know about my plans to publish it. The Licensing Group for the USPS got involved and I received a letter from them expressing their displeasure with my novel. Although their letter didn’t stop me from publishing my novel … I received negative social media and verbal responses from a few letter carriers. Although many people weren’t happy, I kept telling myself that I was just telling a fictional story. Even though this fictional novel centered around the USPS … it was funny, informing, entertaining and violent. I was proud of the work that I did, and I forgot about all the negative backlash that came my way. I continue to write, and I plan to publish 2 more novels this year. Currently, I have a total of 4 novels.
Director Micah Ellars
7. What response have you been getting from those who viewed the trailer?
Answer: Nothing but high praise and shock. Everyone that I’ve talked to can’t believe how well Micah put this video together. The acting, music, background and storyline is great. To this day, everyone still compliments myself and Micah on how good the video is. People are surprised, excited and often ask … when is the movie coming out? They can’t wait until it hits the movie theatres.
8. Where can we next expect to see Reginald Buchanan? In another script/screenwriting credit or on a book cover?
Answer: Hopefully Micah Ellars and I will be making this into a movie this year. I’m currently working on 2 more novels now. My current novels are: The Killer Postman (2004), Writer’s Block (2007), The Killer Postman (revised edition 2014), and Deceived (2018). Micah Ellars (Director of The Killer Postman) has done many commercials and music videos and was looking to move into narrative features.
Prarthana is presently in between odd jobs and obtaining her master’s degree in literature. She loves modern poetry and meditative cinema. Based out of Calcutta, Prarthana observes people, football, films and enjoys writing about all three. Of late, she relates to Frank Ocean’s music. Her writing experience consists of writing for various sites such as Try Cinema, The Indian Economist, Doing The Rondo, Saintbrush and various academic journals.