Home News January 2007 Hero Video Productions Interview
Download the David Mack documentary DVD trailer
Release date - January 2007
Read the Press Release!
DavidMackGuide.com: What is the origin of Hero Video Productions?
Greg Jurls at Hero Video Productions: We started Hero Video Productions so we could have some creative freedom in the work that we do. We were enjoying what we did for NASA, but felt the pull to have more control over the work. As a life-long fan of comics, it wasn't hard to decide that we'd love to do something in that area. After seeing the comic creator interviews on the "Unbreakable" DVD, I realized that we could do something like that. Additionally, we would have the time to really dive in deep with the creators and give the fans something they had never seen before.
DMG: How did you learn about David Mack's work?
GJ: I had read some good reviews of "Kabuki" in the comics press and picked up a couple of issues of "Circle of Blood." I was blown away by his depth and creativity. Once he started work on "Daredevil" and I saw he could bring the same thought and energy to characters I had loved for years, I was completely hooked.
DMG: When did you begin thinking about a David Mack documentary?
GJ: From the beginning of the company in 2003. I knew that his work would make a beautiful translation onto video and David is so well-spoken and charismatic. I couldn't wait to get him and his work on tape.
DMG: How did you approach David Mack about creating the documentary?
GJ: We sent him a copy of "Terry Moore: Paradise Found". He thought it was great and sent us an e-mail saying he'd love to do a project with us. From then it was just a matter of working out the logistics.
DMG: At what point was the title "The Alchemy of Art" given to the project?
GJ: On the last day of the shoot. We had been bandying about several ideas, but on the morning of the last day, David suggested the title based on how the shoot had gone and what the focus of the project seemed to be. "The Alchemy of Art" summed it up.
DMG: Considering the focus of your previous comic book creator documentary, Terry Moore, lives in Houston, which is not far from your company's headquarters, were the production crew and equipment logistics a bit more tricky when filming the David Mack documentary in Kentucky?
GJ: Yes, it took a lot more planning to bring all the elements together and David took on a lot of the coordination. He was great about contacting the folks we wanted to talk to and making it happen.
DMG: Going into the interview, did you have a series of questions to help guide the flow of the documentary or did you go with the flow in terms of the changing subjects whenever David Mack mentioned something of interest?
GJ: I had some big picture subjects I wanted to hit and had notes on those, but the interviews definitely followed where David led us. I like an organic interview. That's the best way to get something deeper and richer from the subject.
DMG: Can you share some of the topics covered during the interview?
GJ: We really dive into David's formative years to see what made his creative gears start clicking into place. We look at his early, previously-unseen work, as well as Kabuki, Daredevil, and Alias. David talks a lot about how he does his work in terms of technique and inspiration.
DMG: Do you have a favorite moment from the interview?
GJ: There are a couple of moments where David's voice cracks a bit as he's talking about some tough subjects. Those are the times you know that David is unafraid to be human and real, and those moments make the project something of true worth to me.
DMG: I've heard that you spent three days filming the documentary, so you must have acquired quite a bit of footage. Hollywood has released films on DVDs multiple times with each release featuring more content. Will the January 2007 release be the only version of the film? Or will there be a Special Edition/Director's Cut/Extended Edition?
GJ: This is the only version we are planning to do. There is a festival cut as well, but the only difference is that it does not include any of the bonus features.
DMG: Considering the massive amount of footage that was not be included in the documentary, are there any plans for a supplemental David Mack DVD release? Perhaps released as a bonus or a behind-the-scenes disc?
GJ: We have casually talked about doing a second movie some day. We did get some things on tape that would make the beginnings of a really strong feature. I just want to make sure that whatever we produce stands on its own and is not just leftovers.
DMG: Who was part of the crew during the filming stage?
GJ: I was the director/producer/editor and my wife Sherri produces and does the real work of running the business. Our Director of Photography is Damon Crump, an award-winning producer and the director of the zombie film "Risen". Audio was handled by David Feagan, a wonderful guy who had his own terrific interview questions for David (off camera). Our cover and advertising design are by Michael Steele of TheSteeleEye.com.
DMG: Any funny stories during the filming of the documentary?
GJ: We had a lot of sudden appearances by David's cats during the interview (all carefully cut around during editing, though if you listen carefully you may hear the occasional scratching). Once we had to stop because of some noise outside and David realized that it was the model for Timmy in "Wake Up" pulling up on his quad. So, we ran outside and shot some great some footage of "Timmy", so he has a nice cameo in the movie. My favorite funny bit is in the movie, but you have to watch all the way past the end of the credits. Let's just say "David Mack IS Tom Cruise."
DMG: What kind of equipment was used during the shooting and post-production stages?
GJ: We shot on digital video and brought in tons of lighting gear. We were able to achieve a really great look. We cut the movie on Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0 - a really strong and versatile editing system.
DMG: You've mentioned in a previous interview that the DVD could be available via Amazon.com and other online DVD retail sites in the future. Do you know when fans will be able to pre-order through these stores?
GJ: We are working now on getting that set up. We'll spread the word once we have it ready.
DMG: What are the finalized specifications for the DVD?
GJ: Region free (aka Region 0) NTSC DVD. This is the same video format we have used on our previous DVDs that have sold worldwide. Dolby stereo. Amaray DVD case. The main feature is 68 minutes long with another 40 minutes of bonus features.
DMG: What will be included in the bonus features section?
GJ: David does an in-depth commentary on a full issue of Kabuki, does a book reading of "The Shy Creatures" and we visit the studios of "Visionaries & Voices" to see David working with other artists.
DMG: I've heard that the documenatry may be aired on TV. Is there any news on when or who will broadcast the documentary?
GJ: We are still working on that.
DMG: Does HVP have any comic book convention appearances planned for this year?
GJ: We are looking at doing a panel and/or screening at San Diego. We are also considering getting the film seen on the film festival circuit. We are just now looking at the comics convention schedule.
DMG: Have you heard a finalized release date from Diamond Comics for The Alchemy of Art: David Mack DVD?
GJ: The final DVD will be shipped to Diamond this week [January 8] and from there it's up to them on the scheduling for stores. I suspect it will be in stores this month.
My sincerest thanks to Greg Jurls at Hero Video Productions for taking the time to answer my questions and Sherri Jurls for helping arrange the interview