Matthew Moon is a Distiller, a specialized exterminator who catches all manner of ghosts, goblins and monsters by distilling their spirits into bottles of liquor. For a fee he’ll trap and remove anything not-of-this-world from your home. But spirits can only be contained, not destroyed.
Twenty years after his mysterious disappearance Matt has been declared legally dead, leaving his cabin and all possessions therein to his unwitting niece; including an enigmatic collection of liquor bottles, stored in the basement, which she plans to open up and serve at her Fourth of July party…
DISTILLER is a classic ghost story in the vein of Poltergeist and The Fog. With likeable characters and old school out-of-this-world creature effects adding realism and “a special kind of creepy."
Filmed at various locations in upstate New York and on Long Island in late 2012, the small cast and crew lived at the cabin they were filming in during the shoot enabling the production to proceed at a fast pace, completing principal photography in 13 days.
The character of (Uncle) Matt Moon evolved during the shoot. After positive reactions to footage of Steve Sacco’s portrayal of the “peculiar and efficient” Uncle more scenes were written into the movie for him.
The parts of Blue and Charlie were written for Amy Ciupek and Dan Noonan to play, yet the actors also improvised a lot together on set adding greatly to their characters. Dan and Amy’s brother/sister relationship didn’t stop when the cameras did, they played tricks and did their best to pester each other throughout the shoot.
Post production went on and off in spurts throughout 2013 and 2014, as the movie was independently funded and the producers also had to attend their day jobs. All the creatures in the film were physically present in front of the cameras as puppets, costumes or live animals (not computer generated imagery) with the skin of ghost puppets being molded out of materials such as marshmallow or gelatin depending on whether they had to be melted, or lit on fire to achieve the desired effect for a shot.
Producers Andy & Erin Schroeder along with co-writer/star Steve Sacco wanted to make a movie that would scare adults, but also be appropriate if younger viewers were around. “Many of the movies we grew up watching we’re still able to appreciate today as adults. But there are not a lot of new movies you can watch that will keep a wide range of ages interested and entertained. That was part of the challenge of making this film. DISTILLER is out to scare you first and foremost, but it’s also fun.”
About the cast/crew:
DISTILLER is Andy Schroeder’s first feature film as a director. He produces programming for local government television on Long Island and has produced three sitcom pilots since 2009 as well as a number of short films. He is also the lead vocalist and bass player for the band Atomic Fury, whose albums are available on iTunes, Amazon, Napster and more.
Erin Schroeder is a producer, prop and creature designer, sound recordist and culinary effects artist. Some of her previous credits include Retcon (2011), Bitchin' with Nick Soapdish (2010), While You Were Dead (2009). When she isn't producing she also enjoys working at her local library.
Steven Sacco stars as "Uncle Matt" Moon. He is a public interest lawyer and lives with his partner Liz, in Queens, New York. He enjoys acting, not because he thinks he's any good at it, but because "it's just fun." Steve credits the following people for inspiring him to act: Mary Jo Pehl, Tomoyuki Tanaka, Andy Schroeder.
Amy Ciupek stars as Blue Moon, her previous credits include Retcon (2011), and While You Were Dead (2009). She currently resides in South Carolina with her trained kangaroo, "Stella".
Dan Noonan stars as Charlie Moon, his previous credits include Retcon (2011) and Oops! The Movie (2004). He is the bass guitarist for the band Gordon St. whose 2014 album "Electric City" is now available on iTunes."
Blue Moon... Amy Ciupek
Charlie Moon... Dan Noonan
Matt Moon... Steve Sacco
Client #1... Richard G. Harrigan III
Alex... Paul Marchisotto
Moses Bagg... Andy Schroeder
Mr. Fussell... Robert A. Schroeder
Mrs. Fussell... Grace E. Schroeder
Evelyn... Kerry Logan
Young Blue... Emma Larsen
Young Charlie... Peter Larsen
Colin... Jared Bashant
Linda... Julie Burns
Dana... Danielle Sanzone
Blanche... Allison Cwiertniewski
Frank... Chris Cwiertniewski
Mrs. Campbell... Mc'Kayla Keogh
Young Boy... Blyson Brown
Female Distiller... Michelle Tommaso
Male Distiller... Robert W. Schroeder
Girl On Street... Erin Schroeder
Eddie "Rocky" Rivera Jr.
The Black Shuck... Teddy & Daisy
Music... Andy Schroeder