Of Ghosts, GWAR, and Guts…
Martin Barry Interviews Michael Plumides
You may have heard or read the name Michael Plumides. The local author, film maker, and raconteur gives us a look at how he spends his time and energy.
Barry: Your adventure began as a club owner that completed a Juris Doctor. How is it that we never see you litigating cases?
Plumides: I don't practice law. When I graduated from John Marshall Law School (Atlanta) in 1996, I went into commercial real estate and negotiated deals with national companies such as Babcock Furniture, Eckerd Drugs (now CVS), and Maxway Interestingly, Maxway is owned by the Karl Rove of North Carolina, Art Pope, one of the architects of killing the NC film incentives - but that was back in 1998. My cousin, Gregory Plumides, has the practice my father and uncle started in the 60's - The Plumides Law Firm located at the Cameron Brown Building. My brother, George practices law in Atlanta. Both firms are full-service entities, but focus mostly on criminal, domestic, and tort law. I was always more creative but my legal knowledge has helped on many occasion in the entertainment industry. That's what makes me a great analyst. I know all the angles. I chose the expensive hobby of filmmaking. (Laughs)
Barry: You documented your club adventures in Kill the Music. Is there any of that story that has not been told? Plumides: Oh, there are a few untold 4808 Club stories. It's not that I didn't want to tell them. I just didn't remember them. People come up all the time and say, "Hey man, do you remember that time we did this or that?" I don't want to be rude to them and just nod my head in the affirmative. Somebody recently said, "Yeah, I was in the cell with you after the GWAR arrests! You remember?" Actually I didn't. And the guy looked a lot different after 25 years. I probably told the best stories in Kill the Music. I will tell you a more recent story about Dave Brockie. When I was writing it in 2008, I was keeping in touch with Dave, who was in a rut at the time - he wanted to reform GWAR. I reconnected with him and was sending chapters that I had written. When I told him I wanted to cast John Rocker, the infamous Atlanta Braves closer (and a friend of mine), to play a character based on Ric Flair, he went ballistic. "If you cast that asshole, I won't have anything to do with this." My response was, "Okay, you're offended by Rocker, and you write songs like "Hard for a Tard" and "Chinese Don't Eat Cheese". We didn't speak for a few months until we reunited for a book signing at Masquerade in Atlanta in 2009. All was forgiven and I gave copies to his band mates.
Barry: You are the founder of Charlotte Film Anarchists. What was the initial drive in the formation of this group and what is the outstanding mission?
Plumides: Well, there is another group in town that charged admission for people to come to their meetings. I didn't particularly like that too much so I started Charlotte Film Anarchists, as a thumb in their eye. But then I figured, no one wants to come to free meetings, so I just have the group on Facebook. I don't have meetings so much anymore.
Barry: Please give us a reaction to the dismantling of the North Carolina film incentives in 5 words or less.
Plumides: Okay... "Those Fracking Koch Suckers." (Laughs)
Barry: Your recent project list has been quite vast. I personally worked with you on Ghost Trek. What other items do you want the people to know about?
Plumides: I create problems for myself. I take on some eccentric projects. About ten years ago, I decided I was going to do what I like and I was going to make a name for myself, writing, or making films. I put on the greatest club rock shows this city ever had, so I could make some movies. My dad produced the first independent film ever shot here: Night of the Cat. I wrote Kill the Music as therapy. But I also wanted to make a film. Interestingly, I was voted "Best Writer of 2010" by Charlotte Magazine after its release. Funny thing was, I didn't find out until last March. I guess, I don't read Charlotte Magazine often enough. Ghost Trek is favorite pet project, but I'm also working on Ultra Galactic Danger Force - that's my new genre thing. I want to do a Flash Gordon meets Might Morphin’ Power Rangers type thing in a Syd and Marty Krofft motif. I'm an associate producer on the Toxic Avenger story, Toxic Tutu. I am Executive Producer on Clive Barker's Nightbreed: Director's Cut that just came out October 28th - also working on the developing TV series. I do most of this out of my basement in South Charlotte. I don't live in the "hipster" areas. I like leaving the car unlocked. (Laughs)
Barry: If you were handed the perfect/dream film project today, what would it be and how would your approach differ from others?
Plumides: I would love to remake Richard Stanley's 1990 post-apocalyptic sci-fi film, Hardware, about an overpopulated world were sustenance is scarce and people suffer from high levels of radiation. An experimental cyborg used for population control goes amok in an apartment building, after putting itself back together with surrounding power tools. I would do it more like Aliens, where the Mark 13 can not only put itself back together but can replicate itself.
Barry: Who do you cast in this project? Plumides: Channing Tatum and Olivia Wilde… or maybe Keira Knightley. Dylan McDermott starred in the original as "Moses". Maybe bring him back. Barry: How do you want to be remembered? What is the "mark" you leave for others?
Plumides: I want people to admit that whether or not they loved me or hated me, that they can at least recognize that I had a lot of talent. I am a one man machine. I do it all. I've built a body of work in my writings for Blurt Magazine and my photography, my IPs, scripts and designs. Hell, who knows? I might sell better after I'm dead. (Laughs) At least that way, my heirs get something.
Barry: What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
Plumides: It's a toss-up between Butter Pecan and Pistachio... I'm all about the nuts.
Photo: Justin Kates
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