Movies & TV / Columns

Film Regions International’s Myron Ward On How COVID-19 Has Changed Movie-Making, Making Horror & Action Films

August 21, 2020 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Myron Ward

The 411 Interview: Myron Ward

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Myron Ward is co-chairman, along with John Blythe, of Film Regions International, Inc., an independent production, development, and distribution entity that has a presence all over the world. FRI has been involved with such movies as Routines, Zeta: When the Dead Awaken, Booze, Broads, and Blackjack, My Amityville Horror, and others. In this interview, Ward talks with this writer about Film Regions International, trends in the indie movie world, and more.

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Bryan Kristopowitz: How did you get involved with Film Regions International, Inc.? Are you a movie fan?

Myron Ward: I met John Blythe on a Hectic Film movie. I forget the name of the movie but it was shoot at a high school and was supposed to be a modern day version of The Breakfast Club. It was low budget and well, hectic, but he was a producer and we kinda just kept meeting in the same circles, so naturally we began working together. Eventually he invited me to be on the board of FRI in an advisory role. Then, after 8 years it morphed into being a co-executive.

I love movies, but I love the power of narrative and its position as a cultural asset. Movies are pieces of art as well as visual storytelling time capsules of history.

BK: How do you balance your various positions within Film Regions International Inc.?

MW: Me and John make a great team because I’m an INTP personality type, meaning I’m good at strategizing but can get caught up in analysis paralysis. John is a detail oriented type who’s consistent. I tell people, I’m most likely the one to get ya thrown in Jail and he’s most likely to keep us out of jail.

BK: What sort of movies is Film Regions International, Inc. interested in? Is FRI a genre specific company?

MW: FRI is interested in strong narrative films in the horror and action genres. We have been expanding our reach internationally into South East Asia, particularly Indonesia. We like first time directors with passion. Passion is what keeps a project together when all else fails.

BK: How important are trends in the movie producing/acquisition world when it comes to indie movies? What’s the hot trend now?

MW: Trends in my experience are based on technology and demographics. Those elements go hand in hand and help determine trends. Currently, the disruption is in legacy mechanisms of film distribution and production. Everyone can make films and get them distributed across the globe. The world is flat now in terms of the film industry. The newest trend in independent films will be based on ability to execute pilot marketing campaigns, finding your audience, and then raising adequate marketing budgets for your finished films to rise above the noise.

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BK: How did Film Regions International get involved with Zeta: When the Dead Awaken?

MW: FRI had Indonesian ties with a few filmmakers and I was studying the demographics of Indonesia. It’s a 300+ million democracy population with an average age of 30. It’s one of the largest South East Asian nations and young. I thought it should be a market we should be in for the future. So, we researched upcoming filmmakers in Jakarta and came across Amanda Iswan’s Zeta. The movie had great potential and was in our horror wheel house. So, we made a deal, flew out to meet Amanda and her team and the rest is history.

BK: How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the movie business?

MW: Covid has changed everything. We are still trying to negotiate ways of doing business, shoot and stay sane during these times. The business has changed with stricter protocols and a tad higher production costs due to new procedures and Covid safety personnel. Other than that, it’s a wait and see game.

BK: How does the international film market differ from the North American film market?

MW: The cost to technology is lowering the barriers between who can tell stories now, but the quality isn’t suffering. I couldn’t confidently state how the international film market differs from North American film market because at the moment, Covid is the great equalizer for inactivity.

BK: Any upcoming projects coming from FRI you can tell us about?

MW: FRI has a few horror films coming via streaming this year and some shows we’re looking to premiere.

BK: What does the future hold for Film Regions International, Inc.?

MW: FRI is looking to become a multi hyphenated film and talent company. We are working to be a digital native film distribution company domestic and international.

BK: What’s your favorite movie?

MW: My favorite movie changes depending on my mood but, honestly, All Dogs Go to Heaven is lock and stock an all-time favorite.

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A very special thanks to Myron Ward for agreeing to participate in this interview and to david j. moore for setting it up.

Check out the Film Regions International, Inc. Facebook page here.

Check out the Film Regions International, Inc. Twitter page here.

Myron Ward image courtesy of Myron Ward. Zeta: When the Dead Awaken poster from Amazon. Zombie image courtesy of Film Regions International, Inc.