103°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

5 minutes with filmmaker, writer, director and producer Kris Krainock

Kris Krainock recently traveled to Cannes, where he attended the French city’s famed festival to promote his short film “Bizzarro e Fantastico.” The movie has earned accolades and awards from an array of cinematic contests, including the Europe Film Festival and the Independent Shorts Awards. “It’s a pretty thrilling time, equal parts exciting and figuring out what to do,” he said.

What was your inspiration for “Bizzarro e Fantastico?”

Kris: I’ve always had a fascination with death in cinema. I also knew I needed a slant; something different. This version of death eats the souls he picks. He goes to Paris first and eats a French soul who is very heavy and rich. It gives him an intense stomach problem. By the time, he gets to Rome, he’s in agony. The main character nurses him back to health. I thought, “Now, that’s a movie.”

Did you grow up in Vegas?

Kris: I was born in Ohio, but I’ve been in Vegas since I was 7. Family squabbles took us to Las Vegas. They wanted to try something different, so Mom picked somewhere hot and new. She was in her 30s at the time and wanted to explore life a bit.

You enrolled in Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, but …

Kris: I went there for the creative writing program. It’s a great school, but they kicked me out. I was a menace! Not really. I was just focused on filmmaking and didn’t do my school work … Instead, I went to Palo Verde High School and fit right in. I had a lot of good experiences there.

So, there was no second career choice?

Kris: It wasn’t really a decision. I was one of those fortunate people who was possessed by something. I was three when I made the decision to be an actor because that’s all I knew about films. The turning point happened at six and a half when I watched “2001: A Space Odyssey” for the first time. Did I understand it? I still don’t know. I just remember that it was so mysterious and awe-inspiring.

Why do you live in Vegas and not L.A.?

Kris: Well, L.A. is a ghastly place. The thing is right now I’m still working and paying bills. I teach a video cinematography class at B&C Camera in Vegas to make a living. What I would spend on rent in L.A., I could use to make a movie. And I’d rather make the film.

Do you have a favorite place to write?

Kris: So, I’ve written every single day for the last 16 years. I can write anywhere, standing on my head, at a busy train station, at a coffee shop, in my house. These days, I write everywhere. I prefer my kitchen table.

What is your end game?

Kris: I could probably make a nice paycheck writing for TV, but I love the indie world. I’d rather go independent and have the career I want. So what if I’ll only be worth a few million dollars?

What’s next?

Kris: All sorts of goodies. I wrote a play which is being produced in Paris called “L’Imposteur.” And I’m working on two feature films, including one shooting in Vegas on Mount Charleston. It’s called “Bipolaroid” and it’s a dark, mystery thriller. I’m also exploring a TV version of “Bizzarro e Fantastico.” It’s all very humbling to have a movie that connects with people all over the world. I came to Cannes where I keep hearing, “Hey, I love your movie. I’d love to get into business with you.” I’ll say, “OK, I have a horror movie.” I hear, “No, we want a funny, weird movie.” I have those, too.

More rjmagazine
Out-of-the-way gem: Chinatown eatery garners Beard nod

For Hongrui Chen, learning that her family restaurant had been named a semifinalist in the Best Restaurant and Chef category by the James Beard Foundation was a bit puzzling.

Elvis stands alone in Las Vegas

Here are some ways Vegas continues its historic affiliation with The King, which is sure to be a hot topic with the June 24 release of Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” biopic.

For his first meal out in Vegas, new restaurant reporter slurps

Some folks, wherever they go, hunt the pleasurable gnaw of chicken wings. Others search the smothered bliss of biscuits and gravy. But I always scout for a Chinese restaurant serving xiao long bao.