SDFF: A Q&A with Director Dave Higgins

Written by  //  November 4, 2012  //  Cinematical, Starz Film Fest, The Theatre  //  No comments

The director of “The Aviation Cocktail” sits down with our very own Richard Karpala (Hugo Dracula)

No matter how many big, international premieres SDFF boasts, we champion the local filmmakers who have toiled blood sweat and tears to make their films. Because showing their work on screen in front of local audiences is a moment to appreciate. This year, The Aviation Cocktail will be showing three times at SDFF, so your chances of seeing it are very good. Richard Karpala, aka Hugo Dracula, sat down with writer/director Dave Higgins to talk about his new film.


RK: So the “Aviation Cocktail.” What is in one of those?

DH: Our version is one part betrayal, two parts passion and a splash of blood. Mix well. The characters get tangled up in a situation and when it all settles out, nobody is quite the same.

What made you want to tell this story?

It’s more interesting when you write what you know. I started off with a kernel of an idea: how my grandfather may or may not have operated his air service after WWII, and it just took off after that. It’s not how it actually happened but perhaps how it should have happened.

Here’s an easy question with no easy answer: How did you get this movie off the ground (see what we did there)?

My producing partner Bobby Deline and I did an IndieGoGo campaign, that’s what started the momentum. Crowd funding is a great resource for independent artists these days and we had tons of support from friends and family.

In the trailer there are cars and planes that look preserved from a bygone era. Where did you find those?

The Denver Police Museum generously loaned us the cop car and a family friend owned the plane. It’s a 1949 Stinson Voyager and it still flies regularly! Every other car was donated to the production from locals in Valentine, Nebraska.  The town was so supportive of the film in so many ways, we literally couldn’t have made it without them.  

You made what looks to be an ambitious project. Was there a part of you that thought, this will never work? And if so, did you have a different movie as a backup plan?

There’s always the voice of reason saying things like, “This will never work,” but I like the saying, go big or go home. My backup plan was getting a job on a crab boat but that’s not very realistic due to my aversion to manual labor, so the film had to work and I think it does. I hope everyone has as much fun watching it as we had making it.

Starz Denver Film Fest goers have three chances to see The Aviation Cocktail at SDFF’s Denver Pavilions:

Sunday, November 04, 11:30 AM
Monday, November 05, 6:30 PM
Tuesday, November 06, 1:45 PM

For more information on Dave Higgins’ The Aviation Cocktail watch the trailer below, visit the film’s website and “like” it on Facebook.

About the Author

Hugo Dracula

Richard Karpala, aka Hugo Dracula, is a film maker and critic based in Denver. His first short film, "Deadbox" was an official 2012 selection at the 8th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival, the Gen Con Indy Film Festival and the International Film Fest of the Bizarre. In the hallowed halls of the Manse Richard is known as "Hugo Dracula," a former inmate and current best-selling author of "Life in 2D", a survivalist tale that recounts his harrowing prison sentence inside of the Phantom Zone. He is currently writing the follow-up, "Zoning Out: Life On the Streets." Follow Richard Karpala on Twitter

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