After being rather lazy I’ve finally got around to having a quick chat with writer, producer & director Chip Baker. Chip tends to work on stuff I get very excited about (mainly Punk Music Documentaries and Westerns). His work includes: Rolling Stone: Life & Death of Brian Jones, Looking For Johnny, The Rise & Fall of the Clash, Sad Vacation and of course the Westerns: 6 Bullets to Hell, The Bounty Killer & most recently The Price of Death.

The Price of Death Poster

Hi Chip and thanks for sparing me a little of your time.
I wonder if you’d like to start by telling us a bit about your latest movie.

The Price of Death is our latest western to be released and it’s taken us 7 years to release it since we started shooting back in late 2015. We carried on shooting in 2016 inserting Dan Van Husen, who asked to end his career in Almeria in a western which is where he started. So that’s his last ever appearance on film. Although we shot a few scenes with him in 2012 that remain unseen and that we intend on using in our next western, so Dan will be in yet one more western next year. 

Then Al Matthews died and we had to look for another black actor to dub him and so we’ve had a catalog of calamities occurring to us while making this film.

But I must tell you it’s my favorite out of the three we’ve managed to produce up until today. It’s a total indie western that looks great and it’s a fun adventure with lots of references to old spaghetti westerns

The film stars Ken Luckey, Crispian Belfrage and Aaron Stielstra and each one dominates an act of the film. First, Luckey as the Bounty Hunter, then Aaron as the criminally insane Dick Dixon and finally Crispian as the escapee which culminates in this classic Mexican stand off high up in the mountains.

The idea was to write about the criminal nature of these old west characters and how their fame grew out of proportions in many cases and also how they would actually care about being famous pretty much like today’s kids on Instagram. We haven’t changed that much. Look at the States, they still have bounty hunters today. That is also why we wrote this, to show that things haven’t changed too much since.

I hadn’t realised there had been so many things to contend with on top of covid, you’ve done a great job and I very much enjoyed my first viewing…

Ok, introductions done, can I go straight in by asking for a few of your favourites? 

Top Spaghetti Movies: 
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Once Upon a Time in The West
For a Few Dollars More
Death Rides a Horse

Favourite Director: 
Sergio Leone

Favourite Actor: 
Steve McQueen

Favourite Actress: 
Nicoletta Machiavelli

Score/Soundtrack Composer: 
Ennio Morricone 

Who and where was the first music gig you attended?
Doctor Feelgood, 1977 PSUC party in Barcelona.

What was the first movie that really grabbed you?

Who or what are your main movie influences?
The Marx Brothers
The Blues Brothers 
Early 007
Steve McQueen
Orson Welles
Roger Corman 
Jess Franco
Sergio Corbucci
Demofilo Fidani

Do you have a film related project that makes you think, damn I wish I’d done that? and if so what is it ?
Probably The Blair Witch Project. I’ve never watched it but those guys did very good for themselves with very little.

You are creating a Super Movie, who’s in it and what are they doing?  
Dunno about a super movie. We’re working on several projects as we usually do and we’re planning on shooting a new film with our troupe which consists on the main actors and actresses we’ve worked with in the last few years plus some new additions. We’re talking to different people, some of them bigger names than the ones we’ve worked with previously, but we’re very happy with our clique of actors. They are hardcore film junkies and they live for it. And they get our philosophy, which is Roger Colman’s basically: let’s make the best we can with what we have, as little as it might be at times.

On that theme if you could collaborate with any one at all dead or living who would you choose? and why?
Sergio Leone or Orson Welles. 
Basically to learn from the best.

It’s quite obvious that you are a movie / music fan but do you ever get starstruck? and if so then by whom?  
Meeting the Ramones when I was 17 was a trip for me. 

Do you have a favourite location or country for making films?  
Almeria, Spain.

We know you for directing, producing & writing but do you have any other interesting interests?
Football. Travelling. Good weed.

Before movies did you have “normal” jobs? and if so what was the worst?
Washing dishes in a pub in Mornington Crescent, London,also moving furniture, etc.

on that note, who or what made you think fuck day jobs…. I’m gonna do this?
I spent some time in Los Angeles in 2006 with some people who were trying to shoot a pilot episode and that really showed me the way.

Who do you think might be a FUN person to go to the pub with?
Iggy Pop.

and of course, who do think might be a total pain in the arse to go to the pub with?
Bill O’Reilly.

What is the stupidest question you have ever been asked? 
Luckily I can’t remember.

Briefly, your thoughts on: 

The Future of the European Western:
Is there any? We’re going to carry on doing our thing purely out of passion regardless of the commercial outcome.

The Punk Scene (these days):
There are some good bands out there but it isn’t much of a scene as far as I know.

UK Politics: 
Brexit was a fuck up, Boris was a bit of a joke… I hope good things will come out of this mess. I always wish the best to my working class British brothers.

Can’t stand it. I don’t get it.

Lastly do you have any new projects in the pipeline that we should be looking out for?
We are planning on shooting a new film in early 2023, although my idea is to shoot two films back to back. One of them is a western. We have several scripts we’ve been writing in the last 10 years that we haven’t been able to produce and they are much better than the three Westerns we’ve made so far.

Oh and….If you do another Western in Spain can I be an extra please?

Check Out Chip Baker Films and maybe check his Youtube Feed

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By Iccy