Hero Film Festival Spotlight: The Evil I’ve Seen

On its mission to spotlight depictions of heroism in film, Hero Film Festival & Awards has received a variety of remarkable entries. The films selected for the festival’s first cycle will be announced this September.

This week, as we continue to celebrate filmmakers who have submitted their work to the festival, our own Nicholas Crawford (NC) interviewed filmmaker Justin T. Bowler (JB) who served as both an executive producer and actor in the short film, The Evil I’ve Seen.

Trailer for The Evil I’ve Seen | © Digital Mind Productions | Used with permission

Introducing The Evil I’ve Seen

The Evil I’ve Seen is a foreboding tale in 1866 Kansas about a priest and the shady characters he meets fireside on a desert trail – a gold-seeker, a gambler, and a cattle driver. True motives and identities reveal themselves as the men raise conversation, whiskey and guns over the blazing fire.

Film poster for The Evil I've Seen | © Affection Films | Used with permission
Film poster for The Evil I’ve Seen | © Affection Films | Used with permission

Justin T. Bowler

Justin Bowler of The Evil I've Seen | © Affection Films | Used with permission
Justin Bowler of The Evil I’ve Seen | © Affection Films | Used with permission

Bowler is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara where he majored in communications. He works as both a live-action and voice actor, host and an independent filmmaker.

He recently co-wrote, executive produced and co-starred in Affection Films’ The Evil I’ve Seen.

NC: From where did you draw inspiration for this film?

JB: The idea was born out of necessity and our location. We had a fire pit and we needed to shoot at night so that the avocado orchard behind us wouldn’t be visible. Additionally, we are fans of Tarantino films and old spaghetti westerns. 

NC: What was your biggest challenge during production?

JB: To avoid sound issues, we shot throughout the night on an actual farm in the middle of nowhere. The film’s main location was just fifty yards from a chicken coop. The roosters didn’t understand the importance of the phrase “quiet on set,” and apparently didn’t have strict sleeping habits. So, they were an obstacle all night long. Had it not been for some outstanding sound work, we would have needed to change our title to The Evil of Chickens.

NC: You filled roles both behind and in front of the camera in this film, which do you prefer?

JB: While I prefer acting, the industry is fickle and doesn’t always give me the roles I want or allow me to work with the people I want to work with. I find myself behind the camera out of necessity. 

Behind the Scenes of The Evil I've Seen | © Affection Films | Used with permission
Behind the Scenes of The Evil I’ve Seen | © Affection Films | Used with permission

NC: If nothing else, what do you hope that audiences will take away from this film?

JB: As a producer, I want people to walk away with a desire to tell others about the film and demand from the Hollywood machine a higher quality of film to be released in cinemas. As a writer, I want people to quote the film, pondering the multiple meanings each line carries. However, as an actor, I just want more fan mail.

NC: What makes this film a perfect match for Hero Film Festival & Awards?

JB: Heroism is not a birthright; above all, it is defined by one’s actions. Anyone can be a hero. Our unassuming lead, played by David Herbelin, chooses to be a hero with a little push from someone who is more than likely not a hero. 

Keep an eye out for more spotlights from Hero Film Festival & Awards and submit your film today.

About Author

Nicholas is a graduate of Old Dominion University’s film program where he served as editor for many of the department’s faculty/student co-productions. Independently, his work has been showcased in festivals all over the United States, Europe and Asia. Nicholas is passionate about fiction writing, photography and filmmaking. He recently edited Escaping Fed, a feature-length documentary film also by Roulez. He also currently serves as the Creative Director for Roulez Media.

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