If you haven’t already heard, Hobo With A Shotgun, A short film directed by Jason Eisener & produced by Rob Cotterill, won the Grindhouse Trailer Contest put on by the SXSW Film Festival & Robert Rodriguez. It all began with an announcement on Ain’t It Cool News, about a contest that gave a three week deadline to come up with a “grindhouse” style trailer for a fake movie. On the day of the announcement Eisener called Cotterill and they agreed to begin shooting that evening.
For the next 6 days they wrote and shot the now famous trailer in the true nature of the films they love, with no permits, running around the streets with a blood soaked hobo carrying a real shotgun.. The budget for the short was $150, mainly spent on pizza & cigarettes for David Brunt (the Hobo), and a lot of favours. Followed by a week of post work, the trailer was finished and shipped off to Austin Texas. The Hobo creative team including co-writer John Davies, waited for news from down south. For almost a month, the team waited and watched as the Hobo With A Shotgun trailer gained a phenomenal amount of praise and support on the Internet. It quickly became a fan favorite, as the online community argued over the merits of all the entrants to the competition. The incredible internet support Hobo received was astonishing, it was included as one of the trailer favorites by Harry Knowles on the Ain’t It Cool News website; it won G4 Tech TV’s star of the month & garnered a massive fan base through You Tube and all the other great Trailers that generated so much interest and buzz.
This exciting month culminated with the news that Hobo With A Shotgun was a finalist (one of three) in the trailer competition. Eisener, Cotterill & Davies bought their tickets to Austin. With a lot of buzz around the contest, and a fierce competition, the creative team anxiously awaited the verdict, which was being announced at a seminar put on by Robert Rodriguez at the festival. For no real prize, except bragging rights, Rodriguez announced the winner – Hobo With A Shotgun. Since then Hobo has received massive industry support with an unbelievable precedent. Jim Sherry (then with Alliance), heard about this upstart Canadian short winning the contest and decided to strike 186 35mm film prints of the trailer to release it Canada wide, in every theater that Quentin Tarintino & Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse played in. The internet support also blew up and Hobo made the YouTube weekly top ten. The trailer has accumulated close to 400,000 hits on YouTube alone, with a litany of comments loving the Hobo, many demanding for a feature film.
Recently, Hobo With A Shotgun has been asked to screen at several genre festivals, culminating as the surprise opening film to the prestigious & infamous “Butt-Numb-A-Thon” put on by Harry Knowles and the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin Texas. Clearly, the word is out, the excitement is still high, and genre fans all over the globe are waiting to see what happens to the Hobo With A Shotgun.
Rob Cotterill has been working in film since 1994, starting while going to Concordia University in Montreal. His first taste of working on a film set was on Karim Hussein’s “Subconscious Cruelty” and after he worked on several of Mitch Davis’ projects at Infliction Films. After completing school, Rob began working in the industry as an Assistant Director and still does. Through fate, on the set of Trailer Park Boys, Rob met Jason Eisener, whom he quickly forgot until a year later, when they met again, and began talking about making films. A partnership was born, beginning with the still in production documentary about Halifax’s Pink Velvet Burlesque Troop, and later with the collaboration on Hobo With A Shotgun. Recently, Eisener & Cotterill just finished production of a new short film, “Treevenge” about Christmas trees taking back their freedom on Christmas morning. So now with a strong creative team, including Jason & writer John Davies, the trio have a slew of projects in various stages of development and they plan to take Halifax over by force.
Ever since Jason Eisener can remember, movies have been a huge part of his life. Dartmouth, littered with pawnshops, served as a gold mine for a young horror/sci-fi obsessed fan & emerging filmmaker. Spending his time, & wetting his appetite on any genre movie he could find, it wasn’t long until he decided to buy a video camera. Jason soon began creating his own films with high school becoming his testing grounds; quickly, he realized that he wanted to entertain people through film for a living. Jason went on to enroll into the Screen Arts program at the Nova Scotia Community College where he learned every aspect of the film industry, which helped prepare him & the world for his 60-minute film “Fist of Death.” This zombie action thriller was played to a sold out audience at the Oxford Theater in 2003, and went on to play at numerous universities across Canada. With underground success Jason was inspired for his follow up film “The Teeth Beneath.” With a budget of $300, this 45 minute film, went on to exceed any of his expectations, selling out the premiere and his showing at The Atlantic Film Festival. The Coast Magazine recognized it as best local film, and it put Eisener on the Chronicle Herald’s 2005 honor roll for having such contribution to the art scene in Halifax. Continuing his successes, Jason, in collaboration with Angus Swantee, won an Award for Best Direction at the 2006 AFCOOP Awards. In 2007 Jason collaborated with Rob Cotterill and John Davies to make the fake trailer, “Hobo With a Shotgun” which went on to win the SXSW Robert Rodriguez Grindhouse Trailer Competition. With it’s huge following & support, Alliance Atlantis distributed the trailer theatrically, and was shown in 186 theatres across Canada, along with Robert Rodriquez and Quentin Tarantino’s film Grindhouse.
John has been a fan of movies since his earliest memories due mostly in part to his mother who found it a necessity to have her son be keenly aware of the classic genre films of her age. By the age of ten, John discovered his passion story telling which became a regular activity among friends and family. The turning point which drew him to screen writing was a high school drama class in which a story that him and long time friend Jason Eisener had created got turned down as a possibility for a stage play because it was deemed to over the top and impossible to portray. Upset about the rejection John decided to write the play out as a short film. Enthused by both the process of movie making and the reaction of his classmates John decided that this was how he wanted to spend his life. Inspired by the genre movies of his youth John began writing B-movie genre stories and by the end of high school had written several movies that were receiving a cult following among his schoolmates. After high school John enrolled in the Screen Arts at his local community college. During his two years John further developed himself as a writer of comedic and horror films. As his Thesis John wrote the kung-fu zombie epic “Fist of Death” which has grown to be a local cult classic playing to underground film screenings and inspiring University drinking games.Most notable in John’s current writing achievements is the in-production feature film “Streets of Domination” and fake movie trailer “Hobo with a Shotgun” which won the best fake exploitation trailer contest at SXSW film festival and screened across Canada before Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s “Grindhouse.” John is currently working on the feature length script for Hobo with a Shotgun.