San Antonio – One local filmmaker is hoping his latest project both entertains and starts a conversation about religious issues that negatively impact certain communities.
Daniel Tucker, 29, is the writer and director of “Nothing But The Blood.”
“It is a horror thriller about a creepy cult that moves into a small town,” Tucker said. “Things get progressively creepier and creepier and it erupts into violence. It is ultimately an examination of extreme hatred.”
Tucker said it took him two and a half years to get the big production completed. The film has even played in local theaters and is now available on Video On Demand, DVD, and other platforms.
“I wanted to make a movie where the characters seem real,” Tucker said. “I wanted to examine the extreme hatred going on. Is there a way you can respond to that kind of hatred? Is it solvable? How do we do that? I often see people respond to hatred with hatred and I just hate that, so I am just trying to say, ‘Hey, maybe that is not how it should be.’”
He said the hatred he is referencing in the movie relates to that seen with religious-based fundamentals in places like Westboro Baptist Church.
“Things like, ‘God hates you. You will burn in the fiery pits of hell.’ Homophobic-type of things,” Tucker said. “It is hyperbolic but not completely off the mark. It is people that are like, ’God hates gays and women can’t lead type of things featured in this. It is extremely exaggerated for the point of satire. I know what I want people to take from it but I know that there are layers that I didn’t know we’re there. It begins a conversation, I think. My goal is to entertain because it is a movie. If a conversation happens, then good.”
Tucker said he’s loved film ever since he was a boy.
“I was obsessed with film from a young age and I loved to tell stories,” Tucker said. “I was a journalist for 10 years and then I got this itch that if they can do it, I can do it. Why can’t I do it? So I did it,” he laughed.
He said films like “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” made him very interested in the work done both in front of and behind the camera. He said his project experienced a few obstacles.
“Movies cost, so I had the producer and people who donated to help pay for it,” Tucker said. “We filmed in extreme cold temperatures because of a lot of outdoor scenes.”
His biggest supporters throughout this entire journey were his parents.
“It was very important to involve my parents,” Tucker said. “We even shot some scenes in their house so that was cool. They’re very supportive. I think if you have a problem with the version of Christianity described in the film, that is terrifying. I am just presenting an extreme version of it to say there is a right way to do it.”
Tucker said he was raised in a very religious environment.
“I saw a lot of bad interpretations of that and it troubled me because I’ve lost friends to conversion camps or other kinds of things like that. I have lost like five people off the top of my head and that sucks and I am angry that that has happened,” Tucker said. “If you preach love and then preach a version of hate, I don’t understand that. I can’t.”
He said he hopes people would respect people for who they are no matter what their beliefs may be.
“Whether you are Christian, Muslim or whatever,” Tucker said. “It is your thing. I don’t care if you do it, just don’t hurt people. It is what it is and I can’t tell you what it should be, but just don’t hurt people through your faith. I have seen a lot of extremely hateful things where people have died or just walked away completely from their faith. You are made the way that you are made and nothing is wrong with you.”
Tucker said he was alarmed learning other facts about certain things.
“The suicide rate in conversion camps is like 83%,” Tucker said. “It sucks and I don’t like that people can keep getting away with it. The position these camps take is that these people killed themselves and it is proof they are not OK. It is the opposite. They didn’t have these thoughts prior to the camp and if the camp put it in their heads then there is your answer.”
He said when it all boils down to it, it is important to love one another and that is a key element he learned from his parents.
“They encourage people to be wholesome and kind,” Tucker said. “You have to go out of your way to be a hateful person. Hate is not in us when we are born. It is a thing that is taught. My parents and I are total opposites on a lot of things, but they love me and that is the best person you can have and you can be.”
He said he couldn’t make this project possible without his team.
“I couldn’t have done this without any of my team, my crew, my actors, my producers,” Tucker said.
Tucker added this project is also meant to inspire others to not be so quick to pass judgement.
“Everybody is on their own path,” Tucker said. “Make sure you are true to yourself and true to others and if you can help them on their path, cool, but don’t point at their path because they can easily point at yours.”
If you know someone like Tucker who is making a difference in the South Texas community or who has a unique story, send us your tips. Contact Japhanie Gray on Facebook or @JGrayKSAT on Twitter. You can also send your tips to KSAT 12 & KSAT.com on Facebook.