Beyond Birdemic: An Interview with Actor Alan Bagh


By: Eric Flapjack Ashley (@flapjackashley)

If you are a nerd of any sort, you are aware of movies that are known as “guilty pleasures” – those movies that are typically so bad, they’re good. Camp favorites like The Room, Troll 2, and Manos: The Hands of Fate would easily make this grouping. But no list of this nature would be complete without the Birdemic films – two movies that loosely imitate Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds with an environmental twist. It’s fun and shameless entertainment – shameless because the first movie gives a top billing credit to actress Tippi Hedren despite the fact that she only appears on a TV screen from another movie she was in, and fun because you just can’t take the films seriously. Yes, films, because there is a sequel to Birdemic that largely flew under the radar (see what I did there?).

I had the chance to sit down with Birdemic actor Alan Bagh and got to ask him some burning questions that any fan would want to know. He proves to be a very earnest actor who is hoping to parlay his initial success from a cult classic into a long term, serious career. So grab your coat hangers and settle in!

Hey, Alan, thanks for joining us!

No problem! Happy to be here.

So, you are obviously best known for the Birdemic movies. How did you get involved with that movie?

[Director] James [Nguyen] called me out of the blue one day. He found my acting profile on and he asked me to come to San Jose to audition for the film. I performed a monologue and he said I had the role.

How was working with him?

It was challenging to work to James. He’s a very passionate director but very disorganized. Furthermore, it was difficult working with no crew and limited amount of money.

When did you realize what kind of reputation this film was getting?

After I saw it was featured on The Soup.

What do you think the appeal of Birdemic is?

It depends on the fan. Some fans like it because it had a global warming awareness to it or some fans like it because it’s entertaining as hell. Other fans like it because of the special effects of the birds and many more.

Given how people have reacted to the original film and the kinds of crowds the showings have attracted, how was your mindset different, if at all, going into the sequel, Birdemic 2: The Resurrection?

Honestly, I didn’t let it affect my performance. I just played Rod like I did in the first one.

You take everything in stride, and have been very accessible and friendly with fans. Do you think the legacy of Birdemic has helped your growing career?

It definitely gave me more film opportunities. Filmmakers constantly ask me to be in their films.

The movies are among the lowest rated on IMDb, but they also have a very dedicated fanbase, and they have allowed you to travel the world in doing red carpet premieres. What have been a couple of the most memorable fan reactions you have received?

I would say my most memorable experience was the first showing in Los Angeles at the Cinefest theatre. I wasn’t sure how people would react to this film. When I arrived to the theater, there was a long line that wrapped around the building. During the show, moviegoers were getting up and dancing during the dance scene which I never witnessed before. [They] were yelling obscene things about the film in the theater. The Birdemic production team set up two fake birds to drop from the ceiling and hang during the film and one of them malfunctioned so that was a funny accident. Moviegoers brought hangers and swung them during the bird scenes. I even autographed some of those hangers. It was an interesting first red carpet event.

What are some of your favorite movies? Which ones have given you the most inspiration to get into the film business yourself?

My overall favorite film is Silence of the Lambs. I love the relationship between both actors. I thought the writing was great as well.

Going forward, you have filmed and released a short film on your YouTube channel called The Only Road, which has a post-apocalyptic feel to it. How did you get involved in that project?

I really like the film Mad Max and it inspired me to shoot the film. I was taking a digital production class at the time and we were required to make a short film. So I decided to shoot a post-apocalyptic short film with my team. We did the writing, editing, and shooting with a low budget and it came out great.

The movie has received some acclaim at smaller independent film circuits and festivals. As opposed to Birdemic, it is liked for actually being good as opposed to being “So Bad It’s Good.” Are roles like these more along the lines of what you would like to see yourself doing in the future?

Yes, I love playing the hero type, but I also like playing the bad guy.

You have also played a wartime fighter in another short film you starred in, Unsung. As a
producer on it, you managed to squeeze a lot of setting and effects for a small independent production. What were some of the challenges in having a vision of a major Hollywood feature on a shoestring budget?

Time was the first challenge. I had to shoot all the scenes within three days. [The] second challenge was coordinating all the actors to show up and shoot. Last challenge was finding two kids to shoot the kid scene.

You have announced seeking funding on a new project called The Diamond Collector. Can you tell us a little about it?

The film’s logline is “Detective John Lauren seeks to finds his wife’s killer. After finding a valuable clue, he goes on a manhunt to find the killer and finds out the shocking truth of what really happened to his wife.”

Being this is an interview for Nerd, do you consider yourself to be a nerd?

(Grins knowingly) Maybe…does watching the Dragon Ball Z series count?

And finally, would you be open to doing a Birdemic 3 to complete a trilogy? I mean, Sharknado is up to five films, we can at least get three Birdemics, right?

Yes, I definitely would be in Birdemic 3. I think it would be a lot of fun.

Thank you for your time!

Thanks for having me!
To learn more about Alan and his upcoming project, The Diamond Collector, as well as view his other independent work mentioned in this interview, visit his YouTube page! You can also keep up with him on his official Facebook, Instagram accounts.

    One Comment

  1. French von BrekelenSeptember 22nd, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Thank you, for this great interview

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