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Exclusive Interview with Yonash Breneman on His Latest Project 'The Death of Us' with KingWolf

The Death of Us an interview with Yonash Breneman with KingWolf

Acclaimed filmmaker Yonash Breneman reveals the inspiration and challenges behind his captivating movie "The Death of Us" in an exclusive interview with KingWolf. Born from shared job loss experiences in 2020, the project evolved from a short film idea to a full-length feature fueled by Breneman's determination. Overcoming limited resources and a small crew, the film's authentic storytelling captures the raw emotions of uncertain times. Breneman shares future plans, including his heartfelt script "The Last Retreat" and collaborations on exciting projects. Aspiring filmmakers are encouraged to embrace resourcefulness and perseverance, finding their own opportunities. Breneman's dedication serves as inspiration for those making their mark in the industry.

What attracted you to create the movie "The Death of Us"?

  • The Death of Us was not your typical, “Let’s dream up a story, build the world, plug in some characters” movie. We all lost our jobs around the same time on March 15, 2020, so the immediate reaction was let’s drink, watch netflix and watch the world burn. But after two weeks, I felt like I was just wasting time, so I spoke with Ahku, Dana, and Anthony and pitched making a film. They were all ready to do a film too…a short film. I pitched a feature. They all laughed and called me a crazy a**hole. After a few days, each of them came back and said, “If we were to do this, what do you have in mind?” The truth is, I didn’t. I knew we had a house with two actors, and another writer on zoom, all the equipment needed to make this happen, we just needed to get started. After a couple days, we went from horror film to home invasion to eventually, what if we wrote about today’s world except what we hope it never becomes, and as such was born The Death of Us.

What message do you hope audiences take away from "The Death of Us"?

  • Honestly, the message is simple and one we’ve been taught since we were kids. “Appreciate every single day as if it were your last”. The only guarantee in life is death. Movies are meant to make you feel something. This one in particular was meant to make you feel the same way we all felt when the lockdowns were happening. Uncertainty. Doubt. So when the movie does come to an end, you walk away appreciating not being “stuck” in that moment in time that much more.

The Death of Us an interview with Yonash Breneman with KingWolf

How did you approach casting for your "The Death of Us"?

  • <Haha> The casting process was literally, “Hey, I live with two actors, that will be the main cast. I know a couple great actors, I’ll see if we can zoom them in”. This film auditioned itself. We just modified the characters to fit personalities. Everyone knocked it out of the park because in reality, while filming, this crazy shit was still happening.

What do you look for in a script when deciding whether or not to direct a film?

  • I have only directed a couple things that didn’t have me involved in the writing process. The story and how it makes you feel, that lets you know. If I can’t directly connect to a story, or if while reading it, I don’t automatically start seeing the shots, it wouldn’t do it justice having me in the driver’s seat.

Can you describe a challenge you faced while making your film and how you overcame it?

  • The biggest challenge was not having a full set up sometimes, and what I mean by that is the equipment. Some scenes, or some shots, require specific lighting techniques which often times require specific lights. We couldn’t be picky. Most of the film was shot in natural light with some help of good old workbench dish lights. And being a crew of 3, including the actors, often times wouldn’t allow us to do certain things but we found a way. In the beginning, there’s a shot with Katie, Morgan, and Devin in the same frame. We didn’t have a 4th person, so the camera was propped on a chair, with an applebox and sandbag.

What was your favorite scene to film and why?

  • The film had too many favorites to list but I will say that the scene in the car between Katie and Morgan will always stick out. That was not only the first scene we wrote, but it was the first scene we shot. That scene convinced Ahku, Dana, Anthony, and even myself that this film was not only possible, but we’ll do everything to get it done.

What do you think sets "The Death of Us"." apart from other films in the same genre?

  • Many films claim to have been written/shot during the pandemic. And props to them for doing so, but we truly were the definition of a “guerilla film”. We wrote this story as the story was happening in real time. In return, you feel the grittiness that came with it. What advice would you give to aspiring filmmaker looking to make it in the industry? Stop making excuses of why it’s impossible and start making a case for why it is possible. You don’t need the Hollywood money, all the toys, or a massive crew. Harness all the knowledge you’ve learned from the past and put it to work. No one is searching to give you an opportunity, but if you build yourself a strong enough case, they won’t be able to refuse you.

The Death of Us an interview with Yonash Breneman with KingWolf

What is next for you, any new projects in development?

  • What I want to direct next is the “baby script” that’s near and dear to my heart called The Last Retreat, about six strangers that go up to the mountains to kill themselves. This story is what truly helped me through my depression and I hope that when it’s made, it can help others too. Currently, we’re working on a few things. A horror/ghost story, six part mini series with a movie as a finale. We’re working on a comedy pilot/series for a show that takes place on the open seas. And later this year, Anthony plans on stepping into the director’s chair with me on a short film about the choice between good and evil.

How can your fans and followers get updates about you and your projects? Your website or social media links?

First and foremost, I’m terrible with social media, however, anyone can stay up to date by following my IG and Facebook below:

Stream today through links below:


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