Becoming Mr Cleaver

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Les recently moved his company and family to his hometown of Cleveland to offer his children a "normal" life around family and friends.

"I may be John Carpenter at night but I'm Ward Cleaver during the day," jokes Les. "The last film I did, I Know What You Did in English Class, is a film that took me the longest to make. Before that I'd shoot something, edit nonstop, twenty-four hours a day for a couple months. You can ask my lovely wife about the many dates we did not go on because of that. Once the kids came, a lightening bolt hit me and I encourage any filmmaker to get caught up in that spark. I almost missed my daughter's second birthday party because we were shooting a film and my wife said, 'Honey, I love you, but are you out of your mind? Think about what you're doing.' I listened to her and thought about it and said, 'You know, you're absolutely right.' So I left shoot early. From that point on I've been the same ever since.

"I don't want to wake up one day, not know my kids, and only see somebody in my house who's got blue hair with half of it shaved off. And this is, of course, while the police officer is telling me they've been arrested. That's not going to be me. I'm not the stereotypical dad. If you ask me when my daughter's choir concert is, I don't say I don't know. Are you kidding? I know the date, the time, the place, and the car I'm going to use to get there. I'm very family oriented and I do not let this take a back seat. This is why it took me so long to make this last film."

Over the years, Les has made a number of low-budget comedic horrors, such as Vampire Time Travelers, The Not So Grim Reaper, Night of the Living Date, and I Know What You Did in English Class.

"The Not So Grim Reaper is like Spinal Tap meets death," says Les of one of his projects. "It's shot like a documentary of a day in the life of the Grim Reaper. A filmmaker follows the Grim Reaper, who shows him how he handles different deaths. My last film, I Know What You Did in English Class, was made simply to be made. What happens with it now, only the future will tell."

Les's love of filmmaking is obvious, as he continues to make movies without funding or worrying too much about marketing or distribution. He is doing it out of sheer pleasure. His love for his family is equally obvious, and he has found the necessary balance to enjoy both of his passions.

"I love filmmaking but if I don't know my family as a result of it, what's the point?"

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