NOW: This seems like it might have been a pretty tension-filled movie to make. Was it?
CJ: I have a crew that's phenomenal. It was literally myself, my DP (director of photography), my sound guy and my editor that made the film. Having less people worked better. At one point my crew and I were screaming at each other. We had so much pressure - the animal rights people were nervous about us, the FBI were nervous about us. So everybody was following us all the time and paranoia literally crept in and one day we all exploded. It's funny now because some days we'll re-enact it just for fun. They're all straight guys and I love working with straight guys. Cuz I'm like a a straight guy - I fight, I get it out of the way and then I go play air hockey.
NOW: You were being watched during filming?
CJ: People really didn't want this movie made. I was getting death threats, the usual. It could have been the animal people, could have been the other side trying to make me think it's the animal people. And I was out fishing in Seattle and I get this call and they were like asking about the filming and it was subtly threatening and then they were like oh, enjoy the boat ride. And I got the binoculars and looked around there was nobody out there but us. And you just don't know who to trust anymore.
NOW: What was your crew's reaction?
CJ: The Small crew made it easy. We all had each other's back. Most crews would bail on you when this stuff started happening. My crew had really only ever worked on the Food Network. I warned them that it might get a little weird. Dealing with domestic terrorist threats and if the FBI doesn't have pictures of you now they will. I'm sure they were just happy shooting something other than plates of food and diners.
NOW: Your next documentary is about white supremacist groups, another difficult issue. What's your interest in the subject?
CJ: Every film always shows the outside of them. I want to get their side and show their stories. We're all the same, we just have different ideologies. I think it's going to make people uncomfortable. But I want to try to understand where does it all come from. I'm just curious. If I know too much about a subject I won't do it. I'd be tainted.
NOW: Have you ever been swayed by the argument made by one of your subjects?
CJ: You listen to enough people and you go, "Oh yeah, I get it." Which is why sometimes audiences get frustrated because they're agreeing with people they detest because they're making good points. Most times, liberals and conservatives are so busy screaming they don't realize they're saying the same thing.