What if Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was actually a true story? That's the basis for The Frankenstein Theory, which started a limited theatrical and VOD release last week, and will be released to DVD on March 26th. I recently had the opportunity to talk with director Andrew Weiner, who told me about referencing the original material over the classic movies, and the challenges of a freezing, snow-covered shoot.

Thank you for taking the time to talk with Daily Dead. Can you tell me how this became the first project you'd take on as a director?

Andrew Weiner: I wrote the screenplay with Vlady Pildysh, a really talented writer that lives up in Alberta, Canada. I've worked with him before and one day he said: "What if we do something where Frankenstein is based on true events?" That was really the launching pad and, from there, we wrote a detailed screenplay together.

I've produced movies before and you spend so much time working on a project. You only shoot a movie with a small budget for weeks, but it can take years of work from start to finish. I wanted to find something that was personal to me and I could connect to for my first movie as a director.

What was it that made you connect to Frankenstein?

Andrew Weiner: There are so many differences between Frankenstein in cinema and the Mary Shelley novel. Boris Karloff is the most famous portrayal, but in the novel, the monster never has a name and is highly intelligent. That's where I think there's a difference in most of the films, and you see a stumbling and less intelligent creature.

What they have in common is the human frailty and people identify with it. There's a real vulnerability to the monster, because the character has been rejected and is trying to find companionship and love. That's something all people need, but don't always get in the way they want. People can relate to the character in that way.

I like that you brought the Dr. Frankenstein-type obsession into the movie with the Jonathan character.

Andrew Weiner: I'm glad you noticed that. There's certainly a parallel between Dr. Victor Frankenstein and Jonathan. As smart as Jonathan is, he's completely oblivious to the mistakes he's making along the way. He's trying to prove his theory and has ignored everything and everyone in his life.

Every director will face challenges, but this was your first film and also had to deal with the snow and freezing temperatures. Can you tell me about your time filming outside and what obstacles you encountered?

Andrew Weiner: It's tough shooting in the snow for a few reasons and the physical discomfort was the least of our problems. There's a risk of equipment malfunction, which slows things down. When you're trying to move around in the snow, it requires a lot of energy. There are certain times where we have a setup going and I want to move 200 feet. In a warm location, you can make that move in five minutes. In two feet of snow, that could take 45 minutes and everyone is tired.

I never wanted to compromise and, if I thought the shot would benefit the film, I wanted to get the shot. We had a really good crew and they were game for many of the insane things that I wanted to do on the shoot.

I thought you had an interesting mix of characters, and especially liked Timothy Murphy as the Quint-like character from Jaws. Was Jaws a big influence on you growing up?

Andrew Weiner: You likened him to Quint from Jaws and that was the only character that I really drew on for him. My parents had a copy of Jaws, so from the age of five, they would sit me down in front of it to occupy myself. I saw the movie probably 100 times before I was eight years old and that movie is stained into my brain. There's no question that Quint is a character is I love and I modeled Murphy's character after him.

You've had jobs as a producer, writer, and director. Which do you prefer and do you consider yourself a director or a producer first?

Andrew Weiner: I consider myself a filmmaker. I've produced and I'm happy to produce new movies with directors that I really respect what they do. I also love the craft of writing and directing. Directing for me was something I've been wanting to do for a while and something I plan to do for a long time to come.

With The Frankenstein Theory hitting theaters, VOD, and DVD this month, do you plan to start directing again soon?

Andrew Weiner: Right now, I'm writing and producing another low budget horror film. It's a studio project that hasn't been announced, but I'm also hoping to direct another project this summer. It's more of a thriller, but it's a bit too early for me to make an announcement.