57°F
weather icon Clear
app-logo
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper
main-img
(Kris Krainock)
5 minutes with Kris Krainock
Las Vegas filmmaker, writer, director and producer
This story first appeared in the Summer 2022 issue of rjmagazine, a quarterly published inside the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

5 minutes with filmmaker, writer, director and producer Kris Krainock

Kris Krainock recently traveled to Cannes, where he attended the French city’s famed festival to promote his short film “Bizzarro e Fantastico.” The movie has earned accolades and awards from an array of cinematic contests, including the Europe Film Festival and the Independent Shorts Awards. “It’s a pretty thrilling time, equal parts exciting and figuring out what to do,” he said.

What was your inspiration for “Bizzarro e Fantastico?”

Kris: I’ve always had a fascination with death in cinema. I also knew I needed a slant; something different. This version of death eats the souls he picks. He goes to Paris first and eats a French soul who is very heavy and rich. It gives him an intense stomach problem. By the time, he gets to Rome, he’s in agony. The main character nurses him back to health. I thought, “Now, that’s a movie.”

Did you grow up in Vegas?

Kris: I was born in Ohio, but I’ve been in Vegas since I was 7. Family squabbles took us to Las Vegas. They wanted to try something different, so Mom picked somewhere hot and new. She was in her 30s at the time and wanted to explore life a bit.

You enrolled in Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, but …

Kris: I went there for the creative writing program. It’s a great school, but they kicked me out. I was a menace! Not really. I was just focused on filmmaking and didn’t do my school work … Instead, I went to Palo Verde High School and fit right in. I had a lot of good experiences there.

So, there was no second career choice?

Kris: It wasn’t really a decision. I was one of those fortunate people who was possessed by something. I was three when I made the decision to be an actor because that’s all I knew about films. The turning point happened at six and a half when I watched “2001: A Space Odyssey” for the first time. Did I understand it? I still don’t know. I just remember that it was so mysterious and awe-inspiring.

Why do you live in Vegas and not L.A.?

Kris: Well, L.A. is a ghastly place. The thing is right now I’m still working and paying bills. I teach a video cinematography class at B&C Camera in Vegas to make a living. What I would spend on rent in L.A., I could use to make a movie. And I’d rather make the film.

Do you have a favorite place to write?

Kris: So, I’ve written every single day for the last 16 years. I can write anywhere, standing on my head, at a busy train station, at a coffee shop, in my house. These days, I write everywhere. I prefer my kitchen table.

What is your end game?

Kris: I could probably make a nice paycheck writing for TV, but I love the indie world. I’d rather go independent and have the career I want. So what if I’ll only be worth a few million dollars?

What’s next?

Kris: All sorts of goodies. I wrote a play which is being produced in Paris called “L’Imposteur.” And I’m working on two feature films, including one shooting in Vegas on Mount Charleston. It’s called “Bipolaroid” and it’s a dark, mystery thriller. I’m also exploring a TV version of “Bizzarro e Fantastico.” It’s all very humbling to have a movie that connects with people all over the world. I came to Cannes where I keep hearing, “Hey, I love your movie. I’d love to get into business with you.” I’ll say, “OK, I have a horror movie.” I hear, “No, we want a funny, weird movie.” I have those, too.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
More rjmagazine
23 Las Vegas breakthroughs for 2023

Fearless predictions, wistful ideas and wishful thinking for the new year

An elegy for lost homelands

After living and flourishing in Las Vegas for a decade, writer Soni Brown returned to Jamaica, where she’d spent the first 20 years of her life.

The Voice in Winter: Dick Calvert drops the mic

For more than 50 years, Dick Calvert’s signature voice has embodied UNLV athletics, most notably booming from the Thomas Mack Center speakers.

Beyond the bullying, a life remodeled

When model and adult entertainer Annalee Belle fell in love with HGTV personality J.D. Scott, online trolls shattered her peace of mind. She’s spent years taking it back.

Revealing Las Vegas’ deep history, one map at a time

A review of Joe Weber’s new book, “Mapping Historical Las Vegas” — and a meditation on the meaning of the not-so-humble, often world-transforming and sometimes deeply personal map.