You might not think that you know Steve Barron -- but I bet that you do. Before becoming an indie filmmaker, he directed both the 1990 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Coneheads, but that's not what I'm referring to. Before that, he brought us some of the most memorable, ground-breaking music videos out there. Michael Jackson's Billie Jean. Dire Straights' Money For Nothing (you know, the "I want my MTV" song). A-ha's Take on Me. The '80s wouldn't have been the same without him.

These days, he's making indie films, and his latest, Choking Man, was just released. Starring newcomers Octavio Gómez and Eugenia Yuan (and boasting supporting talent Mandy Patinkin), the film follows a shy Ecuadorian dishwasher who works in a Queens diner. In the shadow of a poster featuring the Heimlich Maneuver, he tries to bond with waitress Amy, and deal with life in the most culturally diverse neighborhood in the world.

Barron was able to spare a few moments to answer some questions about his new film, as well as his opinions on indie film for Cinematical Indie Chats. Be sure to also check out the first two installments -- a chat with Deliver From Evil filmmaker Amy Berg, and another with Billy the Kid filmmaker Jennifer Venditti.

Most of your work is light, funny fare. What inspired you to switch to drama, and what inspired you to write this story?

My tastes have changed. I've grown up. (I think!) I used to be first in line to Indiana Jones, now I'll search out the New York indies or obscure foreign films. I'm more captivated by innovation.

categories Interviews, Cinematical