Up-and-comers are a dime a dozen in Hollywood; for every successful director, there are countless hopefuls waiting for their opportunity to shoot a scene, much less an entire film. But Ben Wagner has done both: his directorial debut, Southbounders, made the rounds at film festivals for more than two years, and he has since put together a number of other projects, most recently a short film entitled 6:00 in which a dirty cop fends off a phalanx of gang members in one glorious, unbroken shot.

Cinematical recently sat down with Wagner to discuss his burgeoning filmmaking career, which you can further explore on his website. In addition to talking about the practical and creative elements that prodded him to start with an intimate character study and move on to more visceral fare, Wagner explored his own approach to directing and storytelling, and offered a few glimpses what – and importantly, how – fans will see his work as it expands further into the mainstream.