AS A COMPOSER, DWAYNE CATHEY HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN THE FILM INDUSTRY FOR EIGHT YEARS, BUT HE WAS PLAYING GUITAR AND SINGING IN HOUSTON BANDS LIKE CEDAR OF LEBANON AND THE GUNS OF AUGUST IN THE DECADE (AND THEN SOME) BEFORE THAT. THE DIY APPROACH HE TOOK TO MUSIC CARRIED OVER INTO HIS FILM WORK, WITH PSYCHIC EXPERIMENT (2010) AND GLOW: THE STORY OF THE GORGEOUS LADIES OF WRESTLING (2012) BEING NOTABLE CORNERSTONES. NOW HE’S WORKING BOTH SIDES, MOONLIGHTING AS THE SINGER OF THE BAND HOLDER WHILE BUILDING HIS OWN PRODUCTION COMPANY, DREAMLAND SOUND DESIGN .
WHAT’S THE THINKING BEHIND CREATING A COMPANY INSTEAD OF JUST WORKING AS A COMPOSER?
It’s more so I can hire musicians to come and play on scores. That way I can contract them out and everything. It’s a lot easier doing that with the producers. It’s more legit, and when you’re telling someone that you’re going to score something for them but you gotta hire musicians, I think that’s a good thing. It really does tell them that it’s not just your friends playing guitar.
WHAT WILL BE YOUR FIRST PROJECT UNDER THE NEW NAME?
I’ve been working on all these different web series. One’s called 25 And Married, and another’s called Faking Famous. Then I have one I’m trying to do a pilot for called Doctor Mayor. The script feels like a Wes Anderson kinda story, and the main character’s name is Doctor Mayor. So I’ve got that coming up in April. But the last thing I shot was out in the middle of nowhere in Texas. It’s a horror movie called Hair-Metal Shotgun Zombie Massacre. And Tom Araya [of Slayer] was in that.
AND BUSHWICK BILL, TOO?
Yeah! Bushwick was pretty funny. He came in last minute because Gary Busey cancelled, so he got Gary Busey’s part! [laughs] They called him the day before and he said, “I’ll call you tomorrow and tell what time I’m gonna be there.” And then he called, and they said, “Alright, he’s doing it.” So they started writing lines for him.
HOW OFTEN ARE YOU ON SET LIKE THAT?
Well, I do kind of everything right now. Since it’s pretty much just me, I do the location sound, and then I do all of the mastering and mixing of the sound, especially on the web series. I get a lot of those lately, which is steady work. I’ve been doing this for eight years now, and I started off just going and setting up lights for people. It wasn’t something I was trying to get into, but it was always fun, and then somebody was like, “I need somebody to do sound.” So I did sound. I mean, I can run a soundboard. And then I just started buying gear, and saving it up.
DOES THE INSTRUMENTATION VARY FROM PROJECT TO PROJECT?
It’s different. It just depends on what the director wants. I come from bands, so it comes from the stuff I can play, but also if we need strings or something, I’ll get Two Star Symphony or my friend Alex Hughes. He plays cello and standup bass, and sometimes I’ll get him over here just to do small things here and there, but if I can play it I just try to do it myself. I’m learning every day. I’m learning drums right now.
ARE YOU DOING ANY WRITING, FOR THE STORIES YOU’RE DEVELOPING?
Well, I want Dreamland to become a production company. I started it this way because this is what I’m already doing, and hopefully I can branch out and start producing. I’m writing a short film right now. I made one a long time ago but I kinda wanted to keep doing this and do different jobs to learn more about it. I did the first one and was like, “I need to learn a lot more.” So I started taking any job I could get. I mean, even if it’s just a PA [Production Assistant] job, I’ll take it. I don’t care. I went and just cleaned windows one day because we were shooting a commercial for a windows company. They were like, “You just clean these windows, and I’ll shoot it.” And that was our day. But I learned how to shoot through a window, which is harder than you think it is.