Venita Ozols-Graham

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Venita Ozols-Graham
Writer 2016 Official Selection “Used Body Parts”, 2017 screenplay quarter finalist “Spider Lake”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

VO: My name is Venita Ozols-Graham and my daughter Brigitte Graham and I have a production company called Wanderlust Films(US): www.imdb.com/company/co0395615/.
And there’s also our web site for Black Widows: blackwidowsthemovie.com/

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

VO: I’ve worked in film and television production for a long time but I’ve always been a ‘filmmaker’ and several years ago I stepped away from production to concentrate on writing and directing. I still have to produce to get our projects up and running but my heart is in the story, not the finances.

DG: What are you currently working on?

VO: We’re in post production on a short thriller Brigitte wrote and directed, ‘Angel’. Dark, stylized, very cool. On this one, I just produced. I’m also in that hell called putting together financing for two feature length scripts I wrote so I can direct again. Also, I wrote another short, ‘Only If They Smell Blood’, that we’re shooting next week. Gotta keep those Shriekfest entries going 🙂

DG: 🙂 Wow! You’ve been busy! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

VO: Hmm. I’d have to say Roman Polanski because his early films spun my head around in film school and made me want to make movies. I guess that’s more of an inspiration than a mentor? Kenny Johnson was more of a hands on mentor…I was his First A.D. on many sic fi projects like ‘Alien Nation’. I learned so much standing next to him. He’s a generous teacher.

DG: Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

VO: I was just giving that a lot of thought the other day…the real world is actually barely a step away from what we see in horror movies. Just walk through certain parts of any big city and you feel like you’re on the set of ‘Night of the Living Dead’. We’re genuinely terrified about the potential for horror in real life so it’s a relief to experience our fears in a controlled setting, where someone won’t tear off our arm and eat it. And sci fi…it’s the (potential) future. Who doesn’t want to take a peek into what’s in store for us?

DG: LOL very true! What do you love most about this business?

VO: The insanity and intensity. Working on a set is like being part of a huge (sometimes dysfunctional) family. It’s a wild, all consuming ride that you experience with every cell of your being and then you get spit out. Not saying there aren’t spells of outright boredom (will that actress EVER get out of makeup???) but I can’t imagine a career that’s more challenging on so many levels.

DG: LOL What do you dislike most about this business?

VO: The insanity and intensity. lol. Actually, at the moment I’m seriously disliking the mercurial nature of film financing. Give me a task and I’ll accomplish it but putting together financing is like trying to capture quicksilver. You get a bead on this aspect and this other one slips away. I see now why it can take a decade to get a film made.

DG: I hear ya! It is frustrating. What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

VO: I’m most proud of getting the movie ‘Black Widows’ made and distributed. What a challenge! Even though I’d been in production a long time, arranging financing, producing every aspect of it, casting extraordinary actors with no money, directing, dealing with 23 musicians on the soundtrack, post production, deliverables, publicity, on and on…it was a crash course in film making.

DG: Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

VO: Write. And then write some more. And get together with your friends and make shorts. Prove yourself and they (producers) may knock on your door. No one’s going to knock if you don’t show them you can do it.

DG: Great advice! Anything else you’d like to say?

VO: Yes. Thank you. Shriekfest was truly my favorite film festival to be a part of. For upcoming filmmakers, festivals are the stepping stone to making a career in filmmaking a reality. Can you imagine how sad it would be if they didn’t exist? You’ve created a celebration of film for all of us who love making and watching it! Very grateful.

DG: thank you so much Venita! It was great chatting!

Michael Raymond

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Michael Raymond
2007 screenplay winner, 2007 & 2014 finalist, 2011 semi-finalist, & 2016 quarter finalist

DG: What is your name and company URL?

MR: Michael Raymond – screenwriter (http://www.imdb.me/michaelraymond)

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

MR: Screenwriting

DG: What are you currently working on?

MR: A sci-fi action thriller that I refer to as “The Dirty Dozen” meets “Mad Max Fury Road”… it’s right on the heels of a little sci-fi drama that I pitch as “Stand By Me” meets “The Road.”

DG: Oooh, sounds fun! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

MR: I don’t have what I would call a “go-to” person for creative deep dives, but I certainly have some locally based writers and filmmakers that I consider dear friends and value their friendship because we’re like a jazz band where we all get together and jam creatively. It helps me realize everyone else is just as neurotic as me, which is incredibly reassuring. My influences (different than mentors I guess) are varied, but I’ve always been smitten with the work of Australian filmmaker Peter Weir and a more contemporary influence is Jeff Nichols, whose minimalist writing style I greatly admire and wish I could emulate more often with my own work.

DG: Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

MR: It offers unique and clever ways to express (creatively) things that are happening in society or with current events, but in a completely different context… without being overly heavy-handed about it. From a popcorn movie perspective, the other reason is we simply love being scared in the dark by our own very primal fears or just awestruck by other worlds and visions.

DG: Very true! What do you love most about this business?

MR: No matter how down I sometimes get about work, someone always comes along and does something incredible that inspires me and pulls me out of it. Either that, or they make me think to myself, “Gee, I wish I had thought of that.”

DG: That is so very true! What do you dislike most about this business?

MR: People making too many decisions based on the fear of losing their job or giving more weight to commerce. Also, decision-makers sometimes use silence as a form of communicating. I would rather someone told me my baby was ugly or simply give things proper closure.

DG: I hear ya! It is frustrating. What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

MR: My Nicholl Fellowship Finalist placement for a script I was told, “Don’t waste your time writing something like that.” Honorable mention for winning Shriekfest and Austin.

DG: Woo hoo! congrats! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

MR: Always write. Every day. It’s probably the one (and only) thing you can really control in this business so always be working on something. Stop making excuses and get your butt in the chair every day as part of a regular routine.

DG: Great advice! Anything else you’d like to say?

MR: Relationships are important. And that concept (to me) is a different animal than the concept of “networking.” Maybe you worked on a project with someone that never quite got traction or someone read a script of yours they really liked… they will remember. Be decent and honest with people even if it’s not always reciprocated in this business. You just never know how something might circle back around (in a good way) somewhere down the road.

DG: Well said Michael! Thank you! It was great chatting!

Frank Merle

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Frank Merle
2008 screenplay finalist, 2009 screenplay semi-finalist, & director of 2012’s Official Selection “The Employer”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

FM: I’m Frank Merle, with Lone Morsel Productions, which can be found at LoneMorsel.com.

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

FM: I’m a writer/director, so while I am a screenwriter, most of what I write is meant for me to director. But I’ve been writing at a faster rate than I’ve been able to complete my films, so some of my scripts might make their way into other hands soon.

DG: What are you currently working on?

FM: I just completed work on #FromJennifer, a found-footage horror/comedy featuring Derek Mears and Tony Todd in unique roles that I think will really surprise and delight their fans. I’m also in pre-production for my next film, a farm thriller called Broken Oaks that will film later this year. Incidentally, the script for Broken Oaks was a Shriekfest finalist a few years ago, but back then it was called Graves Farm.

DG: Wow! That is awesome!!!! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

FM: I once heard Francis Ford Coppola discuss violence on film in such an elegant way, it really inspired me to embrace the darker stuff without worrying that it might make me a psycho. I can’t do justice to his wording, but in general, his point was that it’s okay to abhor real-life violence and still portray it truthfully in film. Whatever it takes to serve the story you’re telling. Coppola can’t watch the violent parts of his movies, he closes his eyes!

DG: I never knew that…I love it. Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

FM: Everyone has fears, and if we let them, they’ll destroy us. To stay strong enough to get out of bed each day and face whatever may be lurking in wait for us, I think we need constant practice at confronting fear, in a safe environment, in order to better handle the real horrors that are bound to come eventually. That’s why horror fans live life so fearlessly: they’ve already survived the worst that we filmmakers can throw at them, so they’re ready for whatever curve balls life might try try to throw their way.

DG: Well said. What do you love most about this business?

FM: It’s such a vibrant community of the most creative people I’ve ever met. Not everyone in the business is nice, or on my wavelength, but that’s okay. We can all pick and choose who we want to work with and hang with.

DG: That is so very true! What do you dislike most about this business?

FM: The financial reality that there’s never enough money to do it right. The billion-dollar movies in my head are awesome, but unfortunately I have to figure out ways to make them for less.

DG: I hear ya! It is frustrating, but lack of money usually brings on the creativity and that can be very exciting! What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

FM: I’m proud of the fact that actors who work with me are always eager to work with me again. I consider myself an actor’s director: I put a large focus on helping actors craft the best possible performance, and they are usually very appreciative of my support. I personally believe that performance is the most important aspect of a good film. If a movie is beautifully shot, but with bad acting, it’s not a good movie in my book.

DG: I love that! We need more directors like you!! As an actor I know what it’s like to work with directors that don’t direct. 🙂 Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

FM: Stay humble. Even if you think you’re pretty great, which is fine, just remember that the people around you are pretty great, too. The best work is being done by those who see themselves as servants to something larger than themselves. The movies you make are going to become part of the Collective, the combined history of cinema. Your goal should be to not just add to the Collective, but to hopefully improve it with your unique contribution.

DG: Ooh! Yes! Great advice! Anything else you’d like to say?

FM: We’re living in a great time for horror, aren’t we? There’s some surprising and exciting new stuff happening these days. I’ll always go back to the classics from time to time, but I’m extremely encouraged about what’s ahead. Respect the past, embrace the future.

DG: I agree! Thank you Frank! It was great chatting!

Michael Coulombe

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Michael Coulombe
Director of 2015 Official Selection “The Wrong Profile”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

MC: My name is Michael Coulombe. Bear Claw Films (http://www.bearclawfilms.com/)

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

MC: well filmmaking is my speciality. Being a script supervisor for the last decade and working on over 200 films has really taught me a lot about the process of filmmaking itself. It has also really enhanced by screenwriting, which was what brought me to the industry in the first place: to write!

DG: What are you currently working on?

MC: I have several projects which are written. I am just working to get them funded – naturally. My first short film Ax did really well and – is to date – my most popular film. So I have adapted it into a feature and hope to move forward with that film later this year. I also wrote a couple of short films an action film called 42nd and Vine and a ghost story – Del Obispo Road – which is based on a story told to me by my friend Rochelle Robinson, an experience which happened to her. I thought the story was amazing. People are loving the script. I am submitting it into film festivals while we move forward into production with it. Once that film is made I will submit that into film festivals as well!

DG: That’s great! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

MC: I consider Victor Miller, writer of Friday the 13th, my mentor. Also Harry Manfredini, the composer. I was lucky enough to meet them when I started the Big Bear Horror Film Festival. We did the 30 year reunion. Victor and I wrote a script together with our friend Martin Rogers called Eden Falls. Being able to write with him was the most humbling experience. He is very intelligent, very kind, and a great teacher. Harry has become a good friend as well. Whenever I write anything new they always take the time to read it and give me feedback. I also meet amazing talent on set when I work – but these 2 always go above and beyond. Never in a million years would I ever have believed that when I grew up I would get to work with such amazing talent. And then not only work with them…but call them my friend.

DG: That is great you have such a wonderful support system! I know Harry as well & he is a lovely man. Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

MC: I got this question a lot when I ran my own film festival. I find it a hard question to answer though because there are many sub genres to horror – and it means something different to everyone. But I feel like horror helps people express themselves. I think generally people see horror as something dark. But in a strange way, it’s not. There isn’t a lot of judgement in horror – at least among those who truly enjoy the genre. With that said, there is something about enjoying the macabre….also the exhileration of being scared – or to appreciate something forbidden – such as staying up late past bedtime and watching a horror film. Also, I have found that most horror filmmakers are very sweet and good-natured, perhaps because they take their pain and frustration of life and express through the medium. Very cathartic, no?

DG: LOL very true! What do you love most about this business?

MC: I love that it is ever changing and that it challenges us as filmmakers and writers to adapt and challenge ourselves, especially in a day where we have so many more platforms in which to share! I also love being on set. I worked in an office for 11 years before working in film. Being on set is an amazing place to be…..and we are always in new places, new environments, with new people. It is always exciting.

DG: That is so very true! What do you dislike most about this business?

MC: Since it’s an ENTERTAINMENT business I find that there are a LOT of egos in which we work with. It’s hard to stay humble in an industry where you need to stand out. It’s also hard to find people who are interested in what YOU are doing when they are so intent on trying to sell you what THEY are doing. We need more artists who support each other.

DG: I hear ya! It is frustrating. I do think that is changing though. I see so much support amongst Shriekfest alumni! I love it. What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

MC: To date, I am proud of creating a successful albeit short lived horror film festival. I was able to reunite Victor Miller and Harry Manfredini at that festival, which is something I am very proud of. We also created The O’Quinn award in honor of Kerry O’Quinn founder of Fangoria magazine. The first year we presented it to him…after that he presented to a new recipient after that. Also…as a writer, to date, my proudest accomplishment: I was asked to write a virtual reality horror segment at the end of 2016. It was being produced by YouTube and BlumHouse – and in part by Crypt TV – and was being hosted by Jesse Wellens of Prank vs Prank (who has 10 million subscribers on YouTube) and included 25 of YouTube’s top influencers. I was invited to the YouTube space to visit the set, meet the creative team, meet the director and the influencers. I also got to meet Jason Blum. As a horror filmmaker – it was an honor to say hi to him. And then about 4 days before filming the producer called me to tell me that they got The Rock – the highest paid actor – to be in the project He was down in Hawaii filming Jumanji 2 so he wasn’t able to be on set…so I had to adapt the script in a way where they could shoot around him not being there. (they would shoot him against Green Screen and add him in later.) So…I haven’t met the Rock…yet…but I saw the trailer for the project a few months after we filmed and everything The Rock says in the trailer are words that I wrote. As a writer that moment felt surreal.

DG: I love that! How exciting! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

MC: Never give up. There is a moment once a day – I promise – where I am like…I should stop chasing this dream and be practical. I won’t lie this industry is tough. But I worked in an office for 11 years and let me tell you, there is nothing better. Also, never stop learning. If you attend seminars, or festivals, or screenings try and talk to established filmmakers (but if you approach them don’t be over eager) and listen to what they say. And above all…never stop creating!

DG: Great advice! Anything else you’d like to say?

MC: I work hard to remain humble. I respect any director I work with…as well as any PA. I could dedicate an enitre blog to just to these two things: 1) you never know who knows who 2) you never know who you are sitting next to..so be nice to everyone.

DG: I agree! Thank you Michael! It was great chatting!

Nate Barlow

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Nate Barlow
Co-director of 2004’s Best SciFi Feature film “Tales From Beyond”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

NB: Nate Barlow, Lowbar Productions

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

NB: Both! But of late I’ve mostly been screenwriting. As a filmmaker I am a director, producer, and actor.

DG: Wow, that’s a lot of hyphenates! What are you currently working on?

NB: A Western biopic

DG: Cool! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

NB: Leslie Belzberg. I was her assistant and she still is a sounding board for me.

DG: Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

NB: They tap into visceral emotions and take us to other worlds.

DG: What do you love most about this business?

NB: The combination of creativity, technology, and business.

DG: That is so very true! What do you dislike most about this business?

NB: It’s so difficult to get any film made, we never get to make as many as we like.

DG: I hear ya! It is frustrating. What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

NB: Having the opportunity to see myself on the Chinese Theatre screen, and having my first film distributed.

DG: I love that! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

NB: Always keep plugging away!

DG: Yes! Anything else you’d like to say?

NB: Enjoy the ride!

DG: I agree! Thank you Nate! It was great chatting!

Matt Fowler

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Matt Fowler
Writer of 2016 Official Selection “Darla”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

MF: Hi I’m Matt Fowler and you can find me on the web at www.mattyfow.com also you can find my production company Mirrorscope Productions on YouTube.

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

MF: I’m an actor by trade. I started writing directing and producing kind of by accident. I just always have crazy ideas and happen to be in LA at a time where it’s really easy to make cool stuff with a relatively small budget. Also I have a network of insanely talented friends that can do all the jobs I can’t. And it helps that my wife (Kelsey Boutte) is a special effects makeup artist.

DG: That is awesome that you have all of those resources! What are you currently working on?

MF: I’m currently acting in “Game of Thrones: The Musical!”, playing Jaime Lannister. It opens in February 11th at the Macha in West Hollywood, go to www.gotthemusical.com for info, Hodor! It’s hilarious with great singers. I’m also co-producing a western short film called “The Trapper” that is coming along at a breakneck pace. We wrap production on that on February 7th.

DG: Wow! You’ve been busy! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

MF: Unfortunately I don’t really have anyone I would call a mentor. I’ve always been a bit of a loner and diy guy, don’t get me wrong, I’d love a mentor! I love working with more experienced performers and artist, so I guess they’re all really my mentors.

DG: Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

MF: I’m a huge sci-fi guy. I believe that sci-fi is actually a part of human nature. Our ability and desire to image the future is what allows us to create it. Sci-fi has always been around, before film it was radio, before radio it was books, and before books it was story telling and spoken word. Love it. Horror on the other hand I believe comes from the fact we, at least in the 1st world countries, are so “safe” that we yearn for fear. Fear is deep in our nature as well, and until very recently in human history was an invaluable defense mechanism. It makes us feel alive, I think that’s the draw.

DG: LOL very true! What do you love most about this business?

MF: I love seeing people perform, I love the idea of making my own hours and I love that I get to play pretend for a living.

DG: That is so very true! What do you dislike most about this business?

MF: Scammers. They’re everywhere. Also people that bitch all the time. You don’t like it, go do something you do like, otherwise suck it up.

DG: I hear ya! That is frustrating. What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

MF: I am very proud that my first short film DARLA was accepted to Shriekfest 2016. It was a great experience. Also really proud to have co-produced No Exit last year in Hollywood. I think I’m just proud that I’m still optimistic.

DG: I love that! You have to stay that way! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

MF: Don’t stop. Ask questions. Pay for workshops, they work even if you think it’s criminal. Do stuff! It’s so cheap to make stuff and the more you do it the better you get. Make small daily goals. Put together a speadsheet of all your auditions and gigs and workshops, it’s super easy with google sheets. Getting your bearings is hard as hell. IT IS HARD AS HELL. But once you get there, it’s magical. Embrace it and kick it in the teeth!

DG: ooh! Great advice! Anything else you’d like to say?

MF: Thank you so much for having me on Denise. Let’s grab coffee sometime soon!

DG: I would LOVE that!! Thank you Matt! It was great chatting!

Ian Truitner

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Ian Truitner
Director of 2016 Official Selection “Teleios”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

IT: Ian Truitner, Thousand Mile Media (http://www.thousandmilemedia.com/)

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

IT: Writing and directing

DG: What are you currently working on?

IT: Promoting Teleios, which is being released in the U.K. and Japan in the next couple months, plus screening at the New York Science Fiction Film Festival, Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival and Galactic Film Festival.

DG: Wow! You’ve been busy! Congrats! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

IT: I don’t have a mentor in the traditional sense, but there have been many people who have helped and inspired me on my journey as a filmmaker.

DG: Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

IT: Because Sci-Fi expands the imagination in ways no other genre can.

DG: What do you love most about this business?

IT: Limitless possibility

DG: That is so very true! What do you dislike most about this business?

IT: Continual derivative work at the studio level. It’s like Hollywood has run out of ideas.

DG: I hear ya! It is so frustrating. They need to take a closer look at filmmakers like you! What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

IT: My last film, Teleios, which was too ambitious for its own good, but we pulled it off.

DG: Yes, you did! It’s a lovely film! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

IT: Put in at least 10 years of hard work before expecting anything of significance to happen.

DG: Anything else you’d like to say?

IT: Don’t just follow your dreams, but follow your nightmares too. They are probably more interesting.

DG: LOL I agree! Thank you Ian! It was great chatting! Good luck at the screenings!

Samuel & George Clemens

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Samuel & George Clemens
Filmmakers of 2016 Official Selection “Surgery”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

SC & GC: Our names are Samuel & George Clemens, proud sons of the late screenwriter Brian Clemens (The Avengers, The Persuaders, Highlander 2, Blind Terror, Captain Kronos, Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde). We are The Clemens Bros and our company is Clemens Enterprises Ltd and our URL is www.clemensbros.co.uk

DG: That is awesome you had a Father who was so successful! What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

SC & GC: I trained as an actor at The Drama Centre London and continue to act, George trained as an editor at the London Film Academy and continues to edit. In 2005 we decided to combine our skills and experience and make films. Being able to work with the actors and direct performance is what drives me most, whereas George loves the the camera and composition, plus having the editor on set is very helpful indeed. We both produce our projects too, I focus more on pre production and production and George takes over on post. I also write our projects too. This was primarily out of necessity but has become a joy to do and now I write everything we do and George provides the perfect critique. So we do both really.

DG: Wow! That is so great that you both work so well together. What are you currently working on?

SC & GC: We are currently working on two projects. A new short film, ‘Say No’, co-produced by The Rose Theatre in Kingston, London. ‘Say No’ is a drama about school girl Rossella, who has just split up with her boyfriend and is travelling to school with a handbag full of guns. The films explores the ever present dangers of gun crime.
In terms of horror, we are in the process of setting up our supernatural horror feature ‘The Still’. It is the last script our father ever wrote. We were writing it together and now it is finished and we are sourcing producers and financing.

DG: Wow! You’ve been busy! How amazing to be able to work on something that your Father worked on. Who do you consider your mentor and why?

SC & GC: Our father, for unknowingly giving us a film education by showing us films and television since the birth of cinema. His love, passion and sheer unquenchable knowledge for film was astonishing and aspirational. His motto for writing was ‘Arse to chair, pen to paper’. We have taken that motto into our work in that, it’s all about doing, actively pursuing and doing. No one is going to make your film but you until others want to.

DG: I love that! He had great advice! Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

SC & GC: Because they can take you to worlds beyond our own both in terms of science and spirit. From visual, philosophical, technological ground breaking 2001: A Space Odyssey to the universally frightening, birth of the blockbuster Jaws, they simply have the freedom in either a real based setting or fantastical setting to do anything you can think of. So many of our favourite films are these two genres. They allow you to see the future, the past, the real, the surreal, they fascinate, horrify, scare, overwhelm and give us a timeline to the worlds attitudes at particular times in history.

DG: very true! What do you love most about this business?

SC & GC: When you are working on a project time ceases to worry you. Doing what you love is very special and lucky and if you get to work on a film you are lucky and understand the feeling we are describing. The fact that everyday is different and you have the opportunity to meet and co-ordinate so many talented people in so many varied fields, it is a privilege to learn from them.

DG: That is so very true! What do you dislike most about this business?

SC & GC: Three things, one, talented people being asked to work for free or little money with promises of credits. Two, there are so little repeated viewings of films that they disappear very quickly and aren’t loved and given the attention they once were. Making your film for second viewings is great but how many people do give them second viewings anymore? Lastly, the lack of faith in original ideas, so few get through. TV seems to be the place for different and challenging stories

DG: I hear ya! What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

SC & GC: We are very proud of the inception and execution of ‘Surgery’. Being our father’s final idea before he died and getting to make it so quickly and all the help financially from crowd funding and talent was very humbling. But the success of ‘Surgery’ on the festival circuit was incredible but hands down the audience response to the film has been truly amazing. We’ve had people faint in three screenings we’ve attended so far. We wish we had thought of that as a marketing tool!

DG: LOL I love that! You guys did an amazing job on Surgery! ! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

SC & GC: Don’t talk, do. That doesn’t mean just go out and make it but hustle, talk to people, go to film nights, talk to the filmmakers whose films you enjoyed. Use every connection you can and try and build a supportive team that want to work with you and help you. Very few people come up on their own. Make sure your script is great, if the blue print isn’t good or has problems so will your film. You won’t be able to solve story problems in the edit. Write it, take a break, come back, rewrite, send it to trusted people, get opinions and then throw it all out of the window and go with your gut. Our father once said “You’ve got to have the freedom to break the rules, if I looked at your script I’d want to change it and do it my way but maybe with years of experience my way isn’t the best way as new rules need to be broken”.

DG: Great advice! Anything else you’d like to say?

SC & GC: From cold London to sunny LA, we’d like to thank Shriekfest for allowing us to do this interview. Follow us on twitter @ClemensBros for our latest film news.

DG: Aww, thank you! It was great chatting!

Steve Desmond

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Steve Desmond
Director of of 2016 Official Selection “Monsters”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

SD: My name is Steve Desmond and my website is www.dreamingants.com

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

SD: Both really. I work professionally as a screenwriter but recently directed a new short film. Directing has always been the ultimate goal.

DG: What are you currently working on?

SD: I’m writing a TV pilot for IM Global based on a sci-fi graphic novel, have a sci-fi horror screenplay with Davis Entertainment that was recently voted # 1 on the 2016 Blood List, recently optioned a Hugo award winning short story to adapt, and am also in the midst of writing a new spec horror script that I plan to direct.

DG: Wow! You’ve been busy! That is a great way to start the new year! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

SD: This is a tough one as I’ve found it difficult to find a good and consistent mentor in this business. I certainly have people that I look up to and admire but not a mentor per say. My heroes are Spielberg, Serling, Scorsese, and Hitchcock.

DG: Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

SD: When it comes to horror, I think a lot of us enjoy getting scared within a safe environment – a movie theater or our living room. As for Scifi, it taps into our desire to imagine the future or alternate realities, whether they’re awe inspiring or terrifying or both.

DG: Love that! What do you love most about this business?

SD: I genuinely love crafting a story and taking it all the way from the inception of an idea to a finished product. It’s a truly amazing experience. Specifically, I love the rush of production and being so in the moment.

DG: yes! What do you dislike most about this business?

SD: The ups and downs. We all get knocked down a lot and have to keep getting back up.

DG: I hear ya! It is frustrating, persistence is key! What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

SD: I’m very proud of my short film “Monsters.”

DG: So am I! It’s an amazing film! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

SD: Expect a lot of rejection, especially in the early years. It’s normal and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

DG: Great advice! Anything else you’d like to say?

SD: Check out my short film “Monsters” here – https://vimeo.com/143211613

DG: yes, please do! You will love it everyone! Thank you Steve! It was great chatting!

Winners 2016

Shriekfest 2016

Best Horror Feature Film:
Capture Kill Release
Directed by Nick McAnulty & Brian Allan Stewart

Best Sci-Fi Feature Film:
Occupants
Directed by Russ Emanuel

Best Thriller Feature Film:
Dead Awake
Directed by Phillip Guzman

Best Horror Short Film:
The Cleansing Hour
Directed by Damien LeVeck

Best Sci-Fi Short Film:
FlySpy
Directed by Daniel M Smith

Best Super Short Horror Film:
The Maiden
Directed by Michael Chaves

Best Horror Feature Screenplay:
Wolves at the Door
Written by Pardeep Aujla

Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Feature Screenplay:
The Conspiracy Smith
Written by Chad Allan Jones

Best Thriller Feature Screenplay:
The Bride in the Box
Written by Doug Bost

Best Short Screenplay:
The Wishing Tunnel
Written by Travis Gentry

Best SciFi Demo Reel:
Alan Chan

Best Horror Demo Reel:
Cornelius Broderick

Best 2016 Shriekfest Commercial:
Jennifer Taylor Lawrence & Jon James Smith