Jared Bentley

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Jared Bentley
2013 screenwriting finalist

DG: What is your name and company URL?
JB: Jared Bentley, Engenius Productions, http://covetous-movie.com/
DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?
JB: Writer and Director.
DG: What are you currently working on?
JB: Finishing up a short called The Conductor, which we will be submitting to festivals for showings later this year. Also in pre-production for an action thriller called “Hospice”.
DG: Nice! Who do you consider your mentor and why?
JB: I don’t really have one. No one has really taken me under their wing. Which isn’t to say no one has ever taken a chance on me, but I wouldn’t say I have any true mentors. I have people that I associate with that I respect and I seek their advice. Joe Menendez, is one of them. He has directed several features.
DG: Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?
JB: Because they work on so many different levels. Whether it’s suspense, comedy, or just pure entertainment. The scifi/horror audience are also a very hungry crowd. They devour content and are always searching for more. Above all, if a film is entertaining, these audiences love it. And a scifi/horror film has the best chance at being entertaining since they can work on so many different levels.
DG: What do you love most about this business?
JB: I love getting immersed in a project, in that world, and bringing it to life. Nothing beats watching your film with an audience for the first time. I also love the collaborative aspect of filmmaking. No one can make a movie by themselves.
DG: That is so very true! What do you dislike most about this business?
JB: Wow. Where do I begin? There are some great people for sure, next to the music industry, the film industry attracts the most shallow, talentless, and disgusting people this world has to offer.Plus, there’s a disconnect between the people making the decisions on what gets made and the people actually making the films. I find that the decision makers often come from marketing or business or legal backgrounds. Which hardly qualifies them to judge the merit of a project. I spend a lot of time taking orders from people who have never spent a day on a film set. But most of all, the subjectivity can be maddening. In most other professions, there are tangible benchmarks of success and talent. But the arts are highly subjective.
DG: Well said! What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
JB: Getting my film into Shriekfest of course!!! 🙂 Beyond that, being the exclusive video director and designer for The Jacksons on their ongoing world tour has been a huge honor, and it has taken me places I never would have imagined going. In addition to that, I am hugely proud of all of the films my company, Engenius Productions have made. The world of independent/low budget filmmaking is a mostly thankless and grueling road. So if you can come out of it with films that you are proud of, it’s a major accomplishment.
DG: Yes! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?
JB: The best way to learn about filmmaking is to make a film. It seems obvious, but many people don’t know this. Learn the basics of every major aspect of filmmaking. This way, when a sound recordist or DP is telling you something you know isn’t true, you can call BS. Once it becomes known that you are a person that knows what you are talking about, people will respect you and they will crave your respect.
DG: Great advice! Anything else you’d like to say?
JB: Don’t ever write or make something cause you think it’s what somebody else wants to see or it’s something you “should” be doing. Do what you know you are good at. And do what you yourself would want to watch. It’s the only way to have any sustained success.
DG: I agree! Thank you Jared! It was great chatting!

Laura Baumbach

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Laura Baumbach
2007 semifinalist screenwriter

DG: What is your name and company URL?

LB: My name is Laura Baumbach. I don’t use a pen name. I’m a full-time publisher, and author of m/m erotic romance novels and mainstream screenplays. My publishing company’s name is MLR Press, LLC which stands for ManLove Romance Press, LLC. (http://www.mlrpress.com) I’m a novelist and a screenwriter. While my novels are primarily m/m erotic romance, my screenplays have been a mix of mainstream sci-fi/horror and m/m contemporary. Adaptations of published novels of mine.

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

LB: Screenwriting. I got into it a weird way. I was writing fanfiction 15 years ago and got invovled in the making of a horror film. They needed a medical consultant and I am a RN who was working in emergency trauma at the time. I consulted with the script, got wrapped up in the film process and dove in head first. I had written fanfiction with the film creators’ permission and they asked to published the collection of my work to release with the film. It went on to win awards as a collection of short stories. I went on to write original fiction by the release of the film. I had several novels completed then but I was dying to write a screenplay after my experiences. So I adapted one of my sci-fi novels DETAILS OF THE HUNT which was originally titled TALOS’ BOUNTY. The script won a several awards and I was hooked.

DG: What are you currently working on?

LB: I’ve just finished a revision of my script MOONLIGHT BAYS, a werewolf story. With romance. lol. I love writing paranormal. Vampires are so powerful and dark. The original sexy loner. Werewolves are the original passionate outcast who mates for life. I embrace that.

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

LB: If I could write like Joss Wheldon I’d die a happy woman

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

LB: People loved to be scared. Adrenaline spikes, tension is high, we become hyper-aware and sensitive. It’s all very sexual in a non-obvious kind of way. Fear and arousal are closely related responses biochemically. Scifi stretches our imaginations with infinite possibilities. Arousal and worlds were anything could be possible, who could ask for more?

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

LB: The high degree of creative energy. Just when you think you have seen it all, someone gives you a plot, a solution, a character you never dreamed of on your own. It’s inspiring. It make you want to do more with your own work, reach further with it.

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

LB: How hard it is to get your work noticed. It’s a jungle. And it’s not the lions that will get you, it’s the dense undergrowth you have to battle through to reach sunlight. To get your work seen.

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

LB: In the romance world I’ve made a few accomplishments I’m proud of– breaking down doors to gain acceptance for my category of romance, having my m/m romance work win awards up against other mainstream novels, and founding the first RWA chapter for LGBT romance, even as a straight woman, being recognized by ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE as ‘ a pioneer of the m/m genre’ is at the top of the list. As a screenwriter, I’m thrilled even more when my scripts win awards than when my novels do because I know the screenwriting world is a much harder environment to accomplish things in. Every award translates to visibility in the field, which is more important in a way than the actual award. Your work has to been seen by the right person at the right time. That means getting it out there — as often as possible — to be seen in the best light by as many people in the industry as possible. Again and again.

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

LB: Have faith in yourself, in your talent. There will be a lot of times when you feel like you are the only one who does. Work at making others feel that belief.

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

LB: I think bringing enjoyment to others is one of the best gifts a person can leave behind in life. It’s a reward unlike any other when you find out something you put out there brought joy and inspiration to another human being. I think that’s an authors gift, novelist or screenwriter. We are gifted with imagination and ability to share. Let one or a million people get lost in a world you created. You’ll make a mark on them.

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

Harry Bauer

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Harry Bauer
2006 and 2011 screenwriting finalist

DG: What is your name and company URL?

HB: Harry Bauer, https://www.youtube.com/c/HarryBauerGeekORiffic

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

HB: Screenwriting

DG: What are you currently working on?

HB: I’m in the middle of writing Wild, Wild Amusement Rides, which is about a man who had amazing magical adventures when he was a kid and finds himself going back to that forgotten place to save a friend. I also have been writing, filming and acting in short videos that I have been posting on my new YouTube channel, Geek-O-Riffic. In addition, I’m shopping around my screenplays Action, Character Sheet and Dragon’s Bane.

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

HB: My #1 mentor goes way back to my pre- and high school days. Allyn Sitjar was the artistic director of a wonderful creative haven for kids, Youth Theatre of New Jersey. Her passion and enthusiasm was infectious. She would place no boundaries on creativity. She gave me the building blocks and foundation for crafting stories and performances that sticks with me until this day.

DG: That is really awesome! Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

HB: They, along with fantasy (where I also hang my hat), embrace the heart of escapism. If we are going to step out of our lives for a moment, why only take only a tippy-toe? Why not leap into another universe? Whether it’s going into the far reaches of space or a twist on our own world where werewolves can actually exist.

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

HB: The opportunity to create a story or moment that can get me giddy and then open it up for people to see, to share a creation.

DG: What do you dislike most about this business?

HB: Locked doors. Propensity for clinging to formula.

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

HB: I think my greatest accomplishments are yet to come, but my most treasured moment steps outside of film and screenwriting. I played Sebastian in main stage production of Twelfth Night at Indiana University. I had one moment where I did a take to the audience and every night, it got a huge laugh. Feeling the laugh of that packed house rise and swell with every subtle movement of my face was an amazing feeling. It’s like the gold standard for I want to emulate in audience experience for my writing and acting.

DG: I love that! I didn’t realize you were so into acting! Awesome…my first love as well! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

HB: Keep making stuff. Keep taking risks. And keep putting it out there for foreign faces to see. Listen to those voices. Digest good critical feedback that will help your material grow and evolve.

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

HB: Thanks for reaching out to me, Denise! Being a two-time finalist in Shriekfest has definitely been a highlight. Not just for that honor, but for finding and being part of this awesome group of people!

DG: Thank you Harry! It’s been an honor having you as part of the Shriekfest family! It was great chatting!

Daryl Anka

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Daryl Anka
2008 screenplay Finalist for “Solstice”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

DA: My name is Darryl Anka. I’m a writer-director-producer. My wife and producing partner, Erica Jordan, and I own and operate Zia Films LLC, our production company at www.ziafilms.com.

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

DA: I’m a screenwriter and, as a writer-director-producer, I’m also a filmmaker. With a background in miniature effects, set design and storyboards, I can also sometimes apply those skills to my filmmaking as well.

DG: What are you currently working on?

DA: We are now in post-production on a documentary that explores various metaphysical topics, such as UFOs and channeling. We’re also forming a partnership with another production company to develop a sci-fi cartoon series as well as developing a live-action sci-fi TV series. In addition, we’re now budgeting a horror-comedy and I’m currently writing a screenplay for a very different kind of morality tale that takes place in the Old West.

DG: Nice! You are busy! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

DA: There are several people I look up to and have learned a great deal from. Producer Gary Goldstein (Pretty Woman, Mothman Prophecies, Under Siege) has been instrumental in helping us develop one of our scripts and I’ve learned a lot about filmmaking by watching the films of Clint Eastwood, Christopher Nolan and Sam Mendes, among many others.

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

DA: I believe people love to explore their fears as long as it’s in a safe environment. It can be very cathartic. Regarding sci-fi, it allows people to stretch their imaginations and opens up possibilities and new ways of understanding our own reality by seeing it from a very different perspective. The large following is most likely because the genres are very cross-cultural and strong in concepts that anyone can understand. After all, we all have similar fears and similar hopes and dreams.

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

DA: Creating whole new worlds that can be realized on the screen and that can impact people with new ideas.

DG: What do you dislike most about this business?

DA: The politics that happen when people get caught up in trying to protect their jobs. That and the lack of communication and common courtesy that some people feel makes them appear more in control when, in fact, it’s a sign of insecurity.

DG: That is frustrating. What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

DA: Having gotten to the point of simply taking action and making movies however we can instead of waiting for others to determine what we are or are not capable of doing.

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

DA: In our experience, there are five important principles we’ve learned that can help move your career forward when making movies:
1. Passion: Do what you love and love what you do. Making movies is a tough job. You might as well face challenges doing what you love instead of what you don’t.
2. Project: Make sure your project is the best it can be. You want to produce a great concept and script, not just merely a good one.
3. People: Surround yourself with the best cast and crew if you’re producing or directing. Get people who know more than you do and who are collaborative and communicative. They’ll help you make the best movie you can.
4. Preparation: Do your homework. Read great scripts. Study films and filmmakers. Know your stuff. Learn from the best. Don’t wait to get what you think you need to make that film, make the film for what you’ve already got if at all possible. It will take you to the next level.
5. Persistence: In the words of Galaxy Quest: “Never give up. Never surrender.” Just keep moving forward. Treat every challenge as an opportunity and you’ll find a way through. I speak from experience. And remember: If writing scripts or making movies is truly what you’re passionate about, then that passion will go a long way to helping you persist because, when it comes right down to it, would you rather be doing anything else? If the answer is “no” then keep at it. You don’t need to give up your day job if that’s the only thing supporting you at the moment, but at least do something every day to move your dream forward.

DG: YES!!!! I ditto all of that! Great advice! Anything else you’d like to say?

DA: Filmmakers are a community. Make friends, make connections. Share what you know and learn what you don’t know from others. Learn by doing, by helping others get their projects off the ground, and take full advantage of opportunities that could give you the best chance to live your dreams. The opportunity that Shriekfest and other organizations provide to submit scripts, discuss filmmaking, such as in this interview, and make industry connections is invaluable. Now go write that script or make that movie!

DG: Darryl, well said! Thank you!! It was great chatting!

Marwan Abderrazzaq

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Marwan Abderrazzaq
Director of 2013’s Best Horror Short Film “Desolate Road”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

MA: Marwan Abderrazzaq, Director – Waterwell Pictures, site: https://www.facebook.com/DesolateRoad

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

MA: Filmmaking. Directing.

DG: What are you currently working on?

MA: I am actively working on a short film that I hope to shoot in the coming months as well as 2 feature scripts. One is the feature based on the Desolate Road short film and the other is a baseball themed movie based on a true story.

DG: So cool! I can’t wait to see Desolate Road the feature! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

MA: The only hero or mentor I have ever had was my father. He taught me about the true meaning of hard work and dedication and never giving up. I take everything he ever taught me and try to apply them into everything I do.

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

MA: Because they tap and ultimately affect the most powerful of human emotions. They tend to bring to life the things we are most afraid of and if done right, become memories that stay with us for a very long time.

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

MA: To me it’s always been two things. Story of course, but the other is memories. I have always found that memories are one of the most important things I carry with me. So many of my best memories as a child come from the films I have seen. I remember my older brother taking me to see Jaws, Raiders, Star Wars, Aliens, Field of Dreams, and Platoon amongst other films and those films have stayed with me till this day. The idea of being able to create a special memory for people is the ultimate challenge and something that’s pretty special.

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

MA: The lack of courtesy with follow-up, especially after a relationship has been established.

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

MA: I have been able to start my production company Waterwell Pictures with two of my best friends from college (Jason Masek and Bill Bant) and that we have produced some solid work so far. Doing that plus being able to manage my career in the video game industry at the same time.

DG: Yes, I love the balance! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

MA: Work on things you care about and stay laser focused on them. Also, don’t waste your time!

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

MA: Don’t let the industry or people (no matter who they are) scare you. If you have a story you really want to tell, you’ll figure out a way to do it. Good Luck!

DG: I agree! Never give up! Thank you Marwan! It was great chatting!

Travis Betz

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Travis Betz
Director of “Lo,” 2009’s Audience Choice award and 2011’s Best Super Natural Film “The Dead Inside”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

TB: Travis Betz – DrexelBox Films – www.TravisBetz.com

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

TB: I am a writer/director of the weird and wonderful.

DG: What are you currently working on?

TB: Oodles of fun stuff! I’m currently finishing up my horror-comedy novel, Stabbers, as well as a number of new horror, comedy and thriller scripts. I am seeking funding for a new horror anthology I want to direct, and I also have a horror-thriller in development. I wish I didn’t have to be so vague, but at the time of this writing I shouldn’t be saying much more. But really cool things are on the horizon.

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

TB: I never really had a single person I would consider a mentor. At least no one that I knew personally who I worked alongside. Two of my biggest influences growing up were Sam Raimi and John Landis. When I started actually making movies, establishments like the New Beverly Cinema and The Cinefamily were two of the best mentors I had. I cut my teeth on the French new wave at the New Bev, amongst other things. I’d go every week by myself and just experience all walks of cinema. To me, sitting in those theaters watching great films was the best inspiration and education I could ever get.

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

TB: Perhaps because horror and sci fi films have the ability to create communities and fans. When’s the last time you geeked out at a drama convention and had a nerdy discussions about The English Patient? Genre films allow us to dream as big as we desire. It lets us open forbidden doors and peek inside without getting hurt. They are beautiful, violent, grotesque and meaningful. I mean…I love them.

DG: Nicely said! What do you love most about this business?

TB: Probably that I’m surrounded by like-minded artists whom I can gab the night away with about cinema.

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

TB: The lack of risk taking. Seems, in many cases, the only thing your original script is good for is to get you into the meeting for the over-processed, market tested, re-hashed ideas that they want you to make. It’s a real challenge to make something new, and can be very disheartening. But this is the path I chose…so be it.

DG: I hear ya! It is frustrating… the whole industry has put way too much focus on the making of money instead of the making of quality work. What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

TB: Honestly, I’m most enthusiastic when random strangers send me messages about how much they loved my movie, and how much it means to them. Those are worth the most to me. I’m a weird filmmaker who makes bizarre little films. I accept that the mainstream is not where I swim. When I find people who love and get what I’m going for it lets me know I have an audience who appreciate the same things I do. It makes me happy that there’s a place for my stories in the world.

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

TB: I guess it depends on what you want out of your art. You wanna be a big time studio director and work deep inside the system? I guess you need to play the game. Meet people, work as a P.A., get an agent and manager. If your interests are being an artist and making your own stuff…well then pour your heart and soul into it. Be open and listen to criticism, but only use what you feel applies to better the story. Write every day, knowing you’re gonna fail over and over – but the one time you do win it will be worth it. Actually, the latter advice should also be applied to the first bit of advice. Passion, confidence and a good work ethic will get you far in any world you want to be a part of.

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

TB: Can you buy me a drink?

DG: LOL Thank you Travis! It was great chatting!

Winners 2014

Shriekfest 2014

BEST HORROR FEATURE FILM:
Berkshire County
Writen by Chris Gamble, Directed by Audrey Cummings

BEST SCIFI FEATURE FILM:
Time Lapse
Written by Bradley King & BP Cooper, Directed by Bradley King

BEST THRILLER FEATURE FILM:
Nightmare Code
Written by M.J. Rotondi & Mark Netter, Directed by Mark Netter

BEST SUPER SHORT FILM:
Drudge
Written & Directed by Kheireddine El-Helou

BEST HORROR SHORT FILM:
Let Me See Your Eyes
Written by Jack Nathan Harding, Directed by Derek Cole

BEST SCIFI SHORT FILM:
The Developer
Written by Horvath Aron, Directed by Robert Odegnal

BEST HORROR FEATURE SCREENPLAY:
Ghost of Vengeance
Written by Billan Lee

BEST SCIFI FEATURE SCREENPLAY:
The Big Beyond
Written by Tom Batha

BEST SHORT SCREENPLAY:
Hannah’s Birthday
Written by Juliet Bergh

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:
Forgetting How to Dream
Jason James & Rodney Hazard, (music video produced by Chaman Malhi)

John Kiernan

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

John Kiernan
Finalist composer of 2013 and 2014

DG: What is your name and company URL?

JK: My name is John Kiernan with John Kiernan Music LLC. My website is www.JohnKiernanmusic.com

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

JK: My specialty is music composition and Soundesign. I create the soundscapes for these visual mediums.

DG: What are you currently working on?

JK: Currently, I am working on a score for Anthony Mezza’s “Cut To Pieces” short horror film. I am also working closely with Helene Muddiman (The composer for happy feet and Franken weenie) and Elite Hollywood Composers on some upcoming projects, as well as promoting my debut instrumental rock album.

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

JK: Deborah “Zuke” Smith of ZukeTunes has been instrumental in taking my career to the next level. Has taken my business savvy of the industry and guided me into some next steps in my career. From a compositional on musical standpoint, Brian Tyler, Akira Yamaoka, Danny Elfman and Bear McCreary are all composers that I have looked up to and have been instrumental in my musical development, though I’ve never learned directly from them in person. Michael Zager and Alejandro Sanchez-Samper at Florida Atlantic University were big mentors to me and my college years and many of the lessons I learned from them have been invaluable.

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

JK: It’s a genre that challenges the mind, physically, emotionally, psychologically. It’s also a genre that lends itself to be wildly creative and explore possibilities that might not be able to be manifested in our day-to-day routine. These genres truly can be horrifying, funny, emotionally demanding, and over-the-top in ways that other genres like romantic comedies cannot be. When you have genres that can categorize series like Evil Dead, Dead Alive, Found., Silent Hill, Supernatural, The “Of The Dead” series and many others under one blanket and can do so much within each, there’s something special there. And then when you can masterfully craft that in ways like Guillermo Del Toro & many other greats, you truly have a recipe for an incredible genre base.

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

JK: Film scoring in music composition is often the glue that binds the visuals, dialogue, and overall tone/message of a film. It’s the position in the film that requires the most artistic versatility within one production. The score can change the direction of the film, I like being a harbinger of the film’s artistic direction. Also, the community of people within this business is a strong, tight knit one. Being part of a community of artists of all different styles Who all share the same passion for these genres is truly something special.

DG: What do you dislike most about this business?

JK: I guess having a background in rock and metal has made me dislike people who outwardly bash a product that has come out. I feel that peoples creativity, even if it’s not something that you agree with, should not be bashed just because you do not agree with it or do not find it satisfying personally. Rock, metal, Sci-Fi, and horror genre share fans and industry members who have a weak filter for being kind, sometimes. Golden rule, always. 🙂

DG: Yes, I think people can be WAY too negative. We need to all support each other. What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

JK: Being part of Shriekfest for two years running is always a great accomplishment. And my time, I performed with many greats such as Slash from Guns N Roses and have worked alongside great composers such as Helene Muddiman and Michael Zager. I’m absolutely grateful for all of my opportunities.

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

JK: This is a tough industry, it has its violent lows and it’s heavenly highs. The violent low points can make it very easy to give up. But always keep your heart in it especially when it gets tough. Always come back to that place that made you want to do this and the place that elates you more than anything. So long as you can keep going back to that place of happiness and satisfaction, you can get over any hurdles. Also, not everything you write will be good, but don’t be afraid to sift through the garbage. Some of the best works have come from getting the bad ideas out, first.

DG: I love that! Anything else you’d like to say?

JK: Always follow your dreams, be strong, stay creative, and keep it metal! I look forward to being part of Shriekfest this year, and I hope to work with and meet you very soon! Never be a stranger, feel free to reach out to me to Say Hi, as well!

DG: 🙂 Thank you John! It was great chatting!

Chaman Malhi

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Chaman Malhi
Producer of 2014’s Best Original Song “Forgetting How to Dream”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

CM: My name is Chaman Malhi, I am a co-founder of MJR LBL Media (Major Label), and VP of Business Development for Victory Square Labs. Www.victorysquare.com

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

CM: If I had to choose between the two, it would be filmmaking as a Producer. My specialty is the ability to develop high concepts, then put together and lead a team to build on and execute the vision. The directors, AD’s, performers, cinematographers, editors, colorists etc. – they are the super heroes, while I’m more like Nick Fury.

DG: What are you currently working on?

CM: Ten fingers and about as many pies! Film related? A short film entitled Zero Avenue. Zero Avenue is a road that borders US and Canada along Washington and BC and is often used to smuggle BC Bud to the US for more questionable substances. The film tells the story of a ten year old nickel bag weed dealer who finds himself on the frontline of BC’s international drug trade before he reaches adulthood. Horror sci-fi related? I’m seeking funding for a b-movie script and treatment I wrote called Zomborg – yep Zombie Cyborgs, that’s how I roll.

DG: LOL, love it! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

CM: I’ve never really had any mentors early in my life, and was forced to blaze a trail of my own at a young age. Back then, I was raised by The Ninja Turtles and Wu Tang Clan. When I worked with the bank cartels a few years ago I was introduced to the spiritual and quantum side of life by a self-made man named Kirk Davis and for that I am forever grateful. Today my role models are Muhammed Ali, Ari Emanuel and Kirk Davis.

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

CM: Endorphins. Sci-Fi stimulates the imagination and gets the synapsis in the brain spinning, while horror excites us in a more dangerous way. In the end, both are escapes from reality in a way that crime-drama’s, comedies, romance and even action could never offer. Besides, the animal in all of us is still addicted to blood.

DG: What do you love most about this business?

CM: Working with insane creative people in one hand, no-nonsense business folks in the other and managing both of their emotions while turning thoughts into things, paper into picture.

DG: What do you dislike most about this business?

CM: Working with insane creative people in one hand, no-nonsense business folks in the other and managing both of their emotions while turning thoughts into things, paper into picture.

DG: LOL, a love-hate relationship huh? What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

CM: And all this time I’ve been taking a tally of my failures! I am most proud of Zero Avenue. It is not finished yet, but I feel a buzz with this one and it’s the first project I have worked on with my childhood friends Benjamin Arce and Jason James. As a trinity we are MJR LBL and it’s been tough for us not to kill each other in the start, but I see all of our destiny’s unfolding with this one and nothing brings me more pleasure than empowering people who I believe in.

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

CM: I’m a year in the biz…I thought I was a newbie! It’s all about balance. Balance in your teams skillsets, knowing when to be driven emotionally and when to make a business decision. When to let go of controlling your stories so they can develop into something more than you could ever imagine by empowering others through ownership. We’re all just tiny specs of light and so are our ideas. It’s about connecting the dots.

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

CM: I’m creative by nature, but the business is a sickness. I dropped out of college and spent seven modestly successful years working in the bank cartels when I realized I needed to live in an evil closer to my creative heart. It was always a pipe dream to work in film and television, but I don’t wish I got into it earlier. We all have our path and the universe unfolds the way it should. You don’t have to understand it, only trust in it. Today I feel that my experiences prepared me to pursue my lifelong passion for creativity with sound business logic. If you’re a creative or an executive in the entertainment space, rest assured I’m a Producer who ‘gets it’.

DG: So true…it really is about trust. The journey will come when it’s the right time. Thank you Chaman! It was great chatting!

Barry Jay Stich

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Barry Jay Stich
2014 Original Song Finalist

What is your name and company URL?

For songwriting I don’t have a company name or URL really. I’m on SoundCloud. That’s about it.

What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

Screenwriting, songwriting. I love writing horror, it’s all I write. I do plan on producing my own horror in the coming year.

I look forward to it! What are you currently working on?

I co-wrote a horror movie and it goes into production end of October.

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

I have many but John Carpenter comes to mind because he writes, produces/directs and of course scores and HALLOWEEN is one of my favorite horror movies of all time. Others include George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, George Romero, Sam Raimi, to name a few.

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

They’re exciting like a rollercoaster and appeal to such a wide range of audiences. They’re scary, funny sometimes, sexy, they often create completely new worlds we wouldn’t experience otherwise. It’s fun to be scared when you know inside nothing’s gonna happen to you.

I agree! What do you love most about this business?

The creative forces, the great scary movies, ability to create your own movie and get somewhere with it. The possibilities are endless! And that low budget WELL WRITTEN horror has made a place for itself… opening so many doors for a lot of us who love writing them.

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

Torture Porn. Gross isn’t scary to me. As for the business side, it’s challenging to get seen and read and produced, even with great screenplays. I still do not understand how some screenplays make it to the screen, sometimes right under the noses of incredibly talented people. Boggles my mind. There are some horror movies I can’t get past the first 20 minutes of and wonder how did they ever get this far.

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

Co-writing the horror movie that’s being produced this October. Co-founder Barry’s Bootcamp. Have had some songs in the background of some TV stuff. Was on the charts with a tune back in early 90’s. That was cool

Nice! You’ll have to tell me which song from the 90’s! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

Never, never, never give up — keep working at your craft and networking. That’s what I was told and that’s what I’m doing

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

I am so thrilled to have made it as a finalist and grateful you actually have a song category. As for horror – I love it when the ending isn’t all wrapped up and pretty. I personally prefer the endings like NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD where the protagonist dies. Horror ending in tragedy is something I love – as long as it’s only in the movies.

I agree! Thank you Barry! It was great chatting!