Guillermo Arredondo

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Guillermo Arredondo
Producer of 2012’s “Chemical 13”

What is your name and company URL?

I am Guillermo Arredondo, and I am the founder of GArredondo PRODUCTIONS, you can find me and my company on IMDb at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4486615/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1 and http://www.imdb.com/company/co0375810/?ref_=fn_al_co_1

What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

I specialize in producing films and cinematography.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on two projects. Both are short films in the Horror genre. The first short film is called Hide & Shriek and is still in production, in which I am collaborating with Dark Sunny Entertainment. The second short film is called Out of Breath, which is now in post-production, in which I have collaborated with 112 Productions.

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

I really haven’t had a mentor per say, everything I know I have learned from either school, or I have picked it up along the way. I strive to do my best at what I do, and I hope that by my films being in film festivals, it shows my success.

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

I believe this genre has such a large following because people love adrenaline. Watching these movies, or even going to haunted houses during Halloween time allows people to feel that adrenaline and fear without truly being in harm’s way. There’s a sense of safety while also feeling that intense sense of fear, and I think people enjoy that feeling you get

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

I love that you can start with an idea, and by the end of the process it is on the big screen with people watching it and being entertained by it.

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

I haven’t really come across anything that I dislike.

I love that attitude! What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

The one accomplishment I am most proud of (so far) is having a time-lapse video that I made in Costa Rica while on vacation of the Arenal Volcano (made as a personal video) make it into the feature film Runner Runner. I am most proud of this because they came to me, and wanted my footage, and to see that footage in a feature film was amazing.

I bet! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

Be yourself, don’t try to be something you’re not, and ALWAYS trust the people you’re working with.

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

Going forward from here, I hope to branch out into other genres as well. While I enjoy the horror genre, I am looking forward to broadening my horizons.

Thank you Guillermo! It was great chatting!

Dave Bailey

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Dave Bailey
Director of 2002’s “Night of the Not So Living Dead Guy” and 2002/2003 screenplay finalist!

What is your name and company URL?

Dave Bailey

What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

Specialty is screenwriting with a side of short film producing

What are you currently working on?

I am currently/always working on multiple things. I have 2 scripts entered in Shriekfest as well as working on a webisode for this year’s competition featuring killer cicadas.

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

My cousin and I have been writing fan fiction since we were in high school so I’d say we’ve been co mentors for each other.

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

Horror has such a huge following in my opinion because of the same type of reaction in comedic movies. You see a comedy to enjoy life and get a good belly laugh that makes you squeeze tears of joy from your eyes. As a collective, it is fun to be scared. Just look at the success of haunted houses around the country. Immersing yourself in a horror movie let’s you be scared, but survive. Even if you’ve had sex at some point in your life. Ha! Even rule breakers can survive!

LOL. Very true! What do you love most about this business?

Seeing a good horror flick. Awesome that it is still possible with all this reality TV drivel around, that projects like The Walking Dead and The Conjuring are still possible. It’s also fun to scare people and “die” in movies.

What do you dislike most about this business?

Trying to sell scripts once they have been written.

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

I am still trying to win that Shriekfest award!! But, other than that I suppose winning a Chrysler Sebring convertible for a video I wrote, shot, and edited is pretty cool. Oh, and supposedly Stephen King read and passed on an adaptation I wrote of his short “The Fifth Quarter.” Kind of a cool reject letter if you have to get one.

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

There is no such thing as overnight success for the most part. If I even attain the status I’m reaching for, it will have been because of what I call the “longest homework assignment in history.” What is that you ask? From 1991 until 2012 I wrote a fan fiction mixture of Dark Shadows and Friday the 13th the series, with a yearlong appearance of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was a few thousand pages long. I read back on some of it and cringe. But, there’s something about writing and creating a world that only one other person on the planet will ever read and experience for all times. I had to deal with deadlines, writing through the brick wall of writer’s block. I grew as a writer as I watched my character and world grow and the stories begin to come alive and tell me what should happen instead of vice versa. Many people fancy themselves writers. The thing about being a writer is you have to write. You have to write when you don’t want to, when you’re ideas are zapped. You have to sacrifice time with family and friends. In the end you have to dedicate yourself to this love, for it is the only way to break through the stage of being someone who wants to write….and someone who does. Regardless of if you’ve sold anything you’ve written or not. That is the advice I’d give to newbies.

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

Walking Dead is the best horror show ever. And I don’t like to knock other writers, but the storyline for Jason VS Freddy is so simple how could I have been the only one to come up with it? A bunch of teens who live on Elm Street are being targeted by Freddy. The kids are all so freaked out that their parents get pissed and send them off to summer camp……at Crystal Lake. It’s so simple and easy! How could it not have happened? Oh, and why don’t you hire Betsy Palmer to play Jason’s mother? She was still alive? Okay. That’s my rant! Happy Halloween!

LOL Start writing my friend, I want to see that flick! Thank you Dave! It was great chatting!

Jim Barker

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Jim Barker
2006 screenplay finalist and 2008 semifinalist

What is your name and company URL?

Jim Barker – no url!

What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

Screenwriting.

What are you currently working on?

I just finished going through a number of scripts, polishing them and getting ready to query – one of which was a finalist here a few years ago that eventually won 1st place in another competition. Writing (and re-writing) itself will only get one so far and I’ve had to devote a lot of time on the marketing side which, in turn, lead me to studying a lot of neuroscience and the science of storytelling in general as opposed to just the art and “how to” of it.

Interesting! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

Gosh, there are so many story gurus out there that I’ve read and learned from over the years, it would be too hard to single any one of them out – so I’ll go with a revered filmmaker instead: Akira Kurosawa. Although his films aren’t horror/thrillers, they’re very humanistic and touch upon universal themes that lend themselves to horrors we can all relate to, whether it’s the horrors of war in “Ran” or the quiet, existential suffering a man is subjected to once he learns he has stomach cancer and has only a year to live in “Ikiru”. Those humanistic elements, when applied to horror or thrillers, elevate the material to an entirely different level.

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

I think I touched in some of that above, but with sci-fi – especially good sci-fi, we’re able to see and experience the human condition in ways and contexts that we may not have thought about previously. “Her” is a blend of genre-types, sci-fi being one of them, but it unfolds in such a way – taking a potentially alienating idea and allowing us to experience the humanistic side of it. Good horror can work in much the same way, often as a mirror held up to society with a message contained within (a movie like “The Exorcist”, for example, is really about a priest having lost faith and forced to find it again in order to save a little girl).

What do you love most about this business?

The art and creativity – having something to say, finding a somewhat unique and compelling way to say it and having other people praise your work and want to push it up the ladder is gratifying.

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

That ultimately it is a business and that you have to understand the wants and needs of others. There’s also a lot of hypocrisy in that readers will often lament on something you’ve written as perhaps not being original, yet you go to the local cineplex and there’s nothing but sequels, remakes and reboots galore.

I hear ya! It is frustrating. The remakes so very rarely work. What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

At this point, as noted above, having others love your work enough to pass it along – whether it’s to someone at WME or to a manager, it’s a telling sign I’m on the right track. Although I’ve won several contests and been a finalist in numerous others – as well as having strong considers on my first five scripts that were passed along to others, including one that was a very first draft, I have not personally made the effort to get my work out there because I have my own standards… but it’s flattering to have others believe my stories are ready!

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

If this is something you REALLY want to do, know that it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Pace yourself. Learn as much as you can, but also outside of screenwriting itself: pick up books on psychology; learn how people behave and why they do the things they do. And most importantly, have something to say (writing with a theme in mind) – because that’s going to be part of “your voice” and help separate yourself from others, ESPECIALLY if you’re writing from something that’s personal and comes within.

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

You only get one shot to make a first impression and luck is when preparation meets opportunity, so make sure you’re well prepared when a door does open! Many writers have concepts that draw interest and open doors, but if you haven’t mastered storytelling – and there’s a LOT to master – you may end up finding the experience of success short-lived.

Well said! Thank you Jim! It was great chatting with you!

Scott Caswell

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Scott Caswell
2012 screenwriting finalist & 2013’s winning original song “Alright”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

SC: Scott Caswell. Caswell Cartoons (Comedy Shorts): https://www.youtube.com/user/finklemcdinkle

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

SC: My specialties are screenwriting/development, (South Park-style) comedy/animation, acting and songwriting.

DG: Acting too? I didn’t know. I act as well. What are you currently working on?

SC: I am working on a new Sci-Fi feature script for Shriekfest this year!

DG: Cool! I look forward to reading it! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

SC: Robert McKee, who wrote Story, a book about writing for the screen. I learned more from reading this book than from any of my professors in college. He illustrates clearly why story is the most important aspect of a film. Without a well-crafted story, there is no film.

DG: Ah, yes. He knows his stuff! Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

SC: Our lives consist mostly of insignificant choices. “Do I want the non-fat or sugar free coffee creamer?” Horror and Sci-Fi usually demand very significant choices. “Do I want to save myself, or save the world?” We all want significance and we want to look cool having it; which is why we like to see ourselves in Horror and Sci-Fi, because they provide the coolest environments for our imaginations to play in.

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

SC: Every now and again, someone will create something so enriching that it will make you happy that person’s work became a reality. For me, it’s properties like “Alien,” “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter” and “Game of Thrones.”

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

SC: You cannot get representation without representation. You cannot get work without representation and you cannot get representation without work.

DG: I hear ya! It is frustrating. You have to be sneakier than they are. 🙂 What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

SC: My friend, Bob Cillis and I, won “Best Song” at Shriekfest last year. We have been writing music since middle school and this was the first instance in which we were chosen on the merit of our work. I am very proud of that.

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

SC: Create the best product you can by taking the time to create a well-crafted story. It is the most important aspect of your work and it will determine if your project will be able to stand out in a congested market.

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

SC: After I got my BA in Screenwriting, I went right to work in the industry, the hospitality industry. I was working the front desk at a fancy hotel by the Santa Monica pier and I checked in a guy who told me that he worked in entertainment. I mentioned being a screenwriter and asked what he did. He said he was an executive for ESPN and got paid handsomely to (basically) watch basketball. As I gave him his room key, he grins and says “Isn’t it great to get paid to do what you love?”

DG: Yes, it is!!! Truly! Keep on writing! Thank you Scott! It was great chatting!

Lou Simon

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Lou Simon
Director of 2013’s “HazMat”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

LS: I’m Lou Simon from White Lotus Productions www.whitelotusmovies.com

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

LS: I would say both, since I write, produce and direct all my movies.

DG: What are you currently working on?

LS: I am in pre-production in a new film entitled “Agoraphobia.” It’s about a woman who suffers from that mental illness, so she moves into a new home hoping to get better. Instead, she realizes that the house is haunted, but nobody believes her since she’s not very stable already. We’re very excited because Tony Todd will be playing her psychiatrist.

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

LS: Horror is cathartic. It allows us to experience something we never get to experience in real life. It’s a rush of adrenaline.

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

LS: The collaborative effort that it takes to put a film together.

DG: I love that too! What do you dislike most about this business?

LS: Two things: having to make decisions that might hurt people’s feelings and dealing with people with overinflated egos.

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

LS: My last film, HazMat, got picked up for distribution in the U.S., Canada, the UK and Australia. It’s accomplished so much more than I could have imagined when I first wrote it.

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

LS: Keep the stories simple and limit the locations, and then, they can make a film for a very low budget. Just keep it simple!

DG: Great advice! Thanks for chatting.

Laura Ann Tull

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Laura Ann Tull
Actress of 2012’s “Chemical 13”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

LT: I have four: www.lauraanntull.artistichope.com, www.womenlovepeace.artistichope.com, www.artistichope.com, imdb.com/name/nm1913224/

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

LT: I’m primarily trained as an actress, but I’ve dabbled in writing and studied post production (digital media), going so far as editing my own reels, making a PSA for cancer, some short video work, and I’ve been a set photograher. Working on Certificate at SMC.

DG: What are you currently working on?

LT: Learning sound engineering and trying to get myself out there acting wise. I’ve even been recording myself doing monologues. I’ve done a table read for someone and I’d wish he’d cast me. I nailed it vocally.

DG: Well, my fingers are crossed for you! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

LT: Tim Russ has given me advice. I’m sometimes not certain I’m good at following. I sometimes wish I knew how to connect to people in the industry as mentors. I also admire John Hawked, Paula Malcomson & Tim De Kay, worked on set with both.

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

LT: Because it actually encompasses a diverse number of subjects and types. Horror can be monsters, ghosts, slasher, thriller, while sci-fi can be space, time, fantasy, technology. There are many flavors that attract many types.

DG: What do you love most about this business?

LT: Acting and creative possibilities.

DG: What do you dislike most about this business?

LT: Egos and snobbery. Judging by surface instead of work and talent, especially women.

DG: I hear ya! It is frustrating…however, women are writing and directing more and it’s very exciting! What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

LT: Being alive and having had films in festivals like Shriekfest as an actress. Chemical 13, and A.B.S especially. A.B.S has been in 13+ festivals.

DG: That is great! I know you’ve had some health issues in the past and I’m very glad they are in the past! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

LT: Love yourself. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

DG: Great advice! The “ride” is what we will experience the most, so, we must enjoy the entire journey. Anything else you’d like to say?

LT: Someone have the guts to produce the Shriekfest winner “Nevermore” and do it so I can play the lead. And thank you.

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

Alex Drummond

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Alex Drummond
Writer/director of 2013’s feature film “The Shower”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

AD: My producing partner Andy Hoff and I formed a company called Broken Water Pictures and our first movie is The Shower. It’s a horror-comedy about a group of friends who get trapped at a baby shower when a mysterious outbreak starts turning people into homicidal maniacs. Our website is www.theshowerthemovie.com

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

AD: I’ve spent most of my time in Los Angeles writing and Andy is an actor. I wrote and directed The Shower and Andy is one of the stars. We learned a lot making the movie and now I’d like to shift my focus into filmmaking. So it’s writing, producing, directing, editing, marketing, anything it takes to get a movie made and get it out into the world.

DG: What are you currently working on?

AD: We’ve just started our festival run with The Shower. (Thank you, Shriekfest!) And I’m starting to work on a new script that I hope to make in 2014.

DG: We were honored to have you guys! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

AD: I’ve had a few. Back in New Jersey where I grew up, I had two high school teachers at St. Peter’s Prep, Jim DeAngelo and Doc Kennedy, who inspired me and introduced me to a lot of great movies. In college, Victoria Sullivan, an English professor and playwriting teacher, encouraged my early, hopeless romantic writing efforts. Since I’ve moved to L.A., I’ve taken great classes at UCLA Extension with Stephen Mazur. I was a writer’s assistant for Joe Nimziki. And my manager, Mike Kuciak, has given me the tough love I’ve needed to work harder and improve at my craft.

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

AD: For me, it’s been a lifelong love affair and I think it’s that way with a lot of fans. As a kid, horror movies were the forbidden fruit. So it’s already dangerous because you’re watching something you shouldn’t be watching. Then you have monsters, pretty girls and gore. I spent a good portion of my youth thinking about beating Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, Aliens and Predators. And thinking about pretty girls. Which explains why I didn’t have a girlfriend in high school. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve appreciated different things about the genre, but in many ways, it’s still about that forbidden fruit and being scared and watching characters deal with life and death situations. Which was one of the inspirations for writing The Shower. I basically wrote myself, my wife and my friends into a horror movie.

DG: LOL Too funny!! What do you love most about this business?

AD: It’s the combination of self-expression and teamwork. Working on The Shower has been an amazing experience of exploring a story that was important to me and then getting to collaborate with talented people to make that story come to life. From the acting, to the cinematography, editing, sound and music, it’s been awesome to see how it can all come together and the movie will be better because of the team. I love that and I can’t wait to do it again.

DG: I love collaboration as well. What do you dislike most about this business?

AD: I hate saying no and I hate being told no. We decided to make The Shower because we were tired of being told “No” and decided to do it ourselves. It was hard, but to me there was no other option. It was time to take the plunge.

DG: That’s what you have to do and I’m so glad you did! What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

AD: I’m proud of The Shower. I got to make a movie with my wife, Rachael, and my friends. Most of the people in the movie worked with me and Rachael at a restaurant here in Los Angeles. We believed in each other and we did what it took to get the movie made. Overall, if I’m going to pat myself on the back, I’d say that I’m proud that I’ve been too stubborn to quit. I’ve been rejected a thousand times. From film school. From agents. From managers. From production companies. From screenwriting contests. Each rejection hurt but I didn’t let it stop me. I just knew I had to get better. Steve Martin said the best way to make it is to “Be undeniably good.” That’s my goal. Keep working. Keep fighting. Keep pushing myself to be better.

DG: I love that! Rejection is a part of it and we have to just keep picking ourselves up. Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

AD: Write every day. Or at least 6 days a week. Rewrite. Go out and make something. Cast it. Shoot it. Edit it. Send it out into the world and see what you’ve got. I’ve learned more about filmmaking in the past 16 months of working on The Shower than I did in the entire 12 years I’ve lived in Los Angeles.

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

AD: Thanks so much for this opportunity, Denise. We’re so lucky to be a part of the Shriekfest family!

DG: Aw, thank you! I feel honored to have you guys in the family! It was great chatting!

Winners 2013

Shriekfest 2013

BEST SUPER SHORT FILM:
Jack Attack
directed by Bryan Norton and Antonio Padoran

BEST HORROR SHORT FILM:
Desolate Road
directed by Marwan Abderrazzaq

BEST SCIFI SHORT FILM:
Incident on Highway 73
directed by Brian Thompson

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:
Alright
by Scott Caswell

BEST SHORT SCREENPLAY:
Memento Mori
written by Stuart Creque

BEST HORROR FEATURE SCREENPLAY:
Endangered Species
written by Stephanie Jessop

BEST SCIFI FEATURE SCREENPLAY:
Genesis Prime
written by Joe Crouch

BEST HORROR FEATURE FILM:
An American Terror
directed by Haylar Garcia

BEST SCIFI FEATURE FILM:
Abducted
directed by Glen Scantlebury and Lucy Phillips

BEST THRILLER FEATURE FILM:
The Last Light
directed by Andrew Hyatt

Jeffrey Stackhouse and Wendy Lashbrook

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Jeffrey Stackhouse and Wendy Lashbrook
Writers of 2013’s Feature Screenplay Finalist “Hollywood Warewolf”

What is your name and company URL?

JS: Jeffrey Stackhouse (and the lovely Wendy Lashbrook standing behind me, making me look better on-the-page). We have a company that represents our combined efforts called Shadowland Productions which has a web-presence at ShadowlandOnline.net

What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

JS: Screenwriting-R-Us, although we’re Associate Producer on a couple of upcoming films, and still help people develop new musicals.

What are you currently working on?

JS: We’re through the notes on a piece we’re working story-by with another writer named Richard A. Becker called Handful Of Dust. It’s a small-budget horror feature set during an American Desert War engagement (because California has no shortage of arid wasteland!) that releases an ancient evil. Think Three Kings meets The Descent. Also a horror novel set in a college about calling a dead god to Earth and the true nature of existence and sacrifice, lol.

Wow! They both sound great! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

JS: Wow, no real mentors for us, although screenwriter Donald Martin was very gracious with his time on a phone call when I needed some moral support, David Richter has been very kind and professionally encouraging, and I find myself using David Trottier’s The Screenwriter’s Bible at least once every time I write. — As far as influences, David Cronenberg is very strongly in my mind, and Brian Duffield & S. Craig Zahler have styles similar to mine, and so I try to read their work whenever I can. Cormac McCarthy’s literary voice is a strong influence on my dialogue. — And Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, the best mentors a boy could have! Wendy and I came through stage work, and mostly opera and new-music composers, so I think we both think very strongly in iconography. I’m not, at the moment, the one you come to to write The English Patient, but if you want characters who are on the verge of becoming legends, I’m your man.

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

JS: Once you get beyond the spectacle of a character who can go through an on-screen metamorphosis, or the glitter and expanse of space, or ropey strands of entrails, what you have at base is a character who embodies some essential imprint of humanity, an archetype that resonates with an audience, some legend waiting to be born. Archetypes and resonance, yeah, that’s the short answer. Hey Wendy, edit me, would ya?

LOL What do you love most about this business?

JS: Well, it ain’t bad if it leads to being interviewed by one of the most influential women in horror. But, the interaction with other creative types is part of the fuel we use to get through the dross and nonsense that the world will hand you on a daily basis, and sometimes the only thing that leaves you with enough energy at the end of day to pull yourself out of your own self-involved ass and see the beauty that still stands, all around you. On a tighter focus, the writing itself is an incredible source of energy: I get to spend hours with folk I find thrilling, those who are more kind or strong or villainous than myself. I spend my nights-into-morning as a god, only running out of steam when the sun rises. Who wouldn’t want that, if they knew?

I love that! And thank you for the sweet words. 🙂 What do you dislike most about this business?

JS: The slog, the realization that there are incredibly talented folk out there who simply haven’t gotten their break because they don’t have the right connection. In NYC it often seemed that eventually, Talent Will Out. On the Left Coast, it really seems it’s about the connections. — You’d better be ready, better have your A-game lined up when those connections finally pan out, though!

I know, it’s a shame. What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

JS: I was lucky enough to have Tom O’Horgan, the original director of Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair and Lenny commission and direct a jazz-opera for me, so that was pretty cool, and Wendy and I have both worked with some hugely accomplished composers who wrote other pieces just for us. — Once again, it seems to come back to that opportunity to create something brand new, whether a script or a character. As far as screenwriting, two months ago it would have been being a Shriekfest Finalist, and now we’ve been lucky enough to win a Bronze in The PAGE Awards on our Spaghetti-Western script, Forsaken, so there’s that.

Congrats on all of it! wow! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

JS: – Write. Write crap if you have to, but write every day. It’s a muscle that gets stronger with exercise. Market yourself: we have webpages with trailers and such at http://shadowlandonline.net/Forsaken.htm and http://shadowlandonline.net/Haven.htm (see what I did there?) *Find* people. I’ve hunted down addresses and personally handed scripts to kind folk who now champion me with quotes and connections. I’ve sent scripts in packages amazing enough to get Jeff Bridges to send me a note to tell me how he “wishes everyone would send scripts like this.” Protect your heart, but pick yourself up when you get knocked down: it’s how many times you get back up that’s important. Be nice. Past what you want to be, be nice. Pay attention, here, that’s the important one. And purely personally, if you can write in collaboration, do it. Wendy and I have a terrific relationship in that we can toss ideas back and forth until we have a coherent story down, then I write until the wee hours filled with I’m-A-God! moments. She gets up in the morning and eviscerates it, paring it down to the meat, essentially making a roux from my weak sauce. It’s a frustrating and invigorating process, and creates something better than I could ever come up with on my own.

Great advice! I love that! And, I want to point out that you post some amazing quotes on our Shriekfest page and I am truly grateful for that! Anything else you’d like to say?

JS: I just got permission to say that we have a Feature Screenplay optioned with Allied Artists Film Group, so watch for another one of our scripts in production this spring or summer. We’re seeking Representation and have a kick-ass Television Horror/Adventure Pilot & Bible! And we’re sweet. Thanks, Denise. You were the best part of the Fest, for me.

Thank you Jeffrey! Congrats on it all! It was great chatting!

Steve Gibson

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Steve Gibson
Director of 2011’s “The Feed”

What is your name and company URL?

Steve Gibson, Fist In Post Films LLC

What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

Though my main emphasis is on both writing and directing, I enjoy pretty much every aspect of production including lighting, editing, audio, shooting, set design, special EFX makeup, storyboarding – you name it.

What are you currently working on?

We’ve just gone into pre-production for the feature film The Heir Apparent, a supernatural tale lensing in early 2014. Our goal is to make this one of the most terrifying films created in the indie circuit.

Nice! I look forward to it! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

A number of people have been a huge inspiration to me a filmmaker. When I first caught the movie bug it was mainly from the behind-the-scenes effects guys. People like Dick Smith, Rick Baker, and Jack Pierce. That eventually evolved into the Spielbergs and Burtons of today. If I had to pick just one person it would probably be Roger Corman. I love how he made so many films and did them his own way.

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

People go in droves to genre films for the same reasons they stand in line for 2 hours to ride a roller coaster. It’s a rush. You know you’ll be relatively safe but there’s always that fear that something could go ever so slightly wrong. With rides, physically. Movies, mentally. It’s the same adrenaline making your eyes go wide and your heart race. Then at the end you get to point at friends and make fun of them for getting so freaked out.

LOL What do you love most about this business?

Absolutely everything. The creative process of production gets me up in the morning. I also love that horror fans are just a bunch of kids at heart. We’ll always have that childhood fascination with the creepy house at the end of the street.

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

Paperwork and fundraising. Oh, and pretentious people that think they’re all that. Nothing pisses me off more than an independent filmmaker that won’t give their peers the time of day. We need to always help and encourage each other. Leave the throat cutting for people that can afford to have the carpets replaced.

That is so true Steve! It drives me nuts…no one has the right to act that way. What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

When we made our first feature (The Feed) back in 2010, I had no idea how it would be received or where it might wind up. We had a great festival run in 2011 that brought in quite a few national awards including some Best Features, awards for direction, an Audience Choice, one for original music, and some others. I’m most proud that we were one of the very first paranormal-investigation-gone-wrong films to be created. Now you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting three titles that have done the same thing. So even though we’re now lumped in with a dozen films that all seem the the same, I’m most proud that we had an idea that was unproven at the time and we made a very successful film for the cost of a crappy car.

LOL, I know! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

Write what you love, not what seems to be the flavor of the week. That, and know that there are really shitty people that will do anything they can to knock you down so they can appear a little taller. Even if you pour your heart into a creative work and make something that is lauded by the majority, there will always be some mean-spirited d-bags out there who live to drive down your IMDB rating. Nobody is exempt.

Great advice! It’s so sad about those people. I’ve never understood why people feel the need to do that! Anything else you’d like to say?

Just THANK YOU, Denise! It really means a lot that you take such an interest in genre filmmakers. It was a true highlight of our fest run to have The Feed screened at Shriekfest. We cannot wait to submit The Heir Apparent for consideration next year!

Oh Steve, thank you! It was a pleasure having you guys involved! Thank you Steve! It was great chatting!