Friday, 15 July 2016

Kweeny Interviews: Tristan Clay and Destinie Orndoff!

I am a little behind on things lately, so I didn't post it right away. But since RED EYE isbeing filmed right now, I figure posting it now is still relevant. Plus I love the interview. The pair of them were kind and understanding. I appreciate that. Supporting the horror genre is important to me. 

You can always tell when someone is passionate about what they do, and when someone is just doing it for a paycheck. Seeing original, indie film makers rise to the challenge is inspiring. It shows that if you love something enough, you will make sure your passion bleeds through. And that is exactly what Filmmakers Tristan Clay and Destinie Orndoff are doing. At the time I write this, they are almost completely funded on their new project Red Eye. The pair are bringing their horror vision to life. And many of us like myself can’t wait to see what they have to show us. I thought I’d sit down with the pair and ask them some questions from one horror fan to another. So let’s begin…

What shaped you guys as young kids when you first entered the horror genre? 

Destinie: My first horror film was A Nightmare on Elm Street, I was six years old. I remember going to the video store and renting various VHS' and going home to watch them, alone. Yep, alone. Haha! I loved it. I remember my first ever horror film in a movie theater was Freddy VS Jason, I was also six! I just always dug it, always. I grew up on it. And now, it's shaped what I want to do with my life.

Tristan: I grew up in a religious household where the church banned rated R films to be viewed. I had a great amount of restrictions when it came to horror growing up. Although, that never stopped me from sneaking and watching movies I wasn't suppose to. It wasn't that I wanted to rebel, it was because something about horror intrigued me. More so all the behind the scenes and gags. That is what fascinated me to horror films. What truly made the film.

What would you say your influences are? 

Destinie: I'd definitely say Rob Zombie, The Soska Sisters, Wes Craven and from an actress perspective, Danielle Harris.
Tristan: I would say the film's I grew up watching were the most influential. Titles such as "The Grudge," "The Ring," "Jaws," and the remake of "Prom Night."

How did you both meet? Finding kindred spirits who love the same things you do and have the same passion is special. 

Destinie: I met Tristan at HorrorHound Weekend in March of 2015. We previously talked through Instagram about requesting the Soska Sisters to attend the convention and when they got added we decided to meet up and meet them together! We honestly became instant BFFs and talked literally everyday after that day. When we both found out that we had a common dream of (directing - Tris) and (acting - me) we built each other up and decided to start on a feature length horror film. Four months later (that July) he ended up coming to my house to film the first promotional video for Red Eye entitled RUN. 

Tristan: We actually met through Instagram when we teamed up to get Jen and Sylvia Soska at a convention we were both hoping to attend. They ended up getting added and we met up at the con to meet them and go to their panel together! Then, well, the rest is history!

How has funding for Red Eye been? Has the process taught you many things? 

Destinie: The funding was stressful, but in the end it was amazing. All the hours and work we put into it turned positive. We pushed and pushed to make our dream a reality and never gave up and it ended up paying off.

Tristan: If I can be honest, it was the most challenging thing I've done. Quite the learning experience, although, It ended up teaching me a lot about our audience, promotions budgeting, and how to really draw in the attention.

What advice would you give to filmmakers who wanna go this route? 

Destinie: My advice to filmmakers who want to go this route is to be ready to kick ass full time. Everyday you need to be posting, messaging, and letting people know what you're doing, why you're doing it, why they should donate to you, and how they can get involved. You cannot half ass a crowdfunding campaign. You need to market yourself, find a way to have people trust that their hard earned money is going into something passionate and kick ass, you need to put together interesting perks, get your target audience involved through them and if possible, bring together people (cast and crew) who WANT to be there, who have a common passion for what you're doing, then show your audience that. Also if you can, shoot a promotional video to showcase what you're going for and to show your target audience what's in store. It is possible, and if you really want to make a film and see that this is your only way to do so, then I believe you can succeed.
Tristan: I know there are people who like the crowdfunding platforms and some who do not. I personally think it's a great way for others to get involved and the only way to get original ideas made and seen! If you're a filmmaker and you want to go this it! Prepare to promote and work overtime throughout your campaign. Also, make sure to plan ahead and carefully budget everything out!

How was it like for you Destinie on the set of Party Night? 

Destinie: Party Night was SO much fun! It was my first feature, the only things I had done previous were promos for Red Eye and our short film, Sin. It was a dream come true, honestly. I LOVE 80's slashers and to have the chance to be in one was just surreal.
Did it get you excited for more future acting projects? 

Destinie: I am super stoked for any and all future projects, being in horror films was my dream since I was a little girl.

SIN was a pretty brutal little short film. Was it challenging for you to be so vulnerable Destinie? The subject matter was rather intense. 

Destinie: It wasn't too challenging to be so helpless. I'm used to playing the victim so screaming and crying was familiar to do. As for the subject matter, the cross thing was actually my idea so, haha!

Tristan, did you have trouble hearing Destinie cry like that? She has a very convincing scream. Is it hard sometimes to separate business from your personal lives? 

Destinie: I don't think it's hard to separate business from our personal life at all. On set we're professional and working then on breaks we're boyfriend and girlfriend.
Tristan: Boy oh boy, can that sentence be ever more true. It sends chills down my spine most of the times I hear it. And the audio doesn't do her scream justice, it's more sharper and realistic in person. But I guess you can say I'm use to her screams by now.
Is it hard to separate business from our personal lives? Not really for us. When we are on set, we do our thing. When we are off set, we do our thing. I'm lucky to have found someone who has the same goals and passions as I.

What is the most challenging thing about film-making and which part do you enjoy the most? 

Destinie: I think the most challenging thing about our first project was the fundraising first off, and it was kind of difficult to find people that were as passionate as us and wanted to come together to create something amazing. We obviously found those people, I love our cast and crew! Another thing would probably be casting a specific role, a lot of people turned it down due to subject matter. For my favorite part of the process - I really enjoy writing, I've been writing since I was a kid so I love creating this whole world and characters that get put into fucked up situations. Then obviously filming, from a writers perspective its fucking amazing to see your characters come to life, and from an acting perspective I love screaming and getting bloody!!!
Tristan: Finding people who get your vision and truly understand it. For my favorite part that I enjoy most would have to be writing then filming. I'm such an impatient human being that I just want to always bounce from one set to the next with no time in between.
Soon you will be shooting for REDEYE. Did you both expect how successful your fundraiser would be? 

Destinie: I didn't expect it to be as successful as it was. I mean, I expected people to dig it because horror fans are fucking awesome and a good majority supports the indie scene. But, what happened was more than amazing to me. People liked what they were seeing, so many people were excited for something we did, people were buying our perks to support the making of our film. It's just...fucking wow. That's all I can really say. It's a dream come true.
Tristan: I personally did not. Although, I had hoped we would reach our goal sometimes these things are unpredictable but we went two grand over our initial goal and we couldn't be more thankful!
Did you find it difficult to find a good crew to help you make REDEYE? You have some great people on board if you want to talk a little about them. 

Destinie: I talked a little about the crew above and it was kind of difficult but all in all we found some amazing people that have the same amount of passion as us for horror and film.
Tristan: Yes. It was quite difficult finding a good crew. It was the most challenging for one of our characters to be casted because of the content the position required. We've been told we need to tone the script down if we want to get the crew we wish. Luckily, we found someone who gets our vision and will be a key part in bringing this film to life. Once you see the film, you'll know what I'm talking about!
And finally, if there is one piece of advice you can give to would-be filmmakers, what would it be? 
Destinie: Well, we kind of are just starting but the only thing I can say is really a bit of advice and this can answer the next question as well - never give up. Never ever fucking EVER, give up. If this is what you want to do with your life, if you want to make a film and you have the passion to do so then you go make a fucking kick ass film. It is possible. You can do it, and if the first one doesn't take you to that next level then you go out and make another. You go fucking kill it. You only get one chance in this life, don't spend eight hours doing something you hate to get home to do a few hours of something you love. You deserve better than that, chase your dreams and do something that makes you happy. You got it.
Tristan: That would be, always believe in yourself and stand by your vision when no one else will. Never give up.

Thanks for joining me Tristan and Destinie! I can see big and bloody things coming in your future. Feel free to pimp out any links you'd like us to check out of your work below.

Facebook Page for Deranged Minds Entertainment:

Youtube for Deranged Minds Entertainment:

Party Night Facebook Page:

Red Eye Movie:

Red Eye Instagram:

Monday, 14 December 2015

Kweeny Reviews: Krampus

I know I've been lax on my blogging this year, and I am pretty sure Krampus is gonna come for me. If he's half as cool as the one in the recent movie, I am totally gonna squee when he comes to my door!

Too bad I don't have a chimney...

Krampus (2015) is a movie fans of both the legend and of the darker, creepier side of the holidays, will appreciate. From start to finish, it is a morality play that is familiar to all of us. Messages such as be careful what you wish for and once something is done, it cannot be undone. And most of all, when you loose all hope, you loose everything. 

These important lessons both kids and adults need to be reminded of.

Krampus shows us that PG 13 horror can be done, and done well. A lot of horror uses gore as a crutch for scaring and shocking their audiences. While I like a bloody mess of a movie like anyone else, I know horror is more nuanced as a genre than just blood. There is very little blood in this movie. Instead, dread is built up with excellent cinematography, dark, festive imagery, and sound. The sounds in this film are just fantastic. From creepy jingling, stomping, and quiet, hissing monster sounds. Some moments are tense because the dread is built up so beautifully. We don't even get a full look at the big demon himself until closer to the end of the movie. Which is a good thing. There is so much going on building up to his reveal, that you aren't bored at all waiting for him to show his full face. He's seen bouncing around near the beginning and stopping people in the snow, letting us know he's not Santa Clause and he's got a list of his own.

"Krampus doesn't give. He takes." Omi tells us, as the family starts to understand the plight they have been put into. The movie starts off showing us some of the worst parts about the holiday, including the family we are stuck with through the movie. There is someone in the mix for everyone to hate as characters. We all have a relative that is just hard to be around for various reasons. They are all well acted, don't get me wrong. They are just mostly genuinely horrible people. I think Omi and Max are truly the only redeeming people in the mix, though all of them before they are taken redeem themselves a little before they are gone. The movie is really good at playing with tropes you'd find in a typical PG 13 horror movie. I busted a gut at times at not just the snarky dialogue, but at the way the movie would make you think one thing, but do another. Especially near the end. I'd say more, but I don't want to ruin it. It's just brilliant. A prefect way to show the horror of a fate delivered by Krampus.

For a new take on an old classic monster, I think Krampus is a great film. It introduces people to the "Shadow of Saint Nicholas" in the most perfectly unseelie fashion. With monsters, helpers, terror in the snow, evil toys and the horrible darkness of the horned devil himself. I think seeing Krampus alone just stomp around with his hoofed feet is worth the ticket price.

It's nice to see more support for the dark side of the holidays. I can't wait until Krampus is on DVD to add it to my festive horror classics. If you've seen Krampus, feel free to chat with me in the comments about it!

Now if you excuse me, I wanna go put on some horns and harass my husband. *evil witch cackle*

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Kweeny's Recap of H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon!

This last weekend I got the chance to go to my first film festival. And it wasn't just any film festival. I went to the  H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon!

I didn't know what to expect when I got there, and I sadly missed half the festival. They had a really cool Speakeasy event on Thursday, but since I don't live in Portland it can be hard to get up there. My friend went and said it was fabulous, and people all dressed in 1920's fashion to keep with the Lovecraft theme. However, I did get there for Saturday and Sunday, and me and my friends watched many wonderful short films. The films were mostly really good. The odd one or two needed more fleshing out but nothing I saw was outright bad. I had my favorites of course, like Cool Air, Hum, The Stomach and The Littlest Cthulhuist.

Cool Air was a wonderful retelling of the short story by H.P. Lovecraft. They went out of their way to make it really feel like the 1920's too! I was impressed with everything.

Hum was a creepy short about how sound can drive someone completely mad. Having PTSD, I have felt similarly to how the poor lady felt in the film.  I can be triggered by sound sometimes, and it feels like it is killing you from the inside out. This film was well done.

The Stomach was a really creepy concept of a medium who holds spirits in his belly, and people talk through a tube he puts in his mouth to the spirits. It doesn't end well let's just put it that way.

And The Littlest Cthulhuist was hilarious! It was a fake documentary about families who are practicing "Cthulhu Witnesses". Things get out of hand of course, because one of the teachings of the Cthulhu Witnesses is, "We don't get mad. We get even!"

In between films I got the chance to wander around and check out the small village of booths with amazing art, all dark and inspired by monsters. I didn't have much money to buy anything, but I was impressed with a lot of the stuff I saw.

I also got the chance to hug and meet Jeffery Combs, which made my event! He is super charming and sweet. I would love to see him in more films, even if they aren't horror. We went to the viewing of Reanimator, which was the first time I have seen it on a big screen. It was great to hear people laugh at the same points I do. After the film Jeffery Combs did a great QA with the audience. He really appreciates the horror genre, but he did sound like he wished he could get more work. Acting is a hard gig, so I have nothing but respect for him.

I would highly recommend the film festival, especially if you are a fan of H.P. Lovecraft. It is an amazing event, full of monsters and creeping dread! Perfect way to spend the beginning of October!

Happy Halloween month monsterkids! I will be back with more creepy goodies, so stay tuned to the blog!

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