You are currently working on a fan film based on Nightmare on Elm St. Is there anything you want to let the readers know about this new project while it’s in development?
We are currently in production of a fan film. Don't Fall Asleep is the untold story of Nancy Thompson. The biggest question most fans want to know is where Nancy was in Nightmare On Elm Street 2. To me and my circle of friends that was what we wanted to explore.
What gave you the idea to do a film on where Nancy was during the events in the second Nightmare On Elm Street movie?
I have wanted to make a horror film since I was in the sixth grade. I never had the right story to tell. Last summer my friend Nathan Thomas Milliner premiered his fan film The Confession of Fred Krueger. Seeing how well his was done pushed me to want to make my own. We started tossing around some ideas, and then the script exploded and we realized we were sitting on a story that needed to be told.
How many different ideas did you have to exchange before settling on a working script?
We went through several rewrites. We joke that we had 900 copies, but it was more like three or four. We wanted our story to be as perfect as it could be. We know Nancy inside and out, so we wanted to make sure her story came across and was true to her character.
Describe the storyline of The Confession of Fred Krueger and what you most appreciated about this fan made movie?
The storyline is before the first Nightmare, before he was burned. It's right when they first caught him. He confesses that's he's the Spring Wood Slasher. It goes into Freddy's back story a way that the other films don't. It was beautifully shot, written, and Kevin Roach's performance was AMAZING.
How long have you known Nathan Thomas Milliner? Have you ever considered collaborating on a film project with him?
I met Nathan through one of my best friends, Diandra Lazor. They are good friends and he used her image of Nancy for a poster that he was doing. From there we became Facebook friends. I think my goal is to just get through this film first. Don't Fall Asleep is my main focus. So there is no intent to collab with anyone other than my producers at the moment. But he's amazing and I would be honored to work with him if I ever got the chance.
Who are the actors appearing in Don’t Fall Asleep and how did you go about casting for the fan film?
Right now we have announced Diandra as the role of Nancy Thompson and William Adams in the role of Freddy Krueger. All further announcements will be on our Facebook community page, Don't Fall Asleep Fan Film. Our film is cast and ready to go; we’re just waiting on our start date of filming.
How do you plan to develop the character of Nancy Thompson in the screenplay? Will the fan film have any original ideas about Freddy Kruger’s character?
I can't say much because we want to keep things under wraps. Nancy has gone through some shit, but still has that core value of strength in her. While Freddy is in our film, it explores Nancy and what happens to her. I will say we are sticking with keeping Freddy evil.
Where was Don’t Fall Asleep filmed and what sets did you have to operate in?
I can't reveal the sets, but they are amazing. We are filming in Ohio. We are filming at several location but our main location is an actual soundstage with amazing sets.
Is there an active website where people can read up to date information about Don’t Fall Asleep?
We are almost at 2,000 likes (in only a week’s time since we announced) on our Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Dont-Fall-Asleep-Fan-Film-236311480038609/). We have a Twitter where we regularly update things (@DontFall_Asleep) as well as an Instagram (http://instagram.com/dontfallasleep.fanfilm).
Have you been promoting the impending release of Don’t Fall Asleep at local conventions? How soon do you expect the film to come out?
We haven't hit the convention circuit yet, though our Freddy is going to be at Horror Hound Cincinnati and I know he's gonna be bombarded with questions. But he's under a strict gag order.
Are there many fan made movies you know of based on Nightmare and other horror movies of the 80s?
I feel like everyone with an iPhone attempts to make one these days, and that's a great thing. It keeps the genre and characters alive. But as for actual fan films that receive attention or stick out? There are a couple; Confessions is the main one I think. There's Krueger staring Roberto Lombardi and then there is Freddy's Return: A Nightmare Reborn. All great and worth watching. As far as Friday The 13th or Scream I haven't seen any fan films.
There are good and bad fan films, just as there are good and bad Hollywood movies, and if a movie is made with CGI doesn’t automatically mean it’s better than a movie with physical sets. Do you prefer computer graphics or physical sets in horror?
A couple years ago CGI was taking over and it was putting a lot of makeup artists out of work. It was easier to edit things in during post. But the quality wasn't the best; it just didn't look real. And then Cabin In The Woods came out, and shows like American Horror Story, all of which have physical effects by the amazing AFX Studio in California. And that almost made a resurgence in the physical effect in horror. I think shows like The Walking Dead and American Horror Story wouldn't be what they are if they relied on CGI. And as a special FX artist I prefer physical effects. It just looks better and you get a true reaction from the actor.
So do you see physical effects making a comeback in the near future?
I think they are making a huge comeback as we speak. So many horror writers are wanting to produce their own films, they are tired of fighting with the studios. There are some really good horror movies out there that are filmed on an independent budget. You can't have a small budget and CGI; it’s just not impossible. Our film is going to have several physical effects. I can't talk too much about what they are, but the fans are going to love what we are doing.
How long have you been a fan of horror cinema, and what were the first movies you were exposed to when younger? What first attracted you to Nightmare On Elm Street?
I have been a fan since I was four years old. My dad sat me in front of HBO to babysit me and Nightmare 3: Dream Warriors came on and I fell in love with Freddy. The thing that attracted me to nightmare was Nancy Thompson. She was stunningly beautiful, smart, and courageous. I looked at her character as everything I wanted to be when I grew up. Growing up I would always think about what she would do in certain situations.
What aspects of Freddy Kruger’s character and the concept devised for him resonated with you?
To be honest Freddy was more of a background character; he stood for something more than just a "psycho killer" and was something the main character had to survive from. The symbolism alone on that could be twisted into anyone's everyday life. We are all trying to survive something. So I felt more connected with the heroines of the franchise. Nancy, Kristen, Alice, even Jesse from part 2 (even though he is male). To me the films are about survival. Nathan's film explored his background in a way that wasn't comical like they did in the later films. You really see what made Freddy, Freddy. And he is pure evil, not this Jay Leno standup comedian they make him out to be in the later sequels.
What do you think of Nightmare being remade with another actor portraying Freddy? Do you think horror classics in general should be remade or left alone? Or does it depend on the remake?
Remakes are lazy. Hollywood is dead with original ideas, so they feel the need to recycle. When I think of Nightmare, I think of Robert. It’s a testament because thirtysomething years later we are still talking about him and what Wes Craven did, and that remake is long in the dust.
What is your view of how women have been portrayed in horror from the early eighties to the present?
I think it's mixed on how they've been portrayed, some women are just the background, the fluff, others they are the star, and maybe that's why I like nightmare so much. Other films rely on the sexualization of women, and nightmare doesn’t. Wes wanted a strong female character who wasn't a big boobed blonde. Even looking at Sydney Prescott in Scream, she was smart and powerful. I think through the years the female voice in horror has changed itself, with so many women producing films now, we have a voice. These over-sexualized themes are now disappearing.
After you discovered the Nightmare On Elm Street series, what were some of the other film series you came across?
I loved the Scream series, Poltergeist, and of course Hellraiser and Hellraiser 2: Hellbound. Scream came out when I was in 6th grade, and it just struck a chord with me. Yet again another brunette girl next door who had to fight to survive, but I loved how it has that play on almost ripping on horror films, all while being incredibly scary. Poltergeist was just scary. Anything with ghosts or demons freaks me out! Hellraiser is a rather new one for me. I love the story and I love the special effects in it.
I recently heard will be a new Hellraiser movie. What do you think of that idea? Do you think franchises can be overdone?
I have heard they are making a new Hellraiser, I don't know much of what is out there about it but I can't wait to see what it’s going to be. Obviously I don't think they are over done if I am making a film that is part of a franchise, even if it’s a fan film. I think remakes are over done, but if it’s a continuation of the story, keeps honor to the original, and helps progress the story along, then I am all for it.
When Don’t Fall Asleep is released, will it be available for streaming on the net as well as released to theaters or shown at local conventions?
Our goal is to show it as a big premiere at a convention. That is still in the works. We are not sure which one will be the right fit. After that we will release it online and then hopefully enter it in some horror festivals and maybe another convention.
Will there be a DVD release of Don’t Fall Asleep when it’s out? How do you plan to promote the film upon its release?
There has been talk about a possible DVD release filled with bonuses, but we wouldn't sell it. We would instead give it away at conventions or if people wanted it, we would just have them pay for shipping. This is a fan film so there will be no profit whatsoever from anything we do. We are actually losing money on it because we are self-funding it. We chose not to do a Kickstarter or anything like that. This is our love letter to the fans. As far as promoting, we have an amazing promotional team who is going to handle all of that, so I'm not quite sure their plan. I know we will have behind the scenes stuff posted regularly.