2007 TABLOID WITCH AWARDS PRESENTED IN SANTA MONICA
by Thomas M. Sipos, managing editor.
[November 3, 2007]
of 2007's Tabloid Witch Award-winning
filmmakers exchanged advice and on-set anecdotes during a Q&A panel
at the Santa Monica Public Library on
Saturday, October 27th. The Q&A followed a public screening of
their horror films in the library's Martin
Luther King Jr. Auditorium.
The participating filmmakers
included Erasmo Romero III (Skin
Deep), Paul Solet (Grace),
CJ Johnson (The
Signal), and Yfke van Berckelaer (Zombie
Love). Actress Elizabeth Mouton was the official representative
for Dead Noon,
as its director, Andrew Wiest was up in Wyoming.
Solet emphasized the importance
of a good script, especially in low budget filmmaking. "Writing a
good script doesn't involve any money," he said. "Take the time to
get a good script together. No shortcuts on the script. I also
recommend not casting yourself. If you have a good script, good actors
will want to act in it."
Romero agreed. "It's
all about story. Good actors are looking for jobs."
Solet's script for Grace.attracted
TV stars Liza Weil and Brian Austin Green, while Romero's Skin
the still unknown but talented James Rollyson -- who won the Best
Actor Tabloid Witch!
"Filmmaking's a lot of fun,"
Signal's Johnson. "Don't let it stop being fun."
Even so, he allowed that
filmmaking can at times be painfully uncomfortable. He recounted
how his actors suffered while filming an intense gun standoff scene under
the hot desert sun. "Their faces were so red. One of the actors
was crying because it was so hot. Tears were falling out of his eyes. Everybody who's seen the movie is like, 'Wow, his performance is really
great! That's awesome! He's so great!' "
Johnson added that he did
feel bad for his actors. "They had leather jackets on. They're
dressed in black. I have a tank top t-shirt, my hat, my water bottle
-- and I almost passed out!"
Signal's cast suffered scorching desert heat, Dead
endured sub-zero cold. "We were filming in January," said Mouton. "In the dead of winter in Wyoming. Many days were below zero. We shot quickly because of the cold and the small budget. [$4,000.]
We were all freezing -- but having the time of our lives! I'm not
sure how that happens."
Another trial many actresses
endure is performing before cast and crew in various states of undress.
Mouton explained how director Wiest tried to make things easier for actress
"There's an intimate shower
scene to introduce Lillith's character, with this snazzy porn music," said
Mouton. "It became a joke. The crew were calling it the Obligatory
Shower Scene that you must have in a horror film. Lillith got so
much crap for that, Andy decided that he should have everyone do an Obligatory
Shower Scene -- and they then were affectionately called the OSS's.
"One night, after shooting
outside in negative whatever degree weather, probably 14 or 16 hours, we
all came back at 11:30 or midnight. Then everyone -- every actor,
the director, the visitors, everyone on the crew -- we all shot an OSS. It was more fun then anything! We just wanted to get as 'out there'
as we possibly could. The visual effects guy [James
Teague] was the best. He got into the shower with one
of his skeletons. It was one of the most beautiful love stories I've
Mouton expects the OSS's
to be included as a Special Feature when Dead
Noon is released on DVD in 2008. They are also currently
available on YouTube.
She also shared some advice. "From an actor's point of view, just be open to new projects. I live
in L.A. and I hadn't worked for free. So I really had to trust that
I had a really good group of people."
Yfke van Berckelaer related
how an actress portraying a corpse created some minor havoc in the film
school where Zombie
Love was shot.
"The girl who gets ripped
to shreds, she was dead on the table for two days," said van Berkelaer. "Covered in blood for two days, and that blood was sticky. So whenever
she'd walk around, there'd be a trail of blood. She went to the bathroom
at one point, and it looked like a complete and total miscarriage went
"We wrapped at five in the
morning, had to clean everything up. Clean the studio up, clean the
hallway up, went home, forgot the bathroom. The next day I go back
to school and there was yellow tape over the bathroom door. We just
walked by. Nothing serious."
Van Berkelaer's advice to
filmmakers: "If you have an idea, just make it. Don't be held back
Witch Awards are sponsored by the Hollywood Investigator to discover
new horror filmmaking talent.
Strain filmmaker Mike Doyle was unable
to attend the October 27th screenings, but met with the Hollywood Investigator
on Thursday, November 8th, to accept his Honorable Mention trophy.
haven't already read about our 2007 winning films -- read
about them now!
too early to enter our next search! We're reviewing entries as they arrive.
And if you're
a filmmaker, actor, musician, or writer who doesn't do horror -- we want
to hear from you too! Email or snail mail
us about your project, and if we're intrigued we'll cover it or invite
you to submit a report!
Copyright 2007 by HollywoodInvestigator.com
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