Category Archives: interview

Jeruzalem’s Paz Brothers Talk Technology And History

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Their zombie apocalypse movie Jeruzalem premiered at the Jerusalem Film Festival last summer, before hitting Fantasia, FrightFest, and Sitges, among other notable festivals. Now it’s out on iTunes, VOD, as well as a run at Toronto’s Carlton Cinema (read our review here). We talked to the brothers about the genesis of the film and where they are headed next.

You’ve discussed how Jeruzalem is not “found footage” but “POV” and that it was the invention of Google Glass that helped you bring your concept to fruition. What other ways does technology impact the narrative of the film that maybe aren’t as apparent to the audience?
Most of the time, when we are making a film we can use an unlimited amount of audio channels but only one channel of video. By using the “smart glass” interface we were able to tell other stories at the same time (in the way that people check their smart phones while watching a film) and that was a great tool for the storytelling. We were also fascinated by the contrast between the history of the old city and the newest wearable technology. Read the rest of this entry

Marie Gilbert Interviews Stella Maeve of “The Magicians”

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There is a new Showcase fantasy series premiering on January 25 on Syfy and it’s all about magic. Based on the Lev Grossman novel, “The Magicians” will star Jason Ralph as Quentin Coldwater who enrolls at Brakebills College to be trained as a magician. Stella Maeve will be playing the part of Julia Wicker, Quentin’s childhood friend.

Stella Maeve is a presence on films and television and has had a recurring role on the NBC series, “Chicago PD,” on the CBS series “Golden Boy,” and as the lead in the CW pilot “Norfolk” (formally known as Company Town). Stella Maeve has starred in Dark Summer with Keir Gilchrist, All Together Now, and in the Award winning film, Starlet. Stella also co-starred in The Runaways with Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart. I was fortunate enough to chat with Stella Maeve about the show. What is it like to live in a magical world? Find out after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Marie Gilbert Interviews Zombie Portrait Artist, Rob Sacchetto

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I love zombies and because I do, I get to meet a lot of talented people who also share this love for the shuffling dead. I first took notice of Rob Sacchetto on Facebook after coming across a portrait of a female zombie that he posted. She was beautiful in all her rot and decay. Rob not only loves zombies, he is the first artist to offer custom zombie portraits since 2006. What would make a talented illustrator want to draw decaying slimy creatures? Why would person want to be drawn as a zombie? The only way to get to the bottom of this phenomenon was to talk to the artist. Read the rest of this entry

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Larry Blamire’s The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra

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It’s that time of the year and Granny has a great suggestion for your holiday gift giving. The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra is a spoof on the 1950’s B movies. Larry Blamire not only wrote the screenplay, but he also directed the film and acted in it, too. Find out why I think this film would make a great stocking stuffer after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Shadows of the Forest: Behind the Scenes with Sharon Smyth Lentz

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What goes into making an Independent Film? What is a cast reading? How does the director get people to star in his film? If you would have asked me a year ago, my reply would’ve been, “How the hell would I know?” But, as one of the writers for a new independent film, you might want to ask me that question, again.

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31 Days of Horror: Interview With TIFF’s Jesse Wente About The Mask

Julian Roffman’s The Mask is Canada’s first horror film and its first 3D feature too

Film is a fragile medium. It’s easy to forget in this digital age that so much of our cinematic history is committed to old-fashioned celluloid, the plastic spools wound on reels that rattle and clack on their way through the illuminated projector gate, giving us our magic in the dark. And celluloid is decidedly impermanent. The winding and travel of projection can damage film prints. And they fade, dry out, flake and become brittle over the years, even when they’re kept in optimal conditions. Film preservation has become a big concern, with directors like Martin Scorsese trying to raise awareness about how much film history might be lost if efforts aren’t made to keep these prints around.

TIFF has gone to great efforts to preserve films in its collection. This October, they’re breaking out a rarity, Canada’s first horror film, and first 3D feature as well. It’s a little known picture called The Mask, directed by Julian Roffman and released in 1961. In the film, a psychiatrist comes into possession of an ancient tribal mask. When worn, the mask assails him with nightmarish visions of monsters, occultists, and ritual torture. Believing that he has discovered a portal to the deepest recesses of his mind, he continues to explore this terrifying new psychic world — even at the risk of his sanity. It’s a dark, malevolent journey, with a riot of psychedelic 3D imagery every time the film intones for the doctor, and the audience, to “PUT THE MASK ON”. A definitive version of the film hasn’t been seen in decades, but through the restoration efforts of TIFF and the 3-D Film Archive of New Jersey, The Mask has been returned to its full, dizzyingly surreal glory. I spoke with the TIFF Director of Programming Jesse Wente about The Mask‘s strange journey, and TIFF’s challenging restoration.

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Interview with This Changes Everything’s Co-Producer, Katie McKenna

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The word on This Changes Everything, the latest documentary film from the socially charged husband and wife team Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein, is starting to spread. After debuting this past September at the Toronto International Film Festival to resounding applause from its audience, the film is already premiering around the world in a unique and ultra-relevant way.

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Exclusive: Andy Burns talks to Lost After Dark Director Ian Kessner

Earlier this week we spoke with Kendra Timmins, one of the stars of the new 80s slasher throwback film Lost After Dark. Today, we offer for your consideration our email conversation with the film’s director, Ian Kessner. As you’ll see from our chat, Ian is  passionate filmmaker with a love for the genre. On that note, let’s get right to it:

Andy Burns: Ian, congrats on Lost After Dark. I had a lot of fun watching it with a crowd – everyone was in on the nods and winks to horror films past. Which films from the genre did you grow up loving, and why?

Ian Kessner: Watching it with a crowd is the best.  Hearing them laugh and scream in all the right places brings joy to my heart. Some of my favorite slashers growing up were Friday the 13th, Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Happy Birthday To Me, Sleepaway Camp, My Bloody Valentine, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.  I saw them all on VHS rentals I managed to get my young hands on.  I think they had such a big impact on me because they were a safe way for me to experience fear and death from the relative comfort of my safe suburban home. Read the rest of this entry

Exclusive: Andy Burns talks to Lost After Dark’s Kendra Timmins

Today (September 1st, 2015) sees the release of the new horror film, Lost After Dark. Co-written by Bo Ransdell and Ian Kessner and directed by Kessner, the film is set in Spring 1984, when are group of high school friends decide to take off for the weekend to spend a few nights at Adrienne’s (Kendra Timmins) family’s cottage. However, things take a turn for the worse when the school bus the friends have stolen breaks down, leaving them stranded on a deserted road, near an abandoned house that’s sole occupant is Junior Joad, a long-thought cannibal killer. Mayhem and murder ensues.

I had the chance to check out a screening of Lost After Dark at the end of August with cast and crew in attendance, and I enjoyed the film quite a bit. It’s a love letter to ’80s horror films and knows exactly what it is. While it’s a little long at times, there are some genuine shocks and surprises throughout, and you can’t say that about every horror film out there.

Lost After Dark’s lead actress Kendra Timmins was kind enough to answer some questions via email about the film, the shoot and much more.

LOST-AFTER-DARK-BD-cover-797x1024Andy Burns: Kendra, I was at the screening at the SoHo and the audience seemed to have a great time – what’s it like watching Lost After Dark with a crowd?

Kendra Timmins: It might sound strange, but it’s actually such a relief to see Lost After Dark with an audience. We knew as actors that we had something really fun to work with in terms of a script and a genre, but because it’s set in the 80s and an homage to a genre that is beloved by so many horror fans, that can easily be lost on an audience. So hearing people laugh and scream and have fun in all the right places, is so gratifying as an actor.

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Exclusive: Andy Burns talks to Julian Richings about Ejecta

JRJulian Richings is one of Canada’s leading character actors. While you may not know his name, you most certainly recognize his face from many of the films and tv series’ he’s appeared in, including Supernatural, Hannibal, X-Men: The Last Stand, Man of Steel, and many, many more. Richings latest starring role is the science fiction thriller, Ejecta, in which he portrays blogger/writer Bill Cassidy, who has been dealing with extraterrestrials for much of his life. It’s a thoughtful, paranoid performance, and demonstrates why Richings is a favourite of genre fans.

Along with our previous interview with directors Matt Wiele and Chad Archibald, we were able to talk to Julian about Ejecta, his thoughts on the cosmos, the allure of horror and much more.

Andy Burns: Congrats on a yet another solid performance, Julian. What drew you to the role of Bill?

Julian Richings: First, the boys at Foresight Features approached me and I’d been very impressed with their hands-on pragmatic approach to filmmaking. They’re a tight, no-nonsense group who dig into successive projects wearing slightly different hats each time, but they share an unflinching work ethic and creative ingenuity no matter what roles they take on. This was actually Matt Wiele’s first time wearing a director’s hat, but I was impressed his collaborative style coupled with his clarity of execution. (Chad effortlessly and sensitively expanded the sense of a family dynamic ).

When I read the script I realized I’d been offered the role of a troubled and complex character written by none other than Tony Burgess, someone whose writing I’ve admired forever, and who I feel an affinity with because of our mutual co-conspirators over the years.

So these things came together in a project that had a hands-on no-nonsense leanness , but had enough confidence and improvisational flair to adjust and grow as it went along.

It was a blueprint to go-to-it and create. Read the rest of this entry

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