For up-and-coming genre writer/director Jason Christopher, horror has been a way of life for him for as long as he can remember. “I grew up watching horror movies ever since I was a little kid because I would get obsessed with the cover art on the VHS boxes.”
Christopher continues, “The art on old-school horror boxes used to be so badass so that’s what got me hooked. I loved the eye candy and my love for horror grew from there. I had always wanted to do a horror movie and had always kept outlines for different ideas but nothing came of it. It wasn’t until my dad passed away that I really wanted to pen one to get out my anger and whatever and that’s how Down the Road started off.”
Down the Road, the project Christopher mentioned, is the writer/director’s own love letter to the slashers we all grew up loving that is about a couple of college students that go out for the weekend and (true to the horror standard) end up fighting for their lives against a revenge-seeking madman.
The film stars Shaun Paul Costello, Chris Ready, Chelsey Garner, David J. Bonner, Nikki Bell, Jen Dance, Matthew Nadu, and the legendary Clint Howard.
Down the Road producer Deven Lobascio had his hands full with Christopher’s ambitious project, juggling both producing and line producing responsibilities simultaneously, but one part of the process was unusually easy for the young producer- getting someone of Howard’s stature to consider doing an independent horror film that had limited resources.
“When I reached out to Clint about the movie, I was at the very most hoping to at least just hear back from his agent since we were so low-budget,” explained Lobascio. “So I was shocked when we actually heard back from Clint himself that he wanted to do the movie. Just having him on set for one day brought an entirely new atmosphere to the film and really pushed everyone to bring their ‘A’ game. He was always so approachable from the very start and was so supportive while we were filming. Getting Clint on board was definitely the easiest part of my job on Down the Road, and I thought when we started that would have been the hardest.”
Another iconic figure became a part of Down the Road was writer Victor Miller, who mentored Christopher through the script process.
“Having someone like Victor look at my script was amazing,” said Christopher. “I just blindly sent him an email and had no idea if he’d even respond to me. But he did and said I could send him the script, and a few weeks later he gave me some notes and his overall stamp of approval. I couldn’t believe it- here’s the guy who wrote Friday the 13th giving me approval! So unreal. He continued to be a mentor to me as I finished up my rewrites, and I don’t think the script would have been half as good as I hope it is had it not been for Victor’s insight.”
With Down the Road currently in post-production, Dread Central recently caught up with both Christopher and Lobascio to talk about how Down the Road came about, their experiences making the indie film and the horror genre in general.
Check out our exclusive video interview below with the pair for more on their upcoming slasher collaboration, and for additional information, make sure to check out the official Down the Road Facebook page and follow @downtheroadfilm on Twitter.
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