Before the Mask on Facebook
Recently we got the chance to speak with Scott Glosserman, director and co-writer of Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon and its upcoming sequel Before the Mask: The Return of Leslie Vernon.
During our conversation we talked about who is returning, and we got him to drop some hints on cameos and appearances of some horror icons as well as getting a little insight on the original. Plus, Scott finally budges (a little) on who exactly Eugene is modeled after. Dig it!
Scott has promised lots of exclusive updates for us here at Dread Central. So keep it locked here to be the first to know.
And if you would like to help make Before the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon happen even sooner, you can go to the Before the Mask FACEBOOK PAGE to pre-order DVDs, Blu-rays and other merchandise and cool packages.
Dread Central: As of right now, where is B4TM at on funding?
Scott Glosserman: We just passed over $8,000 and 4,500 likes in a little over a month. That’s without going to the mainstream press or the Hollywood reporters. We wanted to create this critical mass and online presence so that when we reach out they can see how far we’ve come.
As the first Facebook app that allows pre-purchase and crowd-funding of anything, it’s been a great success.
It’s an exponential process. If you look at mapping the human genome, they said it would take 8 years, and after 6 they were only 3% done. But due to Moore’s Law of Exponential Growth, it was completed as scheduled. It’s just a matter of people telling their friends and them telling their friends, etc.
DC: Have you been looking at this as more of a way to show the grassroots support for a sequel as you begin to look at larger investors or the main support?
SG: When Anchor Bay expressed that they were not interested in investing in or distributing (for pay) a sequel, I had to look at the reality and ask, “Does it actually warrant a sequel?” And I wanted to throw it out there and ask fans what they thought in a real way by seeing if they were willing to help finance a sequel by pre-purchasing DVDs, etc.
Doing a sequel means a lot of changes, not being able to call in the favors we could before. The budget will be higher than the original ($600-850k). If I can get half or even a quarter of the people who bought the original DVD to pledge $20, that goes a long way towards financing the movie.
And we do have some more news regarding partnerships and funding that we will be telling you guys about exclusively. Those are going to be huge for helping us get this accomplished.
DC: Who can we expect to see come back in Before the Mask: The Return of Leslie Vernon?
SG: Everybody. Everyone is coming back. Nathan, Angela, Robert, Scott, Bridgett, Ben and Britain have all committed to coming back and are really behind this. Robert (Englund) is a huge supporter of this project; he’s read the script and loves it. He’s sent us notes and been getting really excited about coming back. He’s ready and standing by.
DC: And Todd (Britain Spellings)? He’s coming back? I’m curious to see how you are going to do that.
SG: (Laughs) Yeah, watch his death scene closely; we gave ourselves some room there. We loved Todd and wanted to have him around.
DC: You had the wonderful Zelda Rubinstein in the original. Anyone you would like to get in a supporting role for B4TM?
SG: Actually, yeah, but I can’t really say much because we are approaching one of the people very soon and hoping to have them confirmed soon- which we’ll let you know about first. But yeah, we have a supporting role that we have someone specific in mind for. And then another, really…precious, kind of featured cameo that we are excited about. That I want to get him committed for as well.
DC: I know you don’t want to name names yet, but any hints? Will these be easily recognizable to horror fans?
SG: I’ll narrow it down, by process of elimination based on who we’ve had (Robert Englund and Kane Hodder); there are very few horror icons that are unmasked and recognizable.
Kane (Hodder) has expressed a desire to come back as well. So I’m not counting him as one of those two. He actually wanted to be involved in the sequel and is very excited about being a part of Before the Mask. He has been very kind to us.
We also have some very cool cameos that I can’t wait to announce.
DC: So what kind of style is Before the Mask going to be in? More mockumentary, more traditional?
SG: We wanted to get comfortable in the motif we set up in the original. We wanted to continue developing Leslie, and Leslie and Taylor’s relationship. So we established certain rules for ourselves; if the first one is deconstructing the slasher genre of the 70/80s, then the sequel needed to deconstruct and comment on the archetypes of the prequels, sequels and remakes. So we didn’t want to be redundant, but we needed to find an equally effective way to tell the story that was still familiar. So there is a new crew that has their own motivations for doing this- which gives us our documentary style. Of course we have Leslie’s omniscience, which is bigger and different because Leslie is bigger and different. And there is a third and maybe fourth motif that I’m staying mum on right now.
DC: To settle it once and for all, whom did you model Eugene after?
SG: Actually, I’ve never answered it, and I’m not answering it now.
DC: I did some research and read that it was Billy from Black Christmas.
SG: Ahhhh … you know, that’s come up before, and I’ve never definitively said it was Billy. And the original was never built around him; it was someone else. But I made it ambiguous. I’ll give you this: You are on the right track. And with 90% certainty, we are going to reveal who Eugene was in Before the Mask. I’ll also say this: There was kind of a “door ajar” before Freddy and Michael and Jay- there were not regulars who would keep reinventing or reincarnating themselves. They just did one-off jobs. But it’s possible that they did more than one job. That’s as far as I’ll go now.
DC: Where did the look of Leslie Vernon come from?
SG: We spent a couple of years developing the first one (Behind the Mask), and we could have cast some ugly 6’4″ guy with a beard, but we cast Nathan Baesel. And that backed us into the luck, and then E. Larry Day came along as our makeup designer- and that was the real step in how Leslie looked. He took my articulation about who Leslie Vernon was. My thought was he is this boy who never got past development, got the overalls and the one-piece waffle pajamas. Then Larry and I had this great conversation of the mask, and he started looking at these photos of fetuses. Looking at undeveloped faces. The asexual ambiguous features, and that’s where it came from. Just adding that cyan-y blue on the mask, and you’ve got something there.
DC: Speaking of Nathan, how important is Nathan to Leslie Vernon? How much did he bring to the creation and development of Leslie?
SG: Vital. Nathan is so committed to Leslie. Nathan was willing to do anything. We had a conversation after he was cast and he was willing to pluck his eyebrows out, shave his head- all sorts of maniacal psychopathic things.
Nathan brought this very casual, conversational and comedic quality to Leslie. Yet, it was also Nathan who wanted a much larger transformation between him and “the boy”. He wanted you to see it. I resisted because I wanted there to be two different characters, and I never wanted his horror character to show up in the mockumentary.
Some directors don’t like actors coming up with ideas; they just want clean slates. But I think just the opposite. Actors can bring such insight into a character and fresh eyes. Nathan just happens to be one of the smartest guys, coming out of Julliard- with the intellect and talent he brought…he really helped define the role.
DC: Final question, and I know it’s jumping the gun while you are still working on funding, but do you have a third story in mind, or is this the end of Leslie Vernon?
SG: No, we do, we do. We know exactly where this is going, and it gets… If we get the great fortune to be able to follow this and see it through to its conclusion, it gets bigger and better. And if we get to take it to where we want to eventually, it’s going to a place where I think most horror fans want to see their horror icons go. So I hope to one day deliver that to myself and the horror community.
DC: Anything else to add?
SG: I’m really excited about working with you guys, and the support you guys have given us. I think it’s … it’s just really humbling. I really appreciate it.
Look for more on Before the Mask: The Return of Leslie Vernon as we get it. Big thanks to Scott for taking the time to BS with us!
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