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Dread Central’s coverage of the 11th annual Screamfest LA Film Festival continues with our event report stemming from Tuesday night, October 18th, when we hit the carpet to bring you further eye candy and to catch the premieres of short films Hail Satan! and The Night Caller as well as the feature film Vamperifica.
Those walking the black carpet at the Manns Chinese 6 in Hollywood, California, and in attendance for the evening included Vamperifica co-writer (with lead Martin Yurkovic) and director Bruce Ornstein and cast members Jeff Ward, Bonnie Swencionis, Creighton James, Josh Alexander, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Gianna LePera and CJ Diehl as well as Urban Explorer director Andy Fetscher with cast members Nathalie Kelley, Nick Eversman and Brenda Koo. Hail Satan! director John Michael Elfers and producer/actress Denesa Chan and The Night Caller co-writers and directors Peter Podgursky and Donna Thorland (you can now watch the latter film online here) also made the carpet, as did “Dexter”’s Germain De Leon.
Speaking on the carpet with Bruce Ornstein, “I’m not a big fan of the ‘glitter vampire’ films,” said the Vamperifica director of current audiences’ fascination with the Twilight series and how that franchise’s approach to the undead differs from his own. “What really got me on board with Vamperifica was Martin, who brought me the script, and then we did about seventy different drafts of it. We really worked hard on the script.”
When queried if he was an enthusiast of vampire cinema, “I think I had a model kit of Dracula that I made when I was a kid, but apart from that not really. I do love the films of George Romero and that kind of stuff, but I’m not particularly a fan of the vampire genre. With Vamperifica I’ve done a lot of writing so for me it was about getting it right and just crafting the best script possible. I really thought that there were things in the script that spoke to me, things about friendship and people that aren’t empowered, which is the underlying stuff that really needs to be talked about, and I think that’s the emotional spine of the film, and I think that’s something we’ve been successful doing.”
As for his approach to crafting the horror-comedy that is Vamperifica. “I think we were lucky,” said the filmmaker. “For me I just wanted to keep it real. What I’ve learned about directing things that are funny is that you don’t try to make them funny. The situations can be funny, but you have to play within that reality so for me it was all about keeping it as real as possible.”
Pertaining to the horror aspects of the film, “We decided really early on that we wanted a real ‘Grand Guignol’ feel to it with lots of blood!” said Ornstein. “Our special effects guy used twenty-six quarts of blood, and I was very proud of that. We used a lot of practical stuff and melded it with CG.”
Hail Satan! producer and actress Denesa Chan, who was rocking a red corset and throwing up the ‘devil’s horns’, said of her short, which was written by John Farrell and directed by Kiss Before the Slaughter filmmaker John Michael Elfers, “It’s been a labor of love. A little bit of labor and a lot of love. But it’s been deeply gratifying every step of the way, and I am deeply honored to be here at Screamfest among great filmmakers.”
As for what’s next on her plate, “I just booked lead roles in three feature films,” stated Chan, “and one is an exorcism film so I get to be the girl who’s possessed by the demon, or in other words, I get to be the demon who’s wearing my skin as a girl-suit!”
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