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Dread Central hit the red carpet of the private cast and crew screening of Danielle Harris’ horror feature Among Friends last night, April 17th, and brought back a slew of photos as well as a chat with Harris herself. Read on for the goods!
Held at the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club Theatre on Citywalk in Los Angeles and sponsored by Knockout Energy Drink with the Viscera Film Festival acting as a co-presenter, those on hand for the screening included filmmaker Harris and Among Friends writer and star Alyssa Lobit as well as fellow cast members Chris Backus, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, AJ Bowen, Brianne Davis, Dana Daurey, Kamala Jones, Chris Meyer and Tanya Newbould. Other talent gracing the carpet included Anthony Guajardo (“The Walking Dead”), Elektra Avellan (Grindhouse), Sybil Danning, Ed Ackerman (Hatchet II), Chance Michael Corbitt (The Lost Boys), Caspar Van Dien (Starship Troopers), Sprague Grayden, Kimberly McCullough, Tara Buck (“True Blood”), Nidah Barber (The Victim), Michael Rosenbaum (Urban Legend), scream queen Felissa Rose, Julie Rose and R.A. Mihailoff (Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III), among others.
Chatting with actor turned director Harris (who got her start at a very young age portraying ‘Jamie Lloyd’ in both Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5) on the carpet of the extensive turnout, “It’s unbelievable to me!” she stated. “They are all so supportive, and I’m really excited!”
Of her Among Friends directorial debut, “You know it was so amazing that I don’t know if I actually want to be in front of the camera anymore,” said Harris, whose myriad genre acting turns include roles in Urban Legend, Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween II, Hatchet II, Stake Land and more. “I mean, I’ll still act of course. I was actually talking to Adam Green the other day and I was like, ‘I don’t want to be an actor anymore. I think I just want to direct.’ And he was like, ‘When I’m making movies, you are always going to be an actor.’ So I was like, ‘All right, that’s fine.’ With Among Friends, though, it’s been nice to work with my friends and hire my friends.”
Commenting on the transition, Harris said, “I think I was just feeling as an actor that I wasn’t really feeling that I was getting what I wanted from my directors, and I really wanted to push my actors, and I did – to the point where they probably hated me. But I wanted to work with friends is really what it was. All of these years I’ve been like, ‘I wish so and so was cast,’ and I thought that I should just do it and make my own movie. So I did! It was a pretty seamless transition.”
As for what drew her to the horror/comedy, 80’s influenced concept of Among Friends, “The original script was a little bit different than what we decided to do,” offered Harris. “Alyssa and I got together at the very beginning, and she was like, ‘What do you want to do?’ I said, ‘I just want to make it fun.’ I have no desire to make a slasher movie where everyone is miserable. Let’s just make it the kind of movie that we want to see that isn’t in the scripts that I read anymore. I mean, I read everything and I’m just like, ‘Aaah.’ There’s something missing in them so I wanted to bring it back to what it used to be when I first started, which was 80’s kind of stuff. I wanted an 80’s backdrop and to make it really gratuitous without showing anything and really fun and risqué and horrific, and it came together really, really well, and I’m really proud of it.”
Among Friends will have its first-ever public screening at the July 7th, 2012 Viscera Film Festival at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, CA. Please visit the official site for Among Friends for more info and ‘like’ Among Friends on Facebook.
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