Shriekfest 2011: Exclusive Q&A with Filmmaker Dave Reda
Next up in Dread Central's Q&A interview series featuring several of the filmmakers whose work was selected as an official selection of the 2011 Shriekfest Film Festival in Los Angeles, California, is indie horror multi-hyphenate Dave Reda.
Reda's an all-around talent and has found success in the independent horror scene as a director, actor, writer, producer and editor. His latest project, My Undeadly, is Reda's unique spin on the zombie subgenre whose trailer recently debuted here on DC.
You'll find our Q&A with Reda below, and make sure to check out My Undeadly at the Shriekfest Film Festival on Sunday, October 2nd, during "Shorts Program #3", which begins at 2:00 pm. To get your passes for the 2011 Shriekfest Film Festival, visit their official site here for all your ticket needs and more.
Dread Central: Discuss where you got the idea for the short film. With zombies being everywhere these days, how did you switch up your approach on this to give it your own twist?
Dave Reda: Exactly! Zombies ARE everywhere, and I really wanted to do something different with my film, take it somewhere else, and not make the same old zombie film or commercial you have seen a bunch of times. The idea came from wanting to do something different with the whole approach to a zombie film and from being a major horror fan. I wish I could say more but don't want to say too much and reveal too much before it screens.
DC: We'd love to hear more about how production went on My Undeadly and what the whole experience was like for you from start to finish.
Reda: Production was a whirlwind; I spent weeks looking for a DP for this project and found the incredible Brian Barrow a few days before we actually filmed. He did an amazing job, coming in so last second on the film. For the exterior shots I was excited to be able to use the Michael Meyers home from John Carpenter's Halloween so we could get the same iconic shot as an homage to his movie. And since it was right here in Pasadena, I had to go for it.
We shot the rest of the film all in one long night. The talented Alexis Staats did my zombie makeup for four hours; then we shot for the next ten hours straight. We had a super skeleton crew, and everyone did a few jobs to make this one happen, including both my AD Brian Katz and my Costumer Peter Redman, who were both running around doing lights, sound, and anything else they could. Michelle Tomlinson was fantastic on this one as well; I had written this part and film specifically for her, and she nailed it. Even when it got tough about 3:00 am, Michelle was still rocking it- she is a great talent and friend.
DC: Clearly with Elftwin Films, you have your own brand of horror being established. As a storyteller and as a genre fan, what makes for good horror in your opinion? What do you look for when seeking out horror movies?
Reda: Thanks so much- we are really trying! When I make a film, I always am constantly asking myself, would I see this and or would this interest me, and I look for new and interesting ideas, creativity, people taking horror and their stories to new levels. I believe the modern horror fan is sick of the blood show without a solid story; they want more and expect more from horror. Personally, I like a good balance of horror and comedy in horror films- I call it the roller coaster ride. It has its ups and downs, twists and turns. That's what inspires me and what I like to see in modern horror.
DC: How rewarding does it feel to be getting into so many festivals with My Undeadly?
Reda: It has really been quite amazing to see the response on this film and to have received a lot of support from the fests for what I do. I really try very hard to do things differently and have my horror voice heard, and the fests and the horror community and its fans have helped so much in that. It's such an honor to get to do incredible festivals like Shriekfest, run by the awesome Denise Gossett, here in LA because I had been hearing so any great things about it for so long and always wanted to be a part of the festival. We almost got in with Horror of our Love: A Short Film, last year so it was HUGE for us when we got accepted this year. Shriekfest is one of the biggest and best horror festivals that go on here in LA so this means a lot to us for sure.
DC: What's up next for you then? Do you have anything in the pipeline, so to speak?
Reda: My Undeadly is continuing on in the festival circuit with upcoming screenings during the Sacramento Horror Film Festival (October 20-23), the Salty Horror International Film Festival (November 3-6), and the Horrible Imaginings Horror Film Festival of San Diego (November 4-5). I am also in talks with a few production companies about getting out a couple of the feature films we have ready- Freak House and Unholy Ground.
I am also working on a few new short films to get out there to the people as soon as possible. As a horror fan, too, I feel the pain of there not being NEW stories told, new iconic villains for today, and am really trying to get films out there that are horror but still have a strong story and a soul to the people.
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