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Jessica Cameron Talks Acting, Directing and a Cross-Country RV Trip

Jessica Cameron Talks Acting, Directing and a Cross-Country RV TripJessica Cameron is a success story. It was not that long ago that the beautiful up-and-coming filmmaker/scream queen was toiling away at a desk job she hated, wishing for something more.

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Jessica Cameron Talks Acting, Directing and a Cross-Country RV TripJessica Cameron is a success story. It was not that long ago that the beautiful up-and-coming filmmaker/scream queen was toiling away at a desk job she hated, wishing for something more.

Cameron chased that dream and is now an award-winning filmmaker. She recently sat down with Dread Central to talk about her newest projects.

So how, exactly, did she go from desk jockey to movie star? “Fluke,” Cameron said.

She explained, “I went to school for fashion design. I’ve always been drawn to creative careers. I got hired out of my university by a major company, and for the first three months I thought everything was going fine. Then comes my first review and they have a big problem. I was shocked to learn that their problem was with my speech. They thought I spoke too fast. So they required me to take classes, and when I couldn’t find any actual speech classes, my boss (my immediate boss thought the whole thing was a joke, but it came from my boss’ boss) said, ‘You know what, take an acting class and then just talk slow around the stupid people.’ And that’s exactly what I did and it worked.”

Cameron recalled, “I was really lucky because I was having an early 20’s panic attack moment where I was like, ‘Oh shit, what do I do? I’ve spent four years and all this money studying something I hate…with a passion. Something that’s not what it’s like in school when you get in the real world. It’s a boring office job. I’m a designer monkey. It’s not like I was doing anything creative. I can’t leave because I’m tied to a contract for years. What do I do?’ Luckily for me, I turned to acting. I found something that was creative and challenging that I liked to do.”

And from there Cameron was hooked. “I found it was only a month or two that I was just getting through my day job to get to my acting class. So after a couple years of taking acting classes, my coaches said, ‘There are no more classes to take in the state of Ohio. You’re going to have to just start working.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to work. This is fun! I don’t care if I make money. I do the other thing for money.’ So they said there was nothing more they could teach me, I just had to go out and do it. So I just went out and did it. I started booking left and right and one thing led to another and I started doing everything I could on evenings and weekends. Productions would shoot around me, and if I couldn’t make it, they would adjust my schedule so I could do everything on evenings and weekends. I left my job after a couple years on February 2, 2010, and I’ve been pursuing acting full-time ever since.”

Since that time Cameron has landed all kinds of roles. She also recently released her directorial debut, Truth or Dare, an extreme film that’s been getting extreme reactions. “People ask me all the time if I thought it was going to be an award-winning film and I thought absolutely not,” Cameron said. “When you make a graphic, vicious, violent torture film that’s very fucked up, you don’t know if you’re going to be booed off the stage or kicked out of the theater or if people are going to run up and hug you. Luckily for me it was the latter.”

Cameron continued on the film. “Truth or Dare was a lot of fun,” she said. “It was a lot of hard work. As an actor, I’m not accustomed to working that hard. It’s a lot harder to go behind the camera and direct everyone in front of the camera and deal with people behind the scenes. But it was definitely worth it. Getting to assemble a cast and crew I adore was definitely a great benefit.”

And when Truth or Dare hit the festival circuit, the response was overwhelmingly positive. “I was really lucky; we started doing our festival tour last year and Truth or Dare immediately got a huge fan following, which is really fantastic,” Cameron said. “We won some awards, which is kind of crazy. Five years ago, if you would have told me I was going to be the director of an award-winning film, I would have laughed and said you’re wrong. So it’s kind of funny to think now that’s true. What’s meant to be will always be. I never thought… when I was sitting in that room listening to my boss tell me how my speech was a problem, it never occurred to me that I was having a life-changing moment at that point, but I was.”

So what does Cameron feel is the biggest difference between acting in front of the camera and directing behind it? “I just found out that directing is a lot more work overall,” Cameron said. “There are a lot more pieces to the puzzle. I think not just as a director, but as a producer behind the camera, you’re juggling more balls in the air versus as an actor when people let you focus on acting because it’s something that requires your physical being as well as your mental being. It’s just different, juggling the behind-the-scenes stuff. It’s not one thing or another that makes it different, just everything as a whole. It meant that I was sleeping less than I normally do and the work is a lot harder than as an actor. But it’s definitely worthwhile. I’m not afraid of hard work; it was something I didn’t mind in any way, shape or form. Although I have to laugh when people say, ‘Are you going to do it again?’ I’m always like, ‘Why the hell would anyone want to? It’s way more fun to be an actor!'”

And as for acting, there is another hurdle Cameron faces. “The most challenging part for me is showing emotion to the world,” Cameron said. “I’m not a very emotional person in my real life. I’m literally the last person to cry, no matter how big the tragedy. I can literally count the people on two hands who have seen me cry. It’s not part of Jessica so letting go requires a lot of effort on my part.”

Jessica Cameron

Jessica Cameron is part of an up-and-coming group of female powerhouses who are taking the horror world by storm. Cameron, Jen and Sylvia Soska, Tristan Risk, Devanny Pinn. All these gorgeous and talented women are making a name for themselves in the genre and all have something in common. “It’s exciting for me, the person who’s involved with it,” Cameron said, “but when I step beck and objectively look at the state of horror today and where it’s going, it’s exciting because we’re getting the unique concepts from people who just love the genre. Tristan Risk, myself, the Soska Sisters, Devanny Pinn…what we are first and foremost are fans. It’s great that we’re working, it’s great that we’re in these movies, but we started as fans. We fucking love horror films. I think that’s what’s going to make the difference. We worship the genre. Especially for those of us who are also involved in producing and directing and behind the scenes, it’s not like we’re just hired on for these films. We’re actually taking content by the balls and forcing it in a certain direction, usually because we feel like it’s something that’s not being said or seen or done, which I think is exciting. I think we’re going to get a lot of fresh, original concepts, which is crucial.”

Cameron discussed how the quality of the film is much more important to her than any deadline or bottom line. “We’re not trying to make the movie with the least amount of time, least amount of effort, least amount of money,” Cameron said. “We’re just trying to make the best film we can. Anything else doesn’t matter. Love it, hate it…Truth or Dare does get a very strong reaction from audiences. If you hate it, that’s fine. If you vomit, that’s fine. As long as I made you feel something, that’s all I want. I think the worst thing a filmmaker can do is make a movie that people leave and forget about in five minutes. I’d rather you hate it than forget it.”

Switching gears and emoting as the fan she is, Cameron briefly spoke on one of her largest qualms with some horror actors. “I’ve met so many people that I was excited to meet and was upset by meeting them,” Cameron said. “Because it’s a job for them, it’s a means to an end. It’s a paycheck. It’s ‘I do this because I have to, not because I love it. ‘ And it’s always very disheartening as a fan to meet someone whose work you’ve enjoyed and they just don’t give a fuck. It’s heartbreaking. It’s like, if you don’t like it, don’t do it. No one is forcing you to act in a horror movie. And there are a ton of people for whom it would be life-changing for them to have that opportunity. So give it to them and go do whatever it is that you want to do.”

Moving forward, Cameron’s latest acting project, Save Yourself, was just completed. “Save Yourself, we just wrapped up in Canada,” Cameron said. “I star in it and I produced it as well. We shot it in the Toronto area. It’s with a wonderful Canadian director named Ryan M. Andrews whose other films are doing quite well. Tristan Risk from American Mary stars in it, too, which is great. It’s the first time I’ve actually worked with Risky, even though we’ve known each other and been friends forever. So we’re together onscreen, which is really cool. She’s crazy in the best of ways.”

Cameron continued, “It’s a really fun script,” Cameron said. “It’s about a group of female filmmakers who are traveling down to LA for a film festival and on the way there they meet a mad scientist. Again, being able to get behind the camera a little bit and make these movies happen…When I first heard about this film from Ryan, I said, ‘We have to make this movie. I haven’t seen a good mad scientist film in I don’t know how long. We need to be the ones to make it.’ It’s a great script. It has some great characters. It’s a lot of fun. And really, bring the fun back to horror. It’s not serious; we kill people. It’s fun!

And now that Save Yourself is wrapped, Cameron is embarking on a large project for the next film she’s helming.“The next movie I’m directing is Mania,” Cameron said. “John Higgins, who co-wrote Truth or Dare, wrote this amazing script about this wonderful lesbian couple where everything goes horribly awry when the one gal, her mania and her bi-polar act up to a severe degree and it causes her to accidentally kill a man and in a dark move, trying to maintain sanity, they go on the run a little bit to bring her back from the brink of mental instability only to realize that it’s too late and there’s nothing that can be done. It’s a fun little script, kind of like Thelma and Louise meet Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. It’s gonna be really sexy and really fun.”

And as if filming one movie isn’t enough, Cameron spoke about the filming plan for Mania. “We’re going to be filming cross-country,” Cameron said. “We’re going to be shooting two movies back-to-back. We’re going to shoot The Exiled by Brandon Slagle on the top loop and my film on the bottom loop. And we’re going to film the whole adventure as Kill the PA, a documentary. So many people with Truth or Dare, anyone in the filmmaking industry, one of the first questions they ask me when they find out that I did this movie and the reception it’s getting and what I had to work with, is, ‘How’d you do it? How is this physically possible?’ I’m much more of a ‘show me’ kinda gal so we’re going to show you how we make a really strong low-budget film with minimal cast, minimal crew and a lot of passion. I’m really excited. And we’re going to do it while we travel cross-country in an RV.”

Cameron closed with one more comment on Mania. “I love the story,” Cameron said. “The story is fantastic, but I’m not the right person to be in it so I’m producing and directing. But it’s so great for Devanny (Pinn) and Heather (Dorff). They’re going to be so great, they’re really going to get to shine and it’s such a fun, fucked up story. It’s everything I love…sexy women, blood, gore, guts, unnecessary violence.”

Us too!

Be sure to check out TruthorDareTheMovie.com and KilltheProductionAssistant.com for more.

Truth or Dare

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#Brainwaves Episode 74 Guest Announcement: Creature Designer Mike Hill – The Shape of Water and More!

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We’re getting monstrous on Episode 74 of Brainwaves Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio as joining us will be award-winning artist, filmmaker, and creature designer Mike Hill, whose work you can see right now in a little film called The Shape of Water.

Join us this coming Wednesday, January 24th, at 8:00PM PT/11:00PM ET for all the shenanigans fit to be had!

It’s radio without a safety net, kids. It’s Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio.

SUPPORT BRAINWAVES ON PATREON!

Listen to Stitcher

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is available to subscribe to on iTunes and Stitcher.

Spooky, funny, touching, honest, offensive, and at times completely random, Brainwaves airs live every Wednesday evening beginning at 8:00 PM Pacific Time (11:00 midnight Eastern Time) and runs about 3 hours per episode.

Knetter and Creepy will be taking your calls LIVE and unscreened via Skype, so let your freak flags fly! Feel free to add BrainWavesTalk to your Skype account so you can reach us, or call in from a landline or cellphone – 858 480 7789. The duo also take questions via Twitter; you can reach us at @BrainwavesRadio or @UncleCreepy, @JoeKnetter, or @MrDarkDC using the hashtag #BrainWaves. You can also check us out on our Brainwaves Discord channel!

Have a ghost story or a paranormal story but can’t call in? Feel free to email it to me directly at UncleCreepy@dreadcentral.com with “Brainwaves Story” in your subject line. You can now become a fan of the show via the official… BRAINWAVES FACEBOOK PAGE!

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is hosted live (with shows to be archived as they progress) right here on Dread Central. You can tune in and listen via the FREE TuneIn Radio app or listen to TuneIn right through the website!

For more information and to listen live independent of TuneIn, visit the Deep Talk Radio Network website, “like” Deep Talk Radio on Facebook, and follow Deep Talk Radio on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Brainwaves on iTunes.

Brainwaves Contact!

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The Saw Chapter Comes to Dead By Daylight January 23!

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Time to play a game of Dead by Daylight! We told you last week that none other than Jigsaw would be coming to the hit PC and console game, and today we have a brand new trailer for you detailing what to expect when the hardest working corpse in cinema history gets digitized for an all-new adventure.

Let’s Play a Game… The Pig is here to create a whole new version of hell for all Survivors. Mentored by Jigsaw, she comes carrying Reverse Bear Traps into the Realm of the Entity. So if you’re gonna play, you have to accept that the stakes are high. The SAW Chapter comes with a New Killer (The Pig), a new Survivor (David Tapp), and a new Map (Gideon Meat Plant).

Jigsaw joins the previously released original killers alongside Freddy Krueger 2010, Michael Myers, and Leatherface.

For more info:
WEBSITE: www.deadbydaylight.com/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/deadbybhvr
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/DeadByDaylight/
STEAM: http://store.steampowered.com/app/700280

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Flying Wolf! New Rampage Trailer Swoops In

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Last month, we shared the crazy-ass trailer for “The Rock vs Three Huge Animals” movie Rampage. And we were all surprised by how serious the movie looks.

Well if that trailer wasn’t enough to get you at least interested in watching titanic beasts curb-stomping entire cities, then maybe today’s new trailer will do the trick.

Give it watch below and then let us know what you think!

Rampage is directed by Brad Peyton and stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

The film hits theaters April 20.

Synopsis:
Primatologist Davis Okoye (Johnson), a man who keeps people at a distance, shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent silverback gorilla who has been in his care since birth. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry transforms this gentle ape into a raging monster. To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered alpha predators.

As these newly created monsters tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.

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