Of all the up-and-coming filmmakers out there, one of the most promising is Jeffery Thompson. The horror-loving filmmaker is currently hard at work on achieving a number of goals, including building an empire, winning an Oscar, developing video games, and of course, making horror films. Now there’s a man who likes to think big.
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Jeffrey to discuss his upcoming projects in more detail.
Dread Central: Do you have a particular business strategy when it comes to making horror films?
Jeffery Thompson: I adopted something called “the lean start-up model,” which I believe if applied to the film industry could help keep costs at a minimum while maximizing the project potential. What I did was shoot a concept trailer and released it, which would be called a minimum valuable product in the start-up world. From there I saw the reaction to the trailer online. It became number 1 for 4 days in a row on the horror society website. At that point I knew I had a good potential project on my hands.
DC: Can you give an overview of the projects that you’re currently working working on?
JT: Bubbleheads: Legend of Carrico Road. This is an amazing project because of the cultural significance it has to my home city, Saint Louis, Missouri. I have not lived there in 11 years, but it is still dear to my heart in some ways. As mentioned before, the positive reception that people have given to the trailer has forged me to push along with the feature. We’re in the process of securing a product placement deal with Pabst Beer. Another project I am working on is a video game based on a snowball character, Chance. My start-up, Illapuproductions, was recently accepted into Corelabs, which is located in Silicone Valley and run by a great guy, Anthony Palma.
DC: You mention that you’re planning on becoming an Oscar nominee?
JT: That is the goal and plan. I believe that horror films in general are often overlooked. Granted, some follow these cliche patterns and formulaic structure, but I believe a good horror script, story, cinematography definitely deserves some recognition for nominations in their respective awards. I believe my co-writer and I could even get recognition for this script. The score will be done by Luke Zelinsky, who I believe could be one of the best film composers of this generation eventually.
DC: How have you found the experience of being a black horror filmmaker?
JT: One thing about horror is that it transcends all of the outside differences that people focus on. The horror film community has been very helpful to me in answering any questions I have and sending me to people to help get this project off the ground. I don’t consider looking at the whole race factor, but it will be nice to have a successful horror film being a black filmmaker. Normally we see black filmmakers coming out with historical dramas or comedies.
DC: Are you involved with video games?
JT: Yes, we are a game/film start-up. Looking to do some big things in both spaces. The interesting thing about it is I believe in taking the lean business model approach. If more film and game companies did so, they would save costs on potential loses on projects.
DC: Are you working on building an empire?
JT: Yes, I have a great team with Kamil Pawlak, Luke Zelinsky, Javon Lee, Keith Griffin, and a few others. I understand to build a great empire I have to create other leaders and visionaries. They clearly see the vision and want to be a part of it and create a lasting legacy and great IP material.