LegacyVerse Productions’ Keith Munden

1

One thing I enjoy about film festivals and conventions is not only meeting film fans but other filmmakers.  One such production company was LegacyVerse Productions at Horror Hotel Film Festival and Convention this passed May.  The company’s owner, Keith Munden, proudly wears the ‘Ten Years of No Budget Filmmaking’ proudly and has recently seen some reward for his efforts (like winning in a short film category at Horror Hotel).  So read on for more on Keith and LegacyVerse!  And check out my review on their film, Reaper Saga, here.

AlterReaper

 

MU: It was lovely to make your acquaintance at the Horror Hotel Film Festival this year. But tell us a little of how LegacyVerse came into existence.

KM: Well, to tell the WHOLE story, LegacyVerse started when I was a kid, watching things like the making of RETURN OF THE JEDI and Michael Jackson’s THRILLER (which I realized recently was also the thing that got me into horror), and realizing that movies weren’t things that just magically happened.  They were created, and once I understood that, I knew what I wanted to be when I “grew up.” The second major moment happened in the early 90’s, when I discovered that there was a low budget moviemaking group in my hometown, the late BLADE INDEPENDENT STUDIOS, and I would go on to make my acting debut as an extra in 1994’s THE EVIL EYE (and get an actual speaking role in 1995’s WIMP 2). What I learned from being in these movies was what went into making low/no budget movies from a nuts and bolts perspective. BLADE died in the late 90’s, and I realized that if I wanted to continue being involved in the making of low budget movies, then I would have to just make my own…..enter LegacyVerse.  LegacyVerse, which started out as just Legacy Productions (but was changed when I realized that there were other low budget groups with the same name) started, after a few years of false starts, in 2002 with ZERO ISSUE, which laid the groundwork for a lot of stories that I would follow up on in later movies (The Summoning,, Welcome to Luna Pier, and the Reaper Saga). The LegacyVerse was what I called that section of movies (the movies set in the fictional town of Luna Pier, OH) anyways, so, that’s where I came up with the new name. Of course, not all of the movies are Luna Pier related: DEAD EVOLUTION, HARVEST OF BLOOD/BEER RUN, THE BLACK BOX, and THE LEGEND OF JOE PIMPIN’ have nothing to do whatsoever with the LP characters, but carry the LegacyVerse Productions banner anyways.

MU: As a filmmaker, who would you say have been your influences?

KM: My main one is George Romero, as I’ve always been a HUGE fan of the director, and his movies. The original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD was a massive influence on me, as I read a great deal about the struggles the Image 10 group (the main investors for NOTLD) went through to get that movie made, and they became kind of a beacon of hope for all low budget movie directors, showing that with hard work and dedication, that one could make not only a good low budget movie, but a GREAT one. Other film/TV influences are: Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino, Joss Whedon, and John Carpenter…amongst others. However, just as much as the film/television industry have played in my/ LegacyVerse’s development, reading comic books as a child/teenager played just as much of a role. I’ve often called the Luna Pier stuff (Including the Reaper movies) as being more “Comic Bookish Horror” than straight up horror, and I usually get strange looks when I say this, but if you look at the movies (particularly WTLP, REAPER REBORN, MIDSUMMER NIGHTMARE, and the Upcoming REAPER’S REVENGE) it’s very much the truth. One can definitely see the influences of Chris Claremont’s 16 year run on the X-Men (1975-1991) in there, along with other things I enjoy. I’ve often said the Luna Pier stories are everything I love about movies and comics thrown into a blender on high speed, and being that audiences have grown more accepting of comic book movies since I started, it looks like I picked the right time to start making these little “Comic Bookish Horror Movies.” I hope to make more, as I have an endgame story set down for the LP characters (Faruza Maclay, Amy Savant, the Reaper, Davlin McCaine, amongst others) that would be my “Days of Future Past,” but without the time travel element. I will say that a major step in that direction happens near the end of REAPER’S REVENGE, so, we’ll have to see how many pick up on it.

MU: Now judging from your website, you seem to really pride yourselves on the ’10 years of no budget’ which I will say is quite impressive given the amount of films you’ve created and even won a couple awards in doing so. Is this a mantra you plan to stick with or would you eventually like to acquire budgets for future films?

KM: As much as I love the freedom of being a no budget moviemaker, I would love to see some of my concepts (the Luna Pier stuff, particularly) done on at least an Asylum movie’s budget. I don’t see my chilling poolside with Brad and Angelina happening any time in my lifetime, but being able to be a known name on the Low Budget movie scene, getting to make my movies and spend the rest of my time doing horror conventions and the like…..that, to me, at least, would be a pretty darn good life to live…..and that’s the long term goal, to at least make it there. Plus, I owe that to the rest of my core crew (Richard Buathier/Rico, Wendy Davis Boyer, Rick Davis), who have stuck by me through some pretty dark times, both with the movie thing and with Life……I owe it to them to go as far as I can with this whole thing. Heck, Rico especially, as he’s been doing the low budget movie thing even longer than I have (he started in 1990).

Kiethtied

MU:  In the ten years you’ve been making films as a production company, what would you say has been the most valuable lesson learned that you would share with first time filmmakers?

KM: The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is This: If you want to make movies, if a director is what you aspire to be….then go out and DO IT. A lot of aspiring moviemakers think they have to instantly go out a make a feature length movie, or that it automatically has to be Hollywood quality. Of course, a great many of those people don’t last, as they end up spending themselves into a hole trying to make a 90 minute movie, because that’s what they see on TV or at the theaters. Or they instantly give up, after making their movie, and seeing that it doesn’t turn out like the Hollywood product, quality-wise. Well, it’s not…..I hate to tell you, but unless you’re sitting on the new BLAIR WITCH PROJECT or PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, all you’re going to have is a low/no budget, which, yes, is going to be flawed. I would say if you want to make a movie…..get a decent camera, a computer to edit your footage, and a bunch of friends and family who are willing to roll around with fake blood on them for a few hours…..then you just need a script, and honestly, I would shoot for making a few shorts before you try to make an hour plus movie. If you can make a good 10/15 minute movie, then that will build both the knowhow and confidence to make a longer movie. Heck, being a no budget moviemaker often means wearing multiple hats, but wearing those hats will show you how to make a better movie, in the writing, directing, shooting, and editing.

MU: I asked this question in a few interviews as I’m interested in getting different viewpoints on it The mainstream media tends to saturate us with the stories of “overnight successes” with all the reality TV ‘stars,’ American Idols, andthe ‘Cinderella stories’ of how “so and so became an overnight sensation in a matter of five minutes.” Would you say that such articles and stories tend to give (especially) young people trying to break into the industry a sort of false hope and distorted view as to how the industry really works?

KM: Yeah, it does, as it gives aspiring moviemakers the idea that they can make the next CITIZEN KANE or EVIL DEAD, but what these people don’t realize was that both Orson Wells and Sam Rami had some experience before they went out and made those classic films (Wells with his radio experience/Rami with making backyard movies). Very rarely do people’s first few movies/films make that immediate impact. A great many of us have to grind it out, and try to somewhat duplicate what we see in the higher budgeted movies, but do it for next to no money. However, that is a good way to learn technique, even in a crude form, and it’s a good idea to do that before you try asking for money. Heck, I’m finding that just making a bunch of smaller, low budgeted movies is making just as much noise as putting together one somewhat budgeted one. People that are into the low budget stuff are IN to it, and those that aren’t are not really going to care whether the budget is $10, 000 or $10……if it’s not Hollywood, they don’t care. So, you have to know who your audience is, and go for them as well as you can with what money/cast/crew you have to work with.

MU:  Any hilarious or horrifying (yes, pun was intended) onset stories?

KM: Well, as far as horror stories go, that mostly has come from people that have gotten involved, who have tried to take over the production, and that has happened quite a bit. I find that EVERYONE wants, deep down, to make a movie, and everyone has a specific idea or way they would go about making one. Of course, this is all well good and fine until they start trying to throw their weight around on YOUR movie/production company. I’m sure at least a few other low budget moviemakers can feel what I’m saying here; as I’m sure they have their own horror stories about this happening. Lloyd Kaufman called people like this “movie cancers,” and I’m going to repeat the advice he gave in his book, “Make Your Own Damn Movie,” which I would say is essential reading to the no budget moviemaker (along with John Russo’s “How to Make a Movie for $10,000 or less”), and that is to get rid of movie cancers as fast as possible, or else risk them causing unrest amongst your crew, even going as far as causing the making of your movie to come to a screeching halt….which has also happened. Heck, FEAR THE REAPER 2 was supposed to come out in 2005/6, but it was dealing with the fallout of trouble caused by a certain person that caused me to switch gears and make WELCOME TO LUNA PIER instead, which was essentially a bunch of shorts tied together by an overlapping main story, rather than one long continuous one, which would have been the deal with the original FTR2.

As for humorous stories, I’d have to go with the cops showing up while we were shooting DEAD EVOLUTION in late 2004. We were on the side of the road leading to our mall, shooting the scene where zombified Rico and Rob Stanley attack Rick in his van. I guess while we were shooting Rico and Rob stumbling down the side of the road, covered with fake blood and liquid latex, someone drove by and thought someone had been attacked, so, they called the police, who showed up just as we were finishing the scene. Luckily, the cop had acted with Rico in WIMP 2, so, he just laughed and drove off. Of course, I wound up getting footage of the cop car driving away, and used it in the preview for DE.

Another fun cop story happened more recently, while we were shooting REAPER’S REVENGE, where we had the Reaper cult surrounding a van in a mostly deserted parking lot. A person tried to pull into the parking lot while we were filming, took one look at what appeared to be going on, and GUNNED it out of the parking lot.  Needless to say, we finished up quickly and got out of there just in time. Heck, I was the last one out, and passed the cops on my way out; who were coming to investigate what they must have thought was some crazy cult ceremony or something. They were HALF right….lol.

MU: What’s next for LegacyVerse. Plug away here!:)

KM: Well, we’ve essentially got three movies in the can at this point:  REAPER’S REVENGE, a goofy comedy called UNKNOWN JOURNEYS, and a short Thriller, TICK TOCK. Those will be released as I get them edited. We’re also starting HARVEST OF BLOOD 2 and an AVENGERS fan film in the fall, which should be interesting, as I’ve never tried to do two major projects at once before. In addition, AVENGERS is the first movie I’ve done which is dealing pretty majorly with green screen (there is one GS effect in REAPER 3, but that takes up all of about 5-10 seconds of the movie), which should also be interesting.

Next year, we’re planning THE BLACK BOX 2, which is a comedy; PURE OF HEART, which is a horror movie for anyone who’s ever been unfaithful to a significant other, and a horror anthology, which has yet to get a name.

As for where you can find us on the web, my friend Matt Drake is running one of LV’s sites, http://www.legacyverseproductions.com. I’m still running the original site, http://www.freewebs.com/legacyproductions/ , and we’re on Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/pages/LegacyVerse-Productions/200229353360485.

Also, Lou Carpenbarker has been posting quite a bit of our stuff on his MOVIE MADHOUSE horror host show….his addy is https://www.facebook.com/lou.carpenbarker?fref=ts. One way or another, you’ll get exposed to as much LegacyVerse as you can handle. I really do want to thank you, Tiffany, for doing this interview, and giving us a VERY kind review on “The Reaper Saga.” There aren’t a lot of people who truly support No/Low Budget Moviemakers, and I’m glad you’re someone who can look past the flaws to see what the people who make these little opuses are trying to get across, rather than just ripping them apart. You’re doing us all a great service.

Insane

 

 

Legacy

 

 

 

Actress/Model/TV Personality/Award-winning Scream Queen, Janet Jay

1
Janet Jay and her alter ego, Janet Decay have been rather popular staples at film festivals and conventions over the passed year.  She is also a talented actress, model, Tv personality, and award-winning Scream Queen who owns her nerdom.  I’m also happy to count her among the awesome friends I’ve met in the industry.  Read on to find out more about this lovely lady and the rather fascinating story behind Daughter of Ghoul, Janet Decay.  And if you stick around til the end you get to see an exclusive never released before photo!
JJ 021013 Z Cropped 2450 Res
MU:  So we are here with the lovely Janet Jay.  First tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the insanity known as the entertainment industry.
JJ: Thanks Lovely Tiffany!
Well, I must start off with, I never imagined myself to be in this industry, people fantasize about it but I never thought I could do it. Originally I wanted to do something with art and as a kid I was a really shy kid with anxiety who would just watch cartoons and draw pictures, play Nintendo. Most actors say they started out in theater  but I never did, although once I was a puppeteer in high school for a performance group called “kids on the Block”. Half way through college I gave up on art and tried linguistics but then ran out of funds to finish school so decided to work full time and try to pay off bills. Didn’t really get into “the biz” until about 2008 when local actors on My Space befriended me because they liked my costumes that I made, and was asked if I wanted to be an extra for local indie projects. So then I would spend my weekends being a vampire or zombie or club patron for this thing and that, so I suppose “the bug” bit me back then, because now I love acting and modeling more than anything… except Nintendo because I knew him first!

MU:  Now you’re a model, actress, and TV personality.  Is there one you find more creatively full filling than the other?

JJ:  Ha good one! Honestly I love it all. They are all creative outlets that lift my spirits, but it seems lately I’m having more success with doing the TV gigs because it’ ongoing, it’s free to watch, and been getting noticed more. With the TV horror hosting we’re keeping a tradition alive, and people remember the classic great hosts they would watch as kids, gives ya that nostalgic familiar fuzzy feeling.

MU: Now you seem to have a split personality, the other one being someone named Janet Decay.  Care to let her speak and tell her story?

JJ:  Oh my, yes on top of growing up as a shy nerd I also have identity issues:) Janet Decay, my character originally started in 2010 when I created a mummy costume for a local zombie walk because mummies are way old school, the original cursed undead, but back then she didn’t have a name and I didn’t give her one until 2012 when I was writing movie reviews for a friends’ site, but that gig fell south and I don’t write for them anymore, although I wish them the best.
Anyways Decay’s back story, yeah. She was a silent film actress in California that was involved in occult and morbid things. She would take on film rolls that other actresses turned down and was trying to work her way up. On the set of a Cleopatra film she was supposed to climb out of a sarcophagus and haunt Cleopatra as a mummy, but other actors conspired against her and Decay was sealed up in the sarcophagus, but before she took her last breath, she cursed the whole cast and crew. Shortly after that,one by one there were people dying of mysterious illnesses and the studio was shut down.

Fast forward about a hundred years, antique dealers and collectors raid the old studio and awake Decay, after coming back from the dead she realized zombies and dead things were popular and even the undead needed jobs so DMK Productions hired her as the new Daughter of the Ghoul hostess.
So I guess you could say Decay’s after life is doing better than her old one. She’s been spotted at horror conventions also.
942556_474998105904776_1639014264_n

MU:  There have been numerous debates on the Scream Queen title and if it benefits someone or hurts their career or whether or not it’s degrading, the list goes on.  Now being that you were the 2012 Winner of the Scream Queen Competition at Horror Hotel Film Festival and Convention, what are your views on being called a Scream Queen and some of the debates surrounding it?

JJ:  Well I must say, The Scream Queen title may be the only thing I win, and it was an honor and felt really awesome to earn it. There’s a cult following in the horror community and the fandom is huge so I will always appreciate fans and supporters, but I do feel like it can put a hindrance on a career especially if you’d like to work in other genre’s the casting directors and talent agencies only see you as that scream queen spooky chick and I’ve been turned down because of that stereotype and my overall weird look I suppose. Even when I try to look “normal” maybe I still give off a strange aura,lol.
So, I’m hoping to continue working with the Indie horror community, and stay where I feel most welcome, but I accept almost all offers from all genres.

MU:   I asked this question in previous interviews, but I’m interested getting others’ viewpoints on it as well. The mainstream media tends to saturate us with the stories of “overnight successes” with all the reality tv ‘stars,’ American Idols, and the ‘cinderella stories’ of how “so and so became an overnight sensation in a matter of five minutes.” Would you say that such articles and stories tend to give (especially) young people trying to break into the industry a sort of false hope and distorted view as to how the industry really works?

JJ: Oh most likely, young people will see those horrible reality shows and think they can be overnight stars when in all honesty you have a better chance of being struck by lightning. Those reality shows are all scripted anyways and some of them are unbearable, it’s like an endurance run to try to watch one beginning to end. What makes me really bothered by these bad shows is that most of these people have no talent and it’s all about image, and you know in another few years no one will care about a “snooki” or a” hunny boo boo”, but a hundred years later people still know who Bela Lugosi and Greta Garbo are.

 418789_434605226619814_419122500_n

MU: You are also into cosplay, video games, and all kinds of other cool nerd activities.  Do you prefer the old school games (atari, nintendo) or the newer things that are out now?

JJ: The past few years I’ve been very picky with what new video games I buy because the new ones just aren’t as good. I have an Xbox 360 but never sign in to live or really spend much time playing it. HD graphics don’t really matter if the game is all dark and drab and all them are first person shooters that look the same. I’ve been big on hand held gaming like Nintendo 3DS, old school gameboy, and of course the classics like Atari, N 64,Sega Saturn, etc. I find myself going back and trying to beat the games I couldn’t finish as a kid. The hubby and I do video game and arcade game nights with friends. Beer and retro gaming it’s always a win.

 

MU: What’s coming up for you?  Plug away here!

JJ: Ha Ha! Okay. Well you can watch the Daughter of The Ghoul Show from anywhere now on these cool sites:
http://bat.pegcentral.com( under the daughter of the ghoul tab)
http://my.pegcentral.com(under the daughter of the ghoul tab)
http://www.indiehorror.tv
http://www.freeundergroundtv.com

I’m also hoping that Revenge of the Spacemen will be done soon, and am working on a few other film projects but it’s still kinda secret at the moment. There’s also more photo shoots lined up.
My website was taken down recently but you can find me on these sites:
www.imdb.me/JanetJay
www.facebook.com/JanetDecay
www.modelmayhem.com/JanetJay
http://www.janet-jay.tumblr.com/
Thanks again Tiffany!

headshotjj

4470cropped

Interview with Michael Johnson of Faux Pas Films

1
My first encounter with Michael Johnson and Faux Pas Films was being asked to do a cool little scene in their film, “Cyclical Effect” (and have one or two of the songs from my album featured in the film as well).  Well, I enjoy what these guys are doing so much that I wanted to interview them and see what they’re about, what makes them tick, etc.  So read on and see what these guys are up to!  And check out “Cyclical Effect” currently available for pre-order on DVD!
Faux Pas 1
MU:  Well first, how did Faux Pas come into existence?
MJ: Faux Pas Films came into being in the literal sense circa 2007 when I had caught the filming bug by working on a couple small projects and had begun going to the local horror conventions. I saw there that even with no budget or experience, people were still making their dreams happen. It was inspiring. So already being a long time writer of poetry, lyrics, and short stories, I wrote a couple of screenplays and set out to make them a reality.
But honestly, the germ of creating began as a kid with my love for all things horror and macabre. Watching The Exorcist, The Shining,  Elvira, and old black & white sci-fi films really fueled my imagination. It just never occurred to me that I could make my own films, until 2007 when I set out to do just that.
MU:  For those not familiar with it yet, tell us a little about your newest effort, “Cyclical Effect.”
MJ:  “Cyclical Effect” is a drama/horror film that really is the meld of four different ideas together. It is by far my most personal film to date. It was a long road for this labor of love, having starting outlining it at the end of 2011. It’s the story of Ian that goes through a downward spiral as he loses control of everything solid in his life. He must reinvent himself and tries to find a perfect match on a dating website but all the while a killer preys on him and his friends. The drama aspect is about triumph or tragedy in the face of adversity, the story of what it take to get back on track after hitting rock bottom. The horror aspect is a costumed killer stalking the victims. Come on, who doesn’t love a costumed killer, right? The cast boasts a number of indie horror veterans, from Russ Croley, Shannon Sylvia, Michelle Tomlinson, Melantha Blackthorne, Bianca Barnett, Lilith Stabs, Andrea Collins, Dawn Lyn, Kayla Perkins, Donald Farmer, Shauna Tackett, and yep, even a nice little cameo by Tiffany Apan.
MU:  What are some challenges you guys faced in filmmaking (“Cyclical Effect” or others)?
MJ:  Always there are obstacles you have to overcome on set with each film. For Cyclical, the biggest challenge was trying to finish everything. I moved from Nashville, TN to Chicago, IL halfway during production so it pushed filming back a couple months until I could get back in town. Extreme weather has been a problem in making many of our films. Whether too cold (like in “Brimstone” and “Killer Shorts”) or too hot (“The Killer’s Meow”), we always find ourselves out in the middle of nowhere filming at these times.
Faux Pas 2
MU:  Any odd, hilarious, or horror (pun not intended) stories on set?
MJ:  The hours are long, the conditions aren’t great, but at the end of the day we have a lot of laughs onset. I always include an outtake reel on the DVDs because it’s fun to revisit the goofs on set. Half the cast were scared to death to film in the woods in the dead of night for “Brimstone”. The story was how the woods were cursed and it created a creepy atmosphere. The biggest horror story we ever had occurred on that film when the small town local cops mistook our “gothed out” actors as criminals and had the “you better get out of town” mentality. Another horror story happened filming “The Killer’s Meow” at an abandoned house when it was so hot that my sweat went into the camera and halted production for two hours. Behind the scenes you can always find funny moments. One of which was when I was trying to film while running down stairs in “The Last Rendezvous” and fell on my ass. Laughter ensued thereafter.
MU:  I’ve asked a few people this question, but I’m interested in getting different viewpoints on this question.  The mainstream media tends to saturate us with the stories of “overnight successes” with all the reality tv ‘stars,’ American Idols, and the ‘cinderella stories’ of how “so and so became an overnight sensation in a matter of five minutes.” Would you say that such articles and stories tend to give (especially) young people trying to break into the industry a sort of false hope and distorted view as to how the industry really works?
MJ:  I’d say it’s a very distorted view to aim for such a goal. It could happen, for sure. We’ve seen many cases of virals exploding on the web but the chances of that happening are probably less than getting struck by lightning. Many of those stories are falsified anyway as it took hard work and long hours for many of the “overnight sensations” to actually find their break. I’m not saying a lot of “fame” doesn’t come from being at the right place at the right time, who you know, and what’s trending, because it does. If you are trying to be yourself and find your voice, generally it’s going to take some time to craft your art and get to where you need to be. I learn more with every film I make and I still have much to learn. It’s an evolution for me. I knew from the start it would be a gradual advance and I haven’t been disappointed yet. My advice is to just do what you love and don’t give up if you don’t see the grand rewards right away. Keep chasing those pesky dreams and they’ll eventually stop to rest and you can nab ’em.
MU:  So when you guys aren’t making films, what do you like to do in your free time?
MJ:  I am also a freelance videographer and other than that I try to spend time helping other local filmmakers make their films. It’s always good to have a film community willing to help each other out. I am of course an avid fan of film (especially the horror genre), devouring as much as I can, both mainstream and indie. Other than that, reading and spending time with the family takes up the rest of my time.
MU:  And finally, what’s coming up for Faux Pas Films?
MJ:  We are currently in production of our newest film “Ovulation” which stars Lynn Lowry, Mandi Johnson, Chelsey Garner, and Willy Adkins. The story is about Azura, a woman who isn’t so young anymore and she is obsessed with becoming a mother. Driven passionately by her nagging mother and competitive sister, she is meticulously monitoring her ovulation cycle to try and conceive with her apathetic boyfriend. After month of trying, her obsession is rapidly growing worse. When she finally reaches her breaking point and finds out a hidden secret, she sees nothing but red. This is a dramatic tale of a woman’s need to procreate taken to horrific levels. Find out more about the film at facebook.com/ovulationmovie
Find more of Faux Pas Films at the following links:
And definitely check out “Cyclical Effect”!
Cyclical DVD

Author, Christine Soltis on RECLUSIVE 2038

1

Author and writer, Christine Soltis is back with us to talk about her latest book release, Reclusive 2038.  Read on for a rather fascinating interview on how the futuristic dystopian novel came to be.  Be sure to also check out the links provided in the interview and pick up a physical copy or digital download of the novel. 

Re-done Reclusive gray cover final

 

MU: So first, tell us a little about what Reclusive 2038 is about.

CS: Reclusive 2038 is a novel that is set in a kind of hopeless future world where the past mistakes of humanity have led to near destruction of the Earth. From the overuse of resources, to a growing population competing for potable water supplies, on to destruction of protective ozone from air pollution emissions, along with a heightened global temperature and sea level rise, all of these real life issues have led everyone into a reclusive society. People live in gated “safe communities” and are no longer allowed outside during certain times of the day; they learn to fear the sun and are not able to drive. They are called “zoo animals” because they stay inside those gated communities where they belief they are “safe.” On the other hand, the wealthy ones, known as the Elitists, roam free and are considered to be ungrateful and reckless. They took over the remainder of society and industry when the world changed but there are less of them in the actual worldly population. The other group that roams free is a rebel group known as the Renegades. As you can probably guess by the name, they are not very nice people; essentially they are thieves and scavengers.

 

MU: What was the inspiration behind the plot, characters, and setting of the story?

CS: Well, I have a great love for dystopian fiction such as Brave New World, 1984 and so forth (as there are dedications to these tales within the story). That was my first influence and I always knew I would write my own version of a future we never wanted. I also had my first phase of really reading more of science in 2008, particularly that which dealt with Earth sciences and environmentalism. As I read and learned more and more about our precious planet, I would also listen to the sounds of storms outside that were like no other. Wanting to know more about how the cycles of Earth worked, I went back to school for my Masters of Science in Environmental Studies. This greater form of education helped really cement some parts of the book. Also, when I drove out to California last summer, I really noticed the dried out brown palm trees, fires and saw endless dead, dry desert. This was inspiring, yet bothersome. Then you think about desertification in sub-Sharan Africa and how reckless we have been with disasters such as oil spills, which cover our wildlife in oil, along with the destruction of a great many species…it all comes together quite easily.

The characters themselves though are based on my observations of the evolution of humankind. If you take a look around these days, technology makes it very easy for us to become reclusive. When we are hanging out with our friends, we have our heads in our phones. When we are at home, we are socializing in a way that is easier for us than talking face to face- essentially, we communicate through the computer. Many days, we want to be left alone, and more and more people in society choose not to date or marry; percentages of women staying single are on the rise. Everything about that character type is a parallel to the future of “us.” When it comes to the Elitists, well, they are the celebrities that we love to mock but can’t get enough of. These fascinate us but we are taught to resent them. And then those damn Renegades, well they are everywhere threatening to take away what little we have. They are the scam artists and thieves that you encounter.

 

MU: Do you have a favorite or least favorite character? Is there a character in the story that you relate to?

CS: Truly, I love most of my characters, if not all. I might even become a little sentimental when something happens to one of them (even though I wrote it that way). While I look at evolutionary trends to create the character, each one I write is not based on anyone I know. Instead, it comes directly from the imagination; I don’t borrow the actual characters from real life. But I can definitely relate to the three main characters:

Linda is reclusive, dull and likes to be alone. She is so filled with fear that change is terribly painful for her. Most people have this side to them, just in differing percentages.

Madeline is young, wild and obnoxious and after a life of pain and only the comforts of wealth, she remains conflicted. She can be sweet, rude, headstrong or just plain agitating.

Her father, Edward, is stern and work-oriented…but the big guy clearly has a great number of walls in front of his secret heart of gold. He’s that guy who can make any career blossom but nothing else, especially not his family life.

If there was a least favorite character, it would be the CONTROLLER, whose name I intentionally put in all caps to make it a bit different and really drive home the point of what his job is with The Company. He is manipulation at its best. Several other characters such as Dr. Cauhn were intentionally named so, as if to say he is a con. Dr. Mentil is another one, because quite frankly, in our current society, a doctor who cyber-simulates trauma to children in order to show them why the world is this future way, would be considered downright mental.

facebook_-1976696717

 

MU:  Was there any specific creative process you went through in creating Reclusive 2038?

CS: Writing Reclusive 2038 was similar to when I have written other novels. Idea inception starts with an image or a conversation, maybe even a night of camping. Ideas hits artists like a tidal wave and sometimes even a tsunami though, so a filtering process must be enforced. The idea that repeats itself in my head the most tends to be the one that wins and is written first. Usually, I will jot down some notes and once I decide to start, I just go with it. My self-imposed standard is that a first draft should never take longer than three weeks to complete (with a full time job on the side). But these are just my self-imposed rules and every writer is different. I like to push my limits, as I once wrote a novella in three days as a challenge for myself (this one will be coming soon).

MU: Where do you do most of your creative imagining?

CS: Interestingly, I do it everywhere. I think I’m like a big kid sometimes who still holds onto her imagination and would love it if there truly was a world full of fairies and unicorns that we could physically escape to sometimes. While at work, I might make up a funny story about someone who looks like an assassin and tell others just to give them a laugh. I like to say that I imagine people’s lives are more exciting than they are in real life. When a writer creates a character, they give life to a new person, draw them up a home, a conflict and even love sometimes. My imagination stays with me at all times. If I see something I want, like a new scarf, I might joke that the damn thing came alive like a snake and wrapped itself around my head because It thought I was Medusa. At that point, I must have felt so bad for the poor, confused scarf that I took it home with me. Those stories are usually just for joking and they are so ludicrous that I don’t expect the listener to believe me. I’m far more serious with my literature, but believe any exercise of the imagination is one that is well worth it.

Everything about Earth is inspiring too; I love the ways the trees look outside on a barren, wintry day. The heat of the sun can inspire life or fear. Just keeping my imagination with me at all times is most exciting, no matter what. I certainly do this everywhere, whether it’s being silly or serious.

MU: What message (if any), would you hope people would take away from Reclusive 2038?

CS: We only have one Earth, so it is important to respect it. The interesting part is if you look at the stories of Easter Island, you will see a place that was devastated of resources. The people allegedly resorted to cannibalism to survive. They had no way off the island to find resources. We have just one Earth; where will we go if we destroy her?

People love vacation, they love the beaches and seeing new sights but then they throw cigarette butts on the ground when there is an ash tray two feet away, they pollute, they over-log. We already have ozone action days during the summer where warnings go out to elderly and those with breathing problems to stay out of the heat. I could go on and on about this, but, in short, I love and appreciate Earth and others should too. Don’t turn a blind eye to the most important thing that supports you. Without Earth, we’re nothing. *Side note: Unless they colonize space.*

 

MU: Where would people be able to find Reclusive 2038? Plug any appearance, links, etc here.

CS: Bookstore:

Eljays Used Books in Dormont, PA has several autographed copies of the book.

Events:

On Friday, March 15th and Saturday, March 16th, I will be at Horror Realm with Reclusive 2038.

Websites:

Reclusive 2038 on amazon.com

reclusive2038@gmail.com

http://darkwriters.tripod.com

Thank you again, Tiffany!

Page_2-1

Nick Tallo and G. Joe Shelby of “Dawn of the Dead”

0

I recently had the chance to interview Nick Tallo and G.Joe Shelby of George Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead.” The interview took place at the Sears Zombie Thon in Allison Park, PA where we were all guests. It was amusing, to say the least, sitting next to these guys.

 

 

ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER:  Tiffany Apan is an award winning and acclaimed independent recording artist along with being a stage/film actress, producer, and writer.  You can find more about her at her Official Website , Web Blog, MySpace , Twitter , and Facebook She can also be found on IMDb and her music releases on CDBaby along with iTunes, Amazon, and other digital retailers.  She also writes for the publications Rogue Cinema and Horrornews.netShe is also responsible for starting up the Music’s Underworld Webzine .

Ted Parker: Author, Musician, Actor

1

I first heard of Ted Parker when I was sent a copy of his anthology, “Freakshow” to review for the online publication, Horrornews.net .  I really loved the whole concept of the book and I, of course, also thought it was cool that he was also a musician in the band, BUGbRAIN and a fellow Stephen King fan.  Read on to find out more and pick up a copy of “Freakshow”!

 

 

MU:  First, tell us a little about yourself.  We know you are an actor, musician, and now author.  How did you come to be involved in the entertainment world?  Was it something you always wanted to work toward or was it something you began doing more recently?

TP: I always wanted to be an entertainer. I’ve watched so much TV and heard so much metal since forever ago that it all stuck with me. I did a school play and joined a metal band called, believe it or not, Throbbing Member. None of my ambitions went anywhere and I wound up joining the Army for three years. I got back into entertainment around 2001 when I did some indie horror flicks nobody’s heard of up in Tennessee. I came back to Georgia in 2002, did some more indie films including the title role for “Jesus H. Zombie” which can be seen on Youtube, and joined my current band bUGbRAIN.

MU:  How did your book “Freakshow” come into fruition?

TP: Back in 2001, I got a note from a writing school based in Connecticut asking me to try them out. I agreed to be a student and mailed my fees and writing assignments back up to them. A lot of the stories in “Freakshow” were the school’s assignments. They wanted me to write something like a how-to-make-something story, and what they got was a how-to-make-human-pizza story called “Pizza Boy.” More abominations followed over the years , but I’m pretty sure the instructors have since forgiven me. Thing was, I wasn’t too keen on how to actually publish them by submitting them to magazines, so I came up with the big idea of collecting my writing assignments – and some other stories – and publishing them myself.

Some time ago, I got into studying about the Grand Guignol, a theatre in France which specialized in grotesque plays from 1897 until 1962. I decided that was what I wanted “Freakshow” to be like, but I wanted more of a carnival look instead of a theatre look. Then I figured, what better than a tent show at a carnival reminiscent of the Grand Guignol? My short stories could be the plays – they were delightfully horrific enough. The reader would enter the theatre/tent show at the prologue, go through the eleven stories/theatre plays, and then leave at the end of the show during the epilogue. Personally, I thought that was a neat idea. I’m just hoping the public will catch on. The Grand Guignol is celebrated to this day by various filmmakers, rock bands, and such. “Freakshow” is my own contribution to its legend.

MU:  Who or what were some of your influences when writing the book?

TP: I have to say Stephen King. I’ve read so many of his books that his prose stuck with me and practically became my own prose. Aside from the writing school, he pretty much taught me how to write.

MU:  What would you say has been the most challenging for you so far as an independent artist?

TP: Success eludes me to this day. Still working on it.

MU:  Now I’ve asked a couple people this question, but I’m always interested in getting different perspectives on this.  The mainstream media tends to saturate us with the stories of “overnight successes” with all the reality tv ‘stars,’ American Idols, and the ‘cinderella stories’ of how “so and so became an overnight sensation in a matter of five minutes.” Would you say that such articles and stories tend to give (especially) young people trying to break into the industry a sort of false hope and distorted view as to how the industry really works?

TP: What hurts most about such things is that people think just because it worked for Sylvester Stallone way back when that it’ll work for them, too. That theory has its avatar and now it just has wanna-bes. Fucking pathetic! I’d just tell those hopeful young people to keep doing what they’re doing, try hard, and for God’s sake, think for themselves! Ignore most of the “scouts” who really just want money and try it your way first. Ever hear of the interweb and Youtube?

MU:  Now since the webzine is called Music’s Underworld, I have to ask you to tell us a little about your music and your band, bUGbRAIN.

TP:  Ah, but how can you not? BUGbRAIN is a modern rock band consisting of myself on bass guitar, my brother Bugsy on guitar, and singer Brian Abraham also on guitar. We have a new drummer now named Steve Sota who is awesome! The CD is called “Flashback Moon” and people can hear pieces of it on Reverbnation.com. I don’t really know how to describe the music, it’s that good.

MU:  So what’s next for you?  Plug away here!:)

TP:  Provided we don’t all perish this December 21st, I plan on making another CD with bUGbRAIN and hopefully another book. I’m on the first draft for a zombie novel. Everybody loves zombies. Who knows what 2013 will do to us all if it’s allowed to exist? God help us all!😛

 

Check out my review on “Freakshow” at Horrornews.net and pick it up at Amazon!  You won’t be disappointed. :)

 

ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER:  Tiffany Apan is an award winning and acclaimed independent recording artist along with being a stage/film actress, producer, and writer.  You can find more about her at her Official Website , Web Blog, MySpace , Twitter , and Facebook She can also be found on IMDb and her music releases on CDBaby along with iTunes, Amazon, and other digital retailers.  She also writes for the publications Rogue Cinema and Horrornews.netShe is also responsible for starting up the Music’s Underworld Webzine .

Actress, Rochelle Davis

0
A little over a week ago at Horror Realm Convention in Pittsburgh, PA I ended up having my table next to the table of actress, Rochelle Davis best known for the role of ‘Sarah’ in the 1994  film “The Crow” starring Brandon Lee.  As a longtime fan of the film, it was a huge honor to be able to sit and talk to her at the convention and was thrilled when she agreed to do an interview for the webzine.  In addition to being a talented actress, she is also an inspiration to those who have gone or may be currently going through some hardships.  Read on and check out her website for more.
MU: I’d like to open up by saying that I’m a huge, longtime fan of “The Crow.”  I’ve been on your web site and you have been through a lot  since the making of “The Crow”, but we’ll start with the basics.  First, tell us a little about yourself and background.


RD: I am 32 a mother of one child who is 9, I love movies and music. I like to criticize movies and music and TV shows. I also write poetry and make Art, such as collages. I consider myself to be a pretty upbeat fun person. 

MU: What sort of audition process did you go through for “The Crow” and how did you find out about your landing the role?


RD: I went through 4 months of auditioning up against about 1500 girls. I got numerous call backs and then one day I was told by my agent that I was hired and would be going to North Carolina to film for 3-4 Months.



MU: I’m sure there were many amazing and memorable moments from the set; but are there any that really stand out for you?


RD:  There is one a fan reminded me of recently. Brandon hated dogs so I joked with him about buying him a dog for his wedding present and he said That’s fine I’ll just “Wok” it. It was hilarious 

 

MU:  One thing I love is how open and honest you are on your web site and bio as many actors and actresses would gloss over hardships in order to give the illusion of ‘perfection.’  What would you say has gotten you through the tough times and keeps you motivated today?


RD:  It’s many things. I am a naturally strong woman, they say women are like tea bags. You don’t know how strong they are until you put them in hot water. I firmly believe that. Sometimes it’s just the thought of my son that gets me through it and sometimes it’s just realizing that we are all humans and we are only dished out what we can handle from the universe.



MU:  What are your views on the state of the entertainment industry right now (eg. reality TV, auto tuned voices in today’s music, etc) and does it differ in any way from when you were working on “The Crow”?


RD:  Oh very much so. I think reality TV is a joke and makes most people look stupid or just exposes their weaknesses. I can’t stand that someone’s voice can sound great on CD and then you hear them live and they are terrible, or they lip sink to the CD which is totally cheating in my book. Making the crow was a lot of raw emotions involved. The director Alex was very comfortable and natural and asked us to be the same. It was truly an amazing experience. 



MU:  I also see that you are into doing photography, writing poetry, and making music.  What inspires you to make your art and are there plans for things like photography books, CDs, and the like?


RD: I am learning more about photography, piano, voice and I love to write, I have a screen play idea that I want to write and I am also thinking of writing a book about my life including The Crow and all my hardships I was going to call it “It can’t rain all the time” 



MU:  Finally, will we be seeing any more acting from you in the future?  What’s next for Rochelle Davis?



RD:  Not sure. I am working on getting representation now an then I will see where that takes me . For now I am just being me:)
Check out and learn more about Rochelle at the following sites:
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER:  Tiffany Apan is an award winning and acclaimed independent recording artist along with being a stage/film actress, producer, and writer.  You can find more about her at her Official Website , Web Blog, MySpace , Twitter , and Facebook She can also be found on IMDb and her music releases on CDBaby along with iTunes, Amazon, and other digital retailers.  She also writes for the publications Rogue Cinema and Horrornews.netShe is also responsible for starting up the Music’s Underworld Webzine .