Your movie 72 Hours - in
a few words, what is it about?
is, in the simplest terms, a woman dealing/coming to terms with the first
hours and days after the zombie apocalypse.
What were your inspirations for dreaming up 72
Hours? And was there an actual script for the movie, or was it
improvised on the spot?
was based on my very real fear (and halfway hope) of a zombie apocalypse.
I'm hoping a zombie apocalypse would wipe out all the undesirables in the
world and what's left, the rest of us would deal with because there would
be no law or authority to stop us.mBut...worthless humans wouldn't be all
we'd have to contend with. The basics we so take for granted, would become
exercises in survival. No more running to the store. Well...it would be in
a literal sense, depending on your mode of transport and what you find
when you step out of your house. I'm a zombie apocalypse prepper for sure,
but I can't help but wonder if I'm as ready as I think I am. So 72 Hours
was born out of my own real fears, worries and insecurities.
As for the film... freestyle, no script, no planning. I just sat in my
bathroom and shot it, as you accurately guessed, first on my tablet,
then switched to my phone.
Hours being a zombie movie, is that a genre you're particularly
Always have been, always will be, though I'm
seriously disillusioned with what passes for anything “zombie” today.
Reality check: If there really was a zombie
apocalypse, how well would you be prepared? And with that in mind, how
much of Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc can one find in your character in 72
I'd like to think I'm ready... but am I? I want to find out, but
there's no dress rehearsal...no do over if I'm not. That scares the hell
out of me. The me in the film is the me during a zombie apocalypse. Just a
little less tired, I hope. Ha ha!
Hours is rather unique within the zombie genre as not one single
zombie can be seen or heard - so what was the idea behind this approach?
Generally, as a rule, I detest “found footage” films because it's
obvious they're anything but. Check the credits of any of them. If
it's footage that someone was shooting on their own, there was a heck of a
lot of people involved! Everything is too fake... too Hollywood, which is
sad, because Hollywood shouldn't set the standard of what we watch. WE ,
the viewers and fans, as well as the filmmakers should be telling THEM
what we want to see. Not them telling us. So... I set out to do something
simple, something that could be any average Jane or Joe dealing with the
unthinkable. It's ironic too, because one of the first reviews I got, was
from someone claiming to support indie film and the first thing they
pointed out was my lack of, what would have been considered, Hollywood
worthy, special effects. You can't claim to support indie anything, and
want it to be so stylized that it's anything but.
Hours was filmed in one long take - so what kind of a strain did
that put on you as an actress, and how often did you re-shoot before you
got it right? And what can you tell us about the shoot as such, actually?
I've been in the acting and movie world, in one way or another, albeit
very minor, for over 20 years and I actually have worked with true indies
who didn't have cell phones, tablets, etc, to use. They used the old
fashioned, hand held cameras that used VHS tapes - yeah...showing my age.
These people truly were indie, truly had little to no budget and no way to
utilize anything but very basic special effects (think a step above
rattling a metal sheet, for thunder), so I was told very early on that my
takes HAD to be done in ONE take. If I screwed up a take, I'd better cover
it up, improvise and go on... unless I'd messed up so badly production had
to be halted. If I wanted to keep my jobs, I nailed every take, every
time, except for once and the director didn't like what I was doing with
my hands, during the take, so he wanted a retake, with my hands, still.
But that was his choice... so I was relieved. Seems harsh, but, I'm
eternally grateful because the minute I step in front of a camera, I'm
I've given presentations at conventions, I've given 'drop-of-a-hat’
media interviews, where a camera and mic were thrust in my face. Without
that harsh training, I'd never be able to do that. I can also ad lib
better than most pros... because there have been times I HAD to... my job
depended on it.
With all that said, the film was shot in two takes... first with my
tablet and then with my phone. I filmed with my tablet until the
“break” in filming where I pretend the battery or signal, gave out.
What actually happened was my dog started whining outside the bathroom
door (she used to be the co-host of my zombie movie review show, From
Zen to Zombies, so she's used to being involved in everything I do and
voiced her displeasure at not being included), so I took that opportunity
to improvise the battery/signal failure and then had to do so, again, when
a firecracker (I filmed it on the 4th of July) went off outside. I knew my
phone mic would pick it up, so, I improvised the comment about the
$64-question of course, where can 72
Hours be seen?
Right here: https://youtu.be/Vx1ZZ5gVYP0
Anything you can tell us about
audience and critical reception of 72
Very few people have “gotten” 72 Hours,
so the response has been mixed. Those free thinkers, tired of all the crap
today, love it. Those who think every film should look like it has at
least a mill Dollar budget, don't like it. I guess film fests fall into
that category, because I've received nothing but rejections. I run my own
film fest, and all I accept are off the cuff and unique films. So... I
guess we're a small group.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
am also a DJ mixologist and one of my songs is currently being used in a
short film. I can't give any details because it's still in production, but
I'm excited about that.
My newest MP3 collection is out. Neon Abyss is on Amazon,
Spotify, IheartRadio and can be heard on various stations around the
world. I'll be releasing my second collection (name's a secret until the
official release party) on September 1 of this year.
I also plan to, at some point get back behind the camera. I have one
more short to film before I take a break to focus more on my music.
what I know, your main claim to fame is as a writer - so do talk about
that aspect of your career for a bit, and about your writing in general!
Not much to tell. I was as rebellious with my writing as I am with my
filmmaking. I embraced, supported and promoted self-publishing back when
it was a career ender if you went that route. My first book, The Two,
was a Borders best seller and my subsequent books, A Man of Two
Worlds and Michael, went on to win awards... so I proved that
bias to be wrong. Now look at self-publishing. It's everywhere!
got you into filmmaking eventually, and did you receive any kind of
education on the subject?
I'm the biggest opponent of specialized education there is. Education
is a waste of time, because it strips you of any of your own creativity,
in favor of what is accepted in whatever field you enter. People always
were so shocked when they asked what college I went to for my writing
skills and I'd laugh. My teachers thought I had no talent for storytelling
because MY type of creativity wasn't acceptable. It didn't fit with
“normal” standards. Good thing I knew better! As for my films, they
are the same way... very short, very strange (I have a penchant for
macabre and creepy avant garde), and any attempts I've ever made to try
and get ANY of my works filmed (until recently) were disastrous failured.
I knew if I wanted my work filmed, I'd have to do it myself. So... I did,
thanks to technology and cell phones and tablets. Both of my first films, The
Journey and Morningstar, were shot on my tablet. 72 Hours,
tablet and phone.
What can you tell us about
your filmwork prior to 72 Hours?
My heart loves a good and creepy avant noir, so my first two films are
The Journey can be seen here: https://youtu.be/TrUUJ4kdT7o
Morningstar here: https://youtu.be/jzFIYNumKWA
I also have other microshorts up on that playlist, which is my production
company, Cafe Noir Production Studio. My other imprint for odder
projects is Destination
Desolation Productions. You can find all of my projects on
my YouTube channel.
would you describe yourself as a director?
unconventional, truly independent, truly my own personality.
writers, actors, whoever else who inspire you?
Unfortunately, none. Far too many folk in all of the above try to fit
the mold and just further what's already tried, done and tired. Sigh…
Life tends to inspire me. A stretch of road, a tree... artistic eyes come
in different guises. Too bad that is shunned rather than embraced.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Horror... though I really despise what
the horror genre has become.
... and of course, films you really
Chick flicks (gag) and anything romantic. Gag,
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Just come find me, here: www.thebohemiancelt.com
- you'll either enjoy yourself or report me to the FBI... which has been
done... twice before because of my book content.
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
Find me on Twitter... which is
where I do most of my promo, I'm @DJMistressM
Thanks for the interview!