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An Interview with Brantley J. Brown, Writer of Love Me Not

by Mike Haberfelner

March 2019

Films written by Brantley J. Brown on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Love Me Not - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Love Me Not is, as weird as it sounds, a love story... but with a twist. It's about the lengths one girl, Jenny, will take to steal the heart of another...  literally. I guess that's my morbid take on it, hehehe.

 

Now how did the project come into being in the first place?

 

The script for Love Me Not was born out of my general dislike of the current state of dating in our culture. Everything has been reduced to finding love on a computer or phone screen, and I think that human interaction has diminished. In its own way, that is a horror story in and of itself.

 

Is Love Me Not in any whichever abstract way based on relationships you've had gown awry, and some of your worst St. Valentine's Day dates?

 

To say that I drew from personal experience when I wrote Love Me Not would be an understatment! Everything that Jenny says to Brad, in the film, is something that I have thought more than once.

The only truly bad Valentine's date that I've ever had, was that I was given strep throat by someone after a simple kiss at the end of the night. That was pretty terrible, but it didn't adversely inspire this film.

 

(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Love Me Not?

 

One of my biggest inspirations for writing the dinner scene actually came from Rebecca Gayheart's perfomance in the climax of Urban Legend. Remember that one? She was pretty freaking deranged, and I wanted to emulate that kind of pyshosic with Jenny.

 

I'm sure you'll agree when I say that Jenny isn't exactly the nicest of persons - but to what degree could you identify with her and her actions anyhow?

 

Honestly, I've always said that I don't think of Jenny as a villain. No, I wouldn't go to the lengths that she did, but I sympathize with what she's been through. I've been through much of the same.

 

At least for me, Love Me Not has a darkly humourous note to it - would you at all agree, and if so, could you talk about the film's brand of comedy for a bit?

 

I definitely think that the film has a humorous tone lying just underneath the surface, clawing up through the dirt. It's present in the scipt, but it really comes through in the film. Venessa Esperanza, who plays Jenny, completely jumped into that character and she was so enthusiastic in her portarayal that it was heartbreaking and comical at the same time to watch her performance. To me, the funny part about it is that Jenny acts as if everything she's done is completely normal, yet is seemingly unaware that what she's doing is wrong.

 

What can you tell us about Love Me Not's approach to horror?

 

With our last Horror House Media film, Stalk, I went for a very by-the-numbers slasher style in the script. It was very reminiscent of Halloween. With Love Me Not, I wanted the horror to come out of something much more relatable and real. Sometimes, it's the way we treat other people every day that is most horrifying.

 

Do talk about Love Me Not's director Michael Coulombe [Michael Coulombe interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like? And since this isn't the first time you've worked together, what can you tell us about your previous films, and how did you first meet even?

 

Working with Michael was and is always an amazing experience. As a director, he works very closeley with me to try and honor my original vision. When he feels like something's not working, he's upfront and honest about it, and we work very well together to try and sort the issue out. I think that's great. A lot of times, writers don't have much input once filming begins. As a writer, I feel very fortunate.

 

To what extent were you involved in the actual production of Love Me Not, and what can you tell us about the shoot as such?

 

With Love Me Not, I took on a lot of responsibilites past the writing of the script. I did costume design, makeup fx, and was even one of the dead bodies, as was my fiancé. I was the one that Jenny dropped on the floor. Every drop was real, by the way. No padding on the floor. I decided that if I was dead, I needed to be commited! After what seemed like 20 times of doing that, I was pretty sore. LOL. The shoot happened in one night at a house in Bakersfield, CA. It was so much fun. There was a sort of energy that permeated the entire shoot. This filming definitely had a great feel to it.

 

The $64 question of course, where can Love Me Not be seen?

 

Currently, you can watch Love Me Not on the Horror House Media YouTube channel. https://youtu.be/KQ8zyvQnLwc

Hopefully, it will be also be available on BitMovio soon, as well as Soundbite and Stalk. We're still working out the details on that front.

 

Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Love Me Not?

 

The audience reaction that we've gotten has been overwhelming, to say the least. Many people have personally told me that this is their favorite Horror House Media film, so far. Writer/director Jeffrey Reddick, creator of Final Destination, loved the film and had great things to say about it. He found it relatable. We also received a great quote from Oscar-nominated actress Sally Kirkland. She found the film to be very scary and humorous. We've had so many great reviews come out since the film was released. It's been amazing.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

There are plans for many more short films to oome from Horror House Media. I've already gotten several other short scripts written. We're currently deciding what our next production will be.

In addition to that, I've just found out this week that four feature length screenplays of mine (Chuckles, Meet The Hatchets, The Station, and Autumn Falls) have been greenlit. I'm still processing the news, but I'm so excited!

 

What got you into screenwriting to begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

I started writing screenplays, to be specific, when I was very young. I was about 12. I remember watching Halloween : The Curse of Michael Myers, written by Daniel Farrands, when it was first released in 1995, and for some reason that film really struck a chord with me. I watched that film over and over again when it came out on home video and I decided to write a sequel to it. I read as many screenplays that had managed to pop up online (not many back in those days) and I started to teach myself the proper way to write a script.

Funny enough, my idea for the next Halloween involved Laurie Strode reappearing after being in hiding. Mind you, this was three years before Halloween H20 came out. Once I saw it, I thought that I must really have a knack for writing, because I damn near had already written the film. LOL. I've been writing ever since.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Love Me Not?

 

Prior to Love Me Not, I wrote the script for the short film, Stalk. I also cowrote, with Michael Coulombe, the script for the short film Soundbite. I also wrote, with Michael, a feature length script called Del Obispo Road: A Ghost Story, which was slated for a summer 2019 release, but a business deal fell through, as happens sometimes.

Funny enough, while I officially call myself a horror writer, I have cowritten three Christmas films. LOL. I find that very funny. Definitley not my genre of choice, but I'm very thankful to have had the chance to work on them.

 

How would you describe yourself as a writer?

 

Well, Michael Coulombe calls me a beast! LOL. I suppose he's not wrong, though I don't really think I'm anything special. I'm just lucky to get a chance to do something I love. 

When I'm writing, I get so many ideas and I can't rest until I get them out of my head. It's like exorcising demons. I am totally consumed by my stories until they are fully realized.

As a writer, everything that I write comes directly from what I experience and the people I know. I like to create complex, believable characters. The situations might be heightened, as is often the case in horror films, but I want the characters to be believable.

 

Writers, filmmakers, whoever else who inspire you?

 

I have so many inspirations! Daniel Farrands, Jeffrey Reddick, John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, Wes Craven, Stephen King, Don Mancini, Michael Coulombe [Michael Coulombe interview - click here] ... so so many great filmmakers. In one way or another, they all have at one point and continue to inspire the work that I do.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

I absoulutey LOVE John Carpenter's Halloween! It's probably my favorite horror film. Right up there would be the original Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Child's Play. The classics of horror!

Just to throw a curveball in there, I am also a huge fan of The Wizard of Oz.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

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While I do find the original to be ingenious, I don't care much for the Saw films. I'm not big on torture porn. I can't say that I really love the Hostel films, either, though I do respect their place in the horror community.

 

Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

facebook.com/brantley.brown.5

Instagram: BrantleyJBrown

Twiter: @brown_brantley

Horror House Media: horrorhousemedia.wordpress.com

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

I think you covered all the bases!

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

Thank you!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
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... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

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