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An Interview with Chase Michael Pallante, Director of Defarious

by Mike Haberfelner

May 2017

Films directed by Chase Michael Pallante on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Defarious - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Defarious is about our own struggles of personal inner conflicts with hidden fears and our suppressed emotions from childhood nightmares. This particular character's journey of torment with sleep paralysis and how her night terrors blur her reality of what is truth and what is not.

 

You've conceived the story of Defarious together with Zay Rodriguez - so do talk about him, what was your collaboration like, and who came up with the first idea even?

 

Our collaboration came together after Zay Rodriguez saw a Halloween photo shoot I created back in 2014 as my own rendition of a clown. I conjured up ideas while I was editing the images after the shoot. We spoke together after working on a previous project together that my production company has distributed entitled ARiSEN which is available on DVD, digital download and rent at www.arisenthemovie.com. We agreed that it would be a great idea for the world to experience a topic about what most individuals choose to keep as taboo. From there we stemmed together an outline of a plot and theme. I created a full outline and then condensed it down into a short for budget purposes. That original short turned into a two piece segment so this is only the first half of it. The teaser of our idea and to see how people would react, relate and enjoy it. We left questions open to interruption for the audience and with how reviews and overall success of the first half of the project, I will decide if I proceed with the second half of the short or if it gets picked up financially for a feature film.

 

Defarious in many ways follows the dynamics of a slasher movie setpiece - so is that a genre at all dear to you, and some of your genre favourites?

 

I have always had a love for horror and slasher films growing up in the 80's and 90's; Friday the 13th, Halloween, Candyman, The Exorcist, Scream. I enjoyed the simplicity of the genre and what really scares us instead of using quick fixes of basic scares because of time constraints from studios, budget restrictions, lack of premium craftsmanship of development and writing. I wanted to go back to what really scares people, what a lot of people can relate with that is a taboo subject such as sleep paralysis and night terrors. Most individuals are frightened to even mention their conditions let alone admitting it to themselves or wanting to. We all have hidden fears from our past we choose to lock away and some people experiences them on different levels and various time frames and chapters in their lives.

 

(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Defarious?

 

I was inspired to finally sit down and write Defarious because the timing was right. After all the years of keeping what I had experienced as a kid; shadows moving, red eyes, the feeling of always being watched, scratches on my body from waking up in the middle of the night, ghostly figures in the dark. I put together a story and shortened it down to a teaser short film to see how people would react to it.

 

Do talk about your movie's approach to horror for a bit!

 

The approach I decided to go with for Defarious was a dark and cold world. An atmosphere void of comfort and a complete sense of dread. I wanted to go back to the good ole days of what actually scared me as a kid like empty neighborhood scenes in Halloween, the desolate woods of Friday the 13th, the powerful mindset of The Exorcist, and the creative vision of Scream.

 

You of course also have to talk about your villain's creepy mask, and to what extent were you involved in its design?

 

The villain in the film is a figure of our imagination, of what scares you the most. A figure of non-existence but lays inside the deepest corners of our minds. There were no masks used in production. I went through a lengthly pre production stage for this film. Eight months consistently with dealing with makeup tests on myself with one of the makeup artists until we created a base for what we wanted to achieve. Once we cast the actor we went through long periods of makeup tests and changes to come up with the final product you see in the film. All the instructions were passed along to our special effects makeup artist and she added her own flavor and style to it with great technique on set. The clown is in full special effects makeup that took over two hours to apply each day on set.

 

What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?

 

My directorial approach to my story was to intensely get my cast into the state of mind I needed them to go to. The dark and deep road of confusion, fear, isolation and dread. Along with several of my crew members as well during the pre-production stages so they themselves were well equipped with the style and look I was going to attain. I had everyone do extensive research on the subject matter with various books, movies, clips, articles, speaking with surviving victims and experiential exercises.

 

Do talk about your cast, and why exactly these people?

 

The casting progress is never easy. The constant auditions, casting calls, video submissions, all take time and you have to be very particular with the actors you choose for the roles. The first person cast was Jason Torres. He was very excited to play a villain and discover his dark and violent side. Next was the main lead which went through several actresses because of scheduling conflicts until I cast Janet Miranda. Months of rehearsals and preparing her to dive into the world of her character. Afterwards was Shanae Christine Harris, who plays the main lead's friend talking on the phone and Sonia Sierra playing the main characters mother.

 

A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

I will try and keep this as short as possible. Principal photography was scheduled for four days with a strenuous 14 to 20 hours each day. Call times for cast and crew members began at 2:00pm, started filming once the sun went down, wrapped up filming around 6:30am right before the sun rose and clearing the set each day no later than 10:00am to then do it all over again the next day. The on set atmosphere was fast-paced with all the crew working around the clock with little sleep and a lot of coffee. I give them all a huge round of applause and gratitude for all their hard work and dedication.

 

The $64-question of course, where can your movie be seen?

 

For 2017 the movie is running through the film festival circuits. I am setting up distribution of streaming the film through my production company beginning in 2018. For more information go to www.DEFARIOUS.com.

 

Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Defarious?

 

“THE PERFECT HOMAGE TO CLASSIC HORROR FILMS FROM THE 80’s AND 90’s.” — Lynn Marketing

“A NEW STYLE OF HORROR. IT CHANGES YOUR PERCEPTION OF FEAR.” — The Jackson Review

“THE SCARIEST SHORT FILM OF THE YEAR!” — Melaine Johnson

“A NOTEWORTHY INDIE SHORT HORROR FILM. IT SHOULD NOT BE MISSED.” — The Level

“FINALLY A MIX OF THRILLS AND GORE. A PSYCHOLOGICAL HORROR WITH SCARES, STYLE AND SUSPENSE.” — Bloody Mag

“A SCAREFEST YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS!” — John Titter

“THE SOUND ALONE HAD ME COVERING MY EYES!” — Sarang Sharma

“IT KEPT YOU ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT FANTASTIC!” — David Paul

“VISUALLY ARRESTING AND HORRIFYING! A GREAT SHORT FILM IN THE GENRE.” — Genoveva Rossi

“ONE HELL OF A SCARY RIDE! ”— The NYC Filmers Journal

“DARK AND RELENTLESS!” — PopHorror.com

“IT’S LITERALLY YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE BROUGHT TO LIFE IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES!” — Bethany Nicole Taylor

“(THE FILM) PLAYS LIKE THE COLLABORATIVE BRAIN CHILD OF HORROR MASTERS DARIO ARGENTO, JOHN CARPENTER, AND JAMES WAN.” — awordofdreams.com

“A VISCERAL ESSENCE OF WHY PEOPLE GO TO HORROR MOVIES!” — scottmovies.com

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I have several projects in various stages of production going on at my production company. I have the feature length horror film ARiSEN in distribution that you can rent, buy on DVD and digital download at www.ARISENTHEMOVIE.com, a drama comedy in post-production that will be released at the end of this year, a supernatural web series in pre-production entitled Haunted: The Web Series, which you can find out more information at www.hauntedthewebseries.com, a short drama romance thriller entitled Black Widow in pre-production - www.blackwidowthefilm.com -, and five other concepts in development along with many scripts being sent to the studio for reviewal and to be produced. There is always so much going on at R&F Entertainment.

 

What got you into making movies in the first place?

 

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When I was a child I used to go to the movies with my father every Friday night. It was a regular hangout we made time to do. It was special and it was great and I always wanted to see my name on the big screen one day. So I decided to make it happen and make my dreams come true.

 

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

 

My production company's website is www.RANDFE.com, the films official website is www.DEFARIOUS.com, the film's official Facebook is www.facebook.com/defariousiscoming, and you can hashtag the film with #Defarious on Instagram and Twitter.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© 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 ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

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

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

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