Your upcoming movie The Krampus Carol - in a few words, what
is it about?
Years after Sarah witnesses Krampus
abduct her younger brother, she
returns to her childhood home with her husband for Christmas Eve, soon a
fight breaks out between the two and Ben murders his wife in cold blood...
That night he is visited by ancient evils from a much darker side of X-mas
Basic question, why the Krampus,
especially since this is a creature that has made it into American pop
culture only rather recently?
actually a very, very old concept and in different places around the world
it's a well-known character from folklore but here in America it wasn't
really brought to the public until the big Krampus
What's bad about that is that now all of the sudden people believe that
was the start of him as a creature but then also the Krampus
became a dime-a-dozen; I really wanted to do something new, I wanted to
make a film with the Krampus
and make him legitimately scary.
sources of inspiration when writing The Krampus Carol?
main inspirations for this film include Charles Dickens'
Christmas Carol & Edgar Allen Poe's
Heart; I remember being very young and hearing these two
stories very closely together and sort of molding them together - now
twenty-something years later, that concept still stuck with me and it
seemed like it would be perfect for a film. The tone of the film is really
influenced by Tales from the Crypt & Tales from the
talk about your co-writer Aaron Yorgason, and what was your collaboration
Aaron is a writer for hire that I found on
and by complete chance, he ended up being the perfect collaborator, he was
able to really get inside my head and help flesh out the story but he also
brought so many fantastic elements to the table. I would say for the
future he will likely be my "go-to" guy.
Let's talk about your main monster for a bit -
what does your Krampus
look like, and how was this look achieved?
If you look at a
lot of the great classic horror icons like Michael
Leatherface etc. they are not the leading characters and in most cases,
you only see them for a few scenes, but in those moments they are so scary
and so effective that they became memorable and I took that same approach
for our film. The creature is built up of a specially made
mask with movable mouth, goat-like eyes, horns and razor sharp teeth which
is designed by Billy Patterson & Gorpatch Studios and then his costume,
which was figured out on set. There were several actors attached for the
role but when it came to the day of the shoot we were left in the dark for
the most part and my boyfriend J.D. Smith (who also produced and will be
composing the score) stepped up and played that role, not only was he
fantastic but his build was PERFECT, being 6'9" standing over the Luc
Bernier [Luc Bernier interview
- click here] who is closer to 5'7", it really was ominous.
What can you
tell us about your movie's approach to horror?
This is a
very serious horror film with a lot of comedic moments scattered
throughout. I personally HATE horror/comedies so I knew the comedy would
have to be subtle and real. Luckily the actors were so fantastic and
were constantly thinking of ways to make the film the best it could be in
every aspect and it shows.
words about the movie's overall look and feel?
The look and
feeling for this movie is heavily inspired by Tales from the
Crypt & Tales from the Darkside and all the other
TV horror anthologies. It's almost like for films, there is a recipe you have
to follow (or else), and with TV you just kinda throw out that idea and do
what you want, THAT is how I wanted to do this film, no rules, it could be
as scary or zany as I want it to be.
about your key cast, and why exactly these people?
met Luc Bernier [Luc Bernier
interview - click here] and Helene Udy [Helene
Udy interview - click here] a year ago during the filming of my movie The Possession of Mia Moss and fell in love with both of
Luc is so dedicated and talented it's unbelievable, and then Helene is so
gorgeous and so quick, she can improv like no other and I really wrote
this with both of them in mind.
Bernier plays Ben, the modern day representation of Scrooge. Helene Udy
plays Sarah who is traumatized by witnessing her brother having been taken
years earlier but has now embraced Christmas in sort of a
1950's housewife manner.
Hamblin [Donna Hamblin
interview - click here] plays Perchta, who is also taken from folklore and is so fantastic
in this I could not picture anyone else. She is sexy, scary and knew her
character inside and out.
Lee Heising [Dawna Lee
Heising interview - click here] plays Ghost, she is the bringer of bad news and ushers
in the "Evils", it was fantastic to meet her and talk with her
one-on-one, I think I bonded with her more than anyone else during the
shoot and really found her to be such an amazing person all around.
Felts is our special effects artist, I've worked with her countless times
and I try to constantly challenge her with the craziest practical effects
imaginable, she plays a cannibal elf in this film, so for her to be in the
shot and then also in charge of all the makeup, I know it was a challenge
but I'm so glad to have her on board, she is my go-to for sfx.
Stevens [Brinke Stevens
interview - click here] is attached to the film for an introduction, at this moment I'm
not sure if it should simply be a voiceover or an actual
"filmed" intro, only time and available finances will answer
that question but I absolutely love Brinke and would love to work with her
as much as humanly possible.
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
that has been on a set, doesn't matter if the budget was five Dollars or
five hundred thousand Dollars, the set is hectic. Never enough time,
money, extra hands. Anyone that tells you otherwise is lying.
$64-question of course, when and where will your movie be released onto
the general public?
I keep telling people "Christmas
will come early", possibly Halloween? I think theatrical showings are
important and film festivals but beyond that I'm not sure when and where
and how but I think this one is original enough to go a lot further than
most movies BUT I will say that if there is a crowdfunding campaign, those
people will be the FIRST to get physical copies.
Any future projects beyond The
Krampus Carol you'd like to share?
I constantly have
multiple ideas in my head and I have to fight myself to hold a few down,
but I know there will be a post-apocalyptic graphic novel and a
fantasy/love story in book form very soon. I have a love for really gritty
films so there is a revenge flick with a twist on the way and also a very
original thriller I'm trying to get up and off the ground.
What got you into
filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on
I grew up with a lot of great horror films and
TV shows and always knew that was what I wanted to do. No training or
schooling though, I'm not sure what I personally could take away from
that. Filmmaking is an art form and I want to learn through my own
experiences But I am very open to learning from those around me.
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to The Krampus Carol?
Haunting of Mia Moss is my first film, it stars Nicola Fiore &
Brinke Stevens [Brinke Stevens
interview - click here] and features Destinie Orndoff, Erin Felts, Shawn C.
Phillips [Shawn C. Phillips
interview - click here], Wayne Sorrell & Sarah Church.
Possession of Mia Moss, which is a follow-up and stars Destinie
Orndoff, Erin Felts, Asalee Biagioli, Helene Udy, Luc Bernier, Brinke
Stevens, Nicola Fiore & Eileen Dietz [Eileen
Dietz interview - click here].
How would you
describe yourself as a director?
I really try to be open to
new ideas and tend to take on a lot more than I can handle but I'm
constantly learning and improving.
Filmmakers who inspire
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I love anyone that is within the "filmworld" that has a good heart, thick skin & level head on their
shoulders. Luckily I have worked with several people that inspire me but
that is a hard question to answer, I really don't follow the filmworld
and who’s in it, as much as I should I guess.
Your favourite movies?
Resident Evil series (2002-2016),
(2007), Black Snake Moan (2006), I Spit on your
Grave (1978), Halloween II (2009), I Spit on your
Grave III: Vengeance is Mine (2015), The Life Before Her
... and of
course, films you really deplore?
I walked out of the
theater for American Hustle that has to count for something.
Fist Fight was the most illogical movies I've seen in a long
website, Facebook, whatever else?
Anything else you're
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
just very grateful to be doing what I love, working with Curtis Carnahan
and watching film grow as a DP is exciting, he is so talented!! And
working with J.D. and my friends & family, it’s just so awesome!!
Very grateful for this interview, thank you!!
for the interview!