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An Interview with James Cullen Bressack, Director of Bethany

by Mike Haberfelner

July 2015

Films directed by James Cullen Bressack on (re)Search my Trash


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


Bethany is the story of a young woman who inherits her childhood home from her late mother. She then has to come to terms with her past, and most importantly, with the imaginary friend she once had in the house.


From what I know, Bethany was pre-sold to a distributor under the condition that it's going to be a ghost story - so is that a genre at all dear to you, and some of your sources of inspiration?


I have always loved ghost stories. I feel like ghost stories are a MASSIVE part of horror. I remember how people would always tell each other ghost stories. I think it's scary because on one hand it lets us know there is some life after death but on the other hand we find it can be terrible. It builds us up and breaks us down. I'm very inspired by Asian ghost films.


When it comes to ghost stories, there are usually two approaches, effects-wise, the one that says less is more, and the other that says more is even more yet - so which approach does your movie follow?


We take a little from column A and a little from column B. This movie is a character study, so you may not see an overload of traditional ghost effects, but that being said we had an amazing effects team that put together some incredible builds, so there will be plenty to keep the audience guessing and jumping for that matter.


Stefanie Estes, Zack Ward, James Cullen Bressack

What can you tell us about your co-writer Zack Ward [Zack Ward interview - click here], and about the writing process as such?


Zack and I hammered out the first draft of the script in about a week, it really just came to us. That said, it went through several revisions after the fact to get it to exactly where it needed to be, but this story came to us fast and we let it fly to the page.


Do talk about your film's approach to horror as such for a bit!


Bethany is a horror film, plain and simple. We’ve got our main character struggling in an old haunted house, with a lot of twists and turns throughout. Also, we’ve got some real shocking scares and of course a gallon or two of blood, so get ready.


A few words about your movie's look and feel?


Our DP John DeFazio gave us an amazing look to Bethany. The entire cast, lead by Stefanie Estes [Stefanie Estes interview - click here], really bring impressive performances and the look that DeFazio created will be fantastic. It's very colorful yet scary. I wanted to make something beautiful be terrifying. That's actually kind of the theme of the film, darkness within beauty. Hopefully it feels scary. I know working with John DeFazio, who is a genius behind the lens, has really made this film's look something very special. John and I have done a few projects together now and we really understand one another's sensibilities.


What can you tell us about Bethany's key cast, and why exactly these people?


Stefanie Estes

Our cast is amazing and I was super blessed to have them. Stefanie Estes was an incredible find as this was a hard role to cast. She really brings it in an impressive way, natural and beautiful, your heart will break for her. Shannen Doherty I’ve worked with on several projects, and as always she’s fantastic and equally brings it. She’s a great friend and a great actor. Tom Green was our diamond in the rough. Not only did he bring a dramatic flair that I think everyone will love, but he’s incredible to work with. He might just steal the show. This is Tom like you have never seen him before. Zack Ward [Zack Ward interview - click here] also brings something amazing and unique to his character that I think people will really connect with. Obviously Zack was very involved with the project.


Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


We had a fast shoot, only 14 days, so it was a little hectic. Our crew was amazing, however, and got the job done in a clutch way. Making films is always hard, but when you’ve got dedicated and talented individuals in every department it makes it a whole lot easier, especially as a director. I’d say overall the atmosphere on set was fantastic.


The $64-question of course, when and where will Bethany be released onto the general public?


Soon… I will have way more info soon.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


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I just wrapped a grindhouse horror project called Deadly Reunion, which is going to be ridiculous in all the best ways. I also just finished shooting Limelight, a gritty Hollywood drama about becoming a star in Hollywood starring Jenna Jameson, Paul Vandervort, Jonathan Lipnicki, Brit Shaw, Sean Kanan, Keith Coogan & Kirsten Nelson.


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


We don't have one but keep an eye on my Twitter @jamescullenb


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


Catch my film Pernicious on VOD right now on iTunes and Amazon among many other places!


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




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


A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD