Your upcoming movie The Dying Fields - in a few words, what
is it about?
The Dying Fields follows Bailey,
who's heading home from a drug treatment program. Her closest friend died
of a drug overdose, and she blames herself. The group she's traveling with
becomes stranded at a seemingly abandoned farmhouse, where anyone who
drinks the well water finds themselves in a rabid, almost zombie-like
What were your inspirations when writing The
While preparing for a much larger, more
in-depth exorcism film (which is now on hold), my impatience got the best
of me, and my mind began to wander. What
can we shoot now that will be a relatively quick project, but that's fun,
gory, and adventurous? A group of teens or twenty-somethings seems
to be the norm, but what can I come up with to make it different, or
unique? I came up with the idea to have them be a group of former junkies
returning home cross-country from a drug rehab facility. After that,
details about what kind of shenanigans they might encounter began to take
shape, and the rest became the script we're working from today.
With The Dying Fields being a
slasher (if with supernatural elements), is that a genre at all dear to
you, and what do you feel sets your movie apart from the crowd?
seem to be the days where horror movies are both scary and fun. I'm not
talking about horror/comedy, which can be great. I'm talking about thrills
and chills in a film that takes the viewer on a wild ride! It seems like
horror movies are either spoofs, or just 100% dark, serious affairs. The
Dying Fields has unique characters, who are taken on an adventure of both
terror and excitement. I am a big slasher fan: Freddy,
Myers, Leatherface, etc. I wanted to put a fresh spin on things, as much as
that's possible, by mixing classic slasher elements with supernatural
elements to create a film where the characters are not only being pursued
by a cold-blooded killer, but also possessed/zombified versions of their
Lewis on set of the promo short
apart from being a slasher, what can you tell us about your movie's
approach to horror?
I'm a huge fan of psychological horror.
The psyche of a killer has always fascinated me, as have the
inner-workings of people haunted by their own past, like Bailey in this
central theme of the movie is Bailey's struggle to forgive herself for her
friend's death. All-the-while, she's faced with the tangible
horrors of keeping her flesh-eating friends at bay. To make the situation
even more dire, she's confronted with the curator of the farmhouse, a man
who makes human sacrifices to a group of demons, who supposedly reside in
the field outside his farm. There are several different horror elements in
this film that I basically threw into a blender, and came out with a
plethora of horror goodness!
For all the gorehounds among my
readers, do talk about the bloody bits in your movie for a bit, and how do
you plan to achieve them?
This is where it gets good! We
have enlisted the services of long-time collaborator Evil John Mays to
head up the practical effects department. John is well-versed in all
things horror, and we're extremely excited to have him on board for an
impalement that features a pole, the look of the demons, as well as the
possessed, and maybe even a good ole fashioned decapitation! We will spare
no expense when it comes to the creative kills and the gore in this film.
What can ou tell us about your
film's intended look and feel?
My tonal intentions are to
attempt to capture the visceral fear and grit of the original Texas
Chainsaw Massacre, while shooting in high quality to make sure the film
will stand the test of time. The rural locations, and brutal situations
the characters find themselves in will lend to the aesthetic, and overall
feel of the finished film.
Anything you can tell us
about The Dying Fields' key cast yet, and why exactly these people?
producing partner, and lead actress, Amanda Marie has done a stellar job
of helping to compile a cast list that includes Emmy-nominated
rapper/actor T.O.N.E-z, who's most well known for the theme song to the
show Justified. Paula Marcenaro Solinger [Paula
Marcenaro Solinger interview - click here] was in the 2016 film
Blood Sombrero, and she's married to former Skid Row front man
Johnny Solinger. We're also excited to have well-known musician and
actress Aeon Cruz on the team, as well as Kevin Sean Ryan, who was in The Black Hole with Malcolm McDowell and Dean Cain.
I understand it, the key location of your film is an old abandoned farm -
do you at all have that location secured yet, and if so, do talk about the
expected challenges of filming there for a bit!
We do have
a location available where we shot the proof of concept short, but are
always on the hunt for options. The location we used previously is
atmospheric and moody, for sure. The holes in the walls let in enough
light during the day to create a very unique look, but for the night
scenes, it could prove a little challenging in the sense that it will
really have to be night time to film night scenes, which can be costly,
tiring, and more time consuming in the long run. Those are some of the
challenges that we anticipate, but ultimately, it will all come together
the way it's supposed to.
currently running a fundraiser for The Dying Fields - so what can
you tell us about your campaign?
The proof of concept short
is available to view on our IndieGoGo page, so you can get a taste of what
we're going for in the feature. We are running the campaign through
mid-November, and are offering exclusive perks for contributing such as
props from the film, and even a trip to the set during filming (projected
spring 2018). I would challenge everyone to take a real look at the page,
and contribute if you can. It's going to take all the funding we can get
to make this film stand out in the saturated horror film market.
Once the funds are
raised, what's the schedule, and even if it might be waaay too early to
ask, any idea when and where The Dying Fields might be released
yet, however tentatively?
We plan to begin filming in the
spring of 2018 with myself and Amanda Marie co-directing. A completed film
by the end of next year is not out of the question, although 2019 seems
more likely for a release. We are in talks with a couple of distributors
already, but are planning to hit a few film festivals before settling on a
distribution route. With VOD being so accessible these days, I'm sure you
will be able to find a way to watch the film when it's all said and done.
Any future projects beyond The
We have three feature films that are in various stages of
post-production: The psychological drama Strange
Company features Emmy-winner (and horror favorite) Bill
Oberst jr [Bill
Oberst jr interview - click here]. Dream Hero Productions will be also releasing the
female-led revenge thriller Battered, which stars
Mia Klosterman and Stacy Firkus, as well as a really twisted
ensemble film about a group of people who wake up trapped in a
room with no way out, called Sinners, Inc.
As far as future films, we still have the exorcism film
Cross to Bear on our radar, that was written for
Bill Oberst jr, as well as my first script The Diary of
Melvin Sanborn, which is about a boy who witnesses his
parents' death at the hands of a vicious monster that haunts him
into his college years, where he's finally forced to go back to
the scene of the crime, and confront the beast once-and-for-all.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook,
IndieGoGo, whatever else?
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Anything else you're dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
extremely high expectations for The Dying Fields, and I am
grateful that you took the time for this interview to highlight the
project. There are a lot of talented, and very experienced people
involved. This will be my fifth feature, and in some ways, the most
ambitious. I wrote this film to be an easy shoot, if there is such a
thing, but it's going to take extreme care and planning to achieve the
desired experience. With the team involved, I have no doubt that this will
be a movie we're all still talking about upon its release!