Your new movie Halloween
Party - in a few words, what is it about?
It’s a fun look at a girl looking for love on the most deceptive night of
the year J
Why pick a Halloween party, specifically, and does Halloween as
such hold a special place in your heart?
Halloween is our
FAVORITE holiday! We have parties all the time and many of the
moments in the story are inspired by our parties and friends. In
fact, we got married on Halloween and had the most EPIC wedding / party
What were your
sources of inspiration when writing Halloween
Party, and is any of the film based on personal experience?
I wanted to do a movie in one location with several GREAT improv actors I
know and we always have Halloween parties, so it seemed like the perfect
fit. We shot in our house and many of the background extras were our
can you tell us about your co-writers on Halloween
Party, and what was your collaboration with them like?
first co-writer was Betsy Morris, a writer I highly respect, who helped me
develop a stronger treatment. Then I brought on Laree’ Griffith
who actually wrote with me, many different scenes to give it a different
voice. We wrote the story within 5 months which is pretty unheard
of. Then we shot 10 nights and I worked with Chris Pentzell and
Christine Blackburn (our star hosts) to develop story lines that made more
sense of our characters and we came back 3 months later and shot 3 more
days to work out the story line. Literally, this story is 30-40%
honestly, how much fun was it to put all these people in silly costumes
and let them say silly things?
OMG... the costumes were
amazing! Our costume designer, Brittney Ann Cormack, was one of the
stars of the show! She created nearly 80% of the costumes and was
sewing every night we were filming. Not only that, she actually quit
her daytime job just to work on our film! We LOVE Brittney Ann!
What can you tell us
about the brand of humour in Halloween
It’s very much the humor of my husband and
I. We are the originators of the story and the type of parties we
throw are very similar in theme.
Do talk about your overall directorial
approach to your story at hand?
This was my first feature
directing experience and one I will remember forever. I had some
amazing crewmembers that really supported and helped my vision and a cast
that was phenomenal!
You of course have to
talk about your key cast, and why exactly these people?
have worked with my hosts a few different times, Chris Pentzell and
Christine Blackburn. They are quite honestly some of the most
talented actors and comedians I have had the luck to know and work with.
To have them collaborate on the level they have was an absolute treasure
in this project. I was extremely fortunate to have been introduced
to a host of new faces (via my casting director, Debra McCarthy) that
included the STUNDFINDER, Elle Newlands, HOMELESS GUY, Frank Gangarossa
and WOLFBOY, David Banks! One of the most amazing stories is the
FORTUNE TELLER though! Played by Julia Silverman, who also played
MARILYN MONROE, she wanted the FT role first, but we were holding out for
a star for a one day shoot. That never transpired and we cast
another actor who ended up not being able to be there and we just said,
why can’t Julia do both roles?! NO ONE ever guesses she is both.
It’s a tribute to her great acting for sure! She was such an
amazing team player and in the role of the “politicals”, she was the
den mother (being the only professional actor of the group). They
all bonded and she worked with each to help them find their voice and
truth in their roles. She was, and is, AMAZING!
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
shot in our house for the film and our producer, Sandy Robinson, lived
next door. Her house served as the costume, craft, green room of the
shoot! It was an awesome exepeience. I have to say our
neighbours STEPPED UP in July when we were shooting and decorated their
homes for our movie. Our makeup/hair department was located across
the street in one of our friend/neighbor’s homes that owned a local
salon. We often refer to the whole shoot as ‘Glendora Studios’!
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Halloween
Our whole goal in life is to become a cult
classic like Rocky Horror Picture Show. I think when people see this
film, they will feel like they are at this party and hopefully they will
dress up and participate! We have the film on TUGG.com
where audiences can request the film to screen at their local movie
complex and after a certain amount of ticket sales, the show will go on
and a party can ensue. It’s quite a plan and one that we are
definitely supporting and cultivating!
Any future projects you'd like to share?
I have a film currently in film festivals doing very well called Last
Call at Murray’s about 13 people trapped in a mountain bar and how
their lives change over night. It’s a dramedy starring Michael Gross,
John Savage, Paula Jai Parker and a host of amazingly talented actors.
I also have three shorts all over the festival circuit, Our Father,
Sienna’s Choice and my newest, My Name is Lamar. And the
highlight is, a HUGE action/adventure called Cat Dexx Trophy Hunter
that you’ll be hearing more about in the coming months!
got you into filmmaking in the first place?
I love telling
stories. I think them up all the time and I’ve found a great team
of people that help me bring them to life.
What can you
tell us about your filmwork prior to Halloween
I started writing scripts, producing /
directing commercials, producing films and then discovered I loved being
more creative. Honestly, I like directing because it’s ALL your
vision, but I LOVE production design because it doesn’t require as much
time but you get to create the world and you work with the most creative
heads of the project to develop their vision! If I were to
just focus on production design in the rest of my life, I would be a very
How would you describe yourself as a
I trust my actors. I hire them because they
feel authentic. They capture the essence of the character. So
from that moment of casting, I trust that their work will bring the most
authentic performance (far more than I ever could imagine) to the role.
Some times I may give a bit of re-direct, but the better I am of picking
the right person, the less direction I give. I’ve been fortunate
to work with many GREAT actors!!! They make me look like a fantastic
Filmmakers who inspire you?
favourites are Quentin Tarantino and Nora Ephron. I can only hope to
be as prolific as each of them.
Pulp Fiction, When Harry Met
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I don’t really deplore movies. I know how
much work they take and those that endeavour deserve at least the respect
that they did far more than most filmmakers.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have//LastCallatMurrays.com" target="_blank"> LastCallatMurrays.com
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
Check out a web-series I recently
co-directed / co-produced, called Carbon Dating! It will be a
HIT soon! It was in Emmy consideration this year since they opened a
web-series category and it is FUNNY!!! CarbonDatingSeries.com
Thanks for the interview!