Your new movie Doomsday
County - in a few words, what is it about in general, and what's your
segment about in particular?
is a horror anthology film, with
four short stories all taking place in the same town with intertwining
characters, directed by four different people. The segment I directed is
called Betty Beretta and is about a secret agent by day-rockstar/model
by night female character named Betty, who gets called in when a race of
aliens descends on the town and creates a virus with the local mad scientist
that has the means to destroy the world.
How did the project come into being to begin with, and who came up
with the overall concept? And how did you and the other guys come together
to begin with?
approached by a professor and good friend Matt Nelson, who teaches at Full
Sail University in Orlando. He had a group of students that had written
these stories, and were looking to get the feature off the ground. I came
in to help produce the entire show, and in the end, ended up directing one
of the segments.The guys, Art Brainard, Joe Badiali, Shawn Haran and Jason
Hawkins had come up with the concepts and scripts. Each director had their
own story and style, and was responsible in raising their own budget. They
were all going to school together, which is impressive in itself - to create
a feature film while still in school.
Since all the stories of Doomsday
County are somehow connected, how closely did you collaborate with
the directors of the other segments, and was there an agreement on an
overall style or such?
The Curse of Dr. Mongoo
were lots of meetings with everyone, and during the original writing
process the ideas were tossed around back and forth. The idea was always
to keep the characters intertwined. We kept the same director of photography and most of the crew through all of the segments, so the film
would at least visually flow as well as it could. We shot them out of
sequence, shooting The Curse of Dr. Mongoo first, and then Xenombies.
Vampire Academy was originally intended to be a
longer story, but due to scheduling and budget ended up working out better
as the intro it is now. Betty Beretta was shot last which made it
easier to help tie in all of the other stories.
The anthology format seems to be
a perennial favourite, especially when it comes to genre entertainment.
How would you explain the format's longevity, and some of your favourite
works well in multiple ways:
As a creative it allows for more people to play in the sandbox. Usually if
you do one movie, you have one director who takes it from A-Z, with an
anthology, you can have multiple visions and ideas. You look at the
current popularity with V/H/S and Chillerama and The ABCs
of Death - it’s easier to get bigger directors on board as well,
because you are only making a short, only required for a certain amount of
time in your schedule. It's much easier to make a short then a feature, and
usually makes it more fun.
It’s a shorter format for each segment. As an audience member, if you
don’t like a segment, you only have to wait a few minutes for it to end,
whereas if you don’t like a feature, you might turn it off or have to
sit through at least 90 minutes. It makes it more interesting for a modern
audience, who already has an incredibly short attention span.
of my favorite anthologies would have to be Creepshow, Trick R
Cat’s Eye and Twilight Zone: The Movie.
Let's talk about your segment Betty
Beretta for a bit: How would you describe your
directorial approach to your subject at hand?
Tara Lightfoot in Betty Beretta
also interesting directing in a anthology: You want to keep it in your
style, but also want to stay consistent with the rest of the film’s
style. I think all of our overall viewpoints were to make this movie
“Fun”! The characters are all a little extreme and caricatures of
themselves. Definitely wanted a more pulpy/B-movie feel to it.
have to talk about your leading lady Tara Lightfoot for a bit, and why
exactly her? And how did you find her to begin with?
and I have been good friends for a long time, and she has acted in many of
our projects, mainly our international award-winning short film 2:22
She is a fantastic actress and model and musician and is a delight to work
with. We even made her learn how to drive the motorcycle.
can you tell us about the rest of your key cast and crew?
Our director of photography for the whole project was Paul Steward, who also
edited everything. He has a great eye and is well versed in how to handle
visual effects as well.
makeup for the first three segments was done by Jen Hall (who also did
makeup for The Crazies [remake], Devil, Fear Clinic, Would You Rather) and
Joe Badiali who directed the segment The Curse of Dr. Mongoo (who
also did makeup for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Abraham
Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2, and Lincoln). Our
key makeup on Betty Beretta was Ashli Szymanski (who also did makeup
for The Unbroken, Zellwood and Rockabilly Zombie Weekend).
score composer and supervising sound editor was Rob Reider, who composed
our stellar score and also plays “Paul” the character who single-handedly causes the
Xenombie invasion in the film.
had an amazing cast and crew that really dedicated to the project 110%,
and over the years of organizing and shooting.
few words about your shoot as such and the on-set atmosphere?
your zero-budget style. Running production offices out of vehicles, and
begging, borrowing and stealing all we could to make the shots we wanted.
It was a lengthy process, I think 4 years in total from the start to the
final complete finish of the movie. We definitely tried to keep it as fun
can you tell us about critical and audience reception of your movie so
The film only played a
couple festivals, but won a couple of awards, “Best Action Film” at
the Melbourne Independent Film Festival, and “Best Make Up” at the
Freak Show Horror Film Festival. A lot of the cast and crew haven’t
gotten to see it yet, so it will be exciting to get everyone their copy on
DVD, when it comes out on Feb 12th.
future projects you'd
like to share?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
solidifying distribution with Zellwood, and just getting Rockabilly Zombie Weekend
finished up to start sending out
screeners. We are building out a new business plan and package for a new
feature we will be seeking financing for titled Fiend Fatale. Lots
in the works!
Your/your movie's website, Facebook,
Movie Website: www.doomsdaycounty.com
Movie Facebook: www.facebook.com/doomsdaycounty
Personal Official Website: www.stevenshea.com
Anything else you're dying to mention and
I have merely forgotten to ask?
think that’s about it. Check out the film on February 12th! Thanks for
Thank you for the