Your short M is for Mayhem - in a few words, what is it about?
It's basically about a school shooting. When I heard about the contest, the
first word that popped into my mind was "mayhem", which in my mind
is chaos, confusion, and remorseless brutality. School shootings encompass all
those things, so if you'll forgive the terrible pun, the thought process was a
very a to b to c path for me to come up with the story for M is for Mayhem.
M is for Mayhem can be viewed (and liked... click
"Like"!!!!) at http://26th.abcsofdeathpart2.com/entry/m-is-for-mayhem/
ABCs of Death - what do you find so appealing about the series you
want to be a part of it?
I wanted to share a screen credit with Jen and Sylvia Soska ;) [Soska
Twins interview - click here]
Well, that IS true, but the thing that really drew me to the ABCs of
Death was the way that the first film was never afraid to get right in the
audience's face with uncomfortable, taboo, thought-provoking material. I
love that kind of storytelling. Now, I'm not saying every story in the
first film was a highbrow thinkpiece. In fact, some were precisely the
opposite, but that dichotomy just made me want to be involved more. I like
the idea of going to a very dark, serious, emotional place, then following
directly with a joke about toxic farts. That appeals to me on just so many
And let's not gloss over the fact that while I have some very awesome
and dedicated fans, that fan base is pretty small. The exposure of being
involved in The ABCs of Death 2 wouldn't suck.
M is for Mayhem deals
with a rather sensitive subject, high school shootings - so what made you
pick the subject, and basically, what were your inspirations for the
I thought the situation of a school shooting was a perfect example of
mayhem. School shootings are senseless, pointless violence. One broken
person takes all their pain and rage and hate and inflicts it on everyone
in their vicinity. It's deplorable and disgusting, and it is total mayhem.
As far as inspirations, I drew pretty heavily from Christian Slater's
character in Heathers when creating the look of the shooter (played
brilliantly by Andrew DeHart), but then I scraped away any witty dialogue
and charming personality, leaving the raw nerve of a monster beneath.
Nodding to the template of Slater's J.D. while totally subverting
everything that made the character "cool."
I also threw in a nod to Scanners. Because Scanners is fucking awesome.
In terms of real world inspiration, I think the biggest element I drew
from was the very human response we all have to this sort of event, which
is the need to ask "why?" In the real world, we are often left
wondering what motivated an act like this. We are left scratching our
heads wondering what went wrong. I wanted to capture that in the film.
How would you describe your
directorial approach to your subject at hand?
I made this short with the hopes that the film would compel the
audience to provide their own answers to the shooter's motives, whether
they did it consciously or subconsciously. This was kind of an
experimental approach and it has definitely not worked for some viewers.
Others have really dug it. I knew going in that it wouldn't be everyone's
cup of tea.
I also wanted to stay with the shooter as much as possible and really
make the audience ride his shoulder through this uncomfortable experience.
This has led some viewers to think that the film makes some statement in
support of this kind of inhuman act and nothing could be further from my
intent. The idea is, rather than to paint the shooter as some kind of
anti-hero or protagonist, instead to force the audience into a front-row
seat for a very uncomfortable 90 second event.
can you tell us about your cast, and why exactly these people?
I was first introduced to Andrew DeHart's work by Jessica Cameron, if I
remember correctly [Jessica
Cameron interview - click here]. This was a while back, possibly even when I was
casting Raymond Did It. I've wanted to work with Andrew ever since, but we
had just failed to connect. We wound up meeting up at a film festival and
we immediately hit it off, not only as artists with a mutual respect for
each other's work, but as friends. When the idea came to me for M is for
Mayhem, I knew he would be perfect for it, as much of his work showcases a
broad emotional range while remaining real. I knew the shooter would be
demanding and difficult to pull off believably, but I was confident Andrew
was the man for the job. I offered him the role and he accepted. We are
now working together on Bloom.
Jenna Larson, the young lady who is on the phone with the police in the
short, I met on a Rock Valley College student film called Hack'd Together
(about hackeysack, not murders) that I was acting in. She has wonderful
talent, a true star quality and is a dream to work with. I cast her right
away in Mayhem and in a cyberpunk short I am working on called Cakewalk.
Andrew and Jenna brought most of the rest of the cast with them, as I
didn't know a whole lot of people who could pass as high school students.
The remainder of the cast came from crew members who I had met on the
Hack'd Together shoot and were students at RVC. They ponied up and stepped
in to help boost the body count, and I am ever grateful.
talk about the actual shoot for a bit, and the on-set atmosphere!
I've often said that horror movie sets tend to be a laugh riot. The
heavier the material, the more people seem compelled to crack jokes and
screw around between takes. M is for Mayhem is pretty heavy material, so
naturally, we were all having a blast. Gallows humor is a coping
mechanism, and we were all in heavy-duty coping mode.
Having said that, the mood shifted on a dime when the camera started
rolling. Everyone involved knew that the material is serious and that
several people have been emotionally wrecked by events like the one we
were portraying. Everyone on set handled the material 100% respectfully
and with a somber dedication that was admirable.
future projects beyond M is for Mayhem you'd like to share?
I am currently working on my next feature length horror film,
titled Bloom, which is a body horror/transformation piece. The film
follows Lily (Deann Baker) as she tries to piece together the events of a
night she cannot remember while her body goes through bizarre changes. The
Facebook page for Bloom is https://www.facebook.com/BloomTheFilm.
Filming is scheduled to wrap at the end of October and I am aiming for a
summer or fall 2014 release date.
I am also getting ready to make some big announcements regarding
my romantic comedy, Dry Spell (starring Suzi
Lorraine [Suzi Lorraine interview
- click here], Kyle Hoskins [Kyle Hoskins
interview - click here],
Amanda-Elizabeth Sawyer [Amanda-Elizabeth Sawyer
interview - click here] and Heather Dorff [Heather
Dorff interview - click here]), which should see a wide
digital release early 2014. I'd encourage your readers to check out https://www.facebook.com/DrySpellMovie
for details on that.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
My official website is http://www.plasticageproductions.com
My Twitter is @TravisLegge
and M is for Mayhem can be viewed (and liked... click
"Like"!!!!) at http://26th.abcsofdeathpart2.com/entry/m-is-for-mayhem/
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
My modern horror/urban fantasy roleplaying game, Contagion Second
Edition, is available for purchase at http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/117625/Contagion-Second-Edition
The world of Contagion is a dark and terrifying place. On the
surface it is no different than the world you and I live in. Most people
go on about their lives never realizing the terrors that walk among them.
Despite humanity’s vast ignorance, the horrors are there. Angels, demons,
Gods and Hellspawn make war in the shadows. Clergy and Slayers rise from
the human flock to protect their brethren and work God's will. Magi and
Witches wield powerful magics in their pursuit of enlightenment.
There's a war in the shadows. Choose a side.
Contagion Second Edition utilizes a highly modified
version of the 3.5 OGL. Contagion Second Edition
provides a self-contained game system, unique in approach and design. The
updated, streamlined system is familiar enough that seasoned OGL players
and Gamemasters should be able to jump right in, while being simple enough
for even novice gamers to quickly grasp.
The Contagion Second Edition
corebook updates the Contagion game setting, with expanded
information on the history of the setting, exposing the secrets of the
universe and opening the setting up to entirely new worlds and worldviews.
I'd love it if your readers would check it out!
for the interview!