Your new movie Cold
Blows the Wind - in a few words, what is it about, and what can
you tell us about your character in it?
It's about a couple that drives drunk and hits a jogger, then heads to
the woods to bury the body. But it's really about a couple whose
relationship is falling apart and the extra strain that the situation
puts on them. I think my character, Tasha, is someone who wants to do
the right thing but has become used to letting her husband kind of
bulldoze over her.
What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and
how much Victoria Vertuga can we find in Tasha?
It's funny, because this is the first project me and Eric Williford [Eric
Williford interview - click here] produced
together that he had written before me and without me. I read the script
and loved it but didn't see myself as Tasha at all. Eventually when we
were looking at what project we wanted to produce next, this checked a
lot of boxes for the financing we had because it was relatively
contained, and a small cast, etc so we went forward with this. At that
point I read it as the actress who would be playing Tasha, not a fellow
writer/producer/filmmaker giving notes. I think she makes a lot of
choices that I would not make, obviously we're very different people,
but in the end result, I think you see a LOT of me in Tasha, probably
more than any other project I've done to this point. Particularly in all
the arguing scenes with Dean (Tasha's husband) I think so much of my
natural Vic attitude and essence comes out. My husband would probably
agree LOL As an actor, it's always you that you're bringing to the
project, just different segments and facets of you. You in a different
set of circumstances right? That's the fun of it. But yeah, I think
there is a lot of me that came through in this role.
How did the project come into being in the first place, and what
drew you to it?
We had an investor interested in working with us with a particular
budget in mind, and this movie lent itself nicely to that. It was
largely contained, small cast, and we felt confident we could deliver a
solid movie on that budget. We decided it was probably the best
fit production-wise versus our other scripts. Eric had written this
before we started working together. He had sent it to me to read a while
before and I loved the concept so off we went.
What were the challenges of bringing Cold
Blows the Wind to the screen from a producer's point of view?
With indie filmmaking you're always looking to stretch a dollar and
create the best project you possibly can with limited resources. We
selected this project in large part because it was produce-able and lent
itself to our resources and skill set quite nicely. I think on an indie
project the atmosphere of the set is even more important, because
usually you have people wearing multiple hats, sometimes discounting
their rates, etc etc, so making sure you have an awesome group of
collaborators that bring great energy to the set and the project is
huge. We had a wonderful crew on Cold
Blows the Wind and were very lucky
in that regard. We had a lot of insane things go wrong in pre-pro and
production that we were able to adapt and overcome. We lost our original
location two weeks before filming to a fire, so we had to scramble and
find another one. That wasn't stressful at all!!!!!! We had a cat get
stuck in our grip truck over night and wreak havoc on our film set, we
had thunder and lightning during our first night of filming and a flood
on our last night of filming. We basically had the plagues minus the
frogs. But we made it work and created something we're all really proud
of. And STILL managed to have a really, really fun set.
What can you tell us about Cold
Blows the Wind's director Eric Williford [Eric
Williford interview - click here], and what what was your
Eric is a fantastic writer and director. He's a lifelong horror fan so
he has the genre in his blood. He sent me this script to read and just
give him notes on and it was such a quick, fun read. I loved how flawed
the main characters were but that I was still compelled to find out what
happened to them. I think me and Eric share a dark sense of humor and I
love that about his work in general.
Blows the Wind wasn't the first time you've been working with Eric
Williford - so do talk about your previous projects together, and how did
the two of you first meet even?
We met years back when I acted in a horror film that he wrote and
directed. He called me up a few years later out of the blue, saw that I
had begun writing myself and asked if I would be interested in working
on something together. The rest was history. We wrote a half hour dark
comedy pilot and a subsequent first season, 2 one hour drama pilots, a
few shorts, a webseries, and multiple feature film scripts. I think
writing can be such a lonely thing, so it's been amazing to have a
partner in crime to bounce ideas off of. The ideation phase is always
the most fun, when anything is possible, just feeling that creative
spark, so I absolutely love having a partner in that journey. It's also
just nice to look at someone and be like "Are you seeing this shit?
Am I crazy????" So much wacky shit goes down that it's really nice
to have that LOL.
Back to Cold
Blows the Wind: What can you tell us about the rest of the movie's
cast, and how much of a say did you have as a producer when it came to
Because me and Eric have worked together for years now we have a good
rhythm with the casting process and make sure that we're both excited
about the actors we cast. It's a true partnership so we're always doing
it together and having lots of discussions at every step of the journey.
We generally like to cast people that we've worked with before and know
and trust, but actually this project probably had the most unknown to us
actors of any project we've done before. Sometimes it shakes out that
way with the script, there just aren't a ton of people you know and
trust that fit the specs for a certain role. I always prefer to pull
from people I've worked with before just because it's a little less
stressful. But we were really fortunate to work with amazing people like
Jamie Bernadette [Jamie
Bernadette interview - click here], who is a staple in the horror world. She was such a joy
to collaborate with. She's also a producer, so she's very considerate on
set and just gets it, does things to make your life easier. And as an
actor I so loved sharing scenes with her. We had an absolute blast. And
Torrey B. Lawrence who plays Uncle Stevie was so fun. He and I had the chance to do
stunts together and he was so game and so much fun about it. He's done a
lot of stunt work before so he just came to set that day, we worked with
our fabulous stunt coordinator Felisha Michelle Cacho, taught him the
choreo, practiced, and were off and running. I love the scenes with him
and Dean squaring off and think he did such a fantastic job.
You also have to talk about the movie's main
location for a bit, and what was it like filming there?
So as I mentioned that was actually a location we found very last minute
after we lost our original location. But actually I think it ended up
working out even better. It has a ton of cool artwork and furniture in
the house, which made our lives easy as far as set design. And the
outside was spacious and interesting enough for us to use it for both,
so it was really fantastic. It ended up working really well for our
needs and I love how the location looks in our film.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
One of my absolute favorite things about stepping into
producing/writing/directing and being involved in that way is getting to
set the tone of my sets. As an actor I have been on ALL kinds of sets
and that environment makes such a huge difference in terms of the
experience. I try to always lead with joy. We are all in this business
because we LOVE filmmaking, we LOVE telling stories, and I try to keep
that joy at the forefront. We're getting to play and do what we love.
Things will inevitably go wrong, but we will keep our heads and be able
to adapt and figure out solutions. I try to hire people who are
like-minded, enthusiastic, and team players. That goes a really long way
toward creating a great set environment. I was so happy that despite so
many crazy things going wrong during filming, I had a ton of crewmembers tell me it was one of the most fun sets they've ever been on.
Nothing makes me happier to hear as a producer.
$64-question of course, where can Cold
Blows the Wind be seen?
We're going to release the movie on our website first before it ends up
on streaming. We're likely going to offer it for rent, download, as well
as physical media. So it will be available at
next year and on all the usual streaming places later in the year ;)
Anything you can tell us
about audience and critical reception of Cold
Blows the Wind yet?
We recently premiered at Horror Hound where we won a ton of awards,
including Best Feature and Judge's Choice. It's been great to see the
movie with an audience as it has been on its festival run. I love to see
what gets the laughs and hear the people's commentary. I especially love
the people who talk through it with commentary because it's just
hilarious to hear their takes. So It's been a lot of fun to enjoy the
movie with an audience. When we were filming the crew had very strong
opinions on whether or not they liked Dean, and I love to get the
audience's take on the characters, who they like, who they hate, which
half of the couple they think is the worst.
Any future projects you'd
like to share?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
In the works on a few things, but nothing definitive yet so you'll have
to watch my PAST projects while you wait ;) Lexi and
DisGraced are both
available on Tubi, Amazon, and all the usual spots.
Your/your movie's website, social media,
You can follow me at @victoriavertuga on all the socials.
where you can keep up with all things Cold
Blows the Wind ;)
Thanks for the
Thanks so much for having me!