Your new movie Defarious
- in a few words, what is it about?
is about our own struggles of personal inner
conflicts with hidden fears and our suppressed emotions from childhood
nightmares. This particular character's journey of torment with sleep paralysis
and how her night terrors blur her reality of what is truth and what is
You've conceived the
story of Defarious
together with Zay Rodriguez - so do talk about him, what was your
collaboration like, and who came up with the first idea even?
collaboration came together after Zay Rodriguez saw a Halloween photo
shoot I created back in 2014 as my own rendition of a clown. I
conjured up ideas while I was editing the images after the shoot. We spoke
together after working on a previous project together that my production company
has distributed entitled ARiSEN which is available on
DVD, digital download and rent at
We agreed that it would be a great idea for the world to experience a
topic about what most individuals choose to keep as taboo. From there we
stemmed together an outline of a plot and theme. I created a full outline
and then condensed it down into a short for budget purposes. That
original short turned into a two piece segment so this is only the
first half of it. The teaser of our idea and to see how people would
react, relate and enjoy it. We left questions open to interruption
for the audience and with how reviews and overall success of the first
half of the project, I will decide if I proceed with the second half
of the short or if it gets picked up financially for a feature film.
in many ways follows the dynamics of a slasher movie setpiece - so is that
a genre at all dear to you, and some of your genre favourites?
have always had a love for horror and slasher films growing up in the 80's
and 90's; Friday the
Candyman, The Exorcist,
enjoyed the simplicity of the genre and what really scares us instead
of using quick fixes of basic scares because of time constraints from
studios, budget restrictions, lack of premium craftsmanship of development
and writing. I wanted to go back to what really scares people, what a
lot of people can relate with that is a taboo subject such as sleep
paralysis and night terrors. Most individuals are frightened to even
mention their conditions let alone admitting it to themselves or
wanting to. We all have hidden fears from our past we choose to lock away
and some people experiences them on different levels and various time
frames and chapters in their lives.
sources of inspiration when writing
was inspired to finally sit down and write Defarious
because the timing
was right. After all the years of keeping what I had experienced as a kid;
shadows moving, red eyes, the feeling of always being watched,
scratches on my body from waking up in the middle of the night, ghostly
figures in the dark. I put together a story and shortened it down to
a teaser short film to see how people would react to it.
talk about your movie's approach to horror for a bit!
approach I decided to go with for Defarious
was a dark and cold
world. An atmosphere void of comfort and a complete sense of
dread. I wanted to go back to the good ole days of what actually
scared me as a kid like empty neighborhood scenes in Halloween, the
desolate woods of Friday the
13th, the powerful mindset of The Exorcist,
and the creative vision of Scream.
of course also have to talk about your villain's creepy mask, and to what
extent were you involved in its design?
in the film is a figure of our imagination, of what scares you the most. A
figure of non-existence but lays inside the deepest corners of our minds.
There were no masks used in production. I went through a lengthly pre
production stage for this film. Eight months consistently with dealing
with makeup tests on myself with one of the makeup artists until we
created a base for what we wanted to achieve. Once we cast the actor we
went through long periods of makeup tests and changes to come up with the
final product you see in the film. All the instructions were passed along
to our special effects makeup artist and she added her own flavor and
style to it with great technique on set. The clown is in full special
effects makeup that took over two hours to apply each day on set.
What can you
tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
directorial approach to my story was to intensely get my cast into the
state of mind I needed them to go to. The dark and deep road of confusion,
fear, isolation and dread. Along with several of my crew members as well
during the pre-production stages so they themselves were well
equipped with the style and look I was going to attain. I had
everyone do extensive research on the subject matter with various books,
movies, clips, articles, speaking with surviving victims and experiential exercises.
talk about your cast, and why exactly these people?
casting progress is never easy. The constant auditions, casting calls,
video submissions, all take time and you have to be very particular with
the actors you choose for the roles. The first person cast was Jason
Torres. He was very excited to play a villain
and discover his dark and violent side. Next was the main lead which went
through several actresses because of scheduling conflicts until I cast Janet Miranda. Months of rehearsals and preparing her to dive into
the world of her character. Afterwards was Shanae Christine Harris, who
plays the main lead's friend talking on the phone and Sonia Sierra
playing the main characters mother.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
I will try and keep this as short as
possible. Principal photography was scheduled for four days with a
strenuous 14 to 20 hours each day. Call times for cast and crew members
began at 2:00pm, started filming once the sun went down, wrapped up
filming around 6:30am right before the sun rose and clearing the set each
day no later than 10:00am to then do it all over again the next day. The
on set atmosphere was fast-paced with all the crew working around the
clock with little sleep and a lot of coffee. I give them all a huge
round of applause and gratitude for all their hard work and
$64-question of course, where can your movie be seen?
2017 the movie is running through the film festival circuits. I am
setting up distribution of streaming the film through my production company
beginning in 2018. For more information go to www.DEFARIOUS.com.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of
PERFECT HOMAGE TO CLASSIC HORROR FILMS FROM THE 80’s AND 90’s.” —
NEW STYLE OF HORROR. IT CHANGES YOUR PERCEPTION OF FEAR.” —
The Jackson Review
SCARIEST SHORT FILM OF THE YEAR!” — Melaine Johnson
NOTEWORTHY INDIE SHORT HORROR FILM. IT SHOULD NOT BE MISSED.” — The
A MIX OF THRILLS AND GORE. A PSYCHOLOGICAL HORROR WITH SCARES, STYLE AND
SUSPENSE.” — Bloody Mag
SCAREFEST YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS!” — John Titter
SOUND ALONE HAD ME COVERING MY EYES!” — Sarang Sharma
KEPT YOU ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT FANTASTIC!” — David Paul
ARRESTING AND HORRIFYING! A GREAT SHORT FILM IN THE GENRE.” —
HELL OF A SCARY RIDE! ”— The NYC Filmers Journal
AND RELENTLESS!” — PopHorror.com
LITERALLY YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE BROUGHT TO LIFE IN FRONT OF YOUR
EYES!” — Bethany Nicole Taylor
FILM) PLAYS LIKE THE COLLABORATIVE BRAIN CHILD OF HORROR MASTERS DARIO
ARGENTO, JOHN CARPENTER, AND JAMES WAN.” — awordofdreams.com
VISCERAL ESSENCE OF WHY PEOPLE GO TO HORROR MOVIES!” —
future projects you'd like to share?
have several projects in various stages of production going on at my production
company. I have the feature length horror film ARiSEN in distribution
that you can rent, buy on DVD and digital download at
www.ARISENTHEMOVIE.com, a drama
comedy in post-production that will be released at the end of this
year, a supernatural web series in pre-production entitled Haunted: The
Web Series, which you can find out more information at
a short drama romance thriller entitled Black Widow in pre-production
five other concepts in development along with many scripts being sent
to the studio for reviewal and to be produced. There is always so
much going on at R&F Entertainment.
What got you into
making movies in the first place?
When I was a child I used to go to the movies with my father every Friday night. It was a
regular hangout we made time to do. It was special and it was great and I
always wanted to see my name on the big screen one day. So I decided to
make it happen and make my dreams come true.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
production company's website is
the films official website is
film's official Facebook is
you can hashtag the film with #Defarious on Instagram and Twitter.
for the interview!