Your upcoming movie The New Neighbor - in a few words, what
is it about?
New Neighbor is about a strange epidemic that is sweeping up a local
neighborhood. A college student (Kaylee Williams) & her immature
brother (Anthony Del Negro) become convinced that everyone is being
slowly turned into vampires. All
of this is timed with the arrival of a new neighbor. Problem is, she
finds herself inexplicably drawn to the new neighbor (Ryan Sandefur) and
in the middle of a torrid affair against her better judgement.
is, is she a moth being drawn to the flame? Or is there a greater evil
With The New Neighbor being a
vampire movie - is that a genre dear to you, and some of your genre
enjoy vampire films (a lot), but surprisingly enough, it is not a genre
that is near and dear to my heart.
two favorite sub-genres of film are slasher and sex comedy, because that
is what I grew up on as a kid watching USA's Up All Night.
call me cliched but my favorites of the genre are the original Fright
Night, the sequel Fright Night Part II, Bram Stoker's Dracula and
Near Dark. I
also really appreciate the film Martin, because it tried to bring
something different and thought provoking to the sub-genre.
How would you describe your approach to the genre?
approach to any type of genre is I try to think of things that are
inherent to that genre and then go about merging those elements into a
I think of vampires, there is obviously something very erotic about
also think vampires lend themselves to secrecy and mystery since they
are supposed to be creatures of the night that live beneath the grid.
with New Neighbor, I tried to bring a seamless blend of horror, mystery
and erotic thriller into one film while still giving the film some real
think a sense of heart is what is missing in the horror films of today
and that was something that was very present in the horror films of the
80's. Heart is what made those films feel
personable and special. That's why I think people connected to those
films so well.
have to say I am extremely excited to be getting closer to filming of
The New Neighbor, not only because I think we are bringing something a
to the vampire sub-genre, but I have to say it has been forever since
there was a really good erotic thriller. I think we are going to be doing
some different, but at the same time something that hasn't been done in
a really long time.
What were your
sources of inspiration when writing The New Neighbor?
main source of my inspiration when writing The New Neighbor was Ryan
Ryan has some of the palest, most porcelain like skin you will ever
see in your life. Ryan even has fangs in the back of his mouth. Heck,
Ryan can't even stand being out in the sunlight! If
he sees the least bit of sun, it drives him crazy. This kid is a
walking vampire; he just doesn't know it yet.
from there, my writing process was, "what if this hunky looking
guy, that looks like a vampire, were to move in next door to me, how
would people respond to him?" And
from there, I developed the script for The New Neighbor.
I'm almost sure you have at least at one point in your life had a neighbour yourself: Is any of
The New Neighbor
based on personal experience (apart from the vampire bit I hope)?
very funny that you ask that! While in the process of writing The New
Neighbor, I had a neighbor move in that acted very suspiciously. I would
only see them about once or twice a week. They only came out at night. And
when they did, they never cut on any lights. They actually used candles to
navigate through their house at night! So who knows, maybe vampires do
really exist after all and they're living next door to me!
far as I know, The New Neighbor is still in its fundraising stages.
So what can you tell us about your fundraising efforts, and how do you plan
to proceed from there?
actually have most of the budget in the bank and have already went ahead
and bought props, costumes and bus & plane tickets for the cast and
crew, but at the last minute we had an investor not put forth the amount
he had pledged, so we are now trying to raise that gap in the budget.
We're making this film on a tight budget and so there is just no room to
take away anything.
our Kickstarter campaign, we're not just offering DVD's, but a part of
the movie experience. You can get movie props and costumes from the
film. There's cam to cam time or a personal training session w/ Ryan,
webcam access to filming, even the chance to ask just about any cast
member or the director or myself any question personally or
professionally and we will record a video response just for you. And on
top of that, our perks/rewards are very reasonably
link to the Kickstarter is:
What can you tell us about your
director James Cullen Bressack [James
Cullen Bressack interview - click here]?
and I had talked for quite a few years. He had been wanting to work with
me after I let him preview one of my scripts. However, I was very
hesitant, because of how young he is. However, after working with Ryan
Sandefur this past summer and co-founding a new production company with
him (Ryan is only 20), I came to realize if someone is talented, smart and
driven, it doesn't matter how old or young they are. Talent is talent.
do you suppose will James bring to
the table as a director?
was attracted to the fact that in the crowded indie horror field, James is
able to stand out and make a name for himself. I know in order to have
done that, he has had to put in some hard work and a good amount of time.
The people that work with me, I want them to be able to work hard and be
willing to go the extra mile. I think James has done that in the past, so
I was willing to give him a shot to see if he can bring that same kind of commitment
and work ethic
to The New Neighbor.
As writer/producer of the film, how much say will you
have/do you want to have concerning the look and feel of the film?
I'm going to do my best to explain this. I'm the client and I'm paying
James to execute something. James is the director. He has to find a
balance of staying true to himself, while also satisfying my needs and
my expectations of the project.
Before filming, we will have a lengthy discussion about how I want the
film to come out, the mood & atmosphere that I want the film to
convey, the overall general tone and if there is anything specific I
want to see happen within the context of a scene, and then I will let
James at it.
Ryan Sandefur and Kaylee Williams - what can you tell us about them?
Sandefur is a fitness and fashion model that is breaking into film. He
is the co-founder and President of the production company
that will be producing The New Neighbor. He has worked incredibly hard
on The New Neighbor, not just acting in it, but helping to raise funds
for it, but he works closely with me to help take care of all aspects of
the production until we get to filming.
Williams is a horror scream queen who has really exploded the past
couple of years.
first time I saw Kaylee, I knew there was something very, very special
about her and as such I
feel really privileged to have worked with her so frequently these past
6 months. Kaylee and I joke
around that one of these days I am going to have to put a ring on it
(her finger) - lol.
did you get them?
Sandefur and I really clicked this past summer when we worked together
on a few projects. After filming was over with, I
couldn't let him go back to Georgia, so I convinced him to stay in
Virginia instead. Together Ryan & I co-founded our own production
company, Beyond Boundaries. The New Neighbor will be the first film from
the newly formed company.
For the female lead of the film,
I was having a hard time finding the right person to play Alex. Since
the Alex character is
on screen for almost the entire film, I needed someone that could come
to set fully prepared and ready to attack this role.
I was searching for my Alex, Kaylee e-mailed me saying she would like to
audition. Even though I have worked w/ Kaylee
twice in the past, for some reason it never entered my mind to consider
her. After she e-mailed me, it went off like a light bulb in my head
that she would be absolutely perfect for the part. I thought her and
Ryan would look really good together on screen. So I offered her the
role on the spot - no audition, no reading, no nothing. That was how
confident I was that we had the right person for this part.
What makes them perfect for their characters?
I wrote his character, I
tried to think of who Ryan is as a person and how he comes across in the
still images that various photographers have taken of him when Ryan works
in the modeling side of the entertainment field.
is a really nice guy, who tries to protect people, but he is also very
shy and secretive. So I incorporated that into his character. When
I see Ryan in a still image, his facial expressions are very powerful.
There is something haunting and seductive about his facial expressions
that pull you
into him. Even though he isn't saying anything obviously in a still,
it's like you're looking into his soul. I love and hate his stills all
at the same time, because I love Ryan's expressions in them, but I hate
that most of them are of Ryan in his underwear. I wish these
photographers had focused on his face, since those expressions were
priceless. Anyway, I made sure that was another shade
that I gave to his character.
these elements that I put into the script are who Ryan is in real life,
he was obviously the most perfect choice to play this role.
when it came to Kaylee, I had to find someone that would look like they
would be a good fit for Ryan, someone that could be the
girl next door, someone that has some vulnerabilities, and someone that
I can relate to. I think Kaylee has all those qualities and then some.
Kaylee brings a real natural quality to her acting when she is on
screen. She makes it look really effortless. That is a quality that
I really appreciate about her approach to acting.
few words about the rest of your key cast and crew?
Anthony Del Negro
D. Durbin is my bromance on the side. (Sorry Ryan!) He has acted in
three projects of mine, but he has also worked in some kind
of producing capacity in all the films I have done. Joe has been a real asset
to me, because he really has been there for me when I
needed help or advice. I couldn't have done it without him.
an actor, I think Spencer Harlan has one of the most unique aesthetics I
have seen in a while. He is this good looking guy next
door type who is also a comedian and tells dirty jokes. I think Spencer
has some Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) type potential with
some hard work. I
can easily see Spencer doing a family film, but I could also see Spencer
doing a good old fashion dirty comedy just like Segel has done in his
for Anthony Del Negro, this will be my first time working with him, but
the closer we get to filming, the more and more I
grow to think of how perfect he looks for the part of this annoying
little brother type in the film. He's a good actor and I think this role
is perfectly suited to showcase his strengths. On top of that, he and
Kaylee look like they could easily be brother and sister.
might be waaay too early to ask, but any idea when and where the film will
be released onto the general public yet?
The film will debut in late summer, early fall 2013. We will be making
the festival rounds.
Generally a film will make the festival
rounds for 6 months to a year, then comes distribution,
anyone that wants to pre-order a copy of the film (they will get their
copy before it is available to the general public as well), you can do
so by contributing to the Kickstarter campaign at:
projects beyond The New Neighbor?
have two projects in the pipeline. The first will shoot sometime in
April. It's a horror film about a teen who believes something in his
house is out to get him, that can only come out in the dark, but the
twist is the teen suffers from agoraphobia and is unable to leave his
house. In addition to starring Ryan Sandefur, it will star genre stars
Lynn Lowry (The Haunting of Whaley House) and Maria Olsen (Paranormal
Activity 3). That film is entitled Afraid of the Dark.
we will be shooting some promo material for another film called The
Legend of Bloody Mary back to back w/ The New Neighbor. The
Legend of Bloody Mary will be part sex comedy, part slasher film w/ some
elements of the supernatural thrown in. The
Legend of Bloody Mary will be funny where it should be, but scary where
it should be as well.
website, Facebook, Kickstarter, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Currently we are running a Kickstarter campaign to raise some last
minute funds. We had an investor
not put forth the amount he had pledged to do so and now we are trying
to cover that gap before
we go into filming on Jan. 14th. The link to the Kickstarter is:
You can also check out The New Neighbor Facebook fan page for plenty of
behind the scenes pic at:
else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for giving me the
opportunity to be featured on your site and to talk about our film. And
thank you for your patience in dealing with me! I have a million things
going on all at once. I wish I had a secretary helping me out, but
unfortunately, it's just me!
Also, I want to thank the fans that have helped us out and supported us
out along the way. Being on set is my favorite aspect about making
movies, but my second favorite part about it all is being able to
connect with other horror fans out there. Anytime a horror fan has a
question or wants to chat, just feel free to hit me up on Facebook. I
will ALWAYS do my best to answer any questions or take time out for you
for the interview!
No. Thank you. And thanks again for everything.