Your webseries The Young and the Undead - in a few words,
what is it about?
The Young and the Undead is about the trials and tribulations of the Phibes family
and their struggles to keep control of their company, by any means
necessary. Re-animating corpses to keep control of the company, hiring
vampire lawyers, and even resorting to demonic possession are never out of
bounds in the Phibes family or the Phibes Corporation.
Why adopt the clichés and looks of a
daily soap for your series - and other sources of inspiration when cooking
up The Young and the Undead?
I grew up in a family
where everyone buy my dad watched soap operas (I was a game show kid who
loved Price Is Right and Family Feud back then but gravitated to soaps as
well). We were a General Hospital house through and through and I
still watch the show today.
Initially I had written (and shot portions of) a web soap opera that was
a true to the genre soap in the vein of Valley of the Dolls but never
could get the principle characters cast. I spent the next year tinkering
with it out of hopes that I could change it enough that I could work with
the people I had worked with in the original project. Ultimately my love
of horror and horror comedy (especially Chris Seaver and Henrique Couto)
compelled me to merge the 2 genres. I think the more gothic The Young and the Undead
more we'll see how the 2 genres really can go hand in hand very well.
What can you tell us
about The Young and the Undead's approach to both horror and
A lot of the humour is trope/cliché based, at least
initially. I also try to look at various stereotypes you see in other
genres and try to see where they would fit in The Young and the Undead. For instance, what could
possibly be scarier than a vampire lawyer? He'll suck your blood and then
file a civil suit for your assets! But over time there will be more scares
to even things out. As the series progresses, we will get gorier with
the blood effects and whatnot.
Do talk about your directorial approach to your
story at hand for a bit!
Everything is played straight with
little in the way of self aware moments. Meaning the actors are instructed
to play it all serious, no matter how absurd things get. I think this
gives it a more genuine camp factor and heightens the humour.
What can you tell us about your
cast, and why exactly these people?
For the main 4 cast
Rachel Hiebert (Vicki) and William Jordan (Douglas) were cast in the web soap I
attempted to make in 2014. Rachel was part of the shoot we did that
unfortunately was unfinished. She got the vibe instantly and I definitely
wanted to build something like this around her. William, was in a
storyline that was unfortunately, never shot but he is such an excellent
actor with such a commanding presence that I knew he HAD to be in
something I was going to shoot. I previously worked with William on Witchstalker
as the newscaster in the opening scene.
Tony Lee Porteous (who plays Robert the zombie) was also in some of my past works,
playing 2 different robbers
(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4077042/?ref_=nm_flmg_prd_8). He's a huge fan
of horror/comedy and I knew he'd be a great addition. And Darren Matyas (Dr.
Arby) has worked with me multiple times as well (most recently Escape
from Ridgemont High -
and took the ball and ran with it when I gave him the script.
Do talk about a
typical The Young and the Undead-shoot, and the on-set atmosphere!
usually pressed for time but the atmosphere is usually more fun than
tense. Often I will be teaching the less experienced cast and crew the
basic soap clichés and blocking (which is very foreign to the uninitiated
because no acting school locally teaches this style because Canada has no
homegrown daytime soaps). In fact, the vast majority of my shoots over the
last few years have been great fun with everyone bringing something to the
$64-question, where can your series be seen?
channel for this series is
There you can find The Young and the Undead,
Ninjas (our kung fu series) and Chad's Angels (my all-star parody of
Charlie's Angels and
So far, The
Young and the Undead has featured both zombies and vampires - will
other undead creatures turn up as well over the course of the series? And
any other hints regarding future episodes?
I can't reveal
TOO too much but I'm pretty sure you will see some pretty big reveals of
the human AND undead variety in the next few episodes! ;)
future projects you'd like to share?
I'm always working on
something new and usually fly by the seat of my pants, meaning I may
conceive something today and shoot it tomorrow! I don't know what's next
but I know there will be a lot more new stuff to come.
What got you into
filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on
I was a writer initially (comic books/strips,
travel articles, music reviews, short stories, etc.). When I came back from
Asia I joined the National Screen Institute's Youth Outreach Program where
I took classes and workshops for all aspects of filmmaking. From there I
worked as a PA on several sets before becoming an assistant gaffer. On the
side I was heavily inspired by the explosion of web series on the then
very new YouTube. I've done various workshops over the years but much of
the experience you see now, including my editing skills, are self taught
or through YouTube tutorials.
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to The Young and the Undead?
Oh my, there's so
many projects! I've been making web series since 2008 when I made the
horror/comedy Camp Bloody Beach (http://www.youtube.com/CampBreezyBeach).
I was seriously green and it shows in the finished work. From there I made
my flagship series Venus Spa (http://www.youtube.com/WatchVenusSpa). This
was a screwball 80s comedy about a group of girls who run a workout studio
in 1983. That one did huge numbers and convinced me that I could do bigger
and better stuff. Venus Spa lasted 3 seasons with countless special episodes
between 2009-2013. Since then I've done 3 series (Chad's Angels,
my kung fu chop-em-up, and Dougle Agents, my Bond
parody) as well as
numerous shorts. In 2013 I made my first feature, Witchstalker, starring
Debbie Rochon [Debbie Rochon
interview - click here], which had more firsts for me than everything I've done put
together. I always like to try new things and challenge what can and can't
be done in Winnipeg independently.
How would you
describe yourself as a director?
I'm usually pretty quiet
on set. More often than not I adapt to my locations when shooting rather
than trying to be married to a specific look. If I absolutely NEED a
specific type of set and can't get it, I just don't shoot the project or
scene. When you are working on a no budget production, often you have to
budget your time and energy for real world scenarios and not perfect world
scenarios. I've learned over the years, how to be more patient with cast
and crew, especially if they aren't overly experienced because when you
have budgets as low as mine, experienced actors and crew are hard to find
that aren't union. Which means you spend as much time teaching as you do
directing, which I don't mind at all. I was woefully inexperienced and
unprepared to be a director when I started. Hell, I was shit scared to
even TOUCH my own camera in my early shoots and would have panic attacks
if I couldn't get someone to be a DP/cameraman! So I know that if you have
patience with your young crew, they will pull through for you.
Filmmakers who inspire
Chris Seaver, Astron 6, Brad Jones, James Rolfe,
Dustin Hubbard [Dustin Hubbard
interview - click here], Bill Zebub, Roger Corman [Roger
Corman bio - click here], Lloyd Kaufman, Jim Wynorski [Jim
Wynorski interview - click here],
Henrique Couto, Godfrey Ho [Godfrey
Ho bio - click here] and the Go-Go Boys themselves from
Your favourite movies?
Wars, Animal House (pick damn near any screwball comedy from the late
70s-early 80s), Waitress, Killer Klowns From Outer
Space (the movie that
got me into B-Movies in the first place), Parents (starring Randy
the Indiana Jones movies, Delta Force, all 5 Death Wish movies, too many
anime movies to count, Filthy McNasty 1-2, Mulva 1-2,
Sleepaway Camp 1-3, Midnight Heat, the Angel series, just too many gems to
... and of
course, films you really deplore?
Movies that take
themselves WAY too seriously while being deep as a puddle (Christopher
Nolan, I'm looking right at you). Anything the Weinsteins have done that
wasn't made by Tarantino or Kevin Smith. Damn near anything based on a
young adult novel (except for the Wimpy Kid movies, those are funny and
my nephew loved them). Never been a Kevin Williamson, Diablo Cody or Joss
Whedon fan either.
website, Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Chad Media's Facebook is
My YouTube channels:
Anything else you're
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
out my first feature film Witchstalker
for rent or download at
Or go to http://www.galaxyfilmproductions.com/screamtimefilms/
get it on DVD!!
for the interview!
The pleasure is all mine, thanks for
having me on your site!