Your vampire character Jezebeth - what can you tell us about
her, what were the inspirations behind her creation, and was she intended
as a series character from square one?
Okay well to begin with, I (Damien Dante) am the CEO and partner
at SGL Entertainment. Jeffrey A Swanson is the president at SGL
Entertainment. SGL Entertainment is a global indie film distribution
Well first, back in the summer of 2008, I had decided to create a
vampire feature film that would become a movie franchise. At that same
time, my feature film The Blind and the Dead screened in Chicago at the
Portage Theatre. So I did a lot of research on demons and vampires. In
demonology the demon "Jezebeth" was a female vampire known for her
"falsehoods and lies" and I quickly became fixated with the name
Jezebeth, and so my business partner at SGL Entertainment, Jeffrey A
Swanson and myself decided that Jezebeth would be the name of the vampire
film and thus, the Jezebeth movie franchise was born. We started filming
the first Jezebeth feature film on March 1, 2009. And FYI, no baby ever
born in the United States or for that matter, anywhere in the world, has
the name Jezebeth. In the Jezebeth movie franchise, I wanted to create
Jezebeth in a way where she is like an action figure, who is evil,
yet at times, she shows that even in the darkness of evil, there can
So what can you
tell us about the first film, Jezebeth - what's it about, how did
it fall together, and what can you tell us about the shoot as well as
critical and audience reception?
Well the first Jezebeth
feature film, a musical with horror, was billed as a pure horror
film and it was released worldwide in 2011 (SGL Entertainment, Indie
Rights Movies, R Squared Films), on Blu-ray, and on almost all movie
streaming platforms in the world and now, also released through MVD
Visual, a division of MVD Entertainment Group. Also the first Jezebeth
movie is available on cable TV through Comcast On Demand, Xfinity, on its
Streampix Channel. In the first Jezebeth movie, there is a young girl
about 20 and her name is Jezebeth Blandy and she is very much into the
occult and she is possessed by the demon vampire Jezebeth Wyck from
centuries before. They also look like they could be identical twins but
they are not by blood. It took us 6 months to film it and we have had
positive and negative reviews just like all other movies out there. Bree
Michaels stars as Jezebeth in the first movie.
Is the vampire genre as
such a favourite genre of yours, and some of your favourite vampire
Actually, my favorite genre is the Western, and
then comes horror. I have no favorite vampire films but I have seen at
least 50 of them. I prefer westerns.
According to my information, you will release Jezebeth
2: Hour of the Gun in 2015 - so what is that one about, and how does
it relate to the first Jezebeth?
Jezebeth 2 Hour of the Gun stars Ana Santos as Jezebeth. Jezebeth 2 is
a complete departure from Jezebeth 1. Jezebeth 2 Hour of the Gun's story or
logline: "It's the year 1881 and the outlaw vampires Jezebeth Wyck
and Billie Gunn, now bitter enemies, have parted ways after a human child
is gunned down in cold blood. Now after 130 years that same child who has
become a vampire is used by the outlaw Billie Gunn as bait to lure
Jezebeth back to the land where it all began for a bloody final
Also in the first Jezebeth movie, Jezebeth was born a demon vampire in
1873, but in Jezebeth 2 Hour of the Gun, I changed the timeline so in
fact, Jezebeth was born in the mid 15th Century. That is where the
Jezebeth novel begins.
your inspirations for dreaming up Jezebeth 2: Hour of the Gun
specifically, and why a western setting?
Well I wanted
Jezebeth 3 The Guns of El Diablo to be a full blown Western, so I decided
to make Jezebeth 2 with a hint of things to come in Jezebeth 3. So
Jezebeth 2 Hour of the Gun does have some elements that you would find
in a Western. And when I wrote the screenplay I created a new character,
"Abigail", who is a child vampire with telekinetic powers which
grow in the 3rd installment in the Jezebeth movie franchise. I wanted
the vampire Jezebeth to revisit her days in the Old West as a outlaw
gunfighter, which we would really see in a major way in Jezebeth 3.
What can you
tell us about Jezebeth 2: Hour of the Gun's approach to horror (as
in suspense vs. sudden shocks, atmosphere vs all-out gore and the like)?
gore in Jezebeth 2 Hour of the Gun. There is surprise, action and
suspense, with blood, vampire bites and guns.
can you tell us about your movie's overall look and feel?
2 Hour of the Gun will qualify as a theatrical release, just as the first Jezebeth
movie. The look and feel of Jezebeth 2 Hour of the Gun is stunning. The
master movie file is in 1080p (Apple ProRes 422 HQ) and that is the industry standard if you want your feature film to be available on
all platforms worldwide, and also the first 2 Jezebeth feature films are
Jezebeth 2: Hour of the Gun, Jezebeth is played by Ana Santos - so
what made her perfect for the role, and why didn't you bring back Bree
Bree Michaels was slated at first to reprise her
role as Jezebeth, but she decided to try acting in Los Angeles and so I came
upon Ana Santos, and she gives the character Jezebeth a sense of raw
emotion and anger. She's amazing.
What can you tell us about the rest fo Jezebeth
2: Hour of the Gun's cast, and why exactly these people?
was very happy with my casting of the actors and that is all I can say.
Ana Santos, Ruby Gonzalez and Frank Warpeha are truly very good
professional actors. Ana Santos and Ruby Gonzalez will be back in Jezebeth
3 The Guns of El Diablo.
talk about the shoot as such for a bit, and the on-set atmosphere?
times it was crazy, and scene locations had to be changed at the last
when and where will Jezebeth 2: Hour of the Gun be released onto
the general public, exactly?
We here at SGL Entertainment
give no exact dates. We have several film distribution partners, domestic
and foreign now, and at the present time, we are working on cable TV deals
first. The movie will be available in 2015.
As far as I know, Jezebeth
3: The Guns of El Diablo and Jezebeth 4: The Devil's Triangle are
already in the planning stages - so do talk about those for a bit: What
have you planned next for Jezebeth, and when might these movies see
the light of day/darkness of a projection room?
Jezebeth 3 The Guns of El Diablo is slated to begin filming in Texas
late in 2015. Jezebeth 4 is simply titled Jezebeth 4. We plan on a
theatrical release of some kind for Jezebeth 3 maybe in Los Angeles in
2016. Jezebeth 4 won't film until maybe early in 2017.
Jezebeth 3 is a full blown Western and Jezebeth 4 will be the first
Jezebeth movie in the franchise that will be all about horror and evil
inside a Victorian mansion in which a Jezebeth Demon Doll comes to life.
other future projects you'd like to share?
We are very busy
with SGL Entertainment. We acquire the digital and DVD rights to other
feature films for worldwide distribution and that takes up 90% of our
time. So we only have time to film the Jezebeth movies. I am the director
and screenwriter. I am theproducer as well, along with Jeffrey A
years, Jezebeth has developed into quite a merchandise-spawning
character, with novels, comicbooks, dolls and whatnot to her name - so do
talk about that aspect of the series for a bit?
there now is the Jezebeth Demon Doll, the Jezebeth
Jezebeth novel and tons of Jezebeth merchandise. Jezebeth on Blu-ray and
the first Jezebeth feature film is on 3 other DVD releases.
Jezebeth Demon Doll
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
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The links below
will take you
you into filmmaking to begin with, and did you receive any formal training
on the subject?
I did attend film school in 2004 at
ACTION/CUT based in Studio City, California.
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to Jezebeth?
I did film a few shorts and my
first feature film The Blind and the Dead.
What can you tell us about
your company SGL Entertainment, and the philosophy behind it?
I am business partners with Jeffrey A Swanson at SGL Entertainment. We
are a global media and film distribution company and we are the creators
of the vampire feature film franchise Jezebeth.
We are successful because we think outside the box and we look for young
up-and-coming filmmakers and producers, and also we continue to
land movie deals with more major studios, producers and filmmakers, who
can deliver to us high quality feature films.
would you describe yourself as a director?
who inspire you?
There are none.
Your favourite movies?
are too many to list.
and of course, films you really deplore?
I don't judge
the work of other filmmakers.
website, Facebook, whatever else?
Anything else you are
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
else, and thank you!
for the interview!