Currently, you are in pre-production of two projects, Tales from
Beyond and Fat Chance - in a few words, what is each of them
Tales from Beyond: Volume 1 is the first in a series of creepy audio
drama CDs featuring 3 true stories on each volume relating to hauntings,
cryptozoology, UFOs, and other paranormal activity (such as premonition
of death, astral projection, and wildly improbable coincidence). Each
volume of stories will be professionally performed in the style of the
classic radio dramas from yesteryear by some of the best voice talents
in the industry and hosted/narrated (in The Twilight Zone-style) by beloved actor Daniel Roebuck (star of
The Fugitive, Glee, Matlock, The Devil's
Rejects, Rob Zombie's Halloween, US Marshals, Ghost
Whisperer, and more).
Tales from Beyond is written and produced by Kevin Herren
(Fall of the House of Usher, Legend of Sleepy Hollow) and myself and will be
distributed by Schiffer Publishing. It also features the talents of
Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager, Stargate:
Atlantis), John de Lancie (Star Trek: The Next Generation,
Torchwood), Reggie Bannister (Phantasm,
L.A. Law), Cerina Vincent (Cabin
Fever, Two and a Half Men), Kyle Hebert (Dragonball
Z, Wreck it Ralph), and Mary McGlynn (Blade,
Fat Chance is a horror/comedy in the style of the films from the '80's.
Tossing aside the grim, gritty realism of torture porn and other modern
fads, Fat Chance prides itself on being a wild rollercoaster ride from
beginning to end. It's best described as The Biggest Loser
meets Friday the 13th! The plot is, basically, this… ten obese men appear on a
competitive reality show geared toward weight-loss. As the competition
grows more intense the contestants realize they are losing more than
just weight; they are losing competitors. Are the contestants dropping
out voluntarily or is something more insidious going on?
Fat Chance is written by Daniel Emery Taylor (The Return of
the Swamp Thing, Road Trip) and is directed by Daniel and myself. The film, also,
features the talents of John Dugan (The
Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Scott
Tepperman (Ghost Hunters International), and G. Larry Butler
(Fist of the North Star).
As far as I know, you are presently running
fundraising campaigns for both these movies - so what can you tell us
about your campaigns, and how can we, the audience, help out?
Yes. We currently have 2 fundraising campaigns hosted on the IndieGoGo
website that are offering a lot of really cool perks, including being
able to order advance autographed copies of the projects, having the
opportunity to act in the projects opposite the stars, getting
production T-shirts, meeting the actors, and much more. There are
humorous videos on each project page explaining what we are doing and
how you can personally get involved. We greatly appreciate everyone's
support of these projects!
Tales from Beyond can be found here: www.IndieGoGo.com/TalesFromBeyond
Fat Chance can be found here: www.IndieGoGo.com/FatChance
Jim O'Rear in the recording studio
start with Tales from Beyond - why audio drama, and how do you
approach the medium stylistically?
Audio dramas are a lost
art form from the past. Everyone involved in Tales from Beyond is a huge fan of the
old-time audio drama, and we feel that it’s an art that should come back
into the public’s eye. These are a lot of fun because it allows your
imagination to get creative and piece together images in your head based
on the sounds, music, and voices you are listening to. Orson Wells
panicked the nation many years ago when he broadcast the radio drama War
of the Worlds. These types of projects have a certain way of touching your
imagination like nothing else can and you have to approach it from the
point of what sounds, words, and music will evoke the most visual
responses in the listeners brain. It’s a challenge, but the end product
is always a blast to hear.
Why an anthology
series, what were your inspirations for the series as such and the
individual stories, and what can you tell us about your writing (and
producing) partner Kevin Herren?
Kevin is the “man behind
the curtain” at Macabre Mansion
He’s featured audio dramas on his website for several years and came up
with this idea. Kevin and I had worked together on 3 full-length audio
dramas previously, Fall of the House of Usher, A Christmas Carol
and Legend of Sleepy Hollow. We’re both fans of shows like
The Twilight Zone
and Outer Limits
and thought it might be cool to try an anthology of
shorts in that style. Since there is an increased interest in the
paranormal, cryptozoology, and UFOs, we felt that a dramatization of true
stories that had to do with those topics might be something that would be
unusual and of interest to both horror and paranormal fans. We plan on
having 3 different stories on each disc.
Tales from Beyond
has a quite prominent voice cast - so why don't you talk about some of the
people you'll feature, and how did you get them?
Reggie Bannister, Daniel Roebuck, Tiffany
LaBarbera, Kyle Hebert, Jim O'Rear, Eileen Dietz
is super talented and we’re grateful to have them all on board. I think
I mentioned all of their names previously, but we may also have a couple
of surprises pop up in the cast, too. I can’t talk about those, though,
until later. I’ve known most of these actors for several years and have
done other projects with them, so I just picked up the phone and made a
call to see if they were interested. Many of us worked on Legend of
Sleepy Hollow and A Christmas Carol together and had so much fun that everyone
wanted to do it again. The only one I hadn’t worked with previously was
Robert Picardo. I had done some convention appearances with him, but never
worked with him. Kevin Herren reached out and made contact with him and,
as coincidence would have it, Robert was going to work on a film the
following week with Daniel Roebuck and said that if Danny was doing it
then he was doing it, too. Daniel and Robert were kind enough to shoot the
humorous promo video that’s on the Tales from Beyond IndieGoGo site while they were
on their movie set together.
Chance is described as "a fun and campy throwback to the
over-the-top, gross-out slashers of the 1980's" - is that a genre at
all dear to you, and how true do you remain to the genre formula?
Emery Taylor and I grew up on the campy horror films of the 1980s. To this
day, I still believe those are the horror films that are the most fun.
They never took themselves too seriously, the gore was silly and almost
comic-book-style in nature, and they just wanted to let the audience
escape for 85 minutes and have a good time. So, that time period in horror
is dear to both of us. We are definitely staying true to that style and
formula in the making of Fat Chance.
of course have to talk about Fat Chance's co-director and writer
Daniel Emery Taylor for a bit? And how do you two plan to tackle your
subject at hand?
Daniel Emery Taylor
Daniel Emery Taylor, whom I refer to as
DET, is probably best known fromThe Return of the Swamp Thing
small role in Road Trip, however he is a die-hard horror fan and has
appeared in several genre films. Just wait until audiences see him as
“Stanley” in The Hospital, which is being released later this year.
The public is about to see how talented this guy really is. Not only is he
a talented actor but he’s also a fantastic writer and has a good grip on
the process of filmmaking. We both like the same types of films and have a
very similar vision when it comes to films of this style, so we’re going
to attack it as fans of this genre making a film for other fans of the
genre. We’re going to make what we’d like to see on screen… and I
think the audience will really enjoy it.
The slasher genre is almost
automatically associated with blood and guts - so how far do you plan to
go, how explicit do you plan to get in the gore department?
will be gore and it will be over-the-top in nature. It has to be in order
to emulate the films from the 80s. The difference is that the films of
that time were not so realistic in their depiction of the violence and
gore. They were almost laughable, in a lot of respects, while at the same
time being gory. There’s a certain campiness to it. So, while the gore
will be over-the-top, it will also be fun.
of course also have to talk about Fat Chance's projected cast for a
Again, we’ve got a couple of surprises in the wings
to add to this cast that we can’t talk about, yet. It all depends on how
successful the fundraiser is. But, there are a couple of cool names
interested in being involved, but we’ve gotta reach our fundraising goal
first. The cast that I mentioned previously that are attached to this
project are fantastic talents that pour their hearts into what they do.
John Dugan, from The
Texas Chainsaw Massacre, is always a blast and Scott Tepperman,
from Ghost Hunters International, is successfully evolving from reality
television into a true genre actor.
Once your funds are raised, how do you plan to
proceed with each project, and any idea when and where they'll be released
onto the general public yet?
If we reach our goal on both
projects, we hope to go into production on both of them in April or May.
Fat Chance will be shot in Alabama and Tales from Beyond is being recorded
in Los Angeles. We have a distributor for Tales from Beyond, already,
will probably have the product in stores by the end of the year. With Fat Chance, we will have some select screenings of it for fans at horror
conventions and then let a distributor pick it up for release on DVD
towards the end of this year, as well.
Any future projects beyond Tales
from Beyond and Fat Chance?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
DET and I will also
be working with Scott Tepperman on a film he wrote called I Scream in the
near future. It’s also another campy 80s style film that will have a lot
of cameos in it from genre stars of the 1980s. But, more about that later!
projects' website, Facebook, IndieGoGo, whatever else?
Tales from Beyond Facebook page:
Tales from Beyond Fundraising Campaign: www.IndieGoGo.com/TalesFromBeyond
Fat Chance Facebook Page:
Fat Chance Fundraising Campaign:
else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
can always keep an eye on my website (www.JimORear.com)
for more news and updates. My website also has a link to my Facebook page,
so between those two sites you should be able to get a lot of news and
for the interview!
Thank you for your interest in these