Your new movie Kids
Get Dead 2: The Kids Get Deader - in a few words, what is it
Get Dead 2: The Kids Get Deader is an homage to the classic slasher films, including our own horror
hostess segments. A house party full of boobs, blood and rock‘n’roll
goes awry while our main character struggles with meeting her creator and
the nature of free will.
Get Dead 2: The Kids Get Deader being a sequel to Kids Go to
the Woods ... Kids Get Dead - to what an extent is it based on the
earlier film, and when did it appear to you that that one needed a sequel?
2 can not only stand on its own but surpasses the original. Our
survivor girl (Casey, played by Leah Rudick) does make a return but we
specifically tailored the script so the movie could be enjoyed without
seeing the first one. Kids Get Dead
was always envisioned as a series in the vein
the Friday the
13th, Nightmare on Elm
Street, Halloween etc. After the success of the first film we knew our
series would keep going.
(other) inspirations when writing Kids
Get Dead 2: The Kids Get Deader?
am a huge fan of Tales From The Crypt, The Twilight Zone and
USA Up All
Night with Rhonda Shear. Those shows were very influential in addition to
the big franchise slashers of the 80s.
How far do you
go in terms of blood and guts in Kids
Get Dead 2: The Kids Get Deader, and what can you tell us about
your gore effects - and was there ever a line you refused to cross?
Some of our gore gets pretty
intense! In the first week we ended up using all the blood that was
supposed to last the whole shoot and had to have Rich Catino (our special
fx make up artist) whip us up another huge batch.
We tried to use as many practical fx as possible. There is just a tangible
element that doesn’t translate with the CGI stuff so we used that
As far as crossing any lines?
I really don’t dig that torture porn stuff at all. So although it’s
gory we still try to keep it fun and in the context of the story.
can you tell us about your directorial approach to your subject at hand?
And since this one is essentially an old school slasher, what do you think
makes it stick out of the crowd?
I never try to force the camp
value in a picture like this. It happens naturally with the subject
matter. When you try too hard to ham it up it tends to come across as
trying too hard. I trust our actors when they develop their characters and
direct them to approach their scenes very seriously no matter how
ridiculous the situation might be.
I think the subplot of Casey
(Leah Rudick) confronting the author Charles Carver (Steve Buja) of the
novels dictating their fates in the movie gives the picture a little more
depth than your typical slasher film. Of course we have some very unique
and sexy kills, which doesn’t hurt either!
You of course have to
talk about the horror host segments for a bit!
Up All Night with Rhonda Shear was such an influential show for me. So was
Rod Sterling and the Crypt Keeper. I really love that element of the host
or hostess and what it brings to the overall experience of watching a
film like this. The nostalgia of the homage reminds me of when I
experienced these things for the first time, but I also haven’t seen it
done since maybe Mystery Science Theater 3000 (another favorite). It’s
something I enjoy but don’t see others do so I wanted to bring that
element back to the movie watching experience.
you tell us about your cast, and why exactly these people?
cast was very carefully selected from several auditions, call backs and
rehearsals. Not only did we need people that could fit the part but keep
up with a brutal shooting schedule and rigors of a horror picture. Some
were people I had worked with in the past but there were plenty of new
faces too. Everyone I work with really becomes part of our family, so we
try to cast with that in mind as well.
talk about the shoot as such for a bit, and the on-set atmosphere?
shoot days are very long and demanding. In most cases people are doing
multiple jobs and wearing a lot of different hats. I try to make sure
everyone has a good time and is well fed and we really do become a family
very quickly. Everyone is very professional, often taking time away from
their industry jobs to dedicate to our pictures, so it’s important to me
they are treated well. We also like to teach new film makers as much as
possible. Whether it’s a production assistant or even an actor, if they
have an interest we try to teach them lighting, cameras, sound etc as much
as possible. Many have gone on to start their own production companies,
create their own films or secure industry work after training with us, and
I’ve always been very proud of that.
can you tell us about audience and critical reception of
Get Dead 2: The Kids Get Deader so far?
reception so far has been amazing! In addition to a solid script we really
upped the production value since the last film and everyone seems to
really dig it. Audiences have been having a blast, our premiere at Tribeca
Cinemas in NYC was a packed ruckus crowd and the critics have been getting
behind us as well.
have talked quite so much about Kids
Get Dead 2: The Kids Get Deader already, you also have to say more
than a few words about Kids Go to the Woods ... Kids Get Dead!
first film had a very different feel than Kids
Get Dead 2: The Kids Get Deader. We were going for more
of a VHS tape feel with static and fake commercials in addition to the
hostess vignettes. We also updated the look of the killer in Kids
Get Dead 2: The Kids Get Deader as well
as slicker production values. Kids Go to the Woods ... Kids Get Dead
still packs a punch with the boobs, blood and rock ‘n’ roll and was
the first step in envisioning the homage as an ongoing series. Both
movies are ultimately designed for the audience to just have fun!
future projects you'd like to share?
have a few scripts in the final stages now but nothing is completely
locked in. Lately I’ve been very interested in werewolves, Barbarella
and Paradise Lost, so we’ll exploring some of those themes for sure. And
of course Kids Get Dead 3D: The Kids Get Deadest is in the works!
What got you into
filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal education on
introduction to filmmaking was making stop motion movies with our family
camera and my action figures. I studied film in college but ultimately
decided on a Communications Studies degree from Fairleigh Dickinson
University. My first job after college was producing a feature! Talk about
trial by fire. This led to a partnership in 4 Horsemen Films, LLC and
about 10 years of freelance work in nearly every position someone can have
from pre-production through post before starting my own company Darkstar
What can you tell us about your filmwork
bestides the Kids
addition to several documentaries, music videos, commercials and things of
that nature I am very proud of Lost Hero. It was an ambitious 25 min short
that really showed connected with my thoughts on super heroes and their
place in the modern consciousness. “It’s not the villainy you prevent
but the good you inspire” really struck a chord with me. You can check
it out at
How would you describe yourself
as a director?
a director I am extremely focussed and know what I want. But at the same
time I want people to have the freedom to explore their characters and
bring themselves to the roles they play.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Carpenter, John Landis, Robert Rodriguez, Lloyd Kaufman, and Roger Corman [Roger
Corman bio - click here] are all very inspirational filmmakers. I love their DIY can-do attitudes
as well as the hands-on nature they take with their pictures.
always dread this question, there are so many! High Fidelity, Never Ending
Story, Back to the Future, Star Wars, Indiana
Jones, Willow, Labyrinth,
anything by the filmmakers listed above ... but this list could go on and on!
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Not naming names, but anything that comes across
as lazy in execution or intent really bugs me. I am not really a fan of
“found footage”-style movies or exploitation films that portray rape
and violence as pornography.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
The best way to keep in
touch, chat about filmmaking, dig on some merch or find out about future
projects are through:
Thanks for the interview!