Your new movie A
Tricky Treat - in a few words, what is it about?
me, the underlying idea is really about consumption: How we as humans
voraciously and unconsciously plow through nature for the sake of pure
ceremonial tradition. At the heart of this story lies a twist that aims at
making the audience think about the issue of hyper-consumerism.
did the movie fall together in the first place?
The Soska twins [Soska twins
interview - click here], who directed the popular horror movie American
Mary invited me to make a short film that would be part of the Women
in Horror Massive Blood Drive PSA. I asked writer Kamal John
Iskander if he had a concept for me, and he brought me this script.
It was kind of a gag I came up with in high school. I just had it laying
around with the intention of making it one day… maybe as a stop motion
kind of thing. But this proved to be the right opportunity, and Patricia
was very enthusiastic about making it. Her instincts were right, and it
got done rather quickly and effectively.
Tricky Treat being a Halloween movie - is that a
"holiday" at all special to you?
I love to dress up in costume and explore different facets of my own
persona, so Halloween has always been a fun holiday for me. Also, since
entering the world of horror as a filmmaker, the month of October has
become peak season, keeping me busy attending several horror film
festivals and Halloween film showcases. A
Tricky Treat is the perfect short for Halloween!
the right time to explore one’s dark side… without the usual
were your inspirations when writing A
I’ve always loved twist endings, especially with a garnish of the
macabre. Writers like Roald Dahl, Guy De Maupassant, Stefan Zweig, Julio
Cortázar, and Nikolai Gogol as well as filmed series like Tales of the
Unexpected and Twilight Zone have always held a special place in my heart,
with their one foot in reality and the other planted in the dimensions of
Patricia, do talk about your
directorial effort to your story at hand!
production of A
Tricky Treat was
very easy to put together thanks to our producers, Grace Santos (in
Los Angeles) and Byron A. Martin
(in Toronto), as well as our executive producer Tara
Kurtz. Because this story relies on convincing special effects to
succeed, the film really came together when we found Danny
McCarthy of 800lb Gorilla
in San Diego, who did the practical effects, and Henry
Lipatov of Fame Cube
Productions in the Ukraine, who did the VFX, and their highly talented
teams. We also had the tremendous help of our co-executive producers Adonai Interiano and Morris
the director, I wanted to give a lot of space to the actors. It is a
challenging script to shoot because of the fact that we never see the
faces of any of the four family members in the film. So I had to encourage
the actors to improvise; to use their voices and hands as the main
storytelling device. It was a fun process to see the characters bring the
dialogue to life during the rehearsal we did before the shoot.
also wanted Danny McCarthy to fully express himself with the practical
effects on set and to render them as realistic as possible in order to
make this credible. We even had discussions about the color of the blood,
going into detail about the specific shade of red. He really pulled it off
post-production was done in Toronto and supervised by my producer Byron A.
What can you
tell us about your collaboration when making A
Kamal is one of the most creative people I know, and his sense of humor is
very dark and quirky. His ideas inspire and charge me creatively, and our
collaboration often encourages us to push boundaries as we constantly
challenge each other to reinvent ourselves, like in this case, as the
“Gruesome Twosome”, in the words of reviewer Ray
I can’t argue with that.
How did the two of you first meet
even, and what can you tell us about your collaborations prior to A
met on the festival circuit in 2010 when I was touring with my short Day
Before Yesterday and he was touring with his, Jesus Comes to Town. Our
two shorts were always programed in the same competitions and we kept
bumping into each other in various cities. We were at the Oaxaca FilmFest
in 2011 when Kamal told me about an idea for a movie he had called Montréal Girls. Since
I’m a Montréal girl myself, I became very intrigued by his script.
After reading it, I immediately wanted to direct it. So we’ve been
developing that and collaborating ever since.
Patricia’s opinions, taste, and her exacting notes on the mechanics of
story are invaluable. She has been a tremendous asset to the development
of everything we have worked on together.
Back to A
Tricky Treat - you just have to talk about the effects work on
your movie for a bit, and how was everything achieved?
really push the realism, we had to cast the head of actor Leonard
Waldner, because it gets chopped off within the first few seconds of
the film. We all went to San Diego, to the studio where Danny McCarthy
creates with his team. They worked on the severed head for a full two
weeks before the shoot. Danny kept perfecting the look and texture on set
after I gave him some further notes
Also talk about A Tricky
Treat special brand of humour for a bit!
the dark humor was inherent in the script, it’s really when the actors
came together to do the first read that we were able to play with and amp
up the comedy. At first, the actors did the read in a very traditional
kind of way, playing it scared and disgusted. However, I wanted to
juxtapose that with the hilarity that naturally emerged, and to really
underscore that contrast visually. I love to play with opposites, and in
this case, the payoff was bigger and darker, because we emphasized the
story’s humorous tone.
Patricia’s use of a light hearted soundtrack plays into this with the
voices, the acting, and the music contributing to the levity. In contrast,
the visuals are very dramatic, scary, and revolting. By emphasizing the
comedy in the audio and the drama in the visuals, the twist at the end
became even more surprising and impactful.
can you tell us about your cast, and why exactly these people?
My amazing producer Grace Santos and I simply called actors we thought
could fit these characters and offered them the roles. The chemistry was
there and they all did such an excellent job bringing them to life. Since
the four family members are never seen on camera, it didn’t really
matter if there was a resemblance between them. That aspect made casting
super easy. They were essentially cast for their voices and each actor had
a unique one that perfectly described who their characters were.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
atmosphere was very friendly on set. I like to surround myself with good
people. I am able to be the filmmaker that I am thanks to the support of
my team. I’m very grateful that I had all these people involved in this
project. I was new in Los Angeles, having just moved there from Montreal,
so it was all new collaborators. They were all incredible!
I was banned from set after eating the props.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of your movie?
reception of this little film has been tremendous both from audiences and
film critics. The film recently won four awards at the Macabre Faire
Film Festival summer showcase in New York, including Best Short Film
and Best Director. It was also a finalist at DragonCon in Atlanta
and at the Halloween Horror Film Showcase.
Our favorite quote comes from Heather Buckley of Fangoria magazine
who said the short was “Deliciously Vile.” That quote even made it to
the movie poster as it perfectly encapsulates everything that can be said
about this tricky little treat.
VIDEO OF OUR WORLD PREMIERE AT THE FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL:
future projects you'd like to share?
I just shot in Montreal a few test scenes of a new film called Morning After, written by Kristian Hodko. It’s a
coming-of-age LGBTQ drama. The teaser should be out soon and we will start
shopping the project around.
Just trying to produce words that string together coherently.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
website, Facebook, whatever else?
Tricky Treat: https://www.facebook.com/ATrickyTreat?fref=ts
Anything else you're
dying to tell us and I've merely forgotten to ask?
Trust your instincts, trust the process and never give up!
Keep your head about you.
for the interview!