Your new movie Curse
of the Black Shuck - in a few words, what is it about?
of the Black Shuck is based on a British folklore
legend which originated in East Anglia. It's a mysterious black dog that
brings bad luck to everyone who encounters him and causes death and
did you stumble upon the legend of the Black Shuck in the first place, how
much research did you do on the subject, and how much artistic license did
you allow yourself?
While I was already aware of the basic story of the Black Shuck, I
started to study his mythology more thoroughly while researching for a
graphic novel that I am working on, and became completely fascinated
with the lore. My short story is based on many accounts of sightings as
well as digging into its roots within Norse Mythology originating to
the hounds of Odin.
(Other) sources of inspiration when
writing Curse of
the Black Shuck?
Everything from Soviet animation to gothic Hammer
horror movies. I
found inspiration in the works of Czech stop motion
animator Jan vankmajer as well as the works of Russian
stop motion pioneer Ladislas Starevich.
Why did you choose to make Curse
of the Black Shuck a stop motion movie in the first place, and why
do you think the story at hand has lent itself so well to this approach?
Being always fascinated with stop motion animation, I've already been experimenting with it
for several years. I was looking for the perfect
story to finally make a longer stop motion project. The ghostly
uncanny tales of the Black Shuck blend themselves perfectly to the
surreal and Gothic atmosphere I had in mind.
while we're at it, do take us through the process of making your movie,
and how long did it take from first shot to final product?
I was working on it daily for half a year. Creating sets, puppets and
special effects, as well as the final animation was a lengthy process.
can you tell us about Curse
of the Black Shuck's approach to horror?
As a fan of Herschell Gordon Lewis [Herschell
Gordon Lewis bio - click here], a lot of the gore effects paid
tribute to his cinematic style. Since stop motion animation is often associated these days with
children's films, I wanted to bring it to its darker roots and also
wanted to see how much I can push the gore elements in this medium. As
a surrealist painter I also enjoyed exploring my nightmarish world in
a new medium.
about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
After painstaking long nights of animating my puppets, eventually I
broke down and started to yell at them.
$64-question of course, where can Curse
of the Black Shuck be seen?
I am very excited to announce Curse
of the Black Shuck is
premiering on Troma Now this month.
Anything you can
tell us about audience and critical reception of Curse
of the Black Shuck?
Early reviews have been extremely positive so far but I'm intrigued
what a wider audience thinks once they get to see the film. People
have commented to me that they have found it darker than they expected
it to be.
After your experiences with
of the Black Shuck, could you ever be persuaded to do another
stop-motion movie? And/or other future projects you'd like to share?
I have already began work on a stop motion feature film project ,however the film is still at an very early stage of the production so
I cannot share any details yet. I have also started production on a
new sci-fi feature film called The Moon is a Hologram by
Selene Kapsaski, where I make the special effects as well as being a
producer and actor on the project.
going into stop-motion moviemaking, you actually started out as an actress
- so what made you want to become an actress in the first place, and did
you receive any formal training on the subject?
As a creative I have always enjoyed to be behind and in front of the
camera, I have started as an actress primarily on the stage. I trained
for several years with Theatre of Change in Athens and
hold a BA in Theatre from the University of Worcester. I was also
lucky to train with Victor Sobchak and to tour for several years with
his theatre ensemble Act Provocateur. In film I have only
navigated towards roles that interest me, I am lucky that in the last
few years I have had several great horror projects signed up including
Bundy and the Green River Killer, Robert
Reborn and Spidarlings.
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to Curse of
the Black Shuck, in whatever position?
Besides working as an actor and stop motion filmmaker I have a great
passion for practical special effects. I first started to make gore
effects when I was 9 in my mothers kitchen. I am honored that now get
to do it professionally for both film and TV productions. I did all
the gore effects for Troma's
Spidarlings. My biggest
challenge so far for practical effects will be in The Moon is a
animators, actresses, whoever else who inspire you?
For my special effects work my biggest inspiration is Tom Savini. Other inspirations for my art and my world are Austin Osman
Spare, Frida Kahlo, Ithell Colquhoun and Aleister Crowley.
45, The Last House on the
Lesbos, Santa Sangre, Valerie and her Week of Wonders.
... and of course, films you really
Anything by Quentin Tarantino and Forrest Gump.
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