First of all, why don't you introduce yourself to those of us who
already know you?
My name is Robert J. Massetti Iím an
independent filmmaker and the owner of FEAR FILM Motion Picture Studios in
Tampa, Florida. Owner/creator of FEAR GIRLS, Festival Director of the
FREAK SHOW Horror Film Festival, and just all around cool guy.
You are currently releasing the webseries Blackout.
In a few words, what is it about?
Blackout tells the story of Sara, who on a dark
stormy night, stabs her husband to death during a power blackout. As
police investigate to see if the killing was murder or self-defense, the
ghost of her dead husband who is back from the grave to seek revenge
What were your inspirations
I wanted to make a dark and creepy movie with a
bit of mystery to it. Iím a huge fan of Brain DePalma and his movies Dressed to Kill and
Blowout, so Blackout is based on
those types of movies. Plus some of the lighting in the movie is inspired
by Dario Argentoís Suspiria.
Why did you choose to release Blackout
as a webseries as opposed to turning it into a feature film, and in your
eyes, how does directing a webseries differ from making a feature film?
Actually, Blackout was a short film that
I made back in 2001 and is part of my first DVD movie release called Phobias. I was never satisfied with the first cut of the movie, so I
re-cut Blackout and added never before seen footage, new sound
effects and a brand new movie score by Craig Padilla. Since I wasnít
able to include the new cut on any DVD, I decided to release it as a web
series to see if I could generate an audience for it. I may in the future
turn it into a feature film but I have to see if people are really
interested in the story before I can move forward, so putting it out as a
web series is a good way to test it to see if there is really interest in
indication about what the series still holds in store for us, and for how
many episodes is the series scheduled? Plus, are you ever planning a
second season or something?
At this point, Iím not really sure how many
more episodes are left, but there is plenty more surprises coming in
future episodes. If we can get enough people to watch the web series, we
may start production on a second series and even a feature film, but we
first need people to watch the current series. Without an audience we
canít move forward.
Most importantly of course, where
can the series be watched?
We are now in the process of distributing the
series to different web outlets, but the best place to see the series is
at the FEAR FILM website at this link:
You have also only recently produced As Night Falls, directed by Joe Davison. A few words about that
As Night Falls
is a horror/action movie
with bits of comedy thrown in to make the movie a very unique viewing
experience. The movie will appeal to everyone, especially horror fans that
are looking for something different from the genre. When we premiered the
film at Spooky Empireís Ultimate Horror Weekend in Orlando, Florida, we
had a standing room only crowd that just loved the film. You can watch the
Official Trailer at the movies website:
How did the project
come into being, and what can you
tell us about the film's director Joe Davison?
Joe has been trying to get this project off the
ground for years and when he finally got financing for the project he
wanted me to come on board to help him with the movie. We had met a few
years back and we hit it off right away so working on As Night Falls
was a real treat for me. Collaborating together we knew that we could make
a very unique kind of horror film and I think we accomplished that with As Night Falls.
was it for you as a director to stick to a producer's duties on As Night Falls?
Yeah, it was strange at first because I really
like to be involved in every aspect of a film especially in the direction
of a movie, but As Night Falls
was Joeís baby and I supported him
in all his decisions on the film. It was actually a great experience for
me to look after the business side of movie more than the creative side.
Since we had such a great crew and cast, it made my job all that much
easier so I do like to produce movies, but my first love will always be
Let's go way back in time for a bit now: What
inspired you to become a filmmaker in the first place, and did you have
any formal education?
Since my parents where huge movie fans,
especially horror, I grew up watching movies all the time, but it wasnít
until I saw the movie Star Wars that I really started thinking about
making movies for a living. Since then I have done nothing but eat, breath
and live movies. Yes, I did have formal education by attending film school
at Columbia College in Chicago.
I've read somewhere that before going
into feature-filmmaking, you have made quite a number of shorts. What can
you tell us about them, collectively?
When I first started FEAR FILM Motion Picture
Studios back in 1999, our first project was a short film called When
Shadows Lie Darkest and that was soon followed with the short film Blackout. We premiered both shorts at the
Cinema Paradiso in Fort
Lauderdale and got a huge response from the audiences that saw the films.
People started talking about the shorts on horror forums on the internet
and a buzz started to begin. Filmmaker Tim Ritter heard about my short
films on the internet and contacted me about possible distribution of the
films since he worked with Sub Rosa Distribution. I sent him the films and
he thought they were good enough for a distribution deal, so they put When Shadows Lie Darkest and
Blackout together for our first
DVD released and called it Phobias.
Phobias came out on DVD
in 2003. That was a very exciting time for us as we had our first
movies being distributed worldwide and people finally getting to see our
work. It opened a lot of doors for us.
was followed by the horror anthology Realms of Blood in 2004. A few
words about that one?
After we made the short film Blackout, we
decide it was time to make a feature length film. The problem was that we
had no money for a feature or a script. Since we couldnít pay anyone on
the production, we decide to make three short films with a wrap around
story and make it a horror anthology like Creepshow and Tales
from the Darkside. Making short films was the best way we could keep
people on the project for the shortest amount of time. So after a year and
a half of working on the weekends, we finally completed Realms of
Blood and released it on DVD in 2004.
What can you tell us about the Fear
Girls-series and the concept behind it?
Girls came from the need to make something
that could generate a nice cash flow so we could finance our feature
horror films. What sells better than sex? So I created Fear Girls
2001 and after almost 7 years of trying to find backing for the project, I
was finally able to find financing for it in 2008. Back when we first had
the idea for Fear Girls no one was doing anything like it. The concept of
combining beautiful women and horror has been around for years, but we
wanted to show woman being sexy as vampires, monsters, and killers
covering their bodies in blood. So if you like naked woman and horror,
then Fear Girls is for you.
You also run a
Fear Girls-website, http://www.feargirls.com.
What does this website comprise?
The FEAR GIRLS website features my photography
and the beautiful models that I have worked with. Some of the models have
been featured in Playboy, so I have been very lucky to work with such
beautiful talent. Some of the models featured on the website are also
featured in the Fear Girls DVD series. On the website you can watch
trailers from the series and see photos of some the most beautiful woman
in the world.
As far as I know, you
are now working or planning to work on a movie called The Thing Under
My Bed. Anything you can give away about that movie just yet?
The Thing Under My Bed is a project that
I have been developing for over 3 years now. I am very excited about this
project since it has such a high creep factor and it will be a film that
horror fans have been waiting for. The script is written by Bram Stoker
Award-Winning Novelist Owl Goingback and we also have Brooke McCarter
(Lost Boys) attached to star in the film. Right now we are still looking
for investors to back the project so everything is at stand still until we
can raise the money for the project. If you go to the FEAR FILM website
you can watch a 5 minute short that we made based on the story.
other movies or future projects you'd like to talk about?
I will be
producing Joe Davisonís next
project Journey into Hell that starts shooting January 15, 2011 in
Tampa, Florida starring Deneen Melody [Deneen
Melody interview - click here] and Alex Vincent (Child's
should at least have a movie trailer done in time for Spooky Empireís
May-Hem show May 27-29, 2011 in Orlando, Florida so keep an eye out for
that. Iím writing a new screenplay for a new horror film that I canít
talk about in any detail at this time. All I can say about it is that
itís a really cool ghost story. Iím also working on doing some more Fear
Girls DVDs and more web series.
films are by and large horror movies. Is horror a genre especially dear to
you, and why (or why not, in fact)?
I grew up watching horror films so they have
been a big part of my life for a long time. Horror is really the only
genre that really interests me as a filmmaker. I love to create suspense
and mood in a film keeping the audience on the edge of their seat with a
scare mixed in. For me, horror movies are fun because you can experience
fear in a safe environment so it was natural for me to make horror movies
when I became a filmmaker.
A few words about
your production company, fittingly titled Fear Film Motion Picture
FEAR FILM started way back in 1999 right at the
beginning of the independent filmmaker boom that was happening because of
the advent of digital video and editing programs like Final Cut Pro. It
gave independents the chance to make movies that didnít cost a lot of
money because we could shoot movies on video instead of film. I started
FEAR FILM to make movies but it also opened up doors for us to make local
commercials and music videos, which helped pay the bills while we looked
for new movie projects. The company has expanded further into photography,
website design, talent management, and events. Needless to say we stay
You are also the creator and director of
the Freak Show Horror Film Festival in Orlando, Florida. What can
you tell us about the festival and how did it come into being in the first
The FREAK SHOW Horror Film Festival is going
into its 6th big year and has become one of the largest horror
genre film festivals in the US. Films selected to screen at the festival
compete for the Freaky Award in 9 different categories. Independent
horror filmmakers are encouraged to submit their films and screenplays to
the festival. We have a great time every year at the festival with huge
parties at the pool with celebrity guests! If you are interested in
submitting your film or screenplay, just visit our website for more
You have pretty much done it all when it comes to
filmmaking, directing, writing, producing, editing, ... What do you enjoy
the most, what could you do without?
I really enjoy every aspect of filmmaking, but
what I enjoy most is directing a movie. I really like creating and working
with actors so directing really gives me that chance to bring out the best
performances from my actors. It really is magic when a scene comes to life
the way you want to. What I
could do without is writing and the business side of filmmaking. Itís
hard for me to write everyday but it is the most important part of the
film so I really force myself to sit down and get as much writing done as
possible. The raising of money, dealing with investors, writing business
plans, budgets and so on can really drive me insane. But to make movies,
you have to do this everyday. I just like doing the creative side.
Robert J.Massetti with John Carpenter
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
John Carpenter, Brian DePalma, Alfred
Hitchcock, Dario Argento, Sam Raimi, James Whale, David Lynch, James Wan,
and David Fincher to name a few.
Your favourite movies?
The Fog, Evil Dead,
Frankenstein, Dressed To
Kill, Blowout, Psycho, Vertigo, Deep
The Old Dark House,
The Thing, and Trick R Treat to name a few.
and of coure, movies you really deplored?
I canít stand movies like
Twilight, The Blair
Witch Project, Paranormal Activity and its sequel just to name a few.
Facebook, whatever else?
If you want to find us on the internet your can
go to FEAR FILM website at:
Once there you can add us on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and join our
FREAK SHOW Horror Film Festival:
Anything else you'd like to add
and I have merely forgotten to ask?
I just want to thank the fans for supporting us
over the years. Your support has kept the dream alive and I thank you from
the bottom of my heart for that. Horror Fans are the best fans in the
World! And I want to Thank You for this very in depth interview it was a
lot of fun! And remember to ďSpread the FEAR!Ē
Thanks for the