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An Interview with Linda Palmer, Director of Halloween Party

by Mike Haberfelner

September 2016

Films directed by Linda Palmer on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Halloween Party - in a few words, what is it about?


Itís a fun look at a girl looking for love on the most deceptive night of the year J


Why pick a Halloween party, specifically, and does Halloween as such hold a special place in your heart?


Halloween is our FAVORITE holiday! We have parties all the time and many of the moments in the story are inspired by our parties and friends. In fact, we got married on Halloween and had the most EPIC wedding / party ever!


What were your sources of inspiration when writing Halloween Party, and is any of the film based on personal experience?


Absolutely! I wanted to do a movie in one location with several GREAT improv actors I know and we always have Halloween parties, so it seemed like the perfect fit. We shot in our house and many of the background extras were our friends!


What can you tell us about your co-writers on Halloween Party, and what was your collaboration with them like?


My first co-writer was Betsy Morris, a writer I highly respect, who helped me develop a stronger treatment. Then I brought on Lareeí Griffith who actually wrote with me, many different scenes to give it a different voice. We wrote the story within 5 months which is pretty unheard of. Then we shot 10 nights and I worked with Chris Pentzell and Christine Blackburn (our star hosts) to develop story lines that made more sense of our characters and we came back 3 months later and shot 3 more days to work out the story line. Literally, this story is 30-40% improv!


Quite honestly, how much fun was it to put all these people in silly costumes and let them say silly things?


OMG... the costumes were amazing! Our costume designer, Brittney Ann Cormack, was one of the stars of the show! She created nearly 80% of the costumes and was sewing every night we were filming. Not only that, she actually quit her daytime job just to work on our film! We LOVE Brittney Ann!


What can you tell us about the brand of humour in Halloween Party?


Itís very much the humor of my husband and I. We are the originators of the story and the type of parties we throw are very similar in theme.


Do talk about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?


This was my first feature directing experience and one I will remember forever. I had some amazing crewmembers that really supported and helped my vision and a cast that was phenomenal!


You of course have to talk about your key cast, and why exactly these people?


I have worked with my hosts a few different times, Chris Pentzell and Christine Blackburn. They are quite honestly some of the most talented actors and comedians I have had the luck to know and work with. To have them collaborate on the level they have was an absolute treasure in this project. I was extremely fortunate to have been introduced to a host of new faces (via my casting director, Debra McCarthy) that included the STUNDFINDER, Elle Newlands, HOMELESS GUY, Frank Gangarossa and WOLFBOY, David Banks! One of the most amazing stories is the FORTUNE TELLER though! Played by Julia Silverman, who also played MARILYN MONROE, she wanted the FT role first, but we were holding out for a star for a one day shoot. That never transpired and we cast another actor who ended up not being able to be there and we just said, why canít Julia do both roles?! NO ONE ever guesses she is both. Itís a tribute to her great acting for sure! She was such an amazing team player and in the role of the ďpoliticalsĒ, she was the den mother (being the only professional actor of the group). They all bonded and she worked with each to help them find their voice and truth in their roles. She was, and is, AMAZING!


What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


We shot in our house for the film and our producer, Sandy Robinson, lived next door. Her house served as the costume, craft, green room of the shoot! It was an awesome exepeience. I have to say our neighbours STEPPED UP in July when we were shooting and decorated their homes for our movie. Our makeup/hair department was located across the street in one of our friend/neighborís homes that owned a local salon. We often refer to the whole shoot as ĎGlendora Studiosí!


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Halloween Party?


Our whole goal in life is to become a cult classic like Rocky Horror Picture Show. I think when people see this film, they will feel like they are at this party and hopefully they will dress up and participate! We have the film on where audiences can request the film to screen at their local movie complex and after a certain amount of ticket sales, the show will go on and a party can ensue. Itís quite a plan and one that we are definitely supporting and cultivating!


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I have a film currently in film festivals doing very well called Last Call at Murrayís about 13 people trapped in a mountain bar and how their lives change over night. Itís a dramedy starring Michael Gross, John Savage, Paula Jai Parker and a host of amazingly talented actors.

I also have three shorts all over the festival circuit, Our Father, Siennaís Choice and my newest, My Name is Lamar. And the highlight is, a HUGE action/adventure called Cat Dexx Trophy Hunter that youíll be hearing more about in the coming months!


What got you into filmmaking in the first place?


I love telling stories. I think them up all the time and Iíve found a great team of people that help me bring them to life.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Halloween Party?


I started writing scripts, producing / directing commercials, producing films and then discovered I loved being more creative. Honestly, I like directing because itís ALL your vision, but I LOVE production design because it doesnít require as much time but you get to create the world and you work with the most creative heads of the project to develop their vision! If I were to just focus on production design in the rest of my life, I would be a very happy soul!


How would you describe yourself as a director?


I trust my actors. I hire them because they feel authentic. They capture the essence of the character. So from that moment of casting, I trust that their work will bring the most authentic performance (far more than I ever could imagine) to the role. Some times I may give a bit of re-direct, but the better I am of picking the right person, the less direction I give. Iíve been fortunate to work with many GREAT actors!!! They make me look like a fantastic director!


Filmmakers who inspire you?


My favourites are Quentin Tarantino and Nora Ephron. I can only hope to be as prolific as each of them.


Your favourite movies?


Pulp Fiction, When Harry Met Sally, Spotlight.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
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The links below
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Find Linda Palmer
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
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Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Linda Palmer at

I donít really deplore movies. I know how much work they take and those that endeavour deserve at least the respect that they did far more than most filmmakers.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have//" target="_blank">


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


Check out a web-series I recently co-directed / co-produced, called Carbon Dating! It will be a HIT soon! It was in Emmy consideration this year since they opened a web-series category and it is FUNNY!!!


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD