14 June 2011
INTERVIEW - Founders of Horrorphile Entertainment
What's better than great beer and great BBQ? Great company! That's what I got a couple of weeks ago when Burton Bailey, Brandy Eastman and Matthew Ash, the founders of Horrorphile Entertainment, came out to my mad house for a sit down interview. I'm not sure how much interviewing we got done but we definitely did plenty of bullshitting. I learned a lot by listening to them, the most important thing being that they are probably the nicest people you will ever meet. The next thing would be that there is no possible way to interview them. I got so wrapped up in the conversation that questions just led to more talking. So, point of fact, this will be more of an article with the interview mixed in.
Horrorphile Entertainment is the brain child of Burt. After being on several sets as an extra it became pretty clear that this was what he wanted to do. He met Matt 9 years ago and Brandy 5 years ago while they were both extras in Slaughterhouse in which he had to cut out her tongue and kill Loyd Cryer... yes, the Loyd Cryer of Texas Frightmare Weekend. Together, in 2008 they created the company that has so far spawned four films. Sway was the first in 2009, a bizarre and disturbing tale of a night gone horribly wrong for a group of degenerate flesh peddlers when they target a young man who proves to be more than a slight inconvenience. That one was written and directed by Josh Vargas who has also done some music videos with Matt. They have two in production now including Tony Brownrigg's Archaic Redemption. Whose Dad BTW was the director of the original Don't Look in the Basment AKA The Forgotten. They've since started another production company called Angry Scottsman and from what I hear, we have a lot to look forward to from that *wink wink*!
I asked them about creative differences and how they handle it when issues like that come up. Brandy was the first to speak up saying that of course it happens but they've made an agreement to get it out right up front so that it doesn't just loom over them. They all kind of see it as an us against them type thing (my interpretation, not theirs) and if they're not gelling with each other then things can get out of control pretty quickly.
They referenced the filming of Possum Walk several times saying it was their first "real" full feature film. They talked about how the cast and crew bonded during that time. They had an agreement with the owner of house they filmed (and slept) in that allowed them to use it as long as they cleaned and painted afterward. Being in such close quarters gave them the chance to really get to know each other. I can only imagine what a paint party that was!! Matt spoke quite a bit about his first full on effects job with PW. He says he's learned a lot since then and is looking forward to doing much more. Burton recalled a scene in PW when Parrish Randall and Maggie Conwell are arguing outside the house saying that powerful scene was his favorite because it seemed so real. Brandy's favorite scene takes place a little closer to the beginning when the killer pops up on Kristen Hall.
I asked each of them if they wanted to continue doing independent films or if they had plans of one day going bigger. The answer was a unanimous, go bigger and I can totally see them succeeding at it. Matt would like to one day reach the heights of his inspiration Robert Rodriguez and Burt expressed his hopes of one day directing. He talked briefly about his favorite director Martin Scorsese. Brandy however is pretty content at her role. She (and everyone else) kind of considers herself the Mom of the pack. Making sure that everyone on set eats and drinks plenty of fluids during the summer and stays warm during the winter. Not to mention she's cool as hell. Who wouldn't want to claim her?
Just for fun, I asked them to tell me what their favorite films were: Burt said Johnny Got His Gun and The Hustler but as far as horror goes, it's Friday the 13th Part 4. Matt quickly responded with Monster Squad because he is apparently super Monster Squad geek boy by night :) Brandy laughed as she told me her favorites were Legend and The Muppet Movie. BUT, if you wanna really creep her out... just drive her into some fog or just make her watch it (the original not the remake). She also has a thing for The Thing.
Be sure to check out American Independent Filmworks that they are involved in. It's a 2 week boot camp style actors workshop featuring talents like Dee Wallace, Kelli Maroney, Brooke Lewis, Parrish Randall, Anthony Brownrigg and Mel House. Between them all they have a combined 90+ years experience in film! How can you go wrong with that?? For more information you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Say what you will about them but they take the good with the bad more gracefully than any other film makers I know. They know that not everyone is going to like what they do and they're ok with that. They welcome criticism because, as Burt and Matt said, "how are we going to know what we need to fix?" I'll admit, I was very intimidated and nervous about meeting them after my not so great review of PW but they quickly put my mind at ease and actually thanked me for my review. So, if I wore a hat, I would definitely take it off to these three. I look forward to many more meetings and many more great BBQ's in the future. I don't call many people friends but I'm more than happy to add them to the small list that I have :)