Our protagonist, Jenelle, clearly isn't avoiding the slasher, she instigates the situations herself. She invites the demon in. We see that the scar on her neck clues us in that something physically traumatic happened to her and the only way she can deal with this on a mental and human level is to keep revisiting the situation to feel that she can overcome it. In the process, she runs into the danger of getting others killed and becoming a monster herself.
Produced by: Adam Lesar, Eve Constance, Shant Hamassian
Cast: Lily Berlina, Scott Javore, Adam Lesar, David Swann, Eve Constance
8 questions with Night of the Slasher director, Shant Hamassian at the half-way mark.
Tuesday, April 11th, 2017
1Hey Shant! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, what was the initial seed that made you want to make this film? Before inspiration, I faced a lot of discouragement. The film industry can be brutal, abusive, and psychologically damaging. After dealing with a bullying and nightmarish filmmaker, I was left traumatized-- ready to quit my career. During a recovery state where I wasn't taking any jobs, I began to think about horror movie survivors who have been traumatized. I realized that they were physically fine, but mentally scarred forever. How do they go on living after that? What do they do? They commit horror sins, of course! They self destruct and try to numb the pain with alcohol, drugs, sex. This is how they deal with their demons. And that's how our main character fights her personal demon... manifested as a slasher.
2Your film was accepted into the SXSW Film Festival. What was that experience like and has it opened any doors for you? SXSW was an incredible and overwhelming experience. The brilliant thing that the festival does is create opportunities to put filmmakers in the same rooms as distributors and financiers. You can make appointments with them. This should be the purpose of every festival. Most filmmakers at large festivals are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, not knowing where to go and who to meet. SXSW fixes that problem and creates opportunities to make valuable contacts. And that is exactly what I walked away with.
3This is a "shot-in-one-take" film. What made you want to do that and how difficult was it to accomplish? The "shot-in-one-take" was a creative choice that helped liberate me. I hate shooting coverage. It eats up time and money, plus it exhausts the actors in a bad way, not in a good way. It helps you prioritize your shots and angles, helping you create a better filming experience overall. Despite newcomers belief that it's difficult to accomplish, all it takes is practice. It's easier for me rather than grabbing additional angles and choosing where to cut in the editing room.
4How many shots is the film actually composed of and what advice do you have to filmmakers who also want to attempt a "shot-in-one-take" film? I thought we just established that it's shot in one take! I'm kidding, it was 34 separate cuts. I wanted to make sure that the one fluid take is a creative choice for telling the story, not a gimmick to get people excited about doing it in one "actual" take. By breaking up the shots, it gives you creative freedom with which acting choices to choose in between splicing the shot. You can control your pacing this way. I'm not here to impress people with technical accomplishments, I just want to immerse them in the creative moment.
5I love that you chose a creepy Spock mask for the killer. Can you tell me how and why you picked that particular mask? Since the very inception of the idea, I knew I wanted to choose a Spock mask. Since we're taking a slant at all slasher movies, I thought it would be fun to create an additional layer, referencing the granddaddy of slasher flicks, Halloween. Some of you know that the Michael Myers mask was an altered William Shatner mask. It was only a matter of time before someone else thought of this idea for a killer, so I wanted to make it happen before someone else did it.
6What's the film that made you want to become a filmmaker? Evil Dead 2.
7Is there going to be a Night of the Slasher II? Think bigger...
8What's next? I'm gearing up for something no one has done before. I'll let it be known when the time comes.
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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