Saturday, March 13, 2010
Scarlet Fever Dreams presents an interview with Tony Wash
Sick and tired of low budget horror just not living up to it’s true potential? Disappointed by a lack of innovation in effects and ideas? Well, those days are over! Director Tony Wash and the gang over at Scotchworthy Productions have some fiendish surprises in store for gorehounds everywhere! I recently had a chance to find out all about Scotchworthy and what they are doing for an audience starving for exciting new horror films!
What can you tell us about your new film, A Chance in Hell?
Tony: ACIH was created when my Director of Photography, Mitch Martinez contacted me and said he wanted to create something cool with his Red camera. I went to my writer J5 and asked him if he'd like to help me write a script for a Nazi zombie movie. And here we are, a month past production completion and the movie's looking great! The story takes place in 1944 and centers around a Nazi officer who has been offered the opportunity of his life; to create the ultimate warrior for his fuhrer. Unfortunately, his experiments are not ending in his favor and he is beginning to fear failure. With the Americans closing in on Berlin, the doctor is afraid that he will not succeed and the Nazi's will lose the war. The movie begins with the doctor performing his experiments on a concentration camp child. When the experiment is a success and the child transforms into a hideous creature, the Nazi soldiers are unprepared for the hell they have opened upon themselves.
Fast forward... A group of American soldiers happen upon this facility after the s#@$ hits the fan and they have to fend off the horde of transformed Nazis and concentration camp victims.
It's a pretty exciting, fast paced action, horror film that is sure to keep audiences on the edges of their seats.
Are you a fan of past cross genre naziploitation films, such as Zombie Lake or Shockwaves?
Tony: Honestly, I am not a big fan of any of the past "Nazi zombie" movies. I've seen all of the ones I know about and they all seem too cheesy for my liking. Movies like "Dead Snow" and "Shockwaves" are fun and I'd love to see Brian Yuzna's "Worst Case Scenario" come to fruition one day (doubtful apparently), but the thing that always got me was why these movies take place during present time? Is it really that difficult to create a period piece centered around WW2 and make it a horror film? Apparently, because it doesn't seem like anyone's really done it. It makes me happy to know that "ACIH" will be held separate from other "Nazi Zombie" movies because it takes place in the '40's as opposed to present time.
The special effects in your film It's My Party and I'll Die If I Want To rock! What challenges did you face on that film delivering such high quality effects on a smaller budget?
Tony: Thanks for the compliments. My friends and I went to Tom Savini's Special FX School so we're well versed in the processes of creating quality, realistic practical FX. And I've never been one to rely on CGI. I don't think that low budget indie producers give their audiences enough credit when it comes to "tolerating" crappy CGI FX. Don't get me wrong, if done properly, CGI can look incredible, but I firmly believe there will ALWAYS be a place for practical FX in movies, especially the horror genre. Honestly though, there really weren't any real challenges in the FX department on either "Party" or "ACIH". I mean sure things don't always turn out exactly as you want them to every shot, but for the most part, we were fortunate to have incredible artists on board along with a little luck here and there.
The DVD of It's My Party and I'll Die If I Want To features a cool innovation in the form of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" style feature. How did this come about?
Tony: I always wondered why no one had done it yet, especially since authoring a DVD is pretty simple given modern computer programs that are available to even the lowest budget production. But I'd written "Party" and the script was 45 pages, too short for a feature. I didn't want it to just be a short film so I thought it'd be cool to do the adventure tangents as well to draw extra attention to it. Ultimately, with all the pick up shots and such, we got a feature out of it and the adventures were a great selling point to the movie, which helped it sell to fans across the world.
I heard rumors of a sequel to It's My Party and I'll Die If I Want To. Is this in the works?
Tony: Yeah, heh... The script is written and we've got some investors on board, but I am not willing to sacrifice the quality of the production on a lower end budget so until all of our budget is in place, we have to wait. Fortunately, I believe that the quality of "ACIH" is going to help us secure investors for our future projects. But keeping the fingers crossed never hurts, right?
So the "Party" sequel basically picks up right where the first movie ends; Sara's friends are massacred by the reincarnated Mr. Burkitt and you think she has been killed as well. When the authorities arrive, only Sara has survived and is distraught at the loss of her friends. But when the evil escapes the house by possessing one of the EMTs, Sara knows that she is the only one who can end this before more innocent people are slaughtered.
People who have read the script love it and I am really happy with how the story turned out. I only hope that it gets turned into a movie someday soon, especially since Adrienne Fischer (actress who played Sara) is 18 in the movie and is now 25 in real life.
What films would you say influenced you to pursue a career in genre film making?
Tony: John Carpenter is a God. Halloween, The Thing, Big Trouble, Prince of Darkness and the Fog are incredible stories. The Shining, Night of the Creeps, Nightmare on Elm St. I'm a huge fan of 70's and 80's horror, especially haunted house and creature films. I worked in a video store in high school and though I'd always been a huge fan of horror since being a child ("House" and "Psycho" were regularly viewed since age 6) one of the guys who worked there introduced me to all of the lesser known horror classics and I became a fanatic for horror. It also helps that it's the easiest genre to break into the industry with. You don't see any romantic comedy conventions or film festivals out there after all, right?
I've always been curious about the Tom Savini School. Can you tell us a little about your experiences there?
Tony: It was great and I met a ton of friends and colleagues there. And the coolest aspect about it is that everyone has a different style to their creativity. So no matter what you're looking for, you can find someone to help out make your ideas a reality. You get out of it what you put into it and though I can't say I spent every minute there working on FX stuff, I made connections with people who would become important and permanent Scotchworthy collaborators. My business partner, Christopher Patrick is now an instructor at the Savini School so it's great that we have the connection to the school. We get students gigs on real movies and get to tap into the freshest talent in the biz.
As a multi-discipline film maker, what would you say is your favorite role to play in the creation of one of your films? Does it change from project to project?
Tony: Director, definitely. I've wanted to be a Director since I dreamed of being in the film industry as a child. The ability to tell a story visually fascinates me and I enjoy being able to oversee every aspect of a production.
What's next for ScotchWorthy Productions?
Tony: We intend to have "ACIH" finished and premiering in June/July. With a professionally polished project under our belts and a feature length already distributed world-wide, we are hoping that producers and investors take us seriously enough to allow us the freedom to create more movies at a higher budget level.
Our immediate priority after "ACIH" goes through post is our next feature, "Red Rain". We've been talking about this movie for a year and a half now and I'm really looking forward to finally getting it created. It's a psycho-thriller in the vein of "The Strangers" and "Dead Calm", but with the harsh brutality of the "Hills Have Eyes" remake.
I'm looking into producing a romantic drama (I know, out of my realm, right?) with the sound designer on "ACIH", Shea Villwock some time later this year. We also obviously want to create the feature length version of "ACIH", but are looking to secure another $200k to make that a reality. And of course, the "It's My Party" sequel is ready and waiting to be done as well. And my business partner has completed his script for "Feral", which I would consider a mix between "Silent Hill" and "The Hills Have Eyes".
Any last words for our readers?
Tony: Thanks for checking out our work and I hope people enjoy what they see. Scotchworthy Productions pledges to continue making quality horror films as long as fans continue begging for more.
Thanks Tony! Everyone should head over here, www.scotchworthy.com, and see why the spirit of independent horror is alive and well!