Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Interview with director, producers and co-writers of the upcoming zombie film "Forever Hollywood"

Hi this is George Cook of Recently I became aware of a short zombie film being made titled Forever Hollywood. The film is currently being crowd funded over at . After I donated I reached out to the women who are the director, producers, and co-writers of the movie for an interview. Mrs. / Miss Angie Bagget and Julia Watson  quickly responded and answered my questions. Check out our interview below. I hope it inspires you to donate to these two creative film makers. George Cook, 

George Cook: Give us some background on yourselves and how you got into making movies?

Angie / Julia: Angie is an MFA graduate from Academy of Art University's Motion Picture and Television program, with an emphasis in screenwriting. She has written for commercial advertisement, as well as written and directed several short films, one of which won an audience choice award at the Oceanside International Film Festival. Her long-term career goal is to work as a writer/director/producer in feature films and, especially, television.
Julia is a graduate of the Creative Writing MFA program at UC Riverside-Palm Desert, where she primarily studied screenwriting. In addition to having written, produced and scored several short films, she's also a published author of both nonfiction and fiction and is pursuing a career as a writer across multiple platforms: movies, TV, novels, graphic novels, video games--the works.
We met after we were both hired to work on a locally produced short film together in Spring 2013 and clicked so well that we decided to start writing/producing short films together. Forever Hollywood marks our third production and we have several other writing/producing projects in the works..,

George:  Tell us a little about the movie you are trying to fund, Forever Hollywood?

Angie / Julia: Forever Hollywood is a short horror film about a group of young actors. Sent to participate in a team-building camping retreat at the request of their producer, the group sets out to capture behind the scenes footage to promote their upcoming TV series. The retreat takes a dark turn as one by one, the actors fall prey to the spread of a zombie virus and even the living begin to turn on one another. A hero arises and a mad dash for survival ensues, and we've drenched the whole thing in layers of gore and social commentary about the film industry.

George:  What makes Forever Hollywood different from other zombie movies?

Angie / Julia: We're both big fans of classic zombie horror, particularly the work of George A. Romero, so we part of what we wanted to do with this film was to pay homage to that style. As female writers and filmmakers who love the spectacle and symbolism of genre films, we're also both eager to tell those kinds of stories about (or at least inclusive of) strong female characters. As is a common element in both of our work, we wrote this film to include a strong female protagonist. Plus, we have a zombie forest creature attack scene, which we've never seen before on film and is, frankly, pretty freaking awesome.

George: The fact that many women will be working on this movie both in front of and more importantly behind the camera is very important to you. Why so?

Angie / Julia: We both grew up as rabid movie and TV fans in an era when strong female characters (much less protagonists) were far and few between, and I think that has strongly shaped our individual aesthetics as well as our motivation to tell "our kind of stories," since there was a frustrating lack of that for both of us growing up. Plus, the film industry is a challenge to navigate for just about anybody, but particularly so for women, who are infamously underrepresented in writers rooms and behind the camera. There have been several articles about this in the news recently, which is heartening, but as much-discussed of late, real change on this issue has yet to take place. In writing and making movies like Forever Hollywood, we're trying to be an active part of that change.

George: The movie will also feature a strong female protagonist. Will she be a strong lead throughout or in true horror movie fashion become a bad ass in the final 15 minutes of the movie?

Angie / Julia: Definitely the latter! That's something we talked about a lot while we were writing, as this is an especially beloved character model for us in horror. (Julia wrote her MFA thesis paper largely on Ripley in Alien and Aliens.) We put a great deal of thought into making our heroine someone whose courage and conviction to STAY ALIVE ramps up over the course of the film as she is presented with increasingly terrifying and life-threatening situations. This was a challenge in a 15-minute movie, but we think we've pulled it off.

George: Where can people go to learn more about your movie and to help you fund it?

Angie / Julia: We're running a crowdsourcing campaign through indiegogo right now through February 2nd with the goal of raising a total of $5000 for our budget. In addition to covering general production expenses, most of the money we raise will go to paying for our visual special f/x (can you say ZOMBIE RAVEN?) and also very importantly, to pay for entrance fees to submit the finished film to festivals. Our talented cast and crew are so much fun to work with have have been giving this movie everything they've got. In turn, we feel it's our job as the production heads to make sure we get this movie seen by as many folks as possible!

For this campaign, we're offering a variety of fun contributions rewards (social media shout outs, DVD copies, script coverage, personalized zombie haiku!), and contribution levels start as low as $1. You can even buy a producer's credit for as low as $100. Once we complete filming this week, we'll be adding new and exciting contribution rewards such as props used in making the film, a free photo shoot with our fantastic director of photography, and the chance to be made up as a zombie by our talented special f/x make-up artist during the week of Halloween 2014. You can check out our indiegogo campaign here:

We're also on Facebook and Twitter, and have been posting tons of cast and crew photos from the set this week, particularly from the make-up department, featuring some of our great gore f/x. Also, watch our Facebook and Twitter feeds over the next week for details about a contest we'll be running for a movie prop give-away after we wrap!

George:  Is there anything you would like to say in closing?

Angela / Julia: Fun fact: this movie started out as the test script we wrote together before competing in the 2013 San Diego 48-Film Project Challenge competition. We'd never sat down and actually written something in the same room together, much less under a very tight time frame, so we thought we'd better do a practice round. The result of that writing session was the first draft of this script, which we wrote in under two hours and loved so much that we decided to develop and ultimately produce it.

It's our hope that people who love the shambling undead as much as we do will embrace this film and support not just us, but other female filmmakers as well. Now if you'll excuse us, we have to get back to set and wrangle some particularly bitey zombies...