As we start to upload the submissions from the 2013 Heavy Hitting HorrorFest it only made sense to start with TINMAN, by HorrorFest co-founder Chili Thom and Jon Veder. This one was a crowd favourite and Miles Wilkinson took home the Best Actor in part for his role as the Tin Man. Here’s what Chili has to say:
HorrorFest - What was your favourite part about making this flick?
Chili Thom - I think it was Scarecrow’s head in the ground. I’ve been running along that trail for 2 years and had always seen a partially covered manhole on the side of the trail. I kept coming up with various scenes I could film that would incorporate it, everything from zombies coming out of the ground to severed limbs. It was really rewarding to finally use that location for something.
HorrorFest - After 12 years of making films for this fest, is it getting easier to finish a film?
Chili - This year I feel as though my preparation skills really got stepped up. In previous years i bet it would have taken a solid 7 days to get what we managed to nail in 3 days this year. I guess I also re-learned that dealing with animals on set is something that should be avoided at all costs. Haha... thanks to Toto for sticking in there for the long shoot days though.
HorrorFest - What was the biggest challenge with this one?
Chili - Getting everything organized for the shoot days. Before we even started to shoot I had done a 70hrs of prep with the script and costumes just to make sure everything went smoothly. It was tough doing all of that on my own, but it did allow the film to be as close to what I had in my head as I could make it. It really reinforced how much easier it is when you have a solid team to work on the project together.
HorrorFest - Do you still get nervous when it’s the big night and your film is about to play to 1200 amped-up people?
Chili - It's always amazing to see how your film plays. This fest is definitely a different monster than any other fest. The crowd has no patience for long dialogue or really any second of non-action or killing. The pacing for the films is go-go-go so to keep the audience engaged and interested you need to really plan your timing for your jokes, kills and tits. I was super stoked how my film was received this year. After 11 years of the fest I have a pretty good feel for what the audience wants at the fest. It's kind of funny to watch the films after the fest because they seem to be almost exhaustingly fast paced when they are out of the context of the Horrorfest. A lot of story gets crammed into the 10-minute time limit.
HorrorFest – After 12 years of this savagery, why do you think the B-Grade Horror style has been so popular
Chili - I really think it’s because of accessibility. B-Grade is more about your idea and how you can pull it off on a shoestring budget. When you step into the B-Grade genre you are free of a lot of the high quality expectations that you have in any other genre of film. Right from the start you are basically saying "hey, I have no money, but this is what I'm thinking could make a good movie". It's a fun genre to just do the best you can. It seems as though the Horror side of the B-grade is popular because it is one of the easiest ways to get a crowd reaction. Any good film should make the audience feel something and it is way easier to show a zombie eating someones face off than it is to engage the crowd with a good actor and amazing dialogue. What your film may lack in acting skills or technical skill you can make up for it with blood and guts so you still get a reaction from the crowd. This is why B-Grade is king for any wannabe filmmaker. And it’s why we have so much fun year after year.
Posted: Nov. 08, 2015