I think the first question on everyone’s mind is how the fuck does a festival sell out in 30 seconds and how can I get tickets to the fest?
Feet: Yeah, there are no more tickets available. This one sold out pretty quick. And that’s because there wasn’t a lot of tickets available to the public, there were like 40 available.
And the reason there were so few is because Chili and I started this fucker as an excuse to make movies and a way to inspire our community to make movies and have fun. So filmmakers and their teams get first shot at tickets, it’s always been this way – cast and crew.
These are the people that stand in the rain for hours to help fulfill a friend’s vision. They’re the people who give their music, or hold lights, of fuck around with the smoke machine standing in knee-deep mud. They’re the people who run naked through the forest or take breakaway bottles to the head again, and again, and again until the shot works out.
This fest is about having a good time CREATING something awesome. And it sucks in the small venue that we can’t get everyone in but the people who make the films have to be able to see and enjoy their hard work. That has always been our priority. In the old days at this venue, before there was Internet, we just used to print “sold out” on the posters before they ever went up.
Why not go with a bigger Venue?
Feet: For sure, by taking it back to Maury Young Arts Centre I knew we would be leaving out a lot of HorrorFest fans. But to pull this thing off is a massive undertaking, and to do it for the first time without Chili… I wanted to start small, go back to our roots where we held some of the first ever Fests, and just keep it intimate and see what happens. After 3 years since the last one I wasn’t sure people would even still care or want to make movies again.
I heard you got banned from the Fairmont and that is why it’s here?
Feet: Not true. We are banned for life from the Rainbow Theatre but as far as I know we are still in good standing with the Fairmont. We paid all our bills and cleaned up the entrails and our bar tab still beats everyone’s. No, this was more of a personal call to start small, rebuild it right, and do this one just to honour Chili and see what we can do with his legacy here. Resurrection.
Well how are you feeling about it all, a month out?
Feet: Today kind of sucks because there are a lot of good people, friends, left out in the cold. But overall I am feeling stoked, but also super fucking overwhelmed, to be honest. And I’m sure some of that is just because it brings up a lot of grief. Every other time I have done this I’ve had my main homie at my side, making the sickest movies, getting stoked on the submissions, planning the décor or how to make each year a bit more badass than the one before. And this time Chili is not here, at least not on the physical plane. He can’t carry boxes or rig the aerial fight scene for my movie.
Thankfully, I have had help. Arts Whistler has been awesome and did everythign they could to make it easy for me. Stu MacKay-Smith has stepped into his usual role of making sure everything looks tight and keeping me sane. Jon Veder is holding down the web side, and new to the team is Chantal Limoges, an event producer who basically ran the Chili Thom Film Fest for me back when Arts Whistler set up that community wide Chili Thom Experience art show.
I knew that if I was gonna bring HorrorFest back I’d need her help. This fucking thing has a lot of moving parts and she handles so many. Including the one thing Chili and I always sucked at, sponsorship partnerships.
It seems like a lot of brands are on board this year though?
Feet: For sure, it’s been amazing. The support from the local community and the film community is incredible. This year we are able to give out the most prizing ever – Lots of hard cash to give away, trophies, dinners, all kinds of killer shit. There’s a list on our site and I’m gonna dig deeper into each partnership later this month.
I heard The Directors Guild of Canada even stepped up?
Feet: Totally. They recognized that we are nurturing and supporting young Canadian filmmaking talent so they are throwing down. And that is probably the thing I am most excited about now. Because we always knew that if you give people carte blanche to create whatever they can imagine, they are going to start getting better at it, and taking that sense of freedom onwards to greater success. A lot of directors, actors, actresses and musicians that started out dicking around having fun at our little festival have gone on to careers and success. In Vancouver, Toronto, LA… it’s killer.
What can people, the ones with tickets, expect at this year’s festival?
Feet: We’re gonna have free sandwiches from Alpine Café to help soak up all the Jack Daniels. So that rules. Otherwise, they can expect some good films. The films look sick this year. Some are super slick and pro, others are just as b-grade as the last time we played this theatre. It’s great. Other than that, it’s the same as before: great people, ridiculously awesome costumes, a new Landyachtz photo booth, Monster Energy is bringing our old buddy Mat the Alien over to play house DJ for us at intermission and after the screening. That’s so sick. Mat and Vinyl Ritchie are the original Heavy Hitting DJs so it’s dope to have him back on the wheels of steel until midnight at least.
What about after that? Is there an afterparty?
Feet: Totally, and it’s funny because the afterparty has always kind of been our Achilles heel. Chili and I always wanted to have one but it often ended up being more work and more of a fuckaround than the actual fest. One year we had to give 1100 people ten bucks back as they walked into the fest because our licensing for the afterparty got revoked.
So, I wasn’t even sure about having an afterparty and then it all clicked. Gibbons Apres Lager and Garfs came on board wanting to help out and Monster Energy is stepping up in a huge way to bring in someone awesome for the afterparty. I’m pumped on the afterparty this year. It’s gonna slay. It’s at Garfs, and we’ll announce the musical act soon.
What does the future look like for Horrorfest?
Feet: Dude, I can’t even look that far ahead but I do know that we’ve got a real renewed focus on building the local filmmaking community. I think the Sea to Sky has talent that can hang with anywhere else in the world and that’s why our fest has been so fun and popular for this many years. The shit on screen is fearless and it’s fucking good.
This year we hosted a Pitch-to-Screen Seminar in June. It was killer and 15 or so locals got to eat sushi village and shoot the shit with Jeffery Scott Lando, a kick-as director who really has the B-Grade spirit. So the plan is to do more stuff like that and try to find a venue that can hold 400-500 people and do it all over again next year. I need to convince the new mayor to let us set up a heated tent over by the skatepark that we can send it in until 4 am.
Can I buy tickets for next year’s fest now?
Feet: No. Go make a movie, that’s the easiest way to get them.