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Friday, October 26, 2012

Exclusive: 13 Question Marks of Horror with Sledge Creator Kristian Hanson

If you are a horror fan, remember the name Kristian Hanson. He is a current writer for the excellent zombie themed news website The Daily Dead and soon, will be unleashing his own brand of horror on the world, it's called SLEDGE. Head inside for our talk about Sledge, horror film making and an EXCLUSIVE first look at Adam Lynch, the slasher from SLEDGE! Check it out! 13 Question Marks in your face...

1.       What was your first horror experience?
My first horror experience happened when I was 5 years old. My mom had brought home a kind movie about a doll named Chucky. I remember seeing Child’s play and that night having a nightmare where I woke up and I had good guy dolls all around me! I ran to my mom’s room and ended up sleeping in her bed and still remember telling her when she asked me what was wrong  that “I see Chucky everywhere”.
2.       You spent your High School years in the land of Gilbert, Arizona. What did you do there, anything exciting?
NOPE! Haha. I grew up in a Mormon town that continued to grow as I grew up. The houses across the street from me in High school when I was a kid was actually a corn field. I can’t say I ever went and tipped cows or any kind of stereotype like that, but I would go out with my friends to movies and to the mall. My friends and I would constantly do stupid and random things to make one another laugh. One time, I was chasing my best friend Brandon through the Superstition mall and he picked up a wet floor sign. When I got close to him, he swung it at me with all of his might. This is a 6’4 guy, and thank god I got my hand up in time to block it. When it hit my hand, I fell to the ground and he continued to run outside of the mall. I could hear people going around me going, oh my god, is he all right? So I got up all wobbly and ended up following him outside. Him, along with the rest of my friends were beat red from laughing. I guess that is where I started my acting, was getting plowed by a wet floor sign from my buddy Brandon.
3.       What brought you out to California?
Military actually brought me out to California. I had just done a tour in Iraq and changed my career field. I remember going to Universal Studios with my mom before going to Iraq and something kept telling me that I would be out here living and working one day. I’d still love to work with Universal one day and work on that famous back lot filming a horror movie where all the original classics were filmed.
4.       You made your name writing for Daily Dead. How did you first get into that?
I actually met Jonathan (the owner of the site) via Twitter last year. I had contacted him a couple times about my novel The Fat Kid’s Wolfy Revenge: Not For the Weak Hearted or Mature Minded. He was looking for some writers so I contacted him and he liked the Assly videos I do on and liked how I got along with people and my writing style.
5.       What made you finally take the plunge into film making?
My now wife actually helped push me into it. My business partner John who I also met via twitter to help do the special effects on my Assly videos contacted me to write a script for a Psychic Lady that lives in New York. Once I wrote that one, I got hooked on writing funny and horrific films. When I finished the script for our first film F4L:Friends4Life, my wife told me to tell John to come from New York to film the movie and we did that in 3 days. When we finished post on F4L my wife again said, hey, why don’t you go up to New York this time and film SLEDGE, and again we did that. As you can see, she is a huge support for me along with my mom, dad, brothers, sister  and the rest of my family and friends who constantly support me in my crazy ideas.

6.       You’ve made your second film; Sledge.  What can you tell me about the character?
Adam Lynch is a slasher, but not a typical Slasher. When I wrote the character, I wanted him to be a mix of things. There are so many brooding slashers that don’t talk. I wanted mine to talk and be funny and someone the crowd can get behind. He likes to talk shit to the people before he kills them and the deaths are bloody and a lot of fun. He is not right in the head and believes he is living in a real life video game or movie, and whenever he kills the people, like a video game, all new victims respawn for him to add to his collection of masks that he takes from his victims and places in jars of water.
7.       What was the genesis of the story?
Growing up I always tended to be the 5th wheel when it came to my friends. I never seemed to have a girlfriend, so I was always the funny smart ass. That is what I did here as well, except my main character has the hots for one of the girls in the group, again, like my true life story. So he constantly makes fun of her boyfriend due to jealousy. Those that love horror films will enjoy the one-liners from movies like Ghostbusters and references to Aliens etc. I can guarantee that people will really enjoy this film for the death and all around fun of the film.
8.       This was your second shoot. What was it like stepping behind the camera?
It was a lot of fun. John Sovie II is actually my co-director, so we shared the responsibility. He is amazing when it comes to camera angles and setting up the camera, so I would work with the actors a lot while he set up the shot, then we would get together and discuss what would work best for the particular shot with lighting etc. I have heard a lot of people cannot do that due to egos, but we don’t fight, we just find what will work best and agree with it and go with it. It was honestly a great time, too bad we only had four days to get it all filmed. The weather gods were also very kind to us, it only rained for a short time.
9.       What are your plans for Sledge?
I want Sledge to go to the film festival market. I would love for it to be picked up by ScreamFest and all of the other amazing horror film festivals that are around. Most of all, I want people to just love the film in general. I am an advocate for Independent horror films and comedy, and I believe we molded the two together nicely. When I got done filming, I took a look at our movie and said “Damn, this reminds me a lot of Army of Darkness”. I say that because when we started filming we were thinking it would be scary kind of like the first Evil Dead, but by the end, it turned out so naturally funny and entertaining, that one of my favorite films, Army of Darkness instantly popped into my head.
10.   Who are other young indie film makers are you feel are changing the Genre?
There are so many out there that I don’t want to name names and leave someone out. I believe anyone who can come up with a fresh idea and film it is changing the genre. With the invention of HD cameras where you don’t need actual film, anyone can be a filmmaker today. I believe if you have a passion and a script, you can go out and make a movie. It may not be the best film ever, but you get the experience you wouldn’t get anywhere else.
11.   You’ve met a lot of independent horror directors. What would you say is the thing that you all have in common?
The one thing we all have in common is the passion for filmmaking. Being Independent, besides not having any money, we also don’t have any rules. You can watch countless movies and hate something about an ending, and this is your chance to make a new ending that nobody expects. The same tired storylines suck, and without a big studio breathing down your throat for final cut, you can say, yep, that is what I want.
12.   As a fan of the classics but an active filmmaker today, how do you feel about all the technology used now?
I think CGI is a nice tool, but it shouldn’t be the ONLY tool. I am a huge fan of Practical effects and I believe that is what should be used UNLESS, it is not possible to do it. CGI to me looks way too fake when it is used constantly. Case in point is An American Werewolf in Paris. People were so excited for it but when they saw it, they were extremely disappointed after Rick Baker did such an amazing job with the London version. If you can do practical, then do practical. That is my honest philosophy on it.

13.   What is on your agenda for the horrific future?
I have about seven scripts done and I would LOVE to make them all. They are all fresh films and fun. They are movies that will make people laugh and scream and go, wow, this guy has a screw loose, but that is what I want. I grew up in Gilbert, Arizona and I would love to film a zombie movie I wrote for that town or a slasher film I wrote for that town. It would be such a fun experience because I could have my family and friends on set to play extra zombies and things like that. I also would love to film that Psychic ladies script for her. She has lived such an interesting life and the story would scary the hell out of people. When I wrote the script I did not add or embellish anything that happened to her and that is the scariest part. I put myself into her character for four days and it was pretty damn scary to tell you the truth.
 You can meet Adam and get the EXCLUSIVE sticker at Monsterpalooza in Burbank, Ca October 26-28th.
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