Sunday Night Slaughters: From Saturday Night Live to Sunday Night Dead!
What evils lurk in the depths of the dark mind of writer/director Edward Payson? We’re all about to find out with his latest project, Sunday Night Slaughters. This 12-episode series of short films is premised on raw, uncut, original horror - the way it should be. Payson is joined in this endeavor by a horrorific crew of co-conspirators, including the masterminds behind the film production company MOnsterworks66, Maria Olsen and Angel Corbin.
The project is crowdfunding at Indiegogo through November 22, 2012, so check it out and support real horror!
Interview with Edward Payson and Maria Olsen by Timothy ‘The Impaler' Schwader. Read on… and don't turn out the lights.
The Impaler: Welcome to The Impaler Speaks! Edward, tell us about yourself and give us a bird’s-eye view of the show – we’ll get into specifics in a bit.
Edward Payson: I’m Edward Payson, a film director living in Los Angeles by way of Derry, New Hampshire, and everything you ever wanted to know about the show – but were too afraid to ask – is contained in our logline: Sunday Night Slaughters: From Saturday Night Live to Sunday Night Dead!
The Impaler: Awesome! Maria, you’re up!
Maria Olsen: Maria Olsen here, presently living in Los Angeles by way of South Africa! I’m an actor who, along with the amazing Angel Corbin, happens to own half of MOnsterworks66. I also write, direct, cast, produce, and – and this is something I actually really enjoy – do crafty!
The Impaler: Angel Corbin, unfortunately, could not join us for this chat, as she is dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. OK, now whoever wants to answer can do so – and everyone can throw his/her thoughts into any/all questions. Where did Sunday Night Slaughters come from?
EP: Sunday Night Slaughters is a compilation of short films I had written over the past five years that, for some reason or another, were never made due to time constraints on features and other pressing issues. I am finally able to sit down and put some time into making them the right way.
The Impaler: What’s the backstory?
EP: There is no real backstory because all of the shorts are completely different, sort of like Tales From The Crypt.
The Impaler: This will be a webseries. Can you talk about what led you down that path, rather than, say, a feature film, a short film, or pitching a series to a cable network?
EP: I want to keep full creative control and be able to experiment with it. When it is done, it will not only be a webseries but a box set of shorts ready for festivals, etc.
The Impaler: You’ve got cannibals, werewolves, demons… this is horror! Can we clear up any comparisons to the HBO series True Blood right now? I’ve tried to watch that show, but can’t make sense of the multitude of creatures mingling together.
EP: I assure you it will be nothing like True Blood, because I absolutely hate pretty vampires. All the creatures will be in separate and different episodes, so, for instance, cannibals won’t show up in the werewolf episodes or the demon episodes. Each short will be set in its own world with its own cast of characters.
The Impaler: Fantastic. Do you have a long-range plan – for example, a year’s worth of shows or a decade’s worth of shows – or are you focusing on the here and now at the moment, i.e., getting the first show (or couple of shows) finished to gauge reactions?
EP: We are going to shoot 12 episodes for the first season and decide if the response is great enough to continue a second season.
The Impaler: Shows on the web are gaining in popularity, but old-school geeks like me lament the lack of permanence inherent in the concept. It’s your plan to release Sunday Night Slaughters on DVD at some point, right?
EP: We will release a full box set for fans. I also believe in having something tangible with nice DVD cover art.
The Impaler: I’d like to learn a little more about those involved, including what roles each of you will play in the production, both onscreen and offscreen. Let’s start with Edward Payson.
EP: We have many great actors included in the project, from both Maria and Angel to funnyman Sebastian Fort. Many of the stars of our episodes are actors presently making their presence known in the indie horror world.
The Impaler: Same concept for Maria Olsen.
MO: For some reason, I have an extremely intense on-screen presence and so I will be playing one of the Big Bads. This time, though, it’s a type of Big Bad that I’ve never played before…. When I play the bad guys, I always try to figure out how my character could see what she did as right, and all I’m going to say about my role in Sunday Night Slaughters is that I’m going to have a hard time figuring out even the slightest reason for why what I do is right….
MOnsterworks66 is also one of the producers on the series, and, here I’m concentrating on publicity, fundraising, and marketing – and leaving the writing, directing, and casting to the wonderful Edward Payson!
The Impaler: You’ve surely given an overview of this in the previous responses, but how about more info on MOnsterworks66? (Am I spelling that right? Should the ‘O’ also be capitalized?)
MO: The ‘O’ should indeed also be capitalized, as the ‘MO’ refers to my initials, haha! Angel Corbin and I have teamed up to create a production company that dabbles mainly in horror, although we also love working in other genres. There’s literally never a dull moment in MO66-land, and in a relatively short time, we’ve co-produced three features, produced a short film, are in pre-production for another two features, and are in talks to co-produce several more. The fun never stops, and it’s truly a case of no rest for the wicked!
The Impaler: Who else is involved? Producers, writers, directors, key grips, actors, foley artists….
EP: Not all of this is certain yet. I am, however, shooting with Director of Photography Alex Van Brande, who I have worked with on several occasions, and his work is beautiful. We will also have wonderful original music from Atlas Mason, who did the music for my most recent feature, The Cohasset Snuff Film.
MO: We also have the wonderful Nino Buzzone on board as director and producer – he achieved almost overnight fame and fortune for his hit webseries A Guy Walks Into A Bar – as well as MoreHorror.com’s Seth Metoyer as the series’ Associate Producer. As far as talent is concerned, we are thrilled to have tons of rising stars among our ranks, including Arielle Brachfeld (The Haunting Of Whaley House), Jordan Elizabeth Goettling (Knock Knock 2), comedy powerhouse Sebastian ‘C-Bazz’ Fort, Will Green (Crosstown), and Christina Desiere (Morbid: A Love Story).
The Impaler: You’re crowdfunding for the film, with a cool campaign on Indiegogo that runs through November 22, 2012 (if I’m doing my math correctly!). How’s the campaign going?
MO: At the moment, we’re just a little over halfway through our second Indiegogo campaign. We’re looking for a total of $6,500 to fund filming the first six of our anticipated twelve episodes, and, as we did not raise our full amount during our bright and shiny first campaign, we immediately launched an even more bright and even more shiny second campaign. At this point, we’re almost at $3,500 for the two campaigns combined so we’re doing well. Should we not make the full amount by the end of the second campaign, we’ll just use the money we have made to produce as many episodes as we can and then come back even bigger and stronger for another campaign in the future.
The Impaler: Is this your first experience with crowdfunding, individually or collectively?
EP: I have done it before, but not on such a large scale, which is why I asked Angel and Maria to be a part of it. They know all the ins and outs of crowdfunding.
MO: I was involved with running two very successful campaigns early in 2012: one for the feature horror Brandon Scullion’s Live-In Fear and one for Randal Kamradt Jr’s fantasy-adventure feature Faraway. Both films have since been shot, with Live-In Fear’s being almost ready to be premiered and distributed, and with Faraway having wrapped on October 17th. Mid-2012 saw MO66 – Angel and I – run the campaign for the feature Way Down In Chinatown, for which we’ll have a rough cut within the next few weeks. We wouldn’t have been able to shoot any of these features without the generosity of all the people who contributed through the crowdfunding campaigns.
The Impaler: Have any of you been on the other side – pledged to other campaigns?
EP: I have pledged to many Indiegogo campaigns; not just horror but anything that interests me and shows some merit.
MO: When I have a little change to spare, I pledge to many projects – film, music, art, you name it! – as I love helping people make their dreams come true. If I can’t afford to pledge, I help with promotion by sharing links on Twitter, Facebook, Stage32.com, and other such sites.
The Impaler: Any tips you want to share with other ongoing or prospective crowdfunders? Anything you’ve learned that might help someone else, or help you in a future endeavor?
EP: Meet a lot of people and help them when you can, and they will try to do the same.
MO: I find that the personal approach works best for me, so I would rather contact people one-on-one to get them enthusiastic about a project than, say, send out a mass email. I also find that what you put out, you get back, so I try to be as generous with my time and available funds on behalf of other people’s projects as I possibly can be.
The Impaler: Dovetailing off of that last question, would you go the crowdfunding route again? Why or why not?
MO: Absolutely, as I love the whole process of getting people behind a project – making them as enthusiastic about it as I am so that they can become a part of it – and then keeping them in the loop throughout the entire filmmaking process. The generosity of people can also sometimes be totally overwhelming, and I’ve made many good friends through working on crowdfunding campaigns. I see crowdfunding as a way of getting people who would otherwise have had no possibility of being a part of the filmmaking process involved in wonderful projects.
The Impaler: I’d like to get back to Sunday Night Slaughters, specifically in relation to my favorite subject: music. What are you going with - Score? Popular music? A combination of the two?
EP: It will be an original score by Atlas Mason as well as some soundtrack selections from some indie bands.
The Impaler: While I definitely love and support indie film – particularly the horror genre – I started The Impaler Speaks to cover music first and foremost. So, my favorite part of every interview – for each of you individually, please – tell me about your relationship to music. Favorite artists, songs, concert experiences, whatever.
EP: My favorite band is Alkaline Trio, and actually a lot of the content in the series was inspired by their music. Some of the titles of the episodes in the series are actually named after the titles of Alkaline Trio songs or albums, including Fatally Yours, Crimson, and Good Mourning.
MO: I don’t think I could survive without music. At the moment, I’m addicted to my Spotify Fave Songs playlist, where I have just under 500 songs. I also own a collection of about 250 soundtracks, ranging from opera and rock opera to Broadway musical and film musical soundtracks.
The Impaler: Are any of you musically inclined? Many theater folks are!
EP: I don’t have a musical bone in my body, but I love to sing in the shower.
MO: Sorta kinda… haha! I have had a singing gig at a restaurant and I have been in tons of musicals, but this most definitely shouldn’t be taken as evidence that I can actually sing or dance!
The Impaler: How about particularly important films for each of you? Or, if you’d prefer, important actors, directors, scenes, scripts, scores, etc.
EP: My favorite film of all time is a toss up between Night Of The Living Dead by George Romero and Oldboy [directed by Chan-wook Park]. They both are revolutionary films and will stand the test of time. My favorite actor, because he delivers in every role he has ever been in, is Malcolm McDowell.
MO: Important films – read: the films that got into my head when I was about 10 years old – include The Poseidon Adventure (I’m still scared of tsunamis!), The Haunted House Of Horror, Jaws, The Music Man, and The Exorcist! Yeah, that’s a pretty mixed-and-matched group, but everything just combines in my psyche to make me the creatively inclined nutcase I am today, haha!
The Impaler: I’d like to throw a little off-the-cuff, gut-reaction stuff into the mix for each of you. If you’re embarrassed to give your answers in front of each other… get over it! You’re actors! haha! So… Hopes? Dreams? Inspirations?
EP: I hope to be known in places I have never been before for my work: Asia, Africa, Australia. My brother is my largest inspiration. He was born with Spina Bifida – a deformed spine – which means he has been paralyzed from the waist down his entire life. He has overcome so many obstacles with a smile on his face and is still one of the strongest, most humble, people I know.
MO: Hopes? Whenever I walk on to a set, one of my main hopes is that I don’t suck! Dreams? Um… dreams are the weird things I like to remember each morning so that I can turn them into scripts later on! Oh, and I’d like to play a Cenobite at some stage of my career! Inspirations: Whenever I walk down Hollywood Boulevard and see the stars on the ground, or visit the SAG-AFTRA building and see the pictures on the walls of yesterday’s stars, I get a new appreciation of the history of the industry, and I’m extremely proud I’m part of it.
The Impaler: Fears? Nightmares? Conspiracies?
EP: I am not really afraid of anything. I don’t dream since I quit sleeping, and I haven’t slept since the aliens replaced my brain with a toaster oven.
MO: Fears: Snakes!!! And also growing old alone…. Nightmares: That, one day, I will have a major accident and will be totally paralyzed with only my mind left working… I think I would go insane reeeeeeeeeeeeal quickly…. Conspiracies: I’ve seen an alien spaceship, so the fact the governments keep denying that they exist totally smacks of some sort of conspiracy to me!
The Impaler: I cannot thank you enough for your time. I’m a supporter of your Indiegogo campaign, and what I’ve seen so far is brilliant. The floor is yours! Pimp the product! Share a funny story that you’ve never shared before! Whatever!
MO: I’m opting for the Funny Story I’ve Never Shared Before: When Edward shot my scene in Morbid: A Love Story, I distinctly remember the presence of severed fingers on set… this was before I had my neck broken several times, haha! Also, the alleyway in Reseda, California, that my Morbid scene was shot in was the same alleyway that Angel and I wound up investigating on a location scout we did for the Dancing With Rip trailer shoot several years later! Yes, it is a small world after all…!
Support Sunday Night Slaughters on Indiegogo – I am!
Photos provided by filmmakers; for promotional use only.