Thursday, October 4, 2012

Interview with Jessi Gotta, Director of "Anniversary Dinner." The movie screens Saturday 10/20/12 at 4:30 pm

You’re a writer, director, and actor (Is there anything you don’t do?) Which role do you like best and why?

This is tough ... all have major pluses and some minuses ... with writing, it is such an overall lonely (and for me relatively slow) process, but getting pulled into an idea or concept and when the words explode out of you ... it's exhilarating.

Directing - I love working with the actors and finding the subtlety of their performance in rehearsal, but it's rough being the captain of the ship when actually on set.

Overall, acting will always be my first love, but I honestly love being a producer. It's not as "glamorous" as performing, but there is all this detail work and big-picture shit to focus on all at once and THAT is pressure I really thrive under. That pressure provides this constant push forward and momentum. You get to see all the pieces come into place as the to-do list gets shorter and shorter. (But it should be noted that same pressure can also drive you insane.)

As a woman working in the horror genre what challenges or opportunities does that pose for you?

I don't know, it has never really seemed either more difficult or easier; in a way the good and the bad seem to balance one another?

On the one hand, yeah I'm a female who writes and directs in a genre/field that is male-dominated, so simply being a chick and doing what I do will sometimes get my films attention.

But the flip side is that you can be perceived as a novelty that isn't to be taken seriously - "Aww, the widdle girlie writes horror and wants to make a movie, ain't that adorable?" <pat on the head> - But this has not happened often.

Anniversary Dinner is just hitting the festival circuit and you’ve already announced your next feature, shooting in the spring of 2013. Tell us about your next project?

Our next project is a sci-fi horror feature called META/STASIS!

The film follows three survivors of a crash landing on a distant planet as they struggle to survive the elements, the ever-increasing tension amongst them and some other strange, sinister force that seems to be coming from within the wreckage of the ship.

It combines the claustrophobic terror of ALIEN with the slow-burn supernatural horror of THE SHINING.

Oh my God, we are so excited about this project! I finished writing the script at the end of July and we've been in pre-production/fundraising mode ever since.

We are not going to make a habit of talking about Indiegogo campaigns on our blog, but yours is so unique and funny, I thought many people could get some inspiration for their film marketing from what you're doing. 

Please tell us what are your plans for your business partner Bryan Enk?

This is our first time doing any sort of crowd funding. We both were really at a loss as how to exactly go about it. But we decided that the best idea was to provide as much interesting content as we could and coordinate that with our campaign, the theory being that you only get what you're willing to put in ...

We have our main pitch video and then a new additional video each Monday of the campaign, with the whole theme being that if we do not make our goal, I get to kill my cohort Bryan Enk in any manner of my choosing; each week's video is me testing or toying with how I might kill him.

We have two contests that we promote on Tuesday and Thursdays: "Name Our Ship" and "Vote For The Ship's Design."

On Wednesdays we have a commentary article from a member of the gotta/enk team or "friend of the family" on a particular sci-fi or horror topic.

Then every Friday, we have an online sci-fi- or horror-themed movie quiz.

We also commissioned concept art and designed a website for the film to provide as much information to potential contributors. We wanted people to know exactly what and who they were giving their money to:

All of this content is rolled out throughout the campaign and posted via our website, Facebook pages, blog, Twitter and as updates via the IndieGoGo page itself:

We might have gone overboard, but hopefully the campaign will help illustrate how hard we are willing to work on the film itself!

What are your expectations and hopes for yourself as a filmmaker in the long run?

I just want to be able to keep making movies that I believe in ... for a nice long time.

Here's the trailer for "The Big Bad" 

Winner of Thriller! Chiller! 2011 Best Chill! Award