We've done a lot of interviews at this point. Some of them are by email, some are over the phone and some are in person. This interview was done by email, but it's one that we wish was done in person. Why? Well, it's an interview with scream queen, Melissa Bacelar. Take a look at the photo to the right there and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Melissa started out with Troma, did some work on "One Life to Live", but she's now making a name for herself in horror. So, she's hot, she's talented and she's into horror. What else do you need to know? ...besides the fact that she's in the just released "Pink Eye" (which is getting great reviews) and played the lead in "Skinned Alive", a kick-ass film we just covered a week or so ago. Thanks for the interview Melissa!
First off, tell us a bit about yourself. What are your influences, where did you get started and what brought you into the world of indie horror filmmaking?
I am an animal lover mostly..I never liked people thats why I kill them in my movies. Troma got me started...Crazy Lloyd and his antics made me fall in love with fake blood.
Film School: Yes or No?
Nope, school is over rated and it teaches people rules. The great filmmakers don't follow rules. I know when I started working as an actress in the real world I had to forget everything I learned in acting school
You've been involved in lots of different areas in the industry; actress, producer, model… what's your ultimate goal? Is there a means to an ends here or are you just diversifying yourself as much as you can?
Fame and Millions and Millions of dollars :) I don't know. I like lots of things and I love being in the public eye...So whatever will put me there I will do. Besides like... porn.
Let's talk about "Skinned Alive". How did the project come about and how did you get involved?
My very good friend and one of the best actors and writers I know...Joshua Nelson told me he had a script. I read it and basically fell in love with it...So I went to Trashy Lingerie and started buying costumes.
Talk about some of the hurdles in producing an indie horror. What kind of advice can you pass on to other people who are looking to get an indie horror made?
Get Funding!!!! There is so much really low budget and even no budget out there that the market has become oversaturated. Collaborate.instead of 20 people and 20 movies for $1000 each do 1 movie for $20,000 and try and make something decent.
How did you secure financing for the film and what was the approximate budget?
Skinned Alive was an easy film to get the money for. Everyone loves zombies, hot girls ect... Once we optioned the script and had our package together (actors, director, locations) we approached investors and they saw that because of the research and work we had done already the budget was tight and we had a product that would get made and appeal to the fans.
Talk about playing dual roles as both lead actress and producer. Any trials and tribulations there?
Well my job as producer was finding the money. Joshua did the "Line" producing which is a way more hands on job. I just made a few decisions on set and mostly concentrated on the role :)
From the perspective on an actress, talk about the difference between acting in an indie film vs. acting in something bigger… for example, I noticed that you've had a reoccurring role on "One Life to Live".
Everyone on an indie set loves what they are doing. They are their enjoying themselves...This is not always the case on bigger projects.
I've found that one of the biggest hurdles in getting an indie horror film made is in the casting process. It's very tough to find good actors who will work for little or no pay… what advice can you pass on to an indie filmmaker who's about to cast his film?
I don't think actors should work for no pay. I understand small amounts due to budget but honestly even offering an actor $75 a day (which barely covers gas) is appealing. I mean for me to walk on a set I have to get my hair done, my nails, maybe get a facial or tan...It costs me out of pocket 5 or 6 hundred dollars to show up...I love low budget but honestly if you can't pay the actors something.. people are gonna flake...And its the same with anything. You get what you pay for right. Last week I was shooting a pitch and I thought about going on craigslist and finding someone to work for trade and shoot it and light it.. But I realized that I wanted it done well. So I paid someone WELL, and I rented lighting. The pitch looks amazing and we got what we wanted..It's the same deal here.
What's your take on the indie horror scene right now? Where do you see it heading?
With You Tube and the internet in general everyone is a film maker. I think its awesome. I think it gives people a creative outlet. Indie will never die..It's getting stronger and being recognized. I think as Hollywood continues to un Glamourize TV and take the originality out of every film they make people will need a place to turn. Thats were we come in. Indie Film is rising. It's the only place people are taking risk and being interesting... WATCH OUT HOLLYWOOD
What's next for Melissa Bacelar and where can people find out more information about you and your projects?
I am shooting almost everyday...So the films will be coming soon. I have been super lazy about updating my site but I will get on it soon, MelissaBacelar.com I bullentin on MySpace and Facebook alot and I am literally everywhere, signings, charity events, radio appearances, web shows. LOL...I mean literally everywhere. Email me through the site and I will email right back :)