Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Interview About Marc Selz, the guy behind Satanic Panic

For those of you following along at home, my PC is still in the shop - there's a big, black hole on my desk... and now, in my heart (poor PC). I was supposed to hear back about it yesterday, but the techie busted his foot on his way to work and never actually made it in. So, my box is just sitting there in a backroom, like a busted up droid in the belly of a Jawa Sandcrawler. Worse than that, obviously, I still don't have access to my emails, contacts, files and other content. However, and luckily, I had saved a few half written posts out here, in this magical internet cloud... I was going to be posting this today, anyhow, so we're still on track and haven't skipped a beat. However, my magical reserves are running low and I hope this techie can hobble in today and get my shit fixed.

Enough about me, let's talk about Marc Selz, the indie filmmaker behind "The Rockville Slayer", "Short Cut Road" and the upcoming, much anticipated, "Satanic Panic". Now, if there's one thing you can learn from Selz, it's the art of promotion. Google "Marc Selz" or "Satanic Panic" and see how much shit pops up. He and his team do some serious PR work. I mean, I can't say that I remember "Short Cut Road" coming out, but I definitely remember all his PR made me scramble around to get my hands on a copy of "The Rockville Slayer" and now, here I am, thoroughly pumped for "Satanic Panic".

I'm not alone... "Satanic Panic" has managed to drum up a lot of buzz and interest out there on the interwebs. They're having a limited theatrical release, they're going to release the film on DVD AND Blu-Ray and the mask that the killer wears is even being reproduced and sold in Halloween outlets. The DVD comes out on October 13, so we're just over a month away. Trailer looks great, stills look great and, damn, that mask looks good, too.

Tell us a bit about writer/director Marc Selz

Marc Selz grew up on horror movies. He started watching horror movies religiously at the tender age of 8 years old and he never stopped. He has such a passion for the genre that he thought about making his own movies. He took everything that he learned through the many years of watching films along with schooling, and in 2000 made his first low budget, independent feature film at the age of 30. From that point, he learned what he should and should not have done and continued to apply his knowledge and brushed up his skills on each movie since then. Nine and a half years later, Marc has completed his third feature and has been able to get DVD distribution on all three movies that he's made for both foreign and domestic release all of which were done on very small budgets. Marc always tries to be different and unique in all of his productions. He has seen so many horror movies that he knows what has and hasn't been done so he tries to do things that are different.

Talk about Marc Selz productions. How did Marc get it off the ground and tell us about some of his other projects.

Marc Selz Productions started out on a "what if something happens" sort of basis. We had very little money, a small hand held DV camera and a few lights. We had great locations and people that just wanted to make a movie. Once we got distribution for the first movie, Short Cut Road, we thought about making another one on a bigger budget. The second movie, The Rockville Slayer, worked out really well. We connected with Susan Jackson, who had just finished working on Cabin Fever as a producer/rep and who was also starting a new label, Freestyle Home Entertainment. She wanted Rockville to be the first released on her new label along with Vivendi UMVD Universal. This impressed our investors enough to help us make a third movie, Satanic Panic.

Tell us a bit about “Satanic Panic”

Satanic Panic was inspired by true accounts and the craze that took place in the 80's. The idea came to Marc one day after remembering back to times in the 80's where this topic was all over the news. He remembered hearing about sacrificed animals being found in local forest preserves. The idea of "who or what could do something like that" really stuck in his head so he started doing a bit of research and watching a lot of documentaries and older satan / devil movies such as Devil's Rain and Race with the Devil, that dealt with the topic, but didn't go into depth as much as the documentaries did. Actually, the documentaries bothered Marc more than the actual movies did so he felt that there was room to tell more and shoot the movie in a docu-style way.

Celebrity Video is your distributor, I believe they also distributed Selz’s last film, “The Rockville Slayer”. How was that relationship formed and how has Celebrity treated you?

The Rockville Slayer was actually distributed by Freestyle Home Entertainment / UMVD Universal. This is our first time working with Celebrity Video. They really get it. They are distributing Satanic Panic for world distribution and we really like the fact that there is an understanding of the independent filmmaker from their end. They are a new company with people working for them that have many years of experience in the industry and they really know and understand the horror genre. They are fans as well, not just salesmen, and that was something that really stood out for us.

Talk a bit about finding distribution in the indie horror world and how has Celebrity treated you?

This is the most difficult part of the whole movie making process. You have to be able to really sell your film. It's so difficult nowadays to sell a film, yet alone independent films, because the markets change all the time and you never know what distributors are going to want. It seems to be that each company is looking for something different all the time. You can give a company everything that they ask for, yet it may not be the right time or it's not what they're looking for. Luckily, the horror genre still has somewhat of a market. It's very saturated, but there is still hope at least for the DVD and foreign markets. Celebrity Video was looking for our type of film so it really worked out well. They had an open slot for the time frame in October, which we thought was the best time to release a horror movie. Plus, we have a Halloween mask of the creature from our film that is going to be in stores around the same time. We liked what they had to offer and everything worked out. They are very one on one, which is fantastic in this industry and we're in touch very often. You can't ask for anything more.

Talk about the indie horror scene. Where do you feel it is now and where’s it going?

We think that the indie horror scene is still running strong. There is a lot of talent out there all over the world. We're not too crazy about all of the big-screen remakes that are coming out. Some remakes are good and really get it down and some don't. The great thing about the indie scene is that everyone tries to be original and we think that's what is keeping it alive and fresh. Where is the indie horror scene going...technology is definitely on the indie side. People with talent can make a studio quality-looking film nowadays without breaking the bank. There will be a lot more projects like this to follow which will keep the scene going.

What’s next for Marc Selz and Marc Selz Productions?

At this time, there are no future projects lined up. Marc is still working on deliverables for Celebrity. Marc Selz Productions also just signed a two year cable deal with NBC Universal/CHILLER Channel to air The Rockville Slayer in October of this year in both standard and high definition. We'll see what the future holds for Marc Selz, but for now there is nothing new in the works. He'd love to work on number four, but that all depends on how things work out with his third movie. If you are interested in our movie, please check out our web site at satanicpanicthemovie.com and be sure to support us by picking up a copy of our movie on Blu-Ray or DVD on October 13, 2009 and if you are a real fan of the movie, be sure to pick up a Zagone Studios, Satanic Panic Mask, which are now available online.

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