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Oct 09, 2006 at 07:00 PM
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Dg Oct 06 - Eliza Swenson - Screams and Scores
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DG: You've found yourself as a "scream queen" having appeared in several horror movies. Are you a fan of horror? What are some of your favorites?

ES: I do. I think that the best horror films are the ones that see horror as a journey into the inner psyche; they are psychological while Sci-Fi is sociological. I was never allowed to watch modern R-rated movies when I was little so I grew-up on The Bad Seed, The Exorcist, Vertigo and such; they have become my favorites.

DG: You had a good sized role in Frankenstein Reborn - was that your first big movie?

ES: It was my first big part in a film that was released but I was in some other movies that never made it. They are the lost little experiments.Elizabeth, from Frankenstein Reborn, was such a crazy character, most of the reviewers didnt understand her. She is one of those people that has everything going for her; intelligence, beauty, success, and yet she is week, manipulative, and closed-off from everyone, including herself except in her safety zones of sex and drugs.

DG: I think it is interesting that you are into composing music in addition and have been able to contribute scores to a movie you were in, writer/director Leigh Scotts Draculas Curse (as well as Exorcism: The Possession of Gail Bowers).

ES: I love scoring films. It is a very lonely and tragic life slaving away at minuscule details while staring at a computer screen for 12 hours consecutively, not touching another human for two weeks; but there is just something about it. It is so difficult that it is fun. It is a very masochistic past-time. I dont recommend for the faint of heart. I have two computers at my home studio that are completely devoted to my film scoring using sequencing and sampling software.

DG: You attended BYU and got a degree in Music Media and Sound Engineering. How has your education helped your composing?

ES: Very much so. It put names to my instincts and bridged the gap between my musical abilities and a finished product.

DG: You play a vampire hunter in Dracula's Curse. How did you prepare for the role? How was that production?

ES: In pre-production I was actually involved in creating the character and did some rewriting in the script so I came into it very attached to not only my character Gracie, but the whole idea. The first movie is sort of a coming of age story for Gracie as she is reluctantly accepting her fate as a vampire hunter and leader. I did some martial arts training before the shoot and the leather jacket that she wears is actually a purchase that I made. It is a sweet jacket.

DG: The story details vampire hunters who are protecting "purebloods" - can you fill us in plot-wise?

ES: Well the vampire hunters not only protect humans from vampires but also protect pureblood humans, (humans with the blood of Dracula in them) from themselves as well as from the vampires because when purebloods are turned into vampires they become extremely powerful and dangerous. There is a lot more to it but it is better to watch it then read about it so, on your way kiddies.

DG: Tell us about your role in King of the Lost World.

ES: King of the Lost World was just a cameo that I did. I was actually scheduled to have a bigger part but I was shooting Satanic at the same time so sadly, I wasnt able to clone myself.

DG: Some days I think we'd all like to have clones to help us get more done! I caught a bit of The Beast of Bray Road on the Sci-Fi Channel recently. Have you had the chance to see your work play on TV? How does it feel?

ES: I think it is great. I had friends from High School and other random people write to me all excited. Frankenstein Reborn was also on Sci-Fi recently.

DG: You've made several films for Asylum Home Entertainment now, often with returning actors and actresses. Does that help make for a smoother production or do you get bored having to play off of the same people all of the time?

ES: I love working with our own mini Old Hollywood studio system. I have fans tell me how cool it is that The Asylum lets us play such different characters. We get to do more of what we want this way. All of the actors are very close which is also rare. On other movie sets that I have been on even if I really dig the people it is hard because everything goes so quickly and then you do see each other again. I like my happy dysfunctional insane Asylum!

DG: Have you seen the recent "mock-buster" hype about The Asylum. I first saw an article about it on the net and a few days later The Today Show were parroting the story. What do you think of the whole claim of Asylum movies attempting to "trick" people into somehow thinking they are the big budget movies their box art is riffing on?

ES: Well listen, if you couldnt tell from their story that the Today Show went into that whole thing with an agenda, maybe because of laziness, personal bias, or the fact that they are affiliated with Universal, then so be it. But look, the Big Boys in Hollywood are ripping themselves off, (Scary Movie 4!!!!With Doctor Phil!?!?) and investing in the quick buck instead of finding more worthwhile, meaningful ideas and goals. Did the Today Show actually watch our movies? Most of our Mock-busters are more creative then the studios and not even the same story idea, it is just the name not to mention we use the money from these to fund our original scripts. So..who has the most potential to make the new classics - you decide: Us happy eager creatives or the next Soul Plane?

DG: Your best "fake blood" story?

ES: Well, if you have seen Candystripers, the scene where I .(if you have seen it, you know what I mean), I was covered in blood after a very long day to the point that it was pointless to fight so I did a spontaneous photoshoot; sexy nurse of death. Fun fact: In Frankenstein, the heart (my heart) was a real pig heart so yes, it was in the tub with me.for several hours. Yummy.

DG: You play a drug addict in Satanic from Lion's Gate. I imagine it was an intense role - how do you prepare for something like that? Not quite the same as an addiction to chocolate (although I understand you might have that?).

ES: Shhhhhdont tell everyone. Yes I do. I try to just buy gift cards for any birthdays of events; if I give it away, then I am close but not too close. In Satanic, Dalia was more of a rebellious misunderstood bright person. She had already gone through the drug addiction for the most part but the experience has given her a dark edge.

DG: On top of all of your acting and composing, I hear you are working on a screenplay. Tell us what you are up to!

ES: Well, I help write scripts and I have plans for my own but right now I am so busy and content with the scoring and acting, so I think that will be a bit down the road, maybe next year; well see.

DG: What can fans look forward to in the near future from Eliza Swenson? What projects have you got coming up?

ES: A great film will be in Blockbuster and Hollywood Video in September, The 9/11 Commission Report. It is a movie that I recommend everyone to watch. It really helps to clarify how 9/11 came to happen as well as how the government agencies work. With radicals and conspiracy theories all over the media on both sides, it is time for a moderate voice and portrayal. I acted as well as scored the film and am amazed at what everyone involved brought to the project. Other than at, all I can say is that there will be more to come

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