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Oct 09, 2006 at 07:00 PM
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DG Oct 06 - Donald Farmer Moves In To The Dorm of the DEAD!
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Donald Farmer has worked with a wide range of folks from Brigitte Neilsen to Erin Brown/Misty Mundae but he still loves to wollow in fake blood! His latest flick is DORM OF THE DEAD. Donald took time out recently to tell us all about it.

DG: How did DORM OF THE DEAD come about? Was it your idea?

DF: I pitched an outline to an L.A. producer, Jackie Napoli of Howl Films, and she agreed to back the project. Once I had the go-ahead, I wrote the script in about three weeks, then Jackie and I started casting. Since DORM OF THE DEAD was shot half in L.A. and half in Nashville, she cast the L.A. scenes and I cast the Nashville scenes. It was kind of tricky when characters in the L.A. footage had to interact with characters in the Nashville footage.

DG: Having seen a few convention docs and hearing tales, Tiffany Shepis seems like a ball of energy and really seems to love what she's doing. How did you come to cast her in the project?

DF: I've known Tiffany for several years and always wanted to work with her. Tiffany first contacted me in the late 90's with a huge package of photos she mailed me, so I'm a little embarrassed it took me so long to put her in one of my movies. Last year I recommended her to an Arizona director, who cast Tiffany in two back-to-back films, including SUGAR CREEK KILLER. Then when I saw Tiffany at the Nashville Lone Wolf Horror Convention last March, I got things going for her to star in DORM OF THE DEAD.

DG: How did you end up getting Andrea "Miss Howard Stern" Ownbey involved?

DF: My pal Jackey Hall, who plays Clare in DORM OF THE DEAD, also happens to be friends with Andrea, so Jackey suggested her to me. Then less than two weeks after Andrea shot her scenes, Howard Stern had her on his show to play a clip and plug DORM OF THE DEAD.

DG: How was the shoot - any humorous stories from the set?

DF: We were filming in a suburb of Nashville one night when the house across the street from our location caught on fire. When I saw all the firetrucks and emergency vehicles, with lights flashing, I decided to put it in the movie. Makes it look like we called in lots of favors to get all those fire trucks.

DG: Do you appear on camera in this one? I'll always remember how creepy you were in Dirty Cop 2!

DF: I actually have two little cameos in this. I play a corpse that Tiffany and two other zombies are eating in one scene. In another I play an assistant to the University Dean who wants to bitch out one of the main characters.

DG: You've also recently finished a political documentary titled WHOSE WAR? Tell us about your motivations for taking on this project.

DF: I had met Keith Gordon (director of Mel Gibson's THE SINGING DETECTIVE, Kurt Vonnegut's MOTHER NIGHT and star of John Carpenter's CHRISTINE) many years ago, and thought this would be a good project we could do together. After Keith came aboard, we also got Mike Farrell (B.J. from M*A*S*H) and singer Jello Biafra from The Dead Kennedys to take part too. The documentary mixes footage of these three very articulate anti-war advocates, along with some great concert footage of Jello during his last spoken-word tour. WHOSE WAR? is available to download at www.indieflix.com. You can also watch a clip for free.

DG: Do you have any other projects on the horizon? What might fans look forward to in the near future?

DF: My next movie is already shot. . .I just need to edit the footage. It's a very faithful filming of PHILOSOPHY IN THE BEDROOM, a play written by the Marquis De Sade. We are using De Sade's exact text, rather than modernize and change it like Jess Franco did with EUGENIE, THE STORY OF HER JOURNEY INTO PERVERSION. My version is a period movie with full costumes, with exteriors shot in France and interiors at a chateau in Gerogia with historically accurate architecture. It stars Lynn Lowry (from I DRINK YOUR BLOOD and Cronenberg's SHIVERS) and hopefully it will be ready in 2007.

DG: Tell us about the interesting way you shot PHILOSOPHY IN THE BEDROOM.

DF: PHILOSOPHY IN THE BEDROOM started as a play I directed in Nahsville in 2003 at the Bongo Playhouse. I took De Sade's original script (which would have run about six hours if performed uncut) and trimmed it down to a very intense 90 minutes. This play was done in full period costumes with in incredible cast, and ran for 3 weeks in Nashville.

After the play's run ended, I wanted to quickly make a movie version of the play before all the actors forgot their lines. I added Lynn Lowry to the movie version for a little name value - the rest of the movie cast are all original actors from the play. We shot it at the Chateau Elan outside of Atlanta, a gorgeous looking spa and winery built to resemble a French chateau. Then all the exteriors I shot during a trip to Paris. I am shooting some introuctory segments with Jim O'Rear playing De Sade, then Jim will edit the footage later this fall, so hopefully it will be available in early 2007. In the meantime, anyone can order my Tiffany Shepis movie DORM OF THE DEAD from either xploitedcinema.com or from diabolikdvd.com.

DG: Anything else you'd like to add?

DF: I have a new project called CHAINSAW CHEERLEADERS that I want to shoot sometime in 2007. And a big thanks to anyone who ever rented or bought one of my movies!

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