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Aug 25, 2006 at 02:00 AM
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DG Aug 06 - What's In A Name? Michelle Fatale Tells All...
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DG: I understand you point to your mother as the reason you first got interested in horror. Tell us about that fateful trip to England...

MF: I wish I could remember it enough to make it interesting, but all I remember is visiting relatives for about a week and mom and I watching scary movies late at night. Still not too sure what the two flicks were, but I'm pretty sure one was the movie GOTHIC, and the other had something to do with a ring that wouldn't come off a womans finger and a couple driving motorcycles. I was five, my brain doesn't remember much back then, but I do remember I was fucking scared and I wouldn't let mom turn the TV off.

DG: You were born in 83, but it sounds like the horror flicks closest to your heart were out when you were a young kid. What are some of your faves?

MF: The flicks I loved back then were the classics. Evil Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, Slumber Party Massacre, and Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddy scared me to death growing up, but he always fascinated me. The series still remains as one of my favorites of all time. I used to walk to the mom and pop video store every Wednesday and rent all the 99 cent horror flicks I could afford. This was back before anyone cared about renting rated R's to a minor. Thats a stupid law anyway, I mean, I turned out ok... right?

DG: Like many others, you started making movies on good old VHS. Sometimes these "lost gems" pop up on DVDs from everyone from J.R. Bookwalter to M. Night Shamalan. Any chance we'll ever see yours?

MF: God I hope not. Those are really embarrassing because I acted in most of them. My best friend and I would get together and make all these crappy movies with no script or direction. They mostly consisted of us talking inaudibly and figuring out different ways to make the same story different.

DG: You were the producer/writer/director and editor on the short film DEAD LINE in 2004. Tell us a bit about where the concept for the movie came from.

MF: I was living alone for the first time in my own apartment back in 2003. I spent a lot of time by myself with my thoughts. I wanted to make a movie, that's all I knew. I didn't have any real experience in writing a screenplay, but I bought a basic script formatting book and wrote a story that paid homage to my favorite cheesy flicks. My favorite type of horror is generally slasher, with lots of lame dialogue, boobs, and death scenes. What came out of my script was a little bit of those elements, plus some psychological stuff I always found interesting. I was always fascinated with what made people tick, what made them fall if not leap over the edge. I like my characters to be human for the most part, because I think the plausible stuff in the movies is the scariest. So long story short, the script wrote itself. I just crapped it out really. I look back now and wished I would have paid more attention to detail, even though it turned out being a fun little movie. I didn't really know what I was doing, but people are liking it, buying it, and its been getting really decent reviews.

DG: How long was the shoot? How did you get your actors? I understand it was about a year in post?

MF: The shoot itself was four days, averaging about 20 hours a day. I only auditioned one actor, David Zahedian. I held auditions, but I had absolutely no luck finding anyone. I had the cabin rented out, the money was spent, and I needed actors. David knew Kristin Burke, so I received a headshot and just invited her on set out of desperation. I didn't know she was amazingly talented, and I was so incredibly lucky. That led to Jon Carlo Alvarez, also another friend of David and Kristin's. Adriel Joy was a friend of my co-producer, and she was also never auditioned. We had a read through, and I was terrified it wasn't going to work, but the entire cast was amazing. They were seriously a blessing, but I would never cast so carelessly ever again. You can't get that lucky twice. The post stuff was a nightmare, and it was actually two years in post. My computer crashed and I lost footage several times. Master tapes were fucked up, I had no back up tapes, and we weren't able to book the cabin for a second time to go back and re-shoot due to discrepancies with the property manager. Because I was so new to everything, I didn't anticipate any of this, and if Murphy's Law has ever applied to anything, it's making a movie. I made so many mistakes, and I'm so glad I did or I never would have learned so much.

DG: Tell us about another one of your projects, PARAPHILIA. What is it about? Is it still in the works?

MF: PARAPHILIA is a short film about a sociopathic homicidal foot fetishist. That was fun to make, but it was shot in three days and has a lot of sound and execution problems. However, it's still pretty sweet; I may revamp it and post it up online just for fun one day. It's a student film project and was extremely rushed, but it didn't turn out half bad considering the elements.

DG: And dare I ask about something called MONKEY VS HOOKER? And you play the hooker, not the monkey, right?

MF: I am in fact the HOOKER. Monkey played himself. Hilarious short by director Brett J. Fox who now owns his own company called RABID MONKEY PICTURES. Brett is a dear friend, and a great filmmaker. I love working with Brett and I was actually the default hooker because our original hooker bailed. But it was a blast. We rented out this horrendous hotel room in Gilroy, CA. The bed consisted of a mattress and underneath some 4 x 4s laid on top of one another. It really looked like we were shooting a porn in our room with all the lights and the way I was dressed. The most amusing thing I think was when the cops came to our room after we wrapped and asked us if we'd seen a "large" woman accompanying another man into a hotel room that evening. We both explained our films synopsis, but Mr. Cop was looking for someone a little more specific. It made me feel better that I wasn't the only one ambiguously announcing they get paid for sex.

DG: I'm not sure which has a better title - MONKEY VS HOOKER or WEREWOLF IN A WOMEN'S PRISON! You are acting in that one - how did you get involved with that project?

MF: I watched a movie called BLOOD GNOME and started to MySpace stalk some of the cast and crew. I like to do that when I see something I like, and although MySpace is devouring the universe, its a good way to make contacts. So I got in contact with Vincent Bilancio this way. We corresponded for some time, and he threw out there that they needed some people for a movie called WEREWOLF IN A WOMEN'S PRISON that he was producing and invited me to the set one day for a cameo. So on less than a weeks notice, I got my shifts covered at work, and drove 300+ miles to L.A. It was so much fun, and a real dream come true. The role was of a prison inmate. I smoked a lot of cigarettes which I do on a regular basis anyway. So I basically played myself with a prison conviction. Vinnie is a really great guy, and Im truly grateful he allowed me to play a small part in the movie. It was a great experience.

DG: And your boyfriend plays a prison guard alongside the famous Eric Spudic!

MF: Yes! That was rad. I asked Vinnie if Don (my boyfriend) could come along for the ride, unsure of how he would respond. To my pleasant surprise he said, Yes! Bring him along! He can play a prison guard! We were both so stoked. Don was very new to the whole world of film and horror dorks, but he really found a love for it for his own reasons. As for Eric, he was the first person that approached us on set and made us feel at home. He is a great guy and I hope to keep in contact with him.

DG: So what else can b-movie fans look forward to in the near future from Michelle Fatale?

MF: I hope much more! Im writing a feature screenplay which is almost complete. I do hope it gets made, I've put a lot of blood sweet and tears into it. I'm not going anywhere; I've known this is what I've wanted to do all my life. Success isn't really even an issue for me; I just want to be a part of the world of independent films. Indie films are honest, they're original, and thats where all the best people can be found.

DG: Anything else you want to add?

MF: Yes! Thank you b-movie.com for letting me rant about my endeavors. You rock. Also, thank you to all of the fans and friends out there who have stood by me. You're my motivation. Horror fans are the greatest of people. Keep being great.

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