Thursday, February 9, 2012
SUSAN ADRIENSEN - UNDER RAVENS WING-BLOOD SHED AND LEWIS
DIRECTOR , PRODUCER, WRITER
CREDIT- UNDER THE RAVENS WING , LEWIS , SCULPTURE, PRISON OF THE PSYCHOTIC DAMNED , AND BLOOD SHED
I WANT TO THANK YOU SUSAN FOR DOING THIS INTERVIEW- I AM GREATFUL TO KNOW YOU WOULD TAKE TIME TO DO THIS- AND TELL MORE ABOUT YOUR GOODIES OUT THERE FOR ALL THOSE WHO READ THIS! I AM HONORED TO HAVE THIS CHANCE!!
1. What put you in place to do horror movies? Was there a film in your past that grabbed you that you knew that you wanted to act and horror was the path?
Firstly, thanks so much, John, for giving me this opportunity. It’s an honor!
I started enjoying the thrill of watching horror movies when I was in my pre-teen years. I remember watching Chiller Theatre late at night during sleep over parties. One of the first Chiller Theatre movies I saw was Psychomania. It terrified me. The image of “Tom Latham,” sitting up on his motorcycle, … dead and in a grave..., had me up at night for days! I now watch it and laugh. His head was actually sticking out of the grave! It’s a quirky film. I have it on DVD.
… but making horror movies and acting in them wasn’t necessarily intentional for me … or was it?
Several years back, I went to a film industry Meet Up group and met my friend, David Karges, who also enjoys horror films. We began a horror film networking group in New York City. When David moved from New York, I created Mingle Mangle: Horror Filmmakers and Fans. I organized networking mixers and meet-ups in various bars in New York City. It was fun. From this group, I met a lot of great people - in person and via the Internet. I eventually started getting requests to act in horror films. One of my favorite horror acting roles was as “Sno Cakes” in The Blood Shed, directed by my friend, Alan Rowe Kelly. That was loads of fun!!! It’s a must see horror comedy that pays homage to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Pink Flamingos, Spider Baby, and Carrie.
Then from there, I wrote, produced, and directed Under the Raven’s Wing. It’s not quite a horror film, but a quirky psycho-thriller/character study that has been embraced by the horror community.
2. What is your favorite horror movie (old and or new)?
Ah! I really think Clive Barker’s Hellbound: Hellraiser II was one of the sickest movies that still has me too frightened to watch alone. The box. Skinless Julia coming out of the mattress. Cenobites. … HELL... or whatever dimensional place that is. Eeek! To creep and scare me that much, it’s got to be good!!!
3. If you were asked to be in a remake of a classic horror- one that would be respectful to the original, the type that would make fans happy and feel good about the film, what movie would you like to do?
Ok. I’m gonna say Psychomania, maybe because I don’t think it has been remade yet. But this time around, I’d like to see some serious motorcycles and some serious tormenting from the biker gang... because riding through a supermarket on what looks like dirt bikes and knocking people down just doesn’t seem brutal enough from people who came back from the dead.... Still, I LOVE the original!
4. How did you find the gals who you directed etc in Raven? They all did wonderful!
Didn’t they?! I posted a casting call on NYCasting and received resumes and headshots from Kimberly Amato (“Raven”) and Jessica Palette (“Jessie”). Kamilla Sofie Sadokova (“Angel”) found the casting post through Back Stage. Coy DeLuca (“The Director”) contacted me months (or years?) earlier through Mingle Mangle or a film I was in that was shot in Buffalo. I kept his headshot and resume handy. See, Actors, it’s worth reaching out even if a director isn’t in pre-production mode yet!
5. What kind of film would you love to do, not horror in any way shape or form and why?
A story about my life.... It would have a lot of joy and pain and lessons learned. I’d like to share my experiences....
… and if I may add, I’d love to make a film for animal rights. Perhaps I could make a film about parrots as I have two wonderful ones of my own....
6. What would you love to do if film was no longer an option, something else in the film industry or maybe a whole different career all together?
In film, I think makeup would be fun. While directing Under the Raven’s Wing, our additional makeup artist pulled out at the last minute so I had to do the makeup on Kimberly Amato, the lead actress. I was enjoying it so much that our Co-Producer, Rachel Gordon, had to pull me away and constantly remind me of the time.
Outside of film, ...I always found geology and funeral services to be interesting....
7. Now you have been able to work with some awesome folks like the Muscle Wolf guys, BrigidMaCaulay, Hollis Ireland – how did this all come about? You have been fortunate to find folks that are passionate about making films, in particular horror
Muscle Wolf was founded by Marv Blauvelt who is a very good friend and associate of mine. He was a part of the Dark Carnival Film Festival when they received The Blood Shed which was selected and screened a few years back. So, Marv contacted me on Myspace.com suggesting a role for me in Pete Jacelone’s film, Sculpture. We enjoyed working together on that film and, since then, Marv has casted me in the Psycho Street anthology for two completely different roles. I also casted him in my short flick, Marinade. It’s been a fun adventure in horror filmmaking! Despite the on-screen terror and gore, there’s quite a bit of laughter going on behind the scenes.
8. Where do you feel movies place in society is? Do you feel it is a reflection of society or perhaps a story put together by individuals who are working through their own issues or a way to deal with tragedy in the world today? Example- there has-been a surge in horror since 911, a lot of folks have I feel PTSS , maybe seeing the everyman defeat the big bad encourages them that we can overcome? Or maybe our own fear of the future and feeling powerless if we prepare inside for the worse, when it happens we aren’t as shocked? Make sense??
In main stream/large studio films, I think the horror surge is strictly linked to the desire for box office profits. As for independent/low budget films, it could very well be the filmmakers working through their experiences. But ALL films should have a bit of the creators’ own personal experience and heart in it.
I’m not an expert, but they say that in times of war, movie viewing goes up. If horror viewing increases, perhaps it’s because it’s easier to watch and escape through fictional horror instead of dealing with the real horror. Horror movies also make the reality less terrible in comparison. But, in my opinion, war, hunger, and cruelty of any kind is beyond what we relate to in the movies as “horror.” Think of all the pain humans, animals, and this Earth have suffered in the hands of evil men! For example: the Nazi’s - REAL life monsters!
9. How did you“find” or come to discover that Buddhism would be your spiritual path to follow??Any tidbits of wisdom you find are the main things you try to apply to your life ever day??
I was raised Catholic/Born Again. My mom asked me to accept Christ in my heart when I was about 6 years old. I envisioned Jesus inside my heart, ...literally..., like I swallowed a tiny man and he got into my heart. My mother was so proud and told all her friends. She took me to prayer meetings where they spoke in tongues and “slayed in the spirit.” This terrified me as a child. I tried to follow Christianity into my adulthood, but always felt out of place and frightened by the fire and brimstone preaching.
Serendipitously, I found myself at a Buddhist meeting a little over a year ago. At first, the chanting made me feel uneasy as I envisioned the speaking in tongue meetings my mother took me to, but sure enough, I quickly became very comfortable with the natural and beautiful chant of Nom Myoho Renge Kyo and the genuine people in the group. I decided to give it a try-- and it stuck! I now practice and study Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism through Soka Gakkai International and I recently received my own Gohonzon (object of devotion in the form of a scroll) on New Years Eve of this year (2012). I am experiencing the positive change and looking forward to absolute happiness which is available to everyone.
10 Easy ones– have fun hahaha—Twilight or Anne Rice? Buffy or Bionic Woman? Cake or Pie?
What’s Twilight? Ha ha! Bionic Woman or Buffy? - I can’t compare. They’re both good, both different, and both years apart. What’s great about them both is the GIRL POWER!
As for cake or pie, it depends on what kind and who made it. I recently had homemade apple pie … and the apples were so sweet that no sugar needed to be added. Yum! Can’t go wrong with that!
11. Now, fun stuff, if I were to snag your IPOD - what music would be on it right now???
Ah ha! I’ll grab it right now and type out the playlists for ya!
Here you go:
• 70’s Susie’s favorites slow
Consisting of - The Bee Gee’s, America, Walter Egan (Magnet and Steel), Gilbert O’Sullivan, etc.
• 70’s Susie’s favorites upbeat
Consisting of Elton John, Bay City Rollers, Earth Wind and Fire, Starland, etc.
• 80’s Alternative
Consisting of - The Cure, The Smiths, Yaz, Depeche Mode, Echo and the Bunnymen, etc.
• American Indian flute music
• Ancient Court Raga Traditions
• Belly Dance
• Bruce (yes, he has his own playlist!)
• Favorite John Denver (Yes! I love him too!!!)
• Favorite Sting Police (probably every song they’ve made)
• Goth - dark
• Goth - mellow
• Goth - synth
• Puppy and Einstein’s Favorites (a playlist just for my pet parrots favorite music!) Einstein loves to whistle to Ottis Redding’s Sittin’ at the Dock of the Bay
• Trip Hop
Pretty eclectic music, I guess, huh?!
Now-guiltless self-promotion ,spill it all- new projects- conventions , websites ? Anything- anything at all!
Under the Raven’s Wing will be screening at the Stiletto Film Festival where I will also be one of the judges and on the women’s panel with other fine and talented ladies. Please come if you’re in the Boston area! http://www.stilettofilmfest.com/
For more info, feel free to visit my website at www.blueeyedproductions.com and my blog at http://s284502250.onlinehome.us/blog/
My resume and credits can be found on IMDB at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2148045/
John, thanks so much for this interview. It was so much fun and it’s been a joy getting to know you and being your friend.
SUSAN, LIKE WISE- I HAVE THOROUGHLY ENJOYED OUR TIME HERE AND OUR FRIENDSHIP!
LINK TO MY UNDER THE RAVENS WING REVIEW -http://valor23.blogspot.com/2011/12/under-ravens-wings-2007-review.html