THERE ARE MONSTERS: Scott Speedman Discovers There Are Monsters

Scott Speedman Discovers There Are Monsters
Joining Bryan Bertino’s new horror
By: Owen Williams
Date: August 19, 2015
Source: Empire


Having himself played a hybrid of a vampire and a werewolf in the Underworld films, Scott Speedman is well placed to join the cast of There Are Monsters. Bryan Bertino (The Strangers) is directing, and has also signed up Aaron Douglas, Zoe Kazan and Ella Ballentine for the cast.

Details so far are sketchy, but the plot of the film centres on “a mother and daughter trapped and tormented by a ruthless creature”. It’s probably safe to assume that Kazan and Ballentine are, respectively, the mother and daughter. But all we know about Speedman and Douglas are that their characters are called Roy and Jesse. Do either of those sound like the name of a ruthless creature?

Bertino brought us the impressive The Strangers in 2008, but this is only the second time he’s directed since, following Mockingbird, which went straight to DVD here in the UK. He wrote an interesting-sounding Strangers sequel which never escaped from development Hell. But he also produced Oz Perkins’ February, Akiva Goldsman’s Stephanie, and remains attached to Grim Night, Scarecrow, and a number of other self-penned screenplays. So he’s keeping busy.

There Are Monsters is one of Bertino’s own scripts, and shooting is currently underway in Ottawa, Canada. It’s expected to see the light of day next year.

THERE ARE MONSTERS: Scott Speedman, Aaron Douglas Join Bryan Bertino’s ‘There Are Monsters’

This is the movie that Aaron was filming in Ottawa a few weeks ago. This role is what he had the long hair & beard for.

Scott Speedman, Aaron Douglas Join Bryan Bertino’s ‘There Are Monsters’ (Exclusive)
By: Paulina Jayne Isaac, Rebecca Ford
Date: August 18, 2015
Source: Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Ella Ballentine, Aaron Douglas and Scott Speedman


The horror film focuses on a mother and daughter who are tormented by a ruthless creature.

Scott Speedman (Underworld), Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica) and Ella Ballentine (The Captive) have joined horror film There Are Monsters, which will also star Zoe Kazan (Olive Kitteridge).

The movie focuses on a mother and daughter who are trapped and tormented by a ruthless creature.

Bryan Bertino, the writer, director and producer behind The Strangers and Mockingbird, is helming There Are Monsters. Production on the Atlas Independent, an affiliate company of Charles Roven’s Atlas Entertainment, and Unbroken Pictures project is underway in Canada.

William Green and Aaron Ginsburg of Atlas Independent will produce with Adrienne Biddle of Unbroken Pictures. Atlas Entertainment’s Richard Suckle will serve as an executive producer alongside Sonny Mallhi.

There Are Monsters will be distributed by A24 in the U.S. and is set to release in 2016.

Speedman’s recent work includes The Captive, starring alongside current co-star Ballentine and The Vow where he acted alongside Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams. He currently has Animal Kingdom coming up with Jack Weary and Finn Cole. He’s repped by UTA and Circle of Confusion.

Douglas, who starred on Battlestar Galactica, is currently on A&E’s original series The Returned and is set to write and star in Infrared alongside Joseph Gatt. He’s repped by Gersh.

Ballentine is currently filming TV movie Anne of Green Gables in which she stars in the the titular role. She’s repped by Noble Caplan Abrams.

Q&A: HEMLOCK GROVE Actress Kandyse McClure

Q&A: HEMLOCK GROVE Actress Kandyse McClure
By: Abbie Bernstein
Date: April 26, 2013
Source: Fangoria

Note: This is a snippet of an interview with Kandyse McClure where she mentions AARON DOUGLAS. To read the full interview, click HERE.

She also enjoyed her acting colleagues on HEMLOCK GROVE: “It’s a phenomenal cast all around, and many of them are quite young and so talented. I guess the most [special] part would be working with Aaron Douglas. I worked with him on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, but we never had scenes together, so it was odd and delightful to get to talk to him so much on camera.”


1x01: Jellyfish in the SkyLee Shipman & Brian McGreevyEli RothA teenager is murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove. Evidence points to an animal attack but suspicions soon fall on Peter, the newly arrived gypsy.46 minutes
1x02: The AngelLee Shipman & Brian McGreevyDeran SarafianRoman confronts Peter at the crime scene, finding common ground. Letha reveals a shocking secret and Olivia and Norman fall into old habits.50 minutes
1x03: The Order of the DragonLee Shipman & Brian McGreevyDeran SarafianChristina discovers a new victim and Sheriff Sworn gets outside help from Dr. Chasseur. Now a suspect, Peter joins Roman to find the killer.51 minutes
1x04: In Poor TasteSheila CallaghanDave SemelLetha's interest in Peter takes a turn. Chasseur and Sworn's investigation hits a new low while Roman and Peter stay one step ahead.53 minutes
1x05: Hello, HandsomeMark VerheidenDave SemelShelley's connection to Dr. Pryce is further revealed, Destiny helps Peter understand the recent murder and the gala at the Tower goes horribly awry.51 minutes
1x06: The CrucibleDaniel PaigeDeran SarafianPeter and Roman follow Lisa Willoughby's trail to the old steel mill where they find a missing piece of the puzzle. Christina's date goes poorly.50 minutes
1x07: Measure of DisorderLee Shipman & Brian McGreevyDeran SarafianShelley commits an act of independence, Chasseur questions Roman but crosses paths with Olivia, and Peter and Roman's friendship takes a turn.53 minutes
1x08: CatabasisLee Shipman & Brian McGreevyDavid StraitonAfter drunkenly attacking the Godfrey Institute, Roman falls into a coma and embarks on a subconscious journey of shocking truths and revelations.47 minutes
1x09: What Peter Can Live WithoutRafe Judkins & Lauren LeFrancDavid StraitonAs a full moon approaches, Letha's parents discover her relationship with Peter. Despite a crisis of faith, Chasseur prepares to capture the killer.54 minutes
1x10: What God WantsDaniel PaigeT.J. ScottA weakened Roman emerges from his coma and reunites with Peter to stop the killer. Hemlock Grove braces itself for another lethal full moon.49 minutes
1x11: The PriceMark VerheidenT.J. ScottPeter and his mother hide from vigilantes seeking the killer, while Christina disappears, and Roman finally begins to face the truth about his nature.58 minutes
1x12: Children of the NightLee Shipman & Brian McGreevyDeran SarafianAs Olivia and Chasseur face off at the Mill, Shelley learns the awful truth about her family, and Peter and Roman uncover the killer's identity.45 minutes
1x13: BirthLee Shipman & Brian McGreevyDeran SarafianThe tragic conclusion to the Hemlock Grove killing spree leaves both the Godfrey and Rumancek families devastated, with the final horror yet to come.58 minutes

NOTE: Aaron’s character SHERIFF TOM SWORN is not in episodes 5 and 6.

Emilia McCarthy Talks Hemlock Grove, Being A Twin & Meeting Landon Liboiron

Exclusive Interview: Emilia McCarthy Talks Hemlock Grove, Being A Twin & Meeting Landon Liboiron
By: Sandrine Sahakians
Date: April 18, 2013
Source: TV Equals

Note: This is a snippet of an interview with Emilia McCarthy where she mentions AARON DOUGLAS. To read the full interview, click HERE.

You will soon know Emilia McCarthy as one half of the twins from Netflix new original series Hemlock Grove. Her character, Alyssa Sworn, daughter of Sheriff Tom Sworn (played by Battlestar Galactica alumn Aaron Douglas) along with her sister Alexa (Eliana Jones) are very welcome comic relief and also quite the friends to main character, Christina Wendall (Freya Tingley). Expect some great banter between these ladies.

Will you guys have more scenes with your dad, Sheriff Swoon (Aaron Douglas)?

Emilia McCarthy: Yes. There is more scenes with our dad, and definitely there’s some twisting moments that are going to happen, but yeah, speaking of our dad, Aaron Douglas who plays our dad is fantastic. He’s great, great to work with. He makes us feel so comfortable and we really enjoy working with Aaron.

Q&A with Hemlock Grove’s Emilia McCarthy

Q&A with Hemlock Grove’s Emilia McCarthy
Date: April 18, 2013
Source: Daily Dead

Note: This is a snippet of an interview with Emilia McCarthy where she mentions AARON DOUGLAS. To read the full interview, click HERE.

You play the daughter of Aaron Douglas’ character in Hemlock Grove. Can you tell me about your experience working with Aaron?

Aaron was so fun to work with! He is such a funny person and makes you feel real comfortable while working with him, which is very important. I was honored to get the chance to play his daughter!

Kandyse McClure Talks Hemlock Grove, BSG Reunion & More (April 16, 2013)

Exclusive Interview: Kandyse McClure Talks Hemlock Grove, BSG Reunion & More
By: Americ Ngwije
Date: April 16, 2013
Source: TV Equals

Note: This is a snippet of an interview with Kandyse McClure where she mentions AARON DOUGLAS. To read the full interview, click HERE.

What was the most surprising or memorable moment in production for you?

Even though I’ve worked within in the sci-fi and horror genres before, and certainly I’ve witnessed quite bloody, heinous things on set, this is the first time that I actually had to handle them as much. It was a far more tactile experience of the gore and of the horror than I’ve had previously.

Also, just the experience of working with Aaron [Douglas]. On ‘Battlestar’, we didn’t really have any dialogue together. In this we have a great deal, and forming that, using our own friendship in the ups and downs of it to inform the friendship between Sheriff Sworn and Dr. Chasseur, it’s a bit of a love/hate situation. It works perfectly for Aaron and I. I hate him and I love him. [laughs]

That must’ve helped a lot then.

Well, the feeling is mutual. So it’s all good. [laughs]

Streaming TV preview: ‘Hemlock Grove’ keeps its Pittsburgh feel

Streaming TV preview: ‘Hemlock Grove’ keeps its Pittsburgh feel
By: Rob Owen
Date: April 14, 2013
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Note: This is a snippet of an interview with writer & executive producer Lee Shipman where he mentions AARON DOUGLAS. To read the full interview, click HERE.

Mr. Shipman said the TV series expands on the world created in the book, devoting more time to characters that had minor roles in the novel, including two played by “Battlestar” veterans. (Actor Aaron Douglas plays the town sheriff and actress Kandyse McClure plays an animal behaviorist.) Most aspects of the plot will track with the book with some deviations.

Hemlock Grove’s Kandyse McClure on Skarsgård and more (April 1, 2013)

Hemlock Grove’s Kandyse McClure on Skarsgård and more
By: Julie Sprankles
Date: April 1, 2013
Source: SheKnows

Note: This is a snippet of an interview with Kandyse McClure where she mentions AARON DOUGLAS. To read the full interview, click HERE.

Is it true you’re reuniting with one of your fellow Battlestar Galactica castmates on Hemlock Grove?

This is pretty amazing, actually, I have to say, even for the two of us. Aaron Douglas, who played Chief Galen on Battlestar, is also on Hemlock Grove. What I find so sweet about it is we actually have dialogue together — you know, we’re a little tag team on much of the show. We never said anything to each other on Battlestar!

HEMLOCK GROVE – WonderCon 2013 (March 29, 2013)

Below are some excerpts from reports on the HEMLOCK GROVE panel at WonderCon 2013 where Aaron is mentioned.


WonderCon 2013: Interview with the cast and crew of Hemlock Grove
By: Mary Anne Butler
Date: March 30, 2013
Source: ComicsOnline

Aaron Douglas – This is the best thing I’ve done since Battlestar. I loved the book, and having to learn how to read again because Brian has such a weird cadence, was very exciting, and then being part of a show on the ground floor of how tv is going to be built is when it gets really interesting. They figured it out before everyone else, that this is how people want their shows, how they don’t want to be spoon fed with extraneous dialog all the time. So I really feel like we made a 13 hour movie, it’s a show I would watch if I wasn’t on it, and I don’t watch tv. And I mean my characteristic kind of holding onto a thousand kite strings in a hurricane, Andreas to balance that control with being the father of twin teenage girls who have just discovered the meaning of the word slut. I like that my character got bigger (Kandyse and not just in the waist) I like that they followed the books so closely, I mean I loved The Lord of rings movies but where the hell was Tom Bombadill? It’s a little bit fantasy, it’s a true drama, human drama, but there’s the Sci Fi and the horror elements, and I think on,y my mom wouldn’t be allowed to watch this show.


Hemlock Grove At Wondercon
Date: March 30, 2013
Source: MCM BUZZ

Aaron Douglas, who plays Sheriff Sworn, said he read the book before being cast in the series and that being on the ground floor of how he believed that TV is now going to be built and consumed going forward is very exciting. NETFLIX have figured it out; people want to have it all available all at once.


WonderCon: Netflix Prepares to Unleash Hemlock Grove
The cast and crew of Hemlock Grove has a bloody good time at WonderCon.
By: Benjamin Bailey
Date: March 31, 2013
Source: IGN

“When things start spiraling out of control in his sleepy little town, he’s a man that’s attempting to hold onto a thousand strings at once. And he’s also trying to raise two young daughters,” said Battlestar Galatica alum Aaron Douglas of his small-town sheriff character.

“The experience was very similar to film any other show, other than the Netflix doesn’t restrict anything. Length, structure, all of it was very open,” said Aaron Douglas. He pointed out that, compared to other networks, Netflix was very hands off.


This werewolf transformation might be the coolest thing we saw at Wondercon
By: Charlie Jane Anders
Date: March 31, 2013
Source: io9

Meanwhile, Aaron Douglas said Sheriff Sworn is confronted with a killing in his town — and he doesn’t believe there’s anything supernatural going on, he keeps eliminating other possibilities, like psycho killers, packs of wild dogs, or “a great white shark in the middle of the park.” The sheriff does not want to believe there’s anything supernatural going on, because that’s “anathema.”

McClure plays Dr. Chasseur, who comes to Hemlock Grove a few episodes in, to hunt and track the supernatural creature that’s responsible for the killing. She’s very single-minded and obsessive, and only interested in the townspeople in as much as they can help her obtain her goal. But her character gets some great scenes with the Sheriff, and she and Douglas both said how great it was to get to play off each other after never sharing any scenes on BSG.

Just like on BSG, Douglas said he got his scripts every week and immediately flipped to the end to see if his character was still alive at the end of the episode.


Hemlock Grove (Netflix) Panel at WonderCon 2013
By: Michelle Carlbert
Date: April 4, 2013
Source: TV Equals

Aaron Douglas plays an “every day” man. Asked to describe his character, Douglas said, “He’s really an everyday man. People will identify with him. He is going to have a hard time when things go out of control in his city. He also has two teenage daughters. He is trying to solve a murder and once he gets passed normal suspects, starts looking at other possibilities.”


WC13 | Eli Roth and Hemlock Grove Producers Tease Netflix’s New Series
By: Terri Schwartz
Date: April 5, 2013
Source: Spinoff Online

McGreevy’s Hemlock Grove novel was published prior to the TV series premiering on Netflix, and the writer used a lot of research to develop his story. “My Google search history was definitely very interesting,” he admitted, saying he spent a lot of time reading up on biotechnology and archetypal psychology, specifically monsters. He and Shipman knew from the second House of Cards was announced that they wanted to make their show on Netflix, and enjoyed the fact they were able to write the entire first season up front.

That said, there were some changes made to the original story as they developed the TV series. The final product is not far off from the original Hemlock Grove concept, but characters like Kandyse McClure’s Dr. Clementine Chasseur, Aaron Douglas’ Sheriff Tom Sworn and Lili Taylor’s Lynda Rumancek were beefed up because the actors playing them were so good.


WC13 | Hemlock Grove Stars Reveal Excitement For Netflix Horror Series
By: Terri Schwartz
Date: April 8, 2013
Source: Spinoff Online

Battlestar Galactica’s McClure, who plays Dr. Clementine Chasseur, said she was intrigued by the way McGreevy, Hemlock Grove author, co-developer and executive producer, approached the series’ horror and supernatural elements.

“I found there was sort of a sensuality with the way he dealt with the subject matter,” she said. “Yes there was gore, yes there was intrigue, but it always had this very sensuous kind of toothy undertone.”

Douglas, her former BSG co-star, joked, “You can tell he’s writing naked. That’s really what she’s trying to say.”

TV Interview: Hemlock Grove – Kandyse McClure (March 19, 2013)

TV Interview: Hemlock Grove – Kandyse McClure
By: Mary Anne Butler
Date: March 19, 2013
Source: ComicsOnline

Note: This is a snippet of an interview with Kandyse McClure where she mentions AARON DOUGLAS. To read the full interview, click HERE.

* this phone call is being recorded *

I love how nice it is to let us know it’s being recorded.

It’s so nice, you know. It must be Canadian. *laughs*

Exactly, but it doesn’t say “EH”!

*laughs* Well you know, we don’t ALL say “eh”. It’s a never north eastern Canadian thing. like the way Minnesotans….well you know.

I one time heard someone ask Aaron Douglas to say it at DragonCon. He’s always so nice, I give people mad props for taking the time to say hi to people at cons.

Yeah, he’s hilarious. I nicked named him “Don” Dougglas, because he kind of runs the show at conventions. Well the first time I ever saw him at a con he showed up in this purple velvet smoking jacket with a cigar, and I was like ok, this is a whole new level, and I’m not up to speed. I want to say it was in London, ages ago.

I see you are playing a doctor on this show?

Oh yeah, back to me. But talking about me is boring!! Chasseur, on the other hand, she is a doctor of predator anthology. Basically shes an animal behaviorist, she has this deep fascination with the psychology of predation, the idea that animals hunt and stock their pray. and she’s brought in because they think there is a wild animal on the loose, to hunt the beast.

That’s going to be so much fun for you! I’ve been looking at the cast list, and I bet this has been something different for you in general to work on from what you’ve done in the past

It was so much fun. Such a sense of collaboration, and weirdness but in a great way. we were encouraged to try different ways, quirky and out of the box, They put the cameras in places to catch this stuff, and there was this sense of freedom. And I mean Famke…so brilliant. Self possessed, but i mean that in a really great way. She holds her own, so statuesque and beautiful first of all. She comes into a room and just sort of rules the air, but she’s actually really funny, and kind of silly. really sweet. I had a wonderful time filming with her. And there are SOOOO many handsome men on the set, really, it’s kind of a head turner for me. Dougary Scott, is just sooo debonair and it was great working with Aaron. We actually had scenes together where we talked, we had to really work to not digress into our normal naughty banter. We love giving each other a hard time.

Yay naughty banter!

*laughs* Well, think of him at conventions-

So two drinks in his hands?

*laughs* Well you know, on set he is a consummate professional. He knows the set, he knows the demands, he is very conscientious in terms of really making it the best environment for the actors. He definitely champions the process, but does it in his own way with great ease, scenes with him are just having a conversation. You walk into the scene and you have a conversation. And I really appreciate that.

HEMLOCK GROVE: Graphic Novel (Prequel to Book)

Hemlock Grove: Reflections On The Motive Power Of Fire
By: Brian McGreevy
Illustrated By: Matt Buck
Date: March 29, 2012





Below is the 32 page graphic novel that is a prequel to the HEMLOCK GROVE novel by Brian McGreevy.
You can download the PDF of the graphic novel HERE



Hemlock Grove: The Novel
By: Brian McGreevy
Date: March 22, 2012


You can read the first three chapters of the HEMLOCK GROVE novel at Criminal Element




Book Synopsis: The body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel mill. A manhunt ensues—though the authorities aren’t sure if it’s a man they should be looking for.

Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a foreboding biotech facility owned by the Godfrey family—their personal fortune and the local economy having moved on from Pittsburgh steel—where, if rumors are true, biological experiments of the most unethical kind take place. Others turn to Peter Rumancek, a Gypsy trailer-trash kid who has told impressionable high school classmates that he’s a werewolf. Or perhaps it’s Roman, the son of the late JR Godfrey, who rules the adolescent social scene with the casual arrogance of a cold-blooded aristocrat, his superior status unquestioned despite his decidedly freakish sister, Shelley, whose monstrous medical conditions belie a sweet intelligence, and his otherworldly control freak of a mother, Olivia.

Hacking and Slashing with Mark Tuit

Hacking and Slashing with Mark Tuit RE: “BLOOD: A BUTCHER’S TALE”
By: Bob Heske
Date: October 21, 2011
Source: Invest Comics


Canadian writer/director/producer/animator/visual savant Mark Tuit is one of those refreshing talents you stumble upon and, when you look at his resume, you think: 1) “Damn, he’s done a lot of cool stuff” and 2) “he’s gonna break out REAL soon.”

Don’t take my word for it. Check out his website at and before you know it a good half hour will have disappeared as you click through the links for his trailers, special effects, animation, music videos, graphic novels, and demo reel. The man has more creative visions swirling inside his head than a hybrid Tim Burton/Walt Disney in an alternate universe. His projects are ambitious, they take a while to get done, but man … he does get them done and has one helluva busy pipeline. But why listen to me when you could be hearing from him? Without further ado, let me introduce you to Mark Tuit …


1. Looking at your website, you appear to be more of a “new millennium” director who can write, direct, animate and even edit your film and do post effects. Where did you learn to do all this? And is there a director − or directors − that you model yourself after?

Hi Robert, thanks for letting me chat a little about the film and projects I have in the works. Also thanks for the tag as a “new millennium” director. I think in this day and age it pays to be a hybrid filmmaker. I like to write, produce and direct because they are all incredibly creative positions. As far as the animation and VFX aspects of the projects, I usually ship out the bulk of the work to various studios. I’m involved in the creative designs, and the thematic and aesthetic aspects. Then I let the various artists create from the concept designs.

Usually up to 150 artists are working on the films at one time. BUNNY TALES took 3 years to complete, and BLOOD : A BUTCHER’S TALE is still in post with a good 4 years under its belt. My projects are ambitious and I learn as I go. However, I still have the basic foundations of film-making under my hat. The basics will save your ass every time. Some filmmakers I admire and attempt to mirror my style towards are Akira Kurosawa, James Cameron, Wes Anderson and the Coen Brothers. SEVEN SAMURAI (1954) and MILLER’S CROSSING (1990) are my two favorite films.


2. Fresh out of film school in 1995, you created a comedy called BARNONE about bartenders trying to survive one crazy night. The film went on to get North American distribution and achieve somewhat of a cult status. What was the incentive for BARNONE and have you ever thought about revisiting the concept now that you’re wiser and more sober?

Yes, I have a special place in my heart for BARNONE. It was actually my second feature. I did a Hitchcockian thriller named CURIOUSLY DEAD first. Boy, did I make a lot of mistakes on that film. Then as I was raising completion funds for CURIOUSLY DEAD, I decided to make BARNONE. It was shot in 26 nights and turned out to be a little cult film. At its time, I think it was the only film out there about the gritty underbelly of the service industry.

I did two follow up films to complete the trilogy − WAITING FOR LOVE and LUNCH. Incidentally, LUNCH was the second “one-take” film to ever be made. It was one continuous shot over 84 minutes, but we unfortunately lost the sound for it, and it shall remain an unfinished experiment. To this day I have fans asking me where they can obtain a DVD of the film BARNONE. So to keep the flow of interest in it, a talented artist named Ramie Balbuena and I have created a 120-page graphic novel of the film and we are going to include a DVD of all 3 films in the book. So this should satisfy all of the fans. BARNONE is a combination of about 10 stories I have either heard or experienced throughout my 12 years of bartending.


3. You’ve done music videos, animation and have written 25 screenplays (8 of which have been optioned or produced). Which do you prefer − being an artist, writer or director?

They all have varying levels of satisfaction. I love writing because it costs me nothing to create. I can just write without any pressure and I also find it to be great therapy. I love directing mainly because I love working with actors. They are a different breed of artists, and I learn so much about storytelling from their process. They think deeply about their characters and intentions. I also like producing because I am a bit of a control freak. In the end, the director is usually on the hook critically and financially for a film’s success. As a producer I build a comfort zone for myself, so when I step into directing I can be as creative as I can without the worries of production.


4. What is your favorite script that is yet to be made or is in consideration with a studio?

At the moment I am raising $8 million for a 3-D animated feature called THE DOWN DWELLERS. I love to work in animation from time to time because you have at least 3 kicks at the can to get the film right. However it is a long process (averaging 3 to 5 years). But I have a son and I want to make films for his generation. Plus 3-D animated films sell on the market forever and they span through generations of viewers. The film is set in the future where the world is evolved into a garbage planet and a young brother and sister recycle surrounding trash into beautiful works of art. It has a great message socially and ecologically.


5. Tell us about some of your 3-D animation projects, and where can we check them out?

BUNNY TALES is the first 3-D animated feature. It’s a child empowering series of fairy tales as told by a mother bunny to her bunnies. My wife, who has a background in child psychology, wrote the script. Then one of our producing partners opened an animation studio in India, where we worked on the film for three years. It’s been on the market and selling well for a few years now. I think you can order it online from Amazon. THE DOWN DWELLERS is the next project in line to be produced.


6. You are in post-production on BLOOD: A BUTCHER’S TALE. Give us the premise, please … and don’t spare the gore!

Well BLOOD : A BUTCHER’S TALE is about a lonely butcher, Sam, who finds out his wife has been seduced and bitten by a vampire. She begins to find ways to leech his blood until he clues in. Then all hell breaks loose. He slaughters her, then begins tracking down what appears to be the last living vampires in existence. As he butchers his way through the remaining 3, he finds himself falling in love with the last remaining vampire. As their relationship blossoms, Sam realizes that he is the key to repopulating the vampire race. He then takes drastic measures to prevent it.


7. The film was shot totally in front of a green screen (i.e., the same technology many TV weather reporters use). You basically put your actors onto a set with a green sheet behind it and later superimposed whatever backdrops and visuals your wanted. Were you inspired by films such as SIN CITY?

We really wanted to create a new Gothic universe, one that had never been seen before. We couldn’t afford the budget to physically build the immense sets, so we figured we would leave all the design until post production. Some of our biggest influences were Zack Snider’s 300 and CASSHERN, a 2004 film based on a 1973 Japanese manga. Their environments were hyper stylized, yet simple. SIN CITY was a little too noir, but brilliant nonetheless.


8. Did using a green screen require working with a certain type of actor who could work in largely “make believe” setting?

This film was an incredible challenge for the actors. Luckily we had concept art of most of the locations so they could imagine being within the environments. It’s psychologically demanding for both the cast and crew to be shooting on a bright green sound stage for weeks on end. We all went a little crazy, and I have great respect for our lead (Aaron Douglas). He was in every frame of the film, and he kept it together with an incredibly consistent and strong performance.


9. What was the budget for the film, and how long did it take to shoot.

BLOOD : A BUTCHER’S TALE’S budget is just over $4 million. We shot on the sound stage for three weeks and then shot miniature work for another week.


10. I imagine post-production was tricky. What were your biggest challenges … and what worked even better than you envisioned?

I think BLOOD : A BUTCHER’S TALE has been in post for over 3 years now. We produced over 4,000 plates, and every shot has some VFX element within it. The thing with VFX is that you come to a point where 80% of the work is complete and you finally see what the shot looks like. The killer is that last 20% where you have to make it look amazing, or believable. By the time a production gets there, we either burn out or run out of money. We ran out, but little by little we have been polishing this little gem, and I think the public will be impressed by what we have accomplished.


11. You assembled a pretty impressive cast − the afore-mentioned Aaron Douglas from BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, Emily Perkins from GINGER SNAPS and GINGER SNAPS BACK, Kim Coats (TV’s SONS OF ANARCHY) and the ultra-hot actress Christa Campbell (DRIVE ANGRY 3-D). Were they all your first picks and how did you get them on board?

We were looking for cast with large fan bases. Most of our actors attend conventions and tour world wide, so they help build the buzz as the film creeps closer to completion. There were many producers involved, so when we were casting we were exploring our options as far as cast is concerned. We were talking with actors like Peter Green (MASK and USUAL SUSPECTS), Michael Rooker (THE WALKING DEAD, CLIFFHANGER). We are lucky and have a solid cast. Fan clubs have been going nuts to see something, but we feel it has to be great before anyone sees it.


12. You co-founded Pacific Gold Entertainment in 2005, a production company dedicated to film, graphic novels, games and music. A film called SUBHUMAN which has distribution in 29 countries and has sold 30,000 copies on DVD in the US was your first project. Tell us about it.

SUBHUMAN (originally titled “Shelf-life”) is a cool little horror I made in 2005. It’s about a seemingly psychotic man who claims that there is another species of humanoids that harvest people for their blood. He takes a naive couple under his wing and reveals the bloody truth. We got lucky with our distributor and managed to get a lot of traction out of our micro- budgeted feature. At the moment we are working a 3-D stereoscopic version of the film and the full graphic novel is complete. We want to sell it online as a package next year. I also have 2 sequels written (SUBHUMAN: THE CRIMSON PALACE and SUBHUMAN: BLOOD WARS). I think I would love to remake the series in 3-D and shoot them back to back with a fresh new cast.


13. Any plans to do a graphic novel and/or game of BLOOD: A BUTCHER’S TALE or do you not own the rights?

We have a graphic novel for BLOOD : A BUTCHER’S TALE as well as a video game called BLOOD: BUTCHERS BLOCK, which acts as a sequel to the film. Where the film ends, the video game begins and you get to shoot your way out of a gated community full of ghouls. I am no longer a rights holder, so the whole BLOOD concept is owned by Pacific Gold Entertainment.


14. Were you tempted to do BLOOD: A BUTCHER’S TALE in 3-D or as 3-D animation instead of live action?

I originally wanted to do BLOOD as a 3-D animated film. It would have been the first, but my fellow producers were against it. They said it wouldn’t sell. It would have been great to try it. I have another horror script that I would like to make as an animated feature … maybe rotoscope (i.e., an animation technique in which animators trace over live-action film movement, frame by frame, for use in animated films). All animation sells.

As for 3-D, we are exploring the possibility of a post stereoscopic conversion. We have the working files, so the conversion should be a breeze.


15. The bio on your website says one of your early features − LUNCH − was the 2nd feature film shot on one take. What was the incentive to do this? One fly buzzing into a scene or an innocent sneeze could make you start at square one. How many takes did it take to do the one take (say that 3 times fast!)?

LUNCH was an interesting experiment. I had shot a 10-minute short film (WAITING FOR LOVE) in a single take and I wondered if it were possible to do a feature. So I raised $8,000. and we rehearsed for 3 weeks, then shot it in 2 days (two takes a day until we got it). We blocked it like a play, with actors hitting their marks on cue and when the camera was on them. I think the most stressful thing was as we neared the end of the film/take, no actor wanted to be the one to flub their line or miss a mark, so it became incredibly stressful as we kept shooting. We had a scene where several cooks trash a customer’s car, smash in the windshield and side windows. We had enough glass for 4 re-sets, so if anyone was going to make a mistake, I prayed it was before the destruction of the car. Two of the takes were usable but in the end, we lost the sound so the film remains unfinished.


16. For trivia’s sake, what was the 1st feature film shot on one take?

It was a film shot in New York and I thinks it’s called A BIG DAY and is about a guy who makes his way to a job interview. I never saw it but Peter Broadrick (Indie Guru), told me about it. He said I missed being the first by 3 months. I did see the RUSSIAN ARK which was made 3 years after LUNCH. The one-shot feature is a gimmick. Tough to tell an intriguing story for that long.


17. When will BLOOD: A BUTCHER’S TALE be available. What are you working on now?

I hope BLOOD will be available next year, and if they decide to do a 3-D conversion, that will add another year. But it’s close and there are a lot of people that believe in the film.

I’ve just recently completed a little comedy feature called THE STICK UP and I’m gearing up for a brilliant film we are shooting next spring called KARL. As well as finishing the graphic novel for BARNONE and the 3-D conversion and graphic novel for SUBHUMAN. So I’m keeping busy and when the dust settles I plan to open a film school in my new home town of Nanaimo BC.

Wil Wheaton blogs about Aaron (August 31, 2011)

Wil Wheaton mentions Aaron in his latest blog entry ….

Eureka: This One Time At Space Camp

In a few hours, I will be picked up and taken to the set for my last day on Eureka. Though I’ve known this day was coming for a couple of weeks, and I’ve been trying to prepare myself for it, I’m not ready. I don’t want this to be over. I don’t want to say goodbye to my friends.

Monday, we had our last day of work in Cafe Diem. At the end of the day, Chris Gauthier and Nial Matter were wrapped for the entire series, along with some other actors who are [SPOILER]. I stood there, next to Neil and Felicia, and applauded for them. Then, without warning, I began to cry. It’s real. It’s really over. We’re really done. In two days, I’ll finish my last scene, and the first AD will call out, “That is a series wrap for Wil Wheaton,” and I’ll cry again.

I’m glad to feel sad, as strange as that may sound. I know I’ve said this about some other things, but it’s true: I’m happy to be sad when something is ending, because if I wasn’t, it would mean that nothing good happened that I will miss.

I will miss everything about Eureka. I’m going to be a wreck tonight.

So let’s talk a bit about This One Time, At Space Camp, shall we? It’s going to be Spoileriffic, so you have been warned (or you’ve already been spoiled, because you follow me on Twitter. Sorry about that.)

I learned to ride a recumbant bike for this episode. It was challenging, but not as difficult as I expected, and ended up being quite a lot of fun. I also think that “May the best man BLAH BLAH BLAH” is my favorite Parrish line of the series.

Wasn’t Aaron Douglas magnificent? I loved seeing him play totally against his usual type, and I loved the way he interacted with the kids.

We talked a lot about how douchey Parrish should be in this episode. I wanted to let him be as supremely arrogant as possible, because he’s convinced that all of this is just a formality at this point. I wanted him to lift himself up as high as he possibly could, so the fall at the end of the episode would be that much more brutal for him (and awesome for the audience, who are almost certainly cheering for Holly and Fargo at this point, if we’ve all done our jobs.)

I watched the episode with Neil and Chris in Neil’s trailer during breaks in filming, and when Fargo makes it but Parrish doesn’t, Neil pointed at sad Parrish on the television, and did a Nelson Muntz HA HA right at him and then at me. It was really, really funny.

Can we just take a moment to marvel at how incredible Wallace Shawn was, too? I mean, holy shit was he incredible. We’re so lucky he is part of the show, and you guys haven’t even seen the best of it, yet.

Weeping for Titan,


Source: WWdN: In Exile

THE BRIDGE (BLOG) – John McFetridge: Change of Plans (July 21, 2010)

Change of Plans
By: John McFetridge
Date: July 21, 2010
Source: Do Some Damage – An Inside Look at Crime Fiction


My post this week was going to be about this Saturday’s episode of The Bridge on CBS, “The Unguarded Moment,” which I co-wrote with Dannis Koromilas but I heard today that the show has been canclled and no further epiodes will air. I’m not sure if the episodes will be available on the CBS website or iTunes.

So, while it would have been a lot easy to make sense of my mess of a post if there was an episode of the show to go along with it, here it is anyway:

The Bridge was my first experience writing for TV and it was a creatively ambitious show – it wasn’t a police procedural with a murder victim in the opening scene and an arrest just before the end credits (or, usually, just before the final ironic insight from the lead detective) but rather it was (or was originally to have been) about the inner workings of a big city police department, the politics, ambitions, compromises, corruption – all these challenges faced from the point of view of a beat cop who gets elected union president.

This point of view opened up all kinds of new areas for a cop show to dig into and for mainstream networks like CBS and CTV that would make them a little… well, let’s say nervous.

And there were a lot of bumps on the road. The set-up lends itself best to a serialization but CBS wanted as episodic a show as possible. This led to a lot of rewriting and changes from the original plan.

“The Unguarded Moment” (the title is from a song by Dannis’s favourite band, The Church),

was written to be episode eleven or twelve out of thirteen but CTV aired it fourth and CBS had it scheduled to be fourth (these numbers are a little confusing because at first a two-hour TV movie was made and then the series was commissioned and the movie was split into two one-hour episodes – with a few new scenes added to make the split work better – but then both networks ran them back-to-back as a single episode) probably because it was one of the most stand-alone episodes.

Or at least it was one of the ones it was easiest to rewrite into a stand-alone.

A restaurant owner fed up landering money for a drug dealer stages a robbery that goes wrong when a cop is shot. It becomes a hostage taking and our hero, Frank Leo, takes charge.

Sounds simple, but it went through many, many rewrites.

In the first incarnation, the bad guys bringing the money to be laundered were SWAT cops (connected to the larger corrupt police conspiracy that was played down when the show became more episodic) who stole it from big-time drug dealers and the restaurant owner, a woman named Cassandra in our draft, was in over head with these guys (we tried to imply an uneasy history here) and wanted out – but she wanted to keep the million dollars so she staged the robbery so she could at least stall the bad cops while she took off to Cypress. It gets even more complicated when those SWAT guys are at the hostage-taking and just want to burst in and kill everyone so they can keep their secret and get their money back.

Frank, of course, suspects all is not what it seems and has to save the injured cop being held hostage and root out the bad SWAT guys – who may even come after him.

But by episode ten we’d had an awful lot of bad cops on The Bridge so it was decided that we wouldn’t have any in this episode. And we wanted the episode to be more stand-alone. The robbery is still staged, though to be honest, when the gentleman drug dealer (now no longer the SWAT guys) comes in and says he only deals with hash because with hard drugs you have to deal with people with, “bad attitudes and guns,” I’m not sure why the restaurant owner (now named Ella St. George) doesn’t just say, “well, okay, thanks for the money,” and get on the plane to Cypress.

Anyway, there’s a staged robbery, an injured cop being held hostage by some bad guys and Frank Leo negotiating to get him out.

And I’ve heard a rumour that the ending of the CBS version is very different from the ending of the version aired on CTV last March.

(well, now I guess we may never know what that alternate ending was.)

THE CHIEF’S DECK: DVD pics (28 April 2010)

THE BRIDGE (BLOG) – John McFetridge: This Week’s Bridge – April 23 (April 20, 2010)

This Week’s Bridge – April 23
By: John McFetridge
Date: April 20, 2010
Source: John McFetridge’s Blog


The episode is called Painted Ladies. We used song titles for episode titles and as this one is about cops running an escort service it was either Painted Ladies or Roxanne and I like the shout out to Ian Thomas.

CTV describe the episode as:

Answering a call for “officer down,” Frank (Aaron Douglas) discovers the victim is not a cop but a prostitute dressed as a cop. Investigating further, Frank uncovers an escort ring run by a ruthless vice cop.

Like many storylines on The Bridge, this one was inspired by events in Toronto.

There’s more info on the true story here.

Wil Wheaton blogs about Aaron (April 8, 2010)

Wil Wheaton mentions Aaron in his latest blog entry ….

Note: This is a snippet of Wil Wheaton’s blog where he mentions Aaron. To read the full blog, click HERE.

Eureka: all the rage – day zero

Last night, I had dinner with my friend Aaron, who is also an actor and lives here. While we were waiting for our check, he asked me if I was excited to “go be an actor for a week.”

“I really am,” I said, “but I’m also a little nervous. I’ve spent so much time being a writer, I’m afraid that I’ll get stuck in my head once I’m on the set.”

I was talking about this thing that can happen to actors who are over-prepared or inexperienced. To really live in a scene and to really be connected to the other actors, we have to stay in each moment, reacting honestly and simply to what the other actors are doing. I do a ton of character preparation. In addition to knowing what my lines are, I know why I say each one. I know all sorts of stuff about my characters, because the more I know about a character, the wider my range is when I play him. I need to know what I want from each other character, what my purpose is in a scene, and then let all of that stuff fall away into some kind of subconscious background noise while I’m actually performing the scene … or I’m stuck in my head, thinking about things and watching things, instead of living in the scene.

I continued, “so I think I’ll probably be a little rusty at first, but I’ve done this long enough to trust that I’ll settle in. Not as quickly as I’d like, but I’ll settle in.”

“Well, I’m sure you’re going to have a great time,” he said, in that way one actor tells another to get the frak out of his own way, trust his instincts, and just enjoy the work, without really saying that. It’s sort of a pep talk between friends, I guess, and it’s one of those things that I just love about being an actor with some good friends.

Source: WWdN: In Exile

THE CHIEF’S DECK: HEY!!!!! (16 March 2010)