We got tag-teamed by Joseph Henson and Nathan Johnson about their new project GORY GRADUATION. Check it out (ignore the vaseline and bloody towels)
LEGLESS CORPSE: I actually own a VHS copy of the 1982 Original film Gory Graduation. With this be a remake or a sequel?
JOSEPH HENSON: Proof or it didn’t happen. Haha.
NATHAN JOHNSON: What? It’s real?!
LC: I was just kidding, I don’t really own the film since I don’t recall it ever being made. Does this project have any link to that film that had every horror fan up in arms at the time?
JOSEPH: Ha. Yes, actually, our film is THAT film, in a manner of speaking. Nathan and I were two of several people who tirelessly went on the hunt for Gory Graduation. Needless to say, disappointment set in when we finally came to the conclusion that it didn’t actually exist. I think the evocative title and the fact that we spent so much time searching for it was more than enough for us to say, “This film needs to exist,” and so…
NATHAN: You got me! Joseph has done a great job at summing up the history behind our search for this title. I just remember being very disappointed when we ultimately discovered it wasn’t real.
LC: How did the project come together, what inspired the story behind the title?
JOSEPH: Well, Nathan and I had always planned on making our own slasher film. We got that chance in late 2013 when we crowdfunded The Night Before Easter. That film was semi-successful in that it got some positive feedback and helped us build our reputation, as it were. I’m of the mind that it could have been a LOT better but considering we were sort of in way over our heads, and that he and I were the only crew (with very little money), it turned out quite well, all things considered. We also caught the bug and wanted to make more films, better films, and so, we fell back on that dream of making Gory Graduation a reality. The story is an old hat tale of teens getting slaughtered in a high school by a mystery killer whose identity will be revealed in the final reel; we want to make a movie that lives up to the title (gory) but we were of the mind that it needs to be darkly humorous as well. Nathan and I think it should be something like Agatha Christie meeting John Waters in a swimming pool of blood.
NATHAN: I mainly wanted to take all the constructive criticism we received on The Night Before Easter and try to make sure this one will be a big improvement. I want it to be more light-hearted and fun. Something that doesn’t take itself too seriously but also isn’t trying to be a comedy. This one will have some dark humor but it won’t be a slapstick comedy/horror or anything like that.
LC: You have some awesome poster art created for the production, who was the artist and how do those concepts come about?
JOSEPH: That would be me, and thank you. Most of the time, I’ll be laying in bed or fooling around online when an idea will come to me. I don’t think the artwork is wonderful or anything (I’m still learning) but people seem to like the posters so far. It’s flattering.
NATHAN: I can’t draw at all. Any artwork I would come up with would be a stick figure holding a crudely drawn knife.
LC: Is Gory Graduation going to be a feature film or a short?
JOSEPH: Definitely a feature. We came up with a story that features over twenty deaths – VERY graphic deaths and there’s just no way we can do all of that in a short story.
NATHAN: We are working on a short film right now which we hope to have wrapped up next month. But yes, Gory Graduation is definitely going to be a feature-length film.
LC: I know you are still trying to secure financing but how far along are you into the production? Has any footage been shot?
JOSEPH: No footage. Yet. We will be filming a teaser VERY soon but right now it’s all about raising money to make this a reality. We’re also filming a short story in our downtime (we’re about 60% done with that) so the teaser is basically waiting on us to finish that particular project – but sooner rather than later.
NATHAN: We have some great ideas for the teaser trailer and we hope it gets more people interested in the project.
LC: You currently have an indiegogo campaign running for the film, which is always cool to see what kind of rewards you can get on these campaigns. What are you offering that people should jump on?
JOSEPH: Well, we have DVDs, posters, movie credits, screeners, etc. And we are trying to keep them on the cheap, affordable side. We want the crowd to be as much a part of this as we are. I guess that’s the point of crowdfunding – we’re just two schmoes who work 50 to 60 hours a week to pay our mortgages, but we love horror films and filmmaking; this is the only way we can realize this dream. It’s a blessing and a curse but we hope we have enough to offer people that would justify them plopping down their hard-earned dollars. And every dollar counts.
NATHAN: Even $1 helps us. We worked really hard to stretch our last budget ($4K) with The Night Before Easter. It definitely wasn’t easy. We hope we can do better this time around.
LC: If everything goes according to plan, when do you plan on shooting and when do you expect the film to be finished?
JOSEPH: We plan to film over the course of three weeks this summer (July to August). Our proposed release date is near the time of graduation in 2016 but we also plan to spend as much time in post as possible so that we crank out the absolute best product possible, so if we don’t meet that deadline, you’ll know why. Rest assured, we won’t rest until we’ve completed an absolute blast of a film.
NATHAN: The important thing is to make Gory Graduation entertaining for the viewers. Our last film was shot over a few months and only on weekends. That was a nightmare… But as Joseph said, we hope to shoot this one over three weeks maximum. Thanks for the interview!
Interview With The Deranged Duo Behind GORY GRADUATION
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