Monday, February 13, 2012

Q&A with DEAD INSIDE Producer and Star

We'd like to thank NEW FILMMAKERS LA for setting up this excellent Q&A on the making/casting process for the standout horror film DEAD INSIDE.


Jennifer Zhang – Writer/Producer

Why do you think that indie horror films have gained so much popularity over the past few years?
First, the unromantic answer: from a producing standpoint – if you have a painfully small budget and can’t afford an A-list star or visual effects at the Michael Bay echelon, it makes a lot of sense for filmmakers to make horror films where – if done well – you can generally achieve maximum impact with practical effects, and where you stand the greatest chance of having a final product with commercial value, since it’ll appeal to the widest audience. Which gets me into the second, more romantic part of my answer, which is that I think the audience for horror films has ballooned in the past few years because of the genre’s primal qualities. Horror films tickle that prey response in so many of us that our biology and evolution have nurtured. Our responses to the things that happen in horror films are visceral: anxiety, fear, sympathy, relief, and since people generally go to movies to feel something, a horror film is the surest way to make that happen. I think that this being truer in recent years is a sign of our times: we’re so inundated with media that a lot of people – especially young audiences who have all the goodies of the internet at their fingertips – are experiencing sensory overload. So it just takes more to get audiences to feel. And they’re more actively seeking out new horror films to satisfy that, so independent horror films get a fighting chance at being discovered. In short, I think independent horror is blowing up because rising supply and demand are in perfect synchronicity.

As a [producer] what drew you to this genre?