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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



15 Till Midnight with Brandon Slagle


Hi Brandon! Thanks for being here to talk about your many recent film projects. You certainly have a lengthy resume for 2010 and it doesn't look like you'll be letting up any time soon!



ME: Can you talk about your latest films? There are so many so I don't know which to focus on.



BRANDON: The most recent ones would be The Super, Avantgarde, 15 Till Midnight, and Song of the Shattered.  They each couldn't be more different from one another, although The Super and Avantgarde both feature me in...various degrees of drag. 



ME: You in various degrees of drag? Perfect! Can't wait to see that. Can you start with telling us about The Super and Avantgarde?



BRANDON: The Super is about a Vietnam War veteran who is now the superintendant of an apartment building in Queens with various depraved tenants...of course, since it is a horror film, he has a taste for murder, for lack of better words. I portray "Franny" who is strung out junkie street trash straight out of a Nick Zedd or Lydia Lunch film. I gave him a bit of a back story, similar to the lead characters, in which "Franny", before he became who he was, was in the Gulf War and succumbed to drug addiction afterwards due to trauma. Avantgarde is a German film about a fashion designer who uses actual human body parts in her runway shows.  I'm the second-in-command, a sociopath photographer named Patrice.



ME: Fashion designer using human body parts in runway shows! Wow! That's like Cannibal chic? lol! And what about 15 Till Midnight?



BRANDOND: 15 Till Midnight is a science fiction thriller which I also wrote and produced.  It is loosely based on a story that I've had in my head that has evolved over the course of 20+ years now (this particular version of the story for the last 5). It is a parallel worlds mystery thriller about a normal man, who is a bit neurotic, who wakes up one morning to find his wife of two years not just missing, but every bit of evidence of their life together gone as well. Soon he finds himself living ANOTHER version of his life, with another woman, as well as pursued by a group of shadow men known as the "Knowers" who are aware of the reality of the many worlds theory and offer him an ultimatum...join then and go back to the life he has lost, or face...well...I don't want to give too much away...



ME: It must be amazing to see a film you've been thinking to make for 20+ years finally come to fruition. And this one sounds like a maze and super thrilling. You also wrote and produced Song of the Shattered (2010) as well?



BRANDON: Song of the Shattered is a "psycho-horror post-revenge" film about a young woman (Devanny Pinn), who - a year after killing her abusive husband in self defense, finds herself essentially mimicking his actions. This is another one I starred in/wrote/produced and very different from 15 Till Midnight, though with both films, I put in quite a bit of my own past experiences - particularly this one. A number of very tragic, horrible things which I would never wish on any person yet I have unfortunately bore witness to in the past. Both 15 Till Midnight and Song of the Shattered will premiere at the Sacramento Sci-Fi/Horror Convention.  Avantgarde recently premiered in Berlin and The Super should screen this fall.



ME: Fantastic! You must be proud of all these premiers happening at once! You also have quite a few other projects in the works as well I can see.



BRANDON: I also appeared in what is called a "U5" role in a film called "The Festival of Light" portraying an employee of Aidan Quinn's character and - at the time of this writing - I am on the set of "MEGA SHARK VS CROCOSAURUS", which is Asylum's sequel to their most well-known film, Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus.  Jaleel, White and Star Trek Voyager's Bob Ricardo topline it.



ME: Do you have any stories or anecdotes you might have about the process of making any of the films? Or any advice you would like to share with any of our readers about the process of turning script to screen?



BRANDON: Filmmaking is NOT an easy task - and sadly with the advent of affordable HD, many people have decided that they are, in fact, filmmakers, though other than a camera they don't have the necessary creative tools - or passion - to really be one. That being said, literally dozens of obstacles can present themselves in the journey from script to screen - funding can be pulled, people will try and sway the script this way and that way (sometimes for the good but often for the bad), and any number of other things that would really require an entire book to adequately describe. As far as anecdotes - a film will only be as good as you allow it to be.  I am not a believer in cutting corners just to make things more affordable or easier. Go the distance to get the RIGHT actors, the right equipment, and so on - make everything as good as it can possibly be...or honestly - do not do it at all...



ME: Awesome advice! It is true. Today, anyone and everyone can make a film, in theory. But as the saying goes, a paintbrush doesn't make a painter. So, still many obstacles have to be overcome. When did you get into acting and did you always know you wanted to act, write and produce?



BRANDON: It is really all that I have ever known that I have ever wanted to do, so unfortunately I don't have a true answer for the first part of the question. As far as writing and producing, for me these all really go hand in hand as part of the creative process and having a "vision", so I may not have a real answer for that either.  To me, all of these things just make sense together as part of a whole.



ME: Can you speak about exciting work you have done in the past that you loved working on?



BRANDON: A lot of projects have their high points, even if I am not particularly happy with the end result of the film ...and on that note I can say that improvising lines with Oscar Nominee Charles Durning (who has played my lawyer in two films now), and then later getting word from the producer that Charles complimented me has definitely been a high point, even if the final film (Kinky Killers, shown 39284 times a month on Showtime and The Movie Channel), is quite disappointing. I had a similar experience with Aiden Quinn, and another similar one with a former publicist for Paramount who sat in on a round of auditions for supporting actresses for a film I am in which I read opposite each hopeful actress and later called me telling me how impressed she was with me. Bear in mind, this person had previously repped actors such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and here she was telling ME that I had that "Special something" that these (for lack of better words) megastars also have. (Now it's just a matter of realizing that special something and getting to where I want to be...)



ME: Very cool! Well, I'm sure something happens with some ‘megastars' when they get huge. Who knows, maybe some forget acting is an art and they turn it into just business. Who knows! What will you be working on in the future? Can you speak about this yet?



BRANDON: I will be playing the villain in the action/horror film "Dog Fight", will be the "heroic lead" in the horror feature "CUT!", and will be portraying Chainsaw Sally's nemesis, "Angel Eyes" in the new season of the Chainsaw Sally Show, which is slated to run on FEARnet. Oh, and also the villain in the punk-rock zombie film, VICIOUS.



ME: Anything else you want to share with readers before we sign off?



BRANDON: The only other thing I would like to share at this point is....................remember the time 15 Past Midnight...



ME: Thanks Brandon. Just to recap, here is a list of Brandon's film for 2010 to look out for. Song of the Shattered, Avantgarde, Vicious, Terror Talk, Resurrected, Metro, Legend of the Red Reaper, The Festival of Light, The Super and 15 Till Midnight!...phew! and all that just in 2010! Great going Brandon! Keep it up! You rock!



Interview by Vanessa McMahon August 30, 2010




actor Brandon Slagle


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