Exclusive Interview: Madellaine Paxson (Blood Punch)
What made you want to get involved in the film industry?
Loving movies. Is there any other reason?
From script–to–screen, how close did BLOOD PUNCH come to its original vision?
Pretty darn close. Most of the changes were almost entirely cuts from the script, of scenes that were too expensive to film. We did cut some scenes we actually shot for time, but most of them ended up in the special features of the DVD, so any interested parties could watch them. Though honestly, I don’t regret any of the cuts. If I did a Director’s Cut, it wouldn’t include those scenes.
What was your favorite day on set and why?
My favorite day on set started out as the worst day.
Cohen Holloway, the actor who played Archer, was in the hospital with altitude sickness. We were horribly worried about Cohen, and we were also going to lose the cabin in a couple of days.
So, Eddie Guzelian (writer of Blood Punch) put on Archer’s outfit, and we shot the scene without Cohen, mostly from behind so you couldn’t see his face, and not knowing how on earth this was going to work out. Fortunately, Cohen recovered 100%, and we shot him from the front and on a different set in the desert.
Talk about making it up as you go…
What scene did you enjoy directing the most?
The scene where Skyler gets shot with an arrow right through her hand. Our makeup artist created an amazing arrow-through-the-hand effect that was shockingly realistic, and wowed even the crew on the set. It was like a magic trick.
What is the biggest obstacle you faced while making BLOOD PUNCH?
Movies are challenging to make at the best of times. Stuff always goes wrong, always. In our case, we’d never made a movie before, so we didn’t know what we didn’t know.
I guess that was our biggest obstacle: we’d never made a movie before, so we were winging it a lot. You can read all the books you want about filmmaking, but until you’re doing it, and adapting to quickly fix the stuff that’s going wrong every single day, you don’t really know what filmmaking is.
What was your proudest moment during production?
We didn’t finish it on the last day of principle production, which is typical… we had lots of days of reshoots, many of them shot in the back yard or garage whenever we had spare time. And we were matching that to stuff shot in the mountains during winter. It was freezing cold up there at the time, but then we had to do matching reshoots in the heat of August, with the actors wearing winter clothes.
I’m quite happy with how it all turned out.
How do you get a film to stand out in the crowd in today’s landscape?
Be Marvel or Lucasfilm.
Seriously, I wish I knew. The easiest thing to do is hire a “name” actor… but if you’re indie, and don’t have money, that’s not an option. Apart from that, make a really great movie that people respond to.
What other filmmakers inspire you to do what you do?
Brian DePalma, Paul Verhoven, Stanley Kubrick, Billy Wilder. They each have different strengths and styles that appeal to me. And Billy Wilder is especially notable because he made great movies in completely different genres.
What is your favorite horror decade and why?
1980s. I’m a fan of supernatural horror, especially with a sci fi bent. ‘The Thing,’ ‘Aliens,’ ‘Hellraiser,’ ‘The Shining’.
What is the next step in your filmmaking career?
Making another movie! I just need to talk someone into paying for it…
Filmmakers with horror genre films that are complete or in post production are welcome to submit their trailer & poster to Sharry Flaherty, Acquisition Executive at SameraEntertainment@gmail.com