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In this second part (see the first here) of my conversation with out writer/director
JT Seaton (GEORGE: A ZOMBIE INTERVENTION, which we reviewed here),
we talk about working with Lynn Lowry, getting killed but not killed on film,
and his new short, DIVINATION.
FANG: Let’s talk about–well, I know it as GEORGE’S
INTERVENTION—but it went through a title change, right?
SEATON: Yeah, a slight title change. The new title is
GEORGE: A ZOMBIE INTERVENTION. The idea for the title change, we kind of kicked around with the distributor,
Breaking Glass. Brad Hodson, the co-writer and one of the co-producers, and I
were scared to death a distributor would want to rename the film “Intervention
of the Dead.” That’s what they want to do. You look at all these movies that
come out, “Something of the Dead…” Those movies weren’t titled that when they
were first made. Those were titles that were given to them by the distributor.
So we literally brought that up at our first meeting. “We
don’t want this to be titled ‘Intervention of the Dead’ literally.” And they
agreed with us. And actually they were fine with “George’s Intervention” as the
title of the film. But we kind of like collectively agreed that people who are
not familiar with the film through the festival circuit or other areas, who
might be scrolling through iTunes, scrolling through Netflix, walking through a
video store; we wanted to give people a clear idea of what the movie was going
to be about with the title.
FANG: You were lucky enough to work with Lynn Lowry. It’s nice
to see her working again. There was a long period when she wasn’t very visible.
SEATON: I met Lynn in 2007. My roommate at the time was Jeff
Dylan Graham (OCTOBER MOON). He wanted to direct a movie, and we came up with a
story idea that was basically starting off as a remake of an old TV movie
starring Anthony Perkins. I wrote a draft of the script that eventually became
PSYCHOSOMATIK, and he cast Lynn Lowry. So I met Lynn because I was co-writer of
the script and on the set quite a bit.
So when we were working through GEORGE, I always knew I
wanted Lynn to play the interventionist. I didn’t tell her until we actually
had a script, but I wrote it with her in mind, and when we were finished with the
script I emailed her and said, “Hey, Lynn, how ya doing? Haven’t talked to you
in awhile. Here’s a script…” And told her we’d written this part for her. She
read it and called me back immediately. Actually, I think she called me even
before she was finished reading it, and said she thought it was hilarious and
she wanted to do it. And since then Lynn’s also been in my new horror short,
DIVINATION, which has just started its festival run, and it’s already won three
SEATON: Thank you! Lynn and I have plans to continue working
together. We appreciate each other as artists, and, you know, we get each
other. She’s a great friend, and I think she’s a fantastic actress. And she
needs to work more! So all you readers out there need to hire Lynn Lowry to be
in your movies!
FANG: It’s funny, when she was in the thick of the first
stage of her career, back in the day of THE CRAZIES, she seemed like such a
waif. Almost like, who is this girl? Is she an actress? She seems so
ethereal... And now she seems like such a mature woman. It’s interesting to see
that change. Maybe it was just that everyone had her playing that role back
then, but it’s nice to see people giving her the chance to stretch these days.
SEATON: She has a film called SCORE –
FANG: I was just going to mention that!
SEATON: I’ve actually gone with her to a couple of
screenings of that. To be sitting next to Lynn, watching her from 1972 on the
screen; it’s sort of strange. It’s kind of cool.
FANG: Well, sitting next to her watching her in that
particular movie… (SCORE is a softcore, or hardcore [depending on the print],
sexploitation film about a bisexual couple seducing Lowry and Cal “Casey
Donovan” Culver. – Ed)
SEATON: [Laughs] Yeah, that particular movie, it’s a trip. I
love the movie.
FANG: You also got to work with Brinke Stevens, who is super
SEATON: Brinke is great. I’ve hung out with BrinkE quite a
bit. She’s just a great lady, and when we were doing GEORGE, I called her up
and said, “Hey, Brinke, I have this cameo…” She was a trouper, she loved to do
it, she had a great time. Everybody loved her, and she’s really funny. Again,
just a great lady.
FANG: At some point you and I worked on the same movie, but
not at the same time, Joe Castro’s THE SUMMER OF MASSACRE, which was just
inducted into the GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS for “Most Deaths in a Slasher
Film.” We both had the privilege of dying in it, but your death was much more
horrifying than mine. How did you end up working with Joe?
SEATON: I don’t have any idea of how we met. [Laughs] I did
some photography and poster artwork for TERROR TUNES 2 back in the day. We kept
in touch, I’d go over if they had a screening and hang out with them and stuff.
And then when he was doing THE SUMMER OF MASSACRE, he sent me an email and said
[he] had this part and [asked] if I’d be the killer in one segment. [And I said]
sure, that’d be fun! I’ve never been a killer before. Being 6’3”, you know, I
could handle that. So, I went over and shot a couple of days in the film.
What’s interesting is that he did so much with the visual FX. It has a really
cool look. I have a secret about that. I don’t think I was on set when I got
killed! I don’t think that was me! [Laughs] I don’t remember shooting my death
scene when we were shooting! We were supposed to come back and do another day,
and it never happened.
FANG: It’s funny, I was on that shoot for four weekends. I
was there to write a set diary for it, and of course I ended up working on it,
and being in it, and bringing friends to be in it. And one of my friends that I
brought onto the film was sort of bummed he didn’t get to shoot a death scene.
And then I went to a screening, and he had a death scene! Joe totally stole a
shot from some other scene, and created this whole visual effect of my friend
SEATON: I spent half my shooting day set decorating this
cave that was in his garage! He was very clever and creative in that film. And
I’m not surprised it’s getting all the accolades it’s getting.
FANG: Let’s talk about your short, DIVINATION. I think I
know the answer to this question, but for those that are reading this that
might not understand: Why, after shooting a feature, go back and shoot another
SEATON: There's nothing wrong with short films. Take a look
at some of your favorite directors on the IMDB. You'll notice that many of them
have made short films in the past couple of years. There are some great stories
that can be told that don't need 90 minutes to tell. That said, DIVINATION was
kind of an afterthought. I already had a trip to New Orleans planned. And my
friend, and producer of DIVINATION, Ryan Blake George, said, "Hey, since
you're coming, why don't we make a movie?" And thus, DIVINATION was born.
It was kind of like a whim and an accident, but it’s doing
very well. We’ve just begun submitting to festivals. We’ve gotten into nine
festivals so far. And hopefully the idea is if this film gets enough festival
play and recognition and awards, I definitely want to do the feature version.
And when I do the feature, I want Lynn to reprise her role.
FANG: What have you seen lately that you like?
SEATON: In addition to being a horror filmmaker myself, I also
co-run a horror film festival. The New Orleans Horror Film Festival, which came
about because of DIVINATION. We discovered New Orleans didn’t have a horror
film festival. They have a vampire film festival. So [Ryan, Blake, George and I]
raised our hands and said, “We’ll take
it!” So we got a lot of submissions, a lot more than we anticipated. Maybe it’s
because of the location—who wouldn’t want to go to New Orleans on Halloween for
a horror film festival on Bourbon St.? So a lot of the good stuff I’ve seen
were submissions for the film festival.
As far as other films, my favorite horror/comedy this year
was TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL. The fact that it’s taken so long to find a
distributor when so much crap is being dumped into the marketplace is criminal.
It’s got a really funny, clever twist on the “College kids vs. the
hillbillies.” Big theatrical-wise films, I think INSIDIOUS was really good, and
very encouraging considering they made that film for a million dollars. Or at
least IMDB.com says they made it for a million dollars. I appreciated the
filmmakers took a risk and did something different, and didn’t give us the same
old crap that everybody keeps regurgitating over and over again.
FANG: Besides DIVINATION, what’s on your schedule?
SEATON: There’s a film that I’d like to make – I want to do
a throwback to 1970’s Italian giallo films. In the last several years since
Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino did GRINDHOUSE, there’s been a lot of
homages to American grindhouse, 70s and 80s films. Nobody’s really done an
homage to the 70s giallo films. Dario Argento, Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci; from
the late 60s to the early 80s. So that’s a project I’m kind of working on as
well. I’m actually looking to take a two-week vacation, rent a villa in Rome,
and actually shoot it in Italy. There’s going to be a couple GEORGE people who
are going to come with me to be the American actors, and I’d like to hook up
with an Italian filmmaker on that side and cast some Italian actors. And
basically do what they did back in the 70s – they didn’t record any onset
sound, everybody spoke their own language, and it all just got redubbed in
FANG: That sounds awesome. Get on it! And finally, are you
seeing anybody right now?
SEATON: Um…no. [Laughs]
FANG: I just like to let our single readers know so they can
begin stalking you.
SEATON: Oh, okay, great. Yes, I am available to stalk.
For more info about GEORGE: A ZOMBIE INTERVENTION check out
the official webpage.
For more info on DIVINATION go here.
For more info on schedule and submissions for the New
Orleans Horror Film Festival, the official website is here.
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