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The room is pretty stuffy about 20 minutes in, the
distraught detective’s urgent questions exacerbating the claustrophobia as
every second passes. “What’s going on in that head of yours?” asks the woman
again. It must be for the 100th time, but the blood-drenched psychopath’s reply
never changes… Welcome to the set of the new Drew Daywalt short film MY NAME IS
KRIS KRINGLE, which Fangoria.com will debut on this very website just in time
for Christmas. See exclusive pics and more observations below the jump, as well
as previous article here.
I stand mesmerized by the scene unfolding before me.
Suddenly, a voice to my left shouts “Door!” and the three actors (Brad James,
Azure Parsons and Donnie Jeffcoat in the room turn to face the entrance to the
interrogation room. After two beats, Daywalt (pictured left, with Jeffcoat),
director of the horror web series CAMERA OBSCURA, calls cut and turns to me.
“You wanted to take a picture?” he smiles. Let’s start from the beginning.
“FANGORIA?” I manage, as I come face-to-face with one of the
Internet’s hottest horror inhabitants. Acknowledgement of our earlier email
correspondence crosses Daywalt’s face as he realizes why this strange
20something is standing in the middle of his set, baffled, a little lost, and
holding a tape recorder that has seen better days. I am promptly introduced to
the filming crew I will be following for the next 11 hours, made up of several
men and women who’ve been with the Daywalt Fear Factory for years. The set
itself is comprised of a small room, perhaps as big as an average-sized bathroom,
a table with a white board on it and a couple of manufactured lights that the
crew has hung from the ceiling with rope. I’d seen a few of Daywalt’s previous
short films, so although the room looks quite drab with half of its walls
painted a dark blue, I am confident that the finished product will once again
dominate the proverbial “box-office” of views as so many of its predecessors
Hitting the ground running, I decide to first sit down with
Fear Factory’s producing partner and SFX master, Jeff Farley (pictured) of
LEECHES! fame. Before arriving on set today, I had done some research on Farley
and it didn’t take long for me to figure out that if Daywalt and his crew were
analogous to a car, Farley would be the engine. Having done almost every
special effect for Daywalt since SUICIDE GIRL, it’s undeniable that his skill
with detail is what really sells the scares. If you’ve seen JACK or THERE’S NO
SUCH THING, then you know what I’m talking about. But Daywalt Fear Factory is a
team effort; you need not look further than CAMERA OBSCURA to see that. When
coming up with the conceptual ideas for what the demons from that web show
would look like, Farley says that Daywalt would “collage” an image from
multiple magazines. Daywalt would then show Farley those demonic pics, who
ultimately had little issue with the original concepts. The only exception to
this was the demon Corpulence, which Farley came up with. The institution of
such bohemian tactics have done wonders for the production company—two and a
half months since its October debut, the CAMERA OBSCURA series has amassed over
210,000 views on DailyMotion.com.
After a few more questions, the interview with Farley comes
to a close and I make my way back to the set. Daywalt is making final
adjustments to the camera and speaking with another crewmember, Chad Nagel,
when I wander in. I notice not much has changed except for perhaps the addition
of the gruff, former-chainsaw wielding R.A. Mihailoff (TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
III, DARK HOUSE, HATCHET II, etc.; pictured with author), in a black sleeveless
shirt and sporting sunglasses, sitting across from James, the cool and
collected detective in this holiday murder thriller.
Making my way through the kitchen and the subsequent rooms,
I meet the rest of the crew, including costume designer Sarah Mgeni, and am
able to more formally introduce myself and explain why I am there. In the
process, I slip into one of the unexplored rooms and find myself looking at a
peculiar sight—hanging on a rack across from me is a red coat smothered in
blood and dirt. Similarly bloodied gloves, boots and Santa hat are at the foot
of the rack. Now, I read the MY NAME IS KRIS KRINGLE screenplay before
arriving, but to see a department store Santa costume dirtied in such a way…dread
pulls at me. But so does delight.
Heading back to the interrogation room, I discover that
someone has closed the door; filming has begun. Settling on the couch next to
Farley, I wait for a break between shots to sneak in. After seeing that Santa
suit on the rack, who wouldn’t want to witness Daywalt’s latest nightmare
TO BE CONTIUNED
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