Actor turned director Bruce Blain took time to talk with Horrornews.net – He wrote and directed Mad Santa. A unique short film. Make sure to check it out on YouTube.
Hi Bruce, how are you?
Bruce- I am good.
MAD SANTA was so good. It’s a fun scary movie. I know you have done so many different TV shows, movies and more. You are so talented.
Bruce- I’ve been around.
How did this idea manifest for you? The idea of Mad Santa?
Bruce- I decided to go ahead and enter the 48 Hour Blood n’ Guts competition. I had this idea in my head, some kind of actor getting revenge on a casting director story. The way the competition works is seven o’ clock on a Friday, they give you three elements that you need to incorporate in the film. One is a prop, in this case was a flashlight. The second is a line of dialogue. The third was that it must be holiday themed. It all happened very quickly. I started writing. The holiday themed thing was throwing me through a loop. The reason I directed myself was because Jeff Lando who is a friend of mine and a DP, when I asked him to do it, he said, yeah. He is a twenty-five-year pro, he doesn’t need to do these things. He said, I’ll shoot it but you should direct it. I was in charge of performance, I suppose. He took care of the technical side.
That is pretty amazing. Congratulations on everything.
Bruce- Thank you.
You wrote, directed and star in this. Did you face any challenges?
Bruce- It is a 48-hour film competition and at one o’clock at night, I still hadn’t written anything. That was challenge number one. I am on maybe two or three hours of sleep. We shot all day on a Saturday. I think the movie turned out the way it did because I got lucky. There were no major hiccups during the day. Everyone did their jobs so well.
I love the fact that everyone is tied up… but with Christmas lights.
Bruce- (Laughter) When we found out it was holiday themed, I sent out an email to the group and it said, if you have Christmas stuff, bring it. Fun fact, the lights were indoor lights. Ashley Fetters who plays the secretary who gets her throat cut and the actual cut in which the way we shot it, the actual cut failed so we shot it from behind. It shorted out the lights and she was getting semi-electrocuted. She was sitting there all tied up in her chair and the poor thing is getting electrocuted.
Bruce- Yes. Her lights go when she dies. Her lights were out so she wouldn’t get electrocuted.
Oh my gosh. That’s crazy. Its funny and its not funny. Poor Ashley.
Bruce- People thought her lights were out because she’s dead.
Thank goodness she is okay.
Bruce- Oh yes, she is fine and she got a good laugh out of it herself.
Was it dark on-set? It looks like it was an eerie darkness?
Bruce- No, we didn’t use a lot of lights. I wanted it to be a warm feeling. I spent quite a lot of time explaining to Jeff the feel I wanted it to have. They used the orange and red films.
How did the special effects team prepare? You had some really cool special effects and blood shots.
Bruce- The make-up girl was fresh out of school. She had not done a job yet but I liked her attitude. She was pretty sure; she could achieve the throat cut and the blood. She made her own blood using dish soap primarily. We weren’t going for gore, one of my favorite scenes in a movie is cutting the ear off in Reservoir Dogs and the camera pans off with the song playing. It lets the audience imagine the extreme violence that is going on off-camera. All you can hear is him screaming. I love that idea of putting the violence off-camera.
I love Reservoir Dogs and Michael Madsen is so good. I think a good villain or bad guy doesn’t think he is bad. They are trying to make a living, live life etc. That is sort of what I get with Mad Santa too. He is to the point where he is just doing what he thinks needs to be done.
Bruce- Agreed, agreed.
What would you like to say to everyone that will be watching Mad Santa?
Bruce- There is no hidden message, political statement or a social agenda. The film was made for fun. It turned out a lot better than I imagined. I am immensely proud of it. I just want people to enjoy it. Watch it, share it. Its out there for free on YouTube. It is something we made for the love of films.
What are you working on next and is there any chance you will write and direct again?
Bruce- I am working on a script right now. I don’t want to say too much about it. My agent is in talks about a movie.
It was an honor to talk to you. I thank you so much for taking the time to talk with Horrornews.net – You did such an amazing job. Congratulations.
Bruce- Thank you for chatting with me and tag me with #MadSanta
“MAD SANTA was written, shot, edited, and scored in 48 hours for the Vancouver 48 Hour Run N Gun Horror Film Festival.
It won the coveted Audience Choice Award and received Honorable Mention at the Los Angeles Short Film Festival in March.
It also received several nominations at the Vancouver Bad Ass Film Festival.
If you are inclined to write a review, please include the following:
Written and Directed by Bruce Blain
Bruce Blain on Twitter @BBinBKK and/or
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Also, if applicable, please link to Bruce Blain and/or MAD SANTA on IMDB”
Bruce Blain www.imdb.com/name/nm4221489/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t1