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Home | Interviews | Interview: Cody Calahan (Vicious Fun) (Panic Fest 2021)

Interview: Cody Calahan (Vicious Fun) (Panic Fest 2021)

Hi Cody, Vicious Fun is such a fun movie. Please tell us about yourself, and how you got started?

Cody- I’m half of a company called Black Fawn Films that I own with my business partner, Chad Archibald, who’s also a director. I grew up in a small town and I wanted to make movies. I went to film school and worked as a production assistant for many years on some big movies until I got my chance to break out.

How did Vicious Fun manifest for you? It’s one of the most refreshing films I’ve seen in a while.

Cody- I came up with the title and wrote it in a notebook. I thought it would be interesting to come up with ideas after the fact. I spent a couple of months jotting down ideas, and then it morphed into this love letter to horror films of the eighties. I can’t remember how the support group came up with the support group came up, but it was a funny idea of trying to get in their heads, and I was curious about that.

I was so happy to see Anber Goldfarb kicking ass and I loved her character. How did you prepare and how did you get the actors prepared?

Cody- We spent a lot of time with the script. We beat that into a good place, and we had a good idea of who everybody was. For somebody like, Amber (Amber plays Carrie), in particular just to pick one of the actors who I think is strong in this film. We had a lot of conversations about her backstory because it’s only loosely hinted at throughout the movie. We had some great in-depth chats about her upbringing and who she is. I feel like we have enough material for a spin-off.

I’d love to see something more with this film. What was it like working with this awesome cast? I loved all the characters but I will say, I think Bob was my favorite character.

(Laughing)

Cody- We’ve been getting that a lot. Ari Millen and I grew up together. Our parents were best friends so, I knew him forever. We had always planned to work on a project together. I sent him one of the first drafts and he read it and said, you’ve got to let me play Bob. We started talking about that early on to decide where we would go with his performance which is definitely off the wall. It’s funny because sometimes I can’t believe how insane he is and it works. It’s incredible. We hand-picked everybody and did a lot of screen tests and a lot of chemistry tests with everybody. It’s the most ensemble cast piece that I’ve directed. It was amazing and everybody was so strong so, it makes my job easier.

I’d love to see a prequel of how Hideo, Mike, Fritz, Bob and Carrie met. How they started out?

Cody- Maybe we could start a Vicious Fun universe.

What are you working on next?

Cody- The company that got behind Vicious Fun, A Particular Crowd, we’ve been developing a new project with them. I can’t talk about it yet but I think we might shoot in September.

That sounds good. I was happy to be part of Panic Fest. It was so interactive which I didn’t expect, I’m not sure why but it was great. How did you feel being a part of Panic Fest?

Cody- It was amazing. We heard about Panic Fest before but this is the first time that we had a film play there. It’s such an awesome festival. It feels like that group of festivals like Fantastic Fest and Fantasia. It was amazing, and you hit the nail on the head, it was so interactive. I think they did an amazing job, especially during this time with COVID-19. I think they did a great job making it an experience and not just a click and watch. I can’t thank those guys enough.

What do you want to say to everyone that will be watching Vicious Fun?

Cody- It’s different from anything that Black Fawn has done. It’s different from what I’ve done.  It’s meant to be that popcorn movie where you can enjoy it. It’s in the title and it doesn’t take itself too seriously, so just dive in.

Thank you so much, Cody! Vicious Fun was so much fun! I hope you do more with it. Julian Richings went from one end of the spectrum to the next. Ari played Bob so well.

Cody- Thank you.

#PanicFest2021

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