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Home | Interviews | Exclusive Interview: Filmmaker, Tonya Pinkins (Red Pill)

Exclusive Interview: Filmmaker, Tonya Pinkins (Red Pill)

Red Pill

What made you want to get involved in the film industry?

I’m not sure what you mean by the “film industry” but I started out doing commercials and industrials and episodic as a kid in Chicago. So I’ve been a working actor since I was about 12 or 13

From script–to–screen, how close did RED PILL come to its original vision?

Pretty darn close. In my book RED PILL UNMASKED I go into granular detail of everything we wanted versus what we actually got. The biggest thing we didn’t get according to my vision was the opening Kill was supposed to be a more extensive scene that set those characters up before they died.

What was your favorite day on set and why?

The day we shot the urine ritual at Golden Hour was really magical . And it was crazy that we were all in awe of how our urine mixture looked in the sunset. Also the masks Jason made were so extraordinary. each one is a piece of art. Cathy Curtin chews up the scenery.

What scene did you enjoy directing the most?

The lynching scene was really important to me. Folks who read the script said to cut it because it was very expensive. As I was shooting it and directing Luba and Kathy to respond to something they couldn’t see, I realized I was reframing lynching which in the post cards is smiling white people over a burned black body to weeping white people over a charred White body. I hadn’t thought about that when I wrote it. But that is there and is very important as we still await an anti-lynching law in the USA.

What is the biggest obstacle you faced while making RED PILL?

My biggest obstacle was everyone’s biggest obstacle lack of money but next to that my own ignorance and that I didn’t have a producer to educate or guide me.

What was your proudest moment during production?

Everyday was a proud moment! I was told by two professionals that I couldn’t make a feature with my budget and time contraints. I decided I would make something. Ad we were clearly making a feature. Every moment was a miracle.

How do you get a film to stand out in the crowd in today’s landscape?

When studios have budgets of 50 million just to campaign for an Oscar (Nomad) I don’t know. But I do think that focussing on Niche communities is a way to find a specific audience that will appreciate your work. I new RED PILL was not mainstream because it is an attack on the main stream and not in the way the main stream condones itself being attacked like WHITE LOTUS. RED PILL is an assault on democrats, republicans, white women. I go all in.

What other filmmakers inspire you to do what you do?

Jordan Peele, GET OUT and Ari Astor, MIDSOMMAR were the specific inspirations for this story. Besides them, almost anything South Korean, Jennifer Kent and Jane Campion and Lina Wurtmueller.

What is your favorite horror decade and why?

What decade was the original Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street Dream Weavers? That was the time. Although I do love so much of what is being done today. Horror is getting really smart and I love that

What is the next step in your filmmaking career?

I’ve gotta make sure that people see RED PILL so that the distributors make money and will support me making my next film which is a horror story about child sex trafficking called Anjo Vingador/Avenging Angel which is my take on the Tule Vieja/Llorona folklore.

My podcast is www.bpn.fm/ycst
I am having a virtual screening of RED PILL in altspaceVR at The Harlem Film House on February 5th at 7pm
And the RED PILL narrative game will be available at www.redpillmovie2020.com

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