Impossible Horror’s Badass, Creedance Wright

Impossible Horror’s Badass, Creedance Wright

By Emily Milling

Creedance Wright plays Hannah in Impossible Horror, a supremely daring and badass character, much like Creedance (Cree) herself. I asked Cree a few questions about her experience on the film, which will have its world premiere at Toronto After Dark Film Festival on October 16, 2017 at 9:30 p.m.

E: Hey Cree! What’s the haps?

C: Nothing new to report.

E: Thanks for taking the time to talk about your experience on Impossible Horror!

C: Of course, it’s my pleasure.

E: So you came onto the Impossible Horror project just after we had started production, and you took on the role of Hannah. What was it like to join a project already in progress and how did you get up to speed so quickly with your character?

C: It was pretty exciting to join a project already in the works, it meant I didn’t have to worry too much about any pre-production stuff, and I was just thrown right into the nitty gritty. Catching up wasn’t too difficult as long as I didn’t overthink anything, just listen to direction and try to read the script as quickly as humanly possible.

E: Had you trained previously for the action scenes you were asked to do? How did you prepare?

C:  No previous training as far as actual fight choreography goes. Preparation ended up boiling down to just listening as carefully as I could to Alex and the other fight choreographers, taking things half speed when needed and always being aware of where the camera was to make sure everything looked good.

E: And what was it like to work with fight choreographer Alex Chung on the action sequences?

C: The scenes with Alex were the most exciting to film, those guys made me look good by really selling all the punches and kicks. Certainly made me look a hell of a lot tougher than I actually am.

E: What would you do to prepare each night before filming? Did you have any techniques you’d use to warm up?

C: I think the only consistent preparation was making sure I was actually getting enough sleep during the day so I could stay awake all night. I think as soon as I got to apartment every night during the bulk of filming I got into “shooting mode,” so really just getting into that mindset of (attempting) to be as professional as possible.

E: You’ve been extremely dedicated to Impossible Horror from the get-go, helping out with the crowdfunding campaign, coming in to re-record lines, even making sure that your character’s continuity was always on point. What does being part of this project mean to you?

C: This project means quite a bit to me as I’ve been on several film sets before, but always in the periphery, whereas on this set I truly felt like a part of the team. It was exciting to be working with people who I trusted, whose work I had seen and enjoyed in the past and have them also trust in me to perform. Plus who doesn’t love staying awake all night and slowly losing their mind!

E: What was the hardest thing you faced during the shoot and how did you overcome it?

C: I think first adjusting to the sleep schedule was the most difficult thing to get used to, and then just attempting to push through the bout of exhaustion that would inevitably come every night. That along with trying to stay on task when everyone was delusionally tired was probably the most difficult thing to overcome.

E: What was your favourite scene to shoot? And what was your least favourite? Why?

C: My favourite scene to shoot was the playground scene with Alex, and all the other stunt choreographers. It was certainly the most badass I felt on set. For me the worst scene was shooting the climax, only because it was so damn sticky. Along with the fact that we shot it after the bulk of shooting so I think I was out of that “shooting mindset” and the idea of filling my hair with oatmeal and black goo was no longer exciting.

E: What was the best experience you had on set?

C: Showering after shooting the climax. Seriously, it was so fucking sticky. But also most nights were a ton of fun, and full with laughs and a lot of screams.

E: Thank ya kindly, Cree! Have a marvellous day!

C: No problem!

Check out Impossible Horror at The Toronto After Dark Film Festival on October 16 at 9:30 p.m. in Toronto! 

The Process of Character Development – Interview Haley Walker

The Process of Character Development – Interview Haley Walker

By Emily Milling

What would you do if someone saw you in a play, asked you out for Affogato and offered you a part in an indie horror film? That’s what happened to actor, Haley Walker, who plays Lily in Impossible Horror which will have its world premiere at Toronto After Dark Film Festival on October 16, 2017 at 9:30 p.m. To get into her story, I wanted to interview Haley Walker about her experience with the film from start to finish, and how she developed the process to create Lily and keep her consistent throughout production.

E: Hi Haley, how’s it going?

H: Pretty good Emily!

E: So you were brought into Impossible Horror towards the end of pre-production as an actor playing the role of Lily. Can you tell our dear readers how you came to be involved with the film and what your first thoughts were when you read the script?

H: Well it was Nate (writer and producer) who first approached me with the role. We knew each other from high school, I was doing a play in the Toronto Fringe at the time and he came to see one of my shows. After the show he came up to talk to me and pitched the idea. We went to a cafe, got Affogato, sat in Trinity Bellwoods park for a long time…we talked for so long! He told me everything! I felt like this project was a big deal. When I first read the script I was like, whoaaaaa…this is unlike anything I’ve done before. I had never done a horror movie.

E: Do you think that you and Lily have any similarities? What are they? What are the big contrasts between you and your character?

H: Lily feeds off of the art that inspires her. I totally relate to that. I need creative outlets, too! She likes to bury herself in it, it’s like her energy source. There’s almost always a movie playing in her apartment, much like how I’m almost always listening to music. Sometimes I lose meaning in an album I love or a book I’m reading and it’s hard to get back into it. I feel disconnected, it’s like I’ve lost a bit of myself. But then I find something new, attach myself to that, and then after a while I can go back to where I was before and find new meaning where I couldn’t previously. I think Lily goes through a similar process. But I think she’s more gutsy than I am. She gets pushed to the point of exploring these things that haunt her, and she enjoys it. I couldn’t do that. If something was haunting me, I’d run away.

E: How did you begin to build out the character of Lily before we got to set? What techniques did you use to prepare? OR How did you build out the character of Lily throughout the shoot? What techniques did you use to prepare for filming each day?

H: I did a lot of staring at myself in the mirror, practicing facial expressions and saying lines. I do this a lot, actually. I talk to myself a bunch when I’m alone.

E: We shot the film over about a year and a half, and recorded some ADR and extra lines for your character here and there as it developed. How did you keep Lily consistent throughout this long timeframe? Even last month we had you in to record a few new lines – what did you do to get back into the Lily headspace?

H: This was so hard. Oh my god. Conversation with the director was super important for me & my process. There wasn’t much that I could do beforehand, just being in the space where we were shooting was what helped me. The fact that we did ADR and other sound stuff in the same apartment where we shot a lot of it was good for keeping me consistent. We’d always meet in that apartment regardless of where we were shooting, so I’d get into costume and do my makeup there. I became Lily in there every day. Just being in it brings me back to her.

E: Now that we know how you work – fill us in on what it was like for you to perform with the mental constraints of working in the middle of the night for two and a half weeks?

H: Wild. Just wild. I am not one for pulling all nighters anymore, at the time it wasn’t as hard as it is for me now. It was still hard though. I remember being totally content with napping on a cold, hard floor. That process was my first time working on a feature and also working with a cast & crew that doesn’t consist of my old friends or classmates, so I got early exposure to a different and, in some ways, more difficult process!

E: What was the hardest thing you faced during the shoot and how did you overcome it?

H: It was very hard to stay focused when everyone is running on a lack of sleep and we’re seeing each other basically every day for weeks straight. It got loopy. We all got loopy. There’s not much you can do in a situation like that besides check out after leaving the set. Leave it at the set and come back to it later, don’t take it with you. Even that was hard to do, but you do your best. And we had days off so I’d just relax on those days.

E: What was your favourite scene to shoot? And what was your least favourite? Why?

H: My favourite scene to shoot was the first scene where Lily and Hannah meet. It was really exciting to shoot! All the running scenes and fighting scenes were so fun. My least favourite scene to shoot was probably that creepy doll scene, where everything in the apartment starts moving. That one was done in one shot and the doll kept falling over, I was so annoyed.

E: There’s a pretty significant dynamic and character shift in Lily from the start of the film to the end which is remarkable to watch on screen, it’s almost as if Lily becomes a completely different person. Can you walk us through the choices you made to bring Lily to such a dark place?

H: Well I think a lot of it came from outside factors. Despite shooting scenes out of chronological order, the jumps in time weren’t too drastic which helped me stay in touch with Lily’s transformation. The very first scene in the movie was the first scene we shot, and the very last scene was one of the last scenes we shot, so by that time I had been through so much. I had become comfortable in the apartment, comfortable with the cast & crew, I knew the story well…I had spent so much time with this film. I had time to get comfortable with Lily which made playing the shift easier. Plus, I was running on a messed up sleep schedule and my diet consisted of mostly bagels, so that definitely changed something in me. As I grew and changed, so did Lily.

E: What was the best experience you had on set?

H: Getting absolutely soaked in goo, blood, and whatever else you guys threw on me. I really love getting down and dirty for a film. And you guys were always very professional and adamant about health & safety so I felt comfortable!

E: Thanks, Haley! It was lovely to speak with you today! Regards!

H: Always a pleasure, Emily!

Check out Impossible Horror at The Toronto After Dark Film Festival on October 16 at 9:30 p.m. in Toronto! 

Exclusive Interview with April Etmanski – Actor, Colourist, Foley Artist

Exclusive Interview with April Etmanski – Actor, Colourist, Foley Artist

By Emily Milling

Meet April Etmanski, actor, colourist, foley artist and overall superstar for Impossible Horror which premieres at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival on October 16, 2017 at 9:30 p.m. She also happens to be one of my closest friends and a seriously awesome creative collaborator. April and I met in high school and acted in Fiddler on the Roof together in grade 11. We also made films together, including our pinnacle piece, an adapted version of Macbeth. Since then we’ve worked on different projects both together and apart, and we had the chance to work on Impossible Horror together over the last two years. April made a huge difference and was a constant cheerleader for the film, encouraging Justin and myself to keep working and get it done. Now, we’re planning a short film that will go into production in 2018.

So, what does it take to be an all-around talented film superstar? I had an interview with April Etmanski about her processes and ideas to find out.

E: April! How’s it going?

A: Very well, thanks.

E: Thanks for taking part in this interview!

A: No problem!

E: Some (me) might say that you’re one of the most crucial elements that brought Impossible Horror to life. You were part of the concept, the crowdfunding campaign, the pre-production, production, post-production and here you are in the final stretch as we start promoting the film talking about your experience. What was it about this project that compelled you to be involved and stick it out?

A: I found everything to be very exciting! I had very little experience with film productions before this. Working in the post world, I never really got to be involved in pre-production or shooting on-set. Making a movie with my friends seemed like such a fun way to spend my off-hours. Also, getting the chance to be involved with the creative process was such a thrill. Whether lending a hand on set or being involved with post sound and colour, I enjoyed every minute of it.

E: And what does the film mean to you?

A: Impossible Horror is a project that I am immensely proud of. I always tried to be a positive influence during the process, offering help and bringing optimism wherever I could. I think the end product turned out so well and I know that is because everyone involved came together with their best work.

Everyone involved came together with their best work. #ImpossibleHorror @apriletmanski Click To Tweet

E: You were both an actor and a production assistant on set. What was your experience like with both? How did you balance them?

A: On the days where I was acting, I tried my best to also be a production assistant as well. Sometimes it’s helping set up a scene, sometimes it’s just offering an opinion. Being a PA often means being ready to help with anything at any moment, and also when to stay out of the way. 🙂

E: And how was it to work with a small team on this film?

A: I liked working with a small crew a lot because it allowed me to observe the process. Being behind the camera while the cinematographer (Aidan) did his thing was pretty cool. We were also all friends, so the crew got along very well.

E: Moving into post-production you were involved in both the visual and audio elements of the film. Can you talk a bit about the different things you did for the film in post?

A: I did the colour correction and performed as a foley artist.

E: How did you come up with the style for the colour of the film?

A: The director (Justin Decloux) shot the film exactly the way he wanted it to look. Most of the film has these amazing moody shadows over everything, with rich greens and yellows popping up all over. So the look was already set. My job became just enhancing the look so the shadows were really dark but the colours still popped. It was also really fun because this was the first horror movie I have ever coloured. So I got to experiment with making the gory scenes look especially gross by adding green and blue tones.

E: And what was the process like working with Justin on the finishing touches?

A: Great! Once the look was set he pretty much let me do the whole movie. Very few revisions.

We needed to duplicate walking on a metal surface, so we ended up using muffin trays. #ImpossibleHorror Click To Tweet

E: Can you talk about the process for the foley work you did? How did you come up with some of the sounds?

A: For most of the sounds I foleyed we just tried to duplicate what was happening onscreen. So for the forest scenes we brought a bunch of dried leaves into the house. If I had to foley a character stumbling and falling, I would just do that in front of the mic. However, sometimes we had to get creative. We needed to duplicate walking on a metal surface, so we ended up using muffin trays. We also had one patio stone and that really came in handy! A small handful of gravel on that stone gave just the right crunchy sound for a lot of the footsteps.

E: And your ability to walk in time with the action in the scene is like some hidden talent I’ve never seen before, have you done footsteps before? How do you step in time with the action so well?

A: I did foley for a few projects in college. There’s no secret to it. You just have to look at the action a few times and then do your best to match it. I guess I just love performing. I love dancing and things that involve movement. For Impossible Horror, I just went for it! It was so much fun.

E: Thematically this film deals with a lot of creative blocks. What’s your strategy for overcoming creative blocks? Did you face any while you worked on the film?

A: For me, I often have a hard time getting started. I procrastinate. But once I’m going, I can work for hours and get into the zone. I think it’s important to have a support system of people who encourage you to be creative. I think that helped with Impossible Horror. Our team was game every night.

E: Thanks, April! You’re a superstar!

A: Thanks! So are you!

Check out Impossible Horror at The Toronto After Dark Film Festival on October 16 at 9:30 p.m. in Toronto!