THE CALICOON. Deborah Louise Robinson and Pamela Glasner are taking the film industry by storm. I asked these two remarkable ladies about their inspirations and aspirations for the film. Here’s what they had to say....
Deborah Louise Robinson
STALK 'N' SLASH: How did you feel when you were asked to adapt a short horror story?
DEBORAH LOUISE ROBINSON: I was thrilled! I’ve written all genres, but never a horror – and horror has always been a favourite of mine, so ‘The Calicoon’ was like a gift from the Gods!
STALK 'N' SLASH: What did you think when you read the story?
DEBORAH LOUISE ROBINSON: I loved it, though the original story read as more of a ghost story than a horror, that’s one of the things I liked about it; often in horror films what you don’t see is scarier than what you do – The Calicoon has the best of both! I liked the idea of blending two (or even three!) very different kinds of movie; the end result is a fantastic mix of psychological terror, action, and sheer horror.
STALK 'N' SLASH: How much freedom did you have with the screenplay?
DEBORAH LOUISE ROBINSON: Plenty! The original story was only thirteen pages long, so I had the freedom to create some great characters and put my own spin on things. I loved that!
STALK 'N' SLASH: What was the greatest challenge you faced?
The next challenge was to come up with something original, Pamela and I did not want to create ‘just another horror film’ – and I think ‘The Calicoon’ is so much more than that.
STALK 'N' SLASH: As a horror fan, what do you think makes ‘The Calicoon’ different to all the other horror films out there?
DEBORAH LOUISE ROBINSON: Think ‘The Shining’ meets ‘Die Hard’! The blend of ghostly suspense, unresolved mystery, unadulterated horror, shock, grisly scares, action, and a variety of colourful and interesting characters, each with their own agenda, all these things make ‘The Calicoon’ unique.
STALK 'N' SLASH: So what’s the aim? What is your goal for ‘The Calicoon’?
DEBORAH LOUISE ROBINSON: The main aim? That people watch it -- then sleep with the light on!
STALK 'N' SLASH: So what’s next? Can we expect another horror? A sequel maybe?
DEBORAH LOUISE ROBINSON: What's next? Well, we are currently working on a film called 'Madder Than a Full Moon Dog', a 'rockumentary' - all the back stage and centre stage madness and mayhem from Full Moon Dog 2012, an annual rock festival which honours the memory of ASOMVEL founder-member and front-man, Jay-Jay Winter. This is a very exciting project for me - one that's very close to my heart.
Following that and 'The Calicoon' we have a slate full of very exciting and diverse projects, and I already have ideas for the sequel, so watch this space!
Producer and Author of the original short story
STALK 'N' SLASH: As the writer of the original short story, I assume you are a horror fan?
PAMELA GLASNER: Ha! I wouldn’t necessarily say that! I’m a devout chicken! I’ve long been the first one with my eyes closed tightly behind a pillow as soon the first bit of eerie music begins, but actually, writing this story, which I looked at originally as a cute little ghost story with a murder mystery woven through it, has had a huge effect on me. I wasn’t the one who saw ‘horror’ on the pages, that was Deborah, who is a horror aficionado from way back. Once it was decided that the film was going forward, I had one assignment from Deborah: watch as much horror and suspense as possible so I could begin learning what I like, what really moves me, what frightens and fascinates me, and what doesn’t. I have come away from this with a deeper appreciation for this art form, and now I love it!
STALK 'N' SLASH: What was your inspiration for The Calicoon?
PAMELA GLASNER: My grandmother used to take me to the mountains with her every summer, from the time I was five or six, until I was seventeen. We’d stay in a hotel just like the one I wrote about, like the one you see in the movie “Dirty Dancing.” I never know what’s going to come out of my pen when I sit down to write, it just sort of happens, but I did know I wanted to write something about one of those old hotels. My original short story is different in a lot of ways from the screenplay, which is common, but in the story, I just took my own personal experiences and memories, combined them with a bit of mystery, and the next thing I knew, I had the basis for a psychological thriller.
STALK 'N' SLASH: Are you pleased with the way your story was adapted from short story to screenplay?
PAMELA GLASNER: I am delighted — absolutely delighted. I couldn’t love it more.
STALK 'N' SLASH: How much input did you have in that process?
PAMELA GLASNER: Very little, actually, but that was my choice. I know what Deborah is capable of, so when I gave her my 13-page story, I also gave her complete freedom to do whatever she felt moved to do. The only stipulation was to make it feature-length (meaning a full-length movie as opposed to a short). Watching it grow and morph and eventually emerge as she shaped and cultivated and moulded it was awesome — and very moving. It’s such an honor for me to be working with such a gifted writer.
STALK 'N' SLASH: It must be a very exciting process seeing a story that you conceived making its way to the big screen?
PAMELA GLASNER: Yes, I’m excited, but what I feel more than anything else is gratitude. The other day I watched a video of an actress reading for one of the parts. She was magnificent. I know the words — we wrote them — but actually hearing those words come to life, hearing them as they are spoken by someone who really ‘gets’ the character, and does it well … You just can’t imagine … there is nothing in the world like it.
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