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Interviews Today's Date:

From Horror With Love:
Moments with Filmmaker Dave Reda
...and he seems like such a quiet man...

From where we sit in the SF Bay Area, it's great to see a local boy hacking away at the Hollywood jungle and producing some solid work. Elftwin Films honcho Dave Reda grew up in the greater San Jose area, then tried his hand down south, engrossed in horror and directing/starring in award-winning shorts such as "My Undeadly" and "Horror of Our Love."

If Dave's last name rings a bell, it's because coincidentally his cousin Jack Reda wrote for Fanboy Planet in its early years, but that didn't really ring a bell with me until this week in a "that's funny, I know another guy named Reda" way...

Actually, Dave and I first met almost twenty years ago when he was a clever high school student participating in the ComedySportz High School League. Years later our paths crossed again at a convention called Sili-Con, a year when the convention mixed sci fi and fantasy fandom with a high dose of horror fandom. An uneasy mix, it turns out, but one that allowed me to reconnect with Reda.

Well, that and Facebook, of course, and so this summer when I was down in L.A. I asked Dave if I could get a look at his work and do an interview with him. Schedules got crazy, but the time is now right, as September and October will find him hopping around several film festivals with his work.

And what is that work, you might ask? Read on...

DEREK MCCAW: What inspired you to become a horror filmmaker?

DAVE REDA: I had always been a huge horror fan that was lucky enough to have a video store right across the street in the 80's and 90's... I rented every horror film they had, just loved the horror roller coaster ride... When I began making films, I always saw horror in my head, modern films with an old school flair and soul...
..mythical creatures scaring the crap out of you...

DEREK MCCAW: Tell me the origins of your production company's name, Elftwin.

DAVE REDA: When we made the feature film BIT PARTS, we needed a name for the production company my executive producer (Karl Schweitzer) and I created. When he and I were kids we played a lot of D&D... hahah actors... and we created these twin elves that we loved playing. I think we fought each other more than any monsters, but we had a lot of fun with them. When I suggested the name to him for the company, it struck a chord with him, so we went with it.

DEREK MCCAW: The two shorts of yours I've seen (My Undeadly and Horror of Our Love) take a distinctly comic bent -- what draws you in that direction, and why not do just straight up horror?

DAVE REDA: Yeah, I think it's a fine line between comedy and horror, and that is just where the last two short films have taken me. I think comedy can be a great tool for the horror director to use if used correctly; it gives the audience a chance to breathe between scares, and can be used to catch an audience off guard for a scare! :)

A promo piece for "My Undeadly"

My features tend to be a lot darker and more serious in horror, but always a laugh somewhere. With my short films I wanted the challenge of mixing romance, horror, comedy and tell a story in minutes. Also, I started out making sketch comedy, so it's hard for me not to go for the joke sometimes.

DEREK MCCAW: For someone on the outside, what can having your work appear in a film festival do for you? Better question, what has it done for you?

DAVE REDA: Doing the festivals is a GREAT way to meet fellow film makers and others who can not only give you that support on those tough film making days, but even aid you in your quest. You get the chance to see what others are doing, where you stand, and get inspired to do more. The people I have met are still my friends today, and inspire me to be more creative and make better films.

It's also a great way to get seen by an audience, get your work out there, and get the opportunity to see how your film plays.. You get to see what works and what doesn't, live, and use that to be better next time. A lot of people think the BIG deal is going to be made at these festivals and while it may happen, it hasn't been about that for me.

DEREK MCCAW: Plug the festivals you'll be in soon...

DAVE REDA: BRAINWASH drive-in Film Festival - September 3, 9 and 10, 2011
SHRIEKFEST LA Horror Film Festival - October 2, 2011
Sacramento Horror Film Festival - October 20 - 23, 2011
Salty Horror Int. Film Festival - November 3 - 6, 2011
...and a lot more to be announced very soon!!! :)
Dave after a grueling festival weekend...

DEREK MCCAW:Is there a huge friendly community of horror film makers? Are you all hanging out and working on each other's films, trying to come up with new and different ways to freak people out?

DAVE REDA: As a matter of fact, YES!! The horror film making community is really surprisingly supportive of each other and the things they do. I think because we are all horror fans first, we all want to see better horror films, each other succeed, and or be a part of making that happen in any way we can.

It's been an honor the way the horror community have embraced my films and I, and I appreciate all their support. Yeah, it's all about making better horror films for us all! :)

DEREK MCCAW: Do you have a dream project?

DAVE REDA: Yes I do. I wrote a short zombie western that could be turned into a feature film, and it would star James Caan, and a lot of my favorite stars and friends. It's different, dark, but cool! There actually are also a few films I would like to remake, but only because they have been forgotten and should be remembered.

DEREK MCCAW: Do you have any desire to break out of the horror genre?

DAVE REDA: I want to do it all! I love doing horror films, but I do them my way already anyway. (laughs) I have all kinds of ideas and projects I would like to do and not all of them are horror. I make or write whatever inspires me at the time. I think I will always do horror films, but I have a lot to say in this mushy brain!!

DEREK MCCAW: What has been the best, most unexpected experience you've had as a result of your work?

A Director at his most comfortable...

DAVE REDA: The support from the horror fans has been amazing! They really have latched on to my films, me, and what I am trying to put out there. I think they get I am a fan that is really trying to bring horror back to having a soul and being about something, not just a gore show, and they appreciate it. The horror fan of today wants and expects more from their horror and I am doing my best to bring it to them. Their support is what keeps you going, and I can't appreciate them enough!

DEREK MCCAW: How much influence did the ComedySportz High School league have on you?

DAVE REDA: Hahaha! Actually, A LOT! When I did my sketch comedy show for 3 years, I kept everyone sharp every Monday night teaching them one new improv game after another. Without improv I don't think my acting or writing would be as sharp. I owe a lot to improv, ComedySportz, and the gift of finding the funny quickly -- it is all over the films I make. It's been a HUGE reason I am able to do what I do...seriously.

A big thanks to Dave for taking the time to answer my questions, and if you want to see his work and live near those film festivals -- check it out!

BRAINWASH drive-in Film Festival - September 3, 9 and 10, 2011
SHRIEKFEST LA Horror Film Festival - October 2, 2011
Sacramento Horror Film Festival - October 20 - 23, 2011
Salty Horror Int. Film Festival - November 3 - 6, 2011

Derek McCaw

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