Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
For as long as I can remember,
I have been completely fascinated with film and all of its aspects, growing up I would make no-budget movies with my brother
and friends. I'll never forget the camcorder that I received as a birthday gift one year. My life was eat, sleep, movies and
not much has changed since. After high school, I knew film was my passion and also the career path I needed to take. After
graduating in Film Production at Arizona State University, I now have multiple short films under my belt that are gaining
a huge online fan base. I have a fun and exciting working relationship with my best friend, Kevin Sommerfield, and we continue
to imagine and create new and inspiring projects through our company, Slasher Studios. It is impossible to put a price on
doing something you love, so I have come to realize how lucky I really am to be able to make movies and give audiences a chance
to escape and enjoy something that I put my blood, sweat and tears into.
Q: What's your favorite scary movie?
A: I have to say that the scary movie that has made the biggest impact
on myself is the original Friday The 13th. I absolutely fell in love with the film and the genre the first time I
watched it. With so many iconic elements, such as characters, kills and score, Friday The 13th hits on all cylinders
for me. When browsing my film collection, it's an easy "go to" film for me and, although I will be the first to admit it's
not perfect, it will always have a special place in my heart.
Q: When looking at a new slasher there are two things that
always manage to draw my attention; plot, are they at least attempting to do something different, and killer, how much creativity
went into the appearance, backstory or otherwise. I am in love with 80s style practical gore effects (NOT CGI),
but I firmly believe that nothing beats a character driven suspense piece. What are some of the things that draw you
to slasher films?
A: Interesting and likable characters are always a must.
If you find yourself not caring about the characters, you will inevitably find yourself not caring about the movie. The movie
itself must also have the likable characters intertwined with an intriguing story. There are so many similar plots within
films these days, it's nice to stumble onto an original story that has heart and depth...and we can't forget about the villain.
There are different ways a filmmaker can play with the emotions of the audience when it comes to the villain. The audience
can hate him at one point in the film, and then begin to have remorse for him later on. Playing with emotions can make or
break a film, so it is important for filmmakers to have a plan from the beginning that details how they want their audience
to feel at different times.
Q: What's your favoite slasher death scene?
A: My favorite death scene is far and away the opening scene in Scream. This
scene could easily stand alone as a short film because it was so perfectly executed. The cinematography is amazing and the
script is extremely well written with some fun references tucked inside for the true horror fans. We have suspense and horror
and countless other emotions flowing through us as this scene develops. We have an introduction to a new and exciting character
right for the start of the film and it's able to set up the rest of the movie for the audience. The death alone is nothing
over the top, but the elements surrounding it is what I find so thrilling.
Q: Did you plan on doing what you're currently doing back in school? Producing, writing, directing, but also in
horror, and more specifically slasher films, were these all directions that you intended to go?
A: I have always had a passion for the slasher genre and I have always been interested in making films.
Going out and creating slasher films seemed like a no-brainer. I love being creative and this is a great outlet for me to
Q: Did you work on any other slasher films while you were
A: Unfortunately, I didn't get to work on any other slasher
projects while I was in school. I did however work on a number of other genres. It was fun to get my feet wet in
Q: There's obviously a strong bond between you and Kevin and
your love for the sub-genre, so take us back. Take us back to when Slasher Studios began, how did you two meet up?
and I met many moons ago while we worked together at the same place. Our love for film became an instant bond between us.
We always said from early on that we would make movies together. It's crazy to think how far we have came in just a few years.
We have accomplished many of our initial goals, but we still have the huger to succeed at the highest level.
Q: What has the reaction been, overall, to you two starting Slasher Studios? What
did your family and friends have to say about it and how well has the horor community reacted thus far?
A: The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. I cannot thank our fans enough for
the support they have shown us. We have a few backers that have been extremely generous and we couldn't have gotten to where
we are today without them. Our website (slasherstudios.com) has been increasing in traffic at an
alarming pace and the fact the we get so many positive comments is something that I once could only have dreamed for.
Q: What does the future hold for Slasher Studios? I
know that you're currently working on a new short, Anniversary Nightmare, but what about after that? Festival
curcuit? Full length feature?
A: Festival play is something that we are definitely interested
in. We want to be able to get our films out to people who may not otherwise be able to see them. We want to be able to spread
our love for film to as many cities as we can.
As far as a feature goes, that would be amazing. If we are able to get the
funding, Kevin and I would be ready in a heartbeat to get started.
like to segue, if I may, into your body of work. I read in a different article that Teddy
got banned from Arizona State University. Steve, since ASU is your alma matter I'll direct these at you. Was Teddy
a school related project or was it just something you took back to show off?
A: Yes, Teddy was my senior project that I teamed up with Kevin on. It was the birth of Slasher Studios and
Teddy will always be my baby. This film was by far the favorite during our in-class screenings. We made a film that
was something completely different then normal senior projects. The characters were likable and the male lead, Michael Goltz,
was an instant hit with my classmates. It was a fun film that had some great deaths and was obviously made with hard
work and determination. However, as the buzz started to spread about this film, one of the faculty members watched it and
had some issues with a certain death. He called for it to be banned at a school that had a film program that was built on
a zero censorship foundation. Although the school wanted this scene cut, we stood our ground and decided to make the film
we wanted to make. This was the first film ever at ASU to not been shown at the senior showcase.
Q: Mad respect for standing your ground. Determination is something that
is needed in the film industry and denying censorship of your art takes courage, congratulations. I have to say, though,
getting your work banned, in my opinion, is one of the greatest compliments a horror filmmaker can receive. How did
it affect you? Were you disappointed with how they received it or did you find it flattering?
A: At first I was irate. I could not believe that this one person ruined my chance of showing this
film at the showcase. I put four years of hard work (and money) into that school and my final days were spent trying to appeal
the ban. When all was said and done, the faculty member responsible didn't even attend the showcase.
After I had time to really look back and reflect
on it, I realized that we really did accomplish our goal and make the movie that was true to who we were.
Q: Aside from getting banned, are you pleased with how well Teddy has been
A: 100% yes! I could not have asked for a better reaction
from critics and horror fans. All very positive.
the first thing that went through your mind when the snow fell on Teddy?
A: I thought this film was in BIG trouble. I felt continuity would be off and that it would distract the audience. It
actually became a blessing is disguise. We changed a few scenes around last minute and it all came out just fine.
and Popularity Killer have a very 80s feel to them, are there any particular 80s slashers that you found yourself
drawing from while conceptualizing and creating either?
really wanted to draw from as many as possible. I felt it was important to be able to have the viewers relate to different
aspects of different films. So many films have been influential to me, I like to mesh them up.
Q: I love how you answered
that question because that's the same approach I take with my short films. Whether it's a scene, or a shot or a
line of dialogue, I try to squeeze in as many references as a can everytime. I also believe in a blooper reel because the
camera always manages to catch a few gems. Any funny stories from either set that you would care to share
A: Where to even start?!? Most have to do with Mike and the
random comments and ideas he would throw at us on set...many of which we used. He was such a great surprise as neither of
us realized how much screen presence he would have and how much of an overall impact he would have on both films.
Q: Steve, are
you returning to the director's chair for Anniversary Nightmare?
A: I am and I could not be more excited! This is what I was born to do. Everyday I am planning shots out in my head and
I just can't wait for shooting to start.
Q: Other than
Anniversary Nightmare, is there anything else you'd like us slasher fans to know about?
A: I just want to take time to thank everyone for supporting us. Just knowing that you believe
in us and are just as excited about our projects as we are is an amazing feeling.