I am still Dr. Squid, but that name came from a zine I published back in the 1990s through the early 2000s. I’ve been using the F&C Productions name for my movie work. I’d long loved the image of a skull or zombie face in an astronaut suit – it’s the perfect hybrid of sci-fi and horror in one image. It speaks to the unknown out there in space! I actually had a script I was writing at least 10 years ago that was kind of a rip-off of The Incredible Melting Man. In my story the space-diseased astronaut puts on a skeleton mask from his Halloween mask collection to cover his melting face, and goes on a killing spree. I did not have a title for the script, so just code-named the file “Skullface Astronaut.” I liked the name and the image it invoked. A few years back I had bought an HD camera and had made a couple of movies that were larger in scale and production value than most of my past work and I had been thinking of revamping my website. The timing just seemed right, so I bought skullfaceastronaut.com and started using it as my production company name and logo. I love it. I’ve done some glow-in-the-dark t-shirts now, and a huge banner for a recent horror con.
2) Is OREGON Better than Hollywierd ?
Well I never did try to go to Hollyweird. I make movies with my friends and an ever-widening circle of friends of friends and new fans I meet at screenings and elsewhere. I have access to all kinds of locations and things and can often go back home to see my family after a shoot. I tend to like to shoot, direct and edit myself, so it just works for me. I’ve got roots and commitments here, so being able to stick to those while still making some cool flicks works for me for now!
3) What is the BEST of SFA On/Off set ?
On set – even though it is a lot of work, I really try to have fun making these things, and try to have a fun set. A lot of my stuff has some humor in it, but even the scary or serious things are not too brutal, so the vibe on set is usually a light one. I try to be conscientious of everyone and make sure they are comfortable and having a good time. I am so lucky to have all sorts of people wanting to be in my flicks, and I try to really be thankful and honest with everyone.
Off-set – I don’t know, I think I am a nice guy with a good sense of humor. I try to be a good friend even though I am always busy.
4) What is the WORST of SFA On/Off set ?
On-set – Every once in a while I get overwhelmed. I don’t usually blow up at anyone, but sometimes if we are running really behind or things keep going wrong, I let the stress get to me and either shut down or kind of go a bit crazy trying to make everything work. Luckily I have really good friends who help me get back on track or help me to look at the bigger picture and solve the problems creatively.
Off-set – I am always busy and can easily get side-tracked.
5) One Sentence Descriptions –
John Bowker: John is my buddy and I love hanging out and chatting with him.
Ariauna Albright: Ariauna is a fun person who worked very hard and was so very helpful on the PLATOON OF THE DEAD set, plus she drinks a lot of Rockstars!
Tom Stedham: Tom brought himself out to Oregon three times to star in our no-budget wonders and for that I will always be thankful!
Ron Ford: Ron is a guy who loves to act and makes the best stuff possible with what he’s got available to him!
Steve Sessions: Steve is a super-talented guy, great to talk to and has the dryest sense of humor of anyone I have ever met.
6) You haven’t gone the Crowd Funding route ?
Actually I have – I was doing it before they called it crowdfunding! Back in 2000, I was selling what I called “Producer Packages,” where you would get a copy of the finished movie (so you were basically pre-ordering the movie), a certificate and sneak peeks/updates during the production. I did that for UNDERBELLY and then also did it for TWISTED FATES. I didn’t have a goal I had to reach or a running total like crowdfunding efforts today, but it worked at the time. I have thought about going that route again. I am hesitant to go the kickstarter or indiegogo route just because it is so much work, you’ve got to offer all kinds of perks (which take time and money to fulfill) and I would hate having to spam all over the place to get eyeballs on the thing. But, then again, never say never.
7) Streaming Vs DVDs ?
I like ‘em both. I watch plenty of stuff on Netflix streaming, but I still get DVDs because there are plenty of things not available streaming plus I really like DVD extras. I have most of my stuff on DVD and just started getting things up on Amazon Streaming, so watch for more in the future.
8) Conventions or Public showings of your films,Good experience ?
I have a great time showing my movies and have shown them at horror conventions, theater pubs and indie theaters. I admittedly am making b-movies, which are often fun to watch with a crowd and especially a crowd with access to some beer or wine at the venue! I usually sell a few copies and often make some new fans who want to be in future productions! Always a good time.
9) How many films have you made ? The Best of Lot ? Worst of Lot ?
I’ve directed about 20 features, as well as about 10 shorts or segments of other people’s movies. On top of that I’ve shot all of John Bowker’s seven features as well as his many anthology segments. Other things I’ve just acted in, or contributed music to or written or produced.
At this point I think my best is DRIFTER. I really like the overall vibe and tone it struck, I like the balance of b-movie horror with some truly scary bits as well as carefully-placed humor. Steve Sessions’ score is perfect. Close seconds would be BLOOD CREEK WOODSMAN and BLOODSUCKING REDNECK VAMPIRES.
Worst? Well, this is a bit of a cheat, but I made BLOODY RED LIPS OF BLOOD for Chris Seaver’s Warlock Home Video a few years back, and the whole concept was that it was kind of bad on purpose. Shot on VHS and made to look like a “lost bad movie” from the last 90s, so I was pretty sloppy with production and all that. The story is ridiculous about a couple of lesbian vampires as well as a mad scientist.
10) Final words for your NEW SkullFace Astronaut audience ?
I have to say I have gained some cool new fans as of late with a lot of DRIFTER, BLOOD CREEK WOODMAN and ODD NOGGINS screenings over the past year. To any new audience I would pass along with these people have been telling me – that these movies are a fun watch, they are full of blood and hot ladies and awfully good with a beer! Check out the website for trailers and pics and all that jazz! http://www.skullfaceastronaut.com