Monday, August 8, 2011

Interrogation: Justin Russell.

We have featured Justin Russell's Death Stop Holocaust and his upcoming, The Sleeper in Daily Poster posts.
I was attracted to his films through the amazing posters.
I was excited about his films through the super duper cool trailers.
Now, I will finally get to actually see one of Justin's films; on August 16th, Death Stop Holocaust will be slashing it's way to DVD. Pre-order your copy TODAY.
I asked Justin six questions and he was kind enough to answer.

1. It feels like you finished Death Stop Holocaust a long time ago. The DVD is set to be released August 16th. What has been going on with the film?
Distribution works in a lot of different ways. We spent a lot of time just trying to find a distributor for Death Stop. Once Media Blasters picked up the film, late last year, they did a pretty good job with the turnaround for DVD. It has felt like a long time for myself as well.

2. Both Death Stop Holocaust and your new feature, The Sleeper, have incredible posters. Can you talk about that process and who is creating these VHS box-worthy pieces of art?
My brother, Aaron Russell, is responsible for all the art for my features. Unfortunately his wonderful design for Death Stop was not used for the final box art. Aaron and I have always shared a similar vision with the horror genre, so when it came to the design we both put our heads together and come up with a concept. He always blows me away with his style and ability to create such great retro designs.

3. The Kickstarter for The Sleeper did not meet it's goal. How were you able to make The Sleeper? Did anyone that contributed on Kickstarter contact you outside the site, to help out?
Kickstarter was a way to grab some extra money for the production. The budget was already in place for the film, but I was hoping that Kickstarter could generate some extra funds. Unfortunately it didn't pan out, but I just went forward with the project anyway.

4. The poster is clearly a play on 80's slasher films and I saw on Facebook that you were collecting props from the 80's. However, the color grading and texture looks less stylized than I expected it to be in The Sleeper's trailer. Can you talk about your aesthetic choices with The Sleeper in terms of lighting, post effects, and color?
In reference to the style of the film, I wanted it to look as classic 80's as possible. If you look at all of the Slasher films of the 80's, they were all muted and desaturated. Death Stop Holocaust is a very vibrant and colorful movie. With The Sleeper, I made the aesthetic choice for a muted, dark/grainy look. It fits the winter/slasher feel perfectly in my opinion.

5. Can you talk a little bit about the crop of 1980's throwback films? It seems to have taken off from Tarantino and Rodriguez's 70's throwback, Grindhouse, continued, in theme, with the "80's in spirit" Hatchet, and masterfully done with House of the Devil. What's the allure?
I think the allure of 80's style films in the last 5 years is coming from a lack of good horror being generated by Hollywood. I have been a huge fan of all the retro films, Grindhouse, House of the Devil, Hobo with a Shotgun, etc. The style and feel of the films from the 80's is something that has been lost by horror filmmakers today. I think audiences are ready for this retro aesthetic. A lot of horror fans will tell you the golden age of horror was the late 70's through mid 80's. As a horror filmmaker, I just hope to recapture some of that magic that was lost so many years ago.

6. Where are you at with The Sleeper? Any touring plans for the film? Distribution?
The Sleeper is currently shopping for distribution and has been entered in a few festivals. I hope to have a deal locked with the film soon. I am eager to show this film to the fans and hear whether or not I was successful in taking you back to 1981.

Thanks so much to Justin for indulging me. Now, I can't wait to get my grubby mitts on a copy of Death Stop Holocaust on the 16th.

Poster courtesy of Wrong Side of the Art.

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