Jeremy Campbell is a director that I have followed since screening the 2012 short film “Velvet Vengeance”. He has since taken that short concept and weaved it into a complex multifaceted action-horror. “Velvet Vengeance” is a modern blend of grindhouse, thriller, and neo-western styles in a new re-emerging subgenre known as action-horror.
“Velvet Vengeance” holds its premiere on October 19th at DOA Bloodbath Film Festival. So with the upcoming premiere date set, and filming almost complete on the film I decided to ask Jeremy Campbell –’where the film was at?’ It has been awhile since I interviewed him, February actually. I have been keeping up with most of the films progress but I want to see what Campbell has to say about his “baby” and his future. Here is that interview.
ASouthernLife: Since we last talked back in February, there was a major change in lead actress; How has that changed the vision or aesthetics of the film, or did it change at all?
Jeremy Campbell: We did go a little darker with the tone in general. The character is always evolving and as different people get a chance to play the role in future sequels I am sure they will bring their own spin on it. I am becoming more and more protective over the character and looking forward to taking her to a whole new level in the future.
ASouthernLife: Describe what fans can expect to see with "Velvet Vengeance"? The story differs a bit from the original short film, which was focused slasher/survival horror.
Jeremy Campbell: This movie is still very much of a survival/slasher film. Honestly maybe more than the short. The short was more of a prototype film. Now I've had the chance to really pick the best parts of that film and take it to another level. We had the help of a lot of amazing people that brought the make up effects and post production effects to another level. This means more gore and all new kills. We also had the chance to film at a historical haunted mansion called Reindeer Manor. We staged a gun fight inside the house and a hanging in the front yard. We also filmed a few scenes on a sound-stage. I think the big thing is we did not have as many limitations. The door was open for us to do more.
ASouthernLife: How far along in filming are you with "Velvet Vengeance"?
Jeremy Campbell: We have one scene left to shoot. We shoot that Saturday the 14th. That is the final scene to shoot. The idea was to add a old school Friday The 13th opening. Just a really fun horror scene with lots carnage and death. We are taking a short break now for post production. During this next week I will be finishing all of the major cuts on the scenes that are shot, submitting it to my composer for music, filming a commercial for another project and next week starts the coloring process for the film. We are running and gunning lol. The composer from the short has returned for the feature. His name is Zach Young so I'm very excited to be working with him again. Doing all of our post effects and color is one of the creators of an outstanding web series call Allegiance Of Power. That show is a good standard of the kind of talent that is going into this film.
ASouthernLife: You welcomed a new cast member recently, could you tell me what role her character plays in the film and also a bit about the actress herself?
Jeremy Campbell: Honestly I'm not sure which one you are talking about lol. The movie is almost entirely new faces to the Velvet Vengeance series but with that said we have some gorgeous women working on this film. We did recently add Hollee A McMurray to the cast. She will be playing a classic horror girl named Tuesday. Two other female cast that have been added is Laiken A Thompson. She is the star of a great web series called "Rover Hill. Last but not least is Kennedy Miller. She actually came to my attention a few years ago. She blew me away with a audition for another film I was working on but was not right for that role. Now a few years later I am getting to work with her. I do believe that this is her first movie.
ASouthernLife: What are some of the genre styles that inspired you while filming "Velvet Vengeance". Can fan's expect to notice inspirational aspects to the theme of "Velvet Vengeance".
Jeremy Campbell: We have a lot of different styles. One thing I did notice is with this one camera that is way more active and we shot a lot of the movie from very wide lenses. Which means the movie is just way bigger looking. With the short I really leaned hard on my western and slasher film influences. With this one they are with out a doubt still there, but it's more of an original statement instead of me having to copy and paste from other peoples play books. I did make sure to sneak in my nods to "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" "The Hills Have Eyes" "John Woo" "Death Wish" and Italian westerns. Those types of films are just in my blood. Not to mention the "Friday The 13th" opening that we are shooting Saturday the 14.
ASouthernLife: Moving away from "Velvet Vengeance" for a second, what other things are going on for you right now, or near future?
Jeremy Campbell: Right now I have a lot of things going on. I am working on a commercial for a world renowned haunted house called Moxley Manor. We are also in talks about me directing a original film based on their haunt. Other than that I am writing a new feature film. It's a story that has been with me for a while. It's the story of a veteran horror director recalling the making his first film when he was 13. It's The Sandlot for misfits. I am also talking with another group about directing a short comedy in November. They have accesses to a sound-stage and we figured why not? Last I am writing the outline for Velvet Vengeance part 2. My goal is to make a series out of this story.
ASouthernLife: You are doing something with the Moxley Manor Haunted House, tell me a little more about that project.
Jeremy Campbell: We started talking a little while back. The idea was put a award winning horror director with a award winning haunt and see what happens. We are making a very fun commercial that will play like a trailer. If everything goes well you may see a original film from me that is centered around there haunt. Laiken A Thompson from Velvet Vengeance will be featured in the commercial along with another beautiful and talented actress Jori Gill.
ASouthernLife: Now back to "Velvet Vengeance", October the 19th is a pretty important date! The film's premiere at DOA, tell me about that and what your feeling about that day, nervous, excited?
Jeremy Campbell: All of the above. We were preselected and given the prime time spot. The pressure is on to finish the movie in time and sell out our screening. Not to mention live up to all the hype. The coolest thing is early this year I made a list of goals. One of them was have a sold out premiere at Texas Theater. The film fest contacted me and asked if I was interested in premiering at their fest that is being held at Texas Theater. For the fans the fest will be a lot of fun. They have not released the line up yet but I've heard rumors of some really great films. With any luck maybe will be able to walk away with a few awards.
ASouthernLife: Anything else going on after October 19th that you want to talk about, other festivals or releases?
Jeremy Campbell: Yea we are planning a extended film fest run. This movie easily has what it takes to go far. We are talking with a few company's right now for a full out release of the movie. We want to wait to see how we do with the film fest run before we release the movie to the general public but it's going great. I could not be more thankful.
ASouthernLife: What is next after "Velvet Vengeance"?
Jeremy Campbell: The big goal is to be a full time movie director within the next two years. I am a man on a mission when it comes to that. Other than Velvet Vengeance I am working on my new feature script and a squeal to Velvet Vengeance. We’ll see which one gets funding and goes into production first. We are all kind of waiting to see how Velvet Vengeance is received. When I think back on how that movie started as a writing exercise and has now been turned into a feature I have to smile. It all started with a teen novel I read when I was 12 years old.