Interview with Vanilla Cake Director Crystal Pastis

Interview with Vanilla Cake Director Crystal Pastis

Horrorific content by jessicagomez on December 02nd, 2018 | Horror News |

As we reported last week, indie film writer/director Crystal Pastis is crowdfunding her newest venture, Death Jaw, where she hopes to create the first "Horror Universe". Pastis sat down with me to talk Death Jaw, her time working on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and getting Death Jaw's mask created by SFX King Tony Gardner.

JG: As you know I've been a fan of your work since Vanilla Cake, so I'm pumped that you're delving into a new film. Tell me about Death Jaw and what's going to set it apart from other horror movies.

CP: I am very excited to create Death Jaw. This project will be unlike any other horror film that I've seen before. It's taking all the elements we love from horror movies but amping it up times ten. Death Jaw is not like a Michael Meyers or Jason character. He has a super hero back-story that ties into the whole horror universe I want to create. The film will take place on Halloween night as we watch Death Jaw’s reign of terror begin and start to understand his origin story.

JG: Jurassic Park is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I was so excited to see you worked on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom as an assistant editor. What's it like working on a film with a huge budget like that as opposed to an indie film? What were you able to take away from that job that you can bring into your own films?

CP: What was great about working on Jurassic World is that I actually worked on all the behind the scenes content for that film. So all the BTS interviews/ content you see for that film I had a hand in making it. That was a completely different experience from working on my own indie films. I had a first hand insight on what it is like creating big budget blockbusters. I was able to watch hours of uncut interviews with the director talking about his biggest struggles in making Fallen Kingdom and how he overcame them. I was able to see how they pulled off some of the biggest stunts in that film and how the actors were able to get into character playing against dinosaurs. It was such an amazing experience for me in creating my own films. The knowledge I walked away with was invaluable.

FX legend Tony Gardner death jaw mask

JG: Living FX legend Tony Gardner (Zombieland, Curse of Chucky) made your mask for Death Jaw. How did you get hooked up with him, and what was it like to work with him?

CP: Tony Gardner is a genius. I was lucky enough to meet him let alone have him actually create a custom mask for Death Jaw. I met Tony on a music video for the Foo Fighters. The video was called “Run” and he did all the FX makeup for that video. It was after that video that I talked to him about my love of horror and my upcoming film ideas. I asked if he would create a new monster I had in mind. The rest is history. I am still on cloud nine from the experience.  The mask turned out better than I could have ever hoped for.

JG: Your films are incredibly stylish and have interesting horror themes. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

CP: I grew up watching a lot of 1970s horror films as well as the classic Universal monster movies. From a young age I was so obsessed with the stories they were telling. In addition, I have always been a massive fan of Disney. From Tim Burton’s films to Snow White, I have always loved the whimsical and magical style they had. I think my films blend those two worlds.

JG: You've written, directed, produced, and edited...where do you see your career going from here?

CP: I see my career headed toward directing feature films.  I have really explored and created a lot of short films and music videos. I would like now to focus my attention toward directing horror features exclusively.

JG: What's your favorite scary movie?

CP: The Exorcist, mostly because I have such a hard time getting through it. No matter how old I get, or how much horror I watch, I always come back to that film being the ultimate horror film. To me, it stands the test of time. It creates such a terrifying universe that leaves me thinking about it days later. I compare most horror against that film.

Pastis hopes to raise $20,000 for Death Jaw. To contribute to the film and receive perks, visit her indiegogo page.

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