Monday, June 1, 2009

Interview With ThaGataNegrra--Tha ORIGINAL GATA

It truly has been hard going for this budding actress and scream queen--oh, sorry, she'd rather not be called that until she feels more like one career-wise, not to mention avoid issues with certain other "personalities". She's been the target of reputation smears, career sabotage, jealous ambitions, what my nephew likes to call "swagger jacking", and all seemingly from one source. So much and so vast are the lies that they have pretty much brought one aspect of who she is and what she loves to a standstill. But not for long, as far as this Black Cat Pirate Gypsy is concerned. She is talented on other levels and has decided to focus on those for now. She insists on remaining who she is, and has learned that sometimes it is much better to stand your ground and live your truth than be intimidated by outside forces. I've seen this girl's potential and really hope that someday soon she's allowed to break through all that drama and web of deceit that she's caught up in. A word to the wise: play the game clean, you never know who you'll end up hurting.

What got you started in acting?
I'd always been interested in acting since I was a kid. I would put on small plays and stuff like that all the time. In
retrospect, I wish I had decided to become a drama major in high school instead of a music major, but I was so focused in the music arena that I didn't. I wrote a lot as well and screenplays were something I wrote often. When I was older I started going on auditions. I wasn't always successful, but i did get some parts here and there.

How many films have you made?

Some short films, and I WAS in some feature-length movies until bad word of mouth got me cut or whatever. you know the story.

Is the indie horror industry hard to break into?
For me it has been! LOL...but I'm not bitter. I just know it's something I've always loved, contrary to popular belief...and no-one can be denied from what they love forever.

Are you a hardcore gorehound, or have you considered other genres as well?
Horror was my main focus because I love getting dirty and kill scenes and the lot. It appeals to my sense of fantasy and being someone else for the extreme. But I have done other genres...and always consider other genres.

Who's easy to work with? Who isn't?

People who are easygoing but know when it's time to get down to business are easiest to work with. People who are willing to take you as you are and take chances are, as well. Divas are
hard to work with, as well as people who are easily swayed by bullshxt. They know who they are. People who keep the set light, the

y're always fun, like the last director I worked with, Koh Yamamoto. He made sure everyone was doing okay, from the principals to the extras. I really hope to work with him again.

Is there anyone you'd love to work with?

Hmm...anyone who will have me, LOL. I'd really like to work w/ Susan Adriensen. She's the bee's knees. I've been trying to work with Rod Belle for months now, but we never seem to catch up to one another, LOL

What are your plans for future projects?
Right now, I am working on my music and another personal project, so all my creativity is focused there. When I'm ready, I'll start beating the bushes again for acting and modeling jobs along w/ doing my music.

What is your opinion on the state of today's horror?

Too many damn remakes, if you ask me. Although, I must admit, it is interesting to see another person's take on the stories. Indie horror is where all the life's like a living organism, and so many fresh ideas can be found amongst the rehashed ones. Even the rehashed ones are fun!

Any advice for aspiring actors?

Keep at it. Keep marketing yourself and plugging away. Try not to get discouraged. Get your best headshots and resume ready and make sure you have comp and busniess cards-- you never know who you'll run into. Make sure you have a significant online presence...and avoid people who'd rather see you ruined than successful--they can be anyone from your worst enemy to your own family. I speak from experience!

7even Randoms:

End of the world party; what do you wear?
Black, as always. Something comfy I can dance in cuz I'm gonna dance my ass off at that particular party!

If you had to watch one film for the rest of your life, it'd be...?

ONE film? Oh, don't ask me that. I can't stop at one film!

What makes you
so freakin' special?

I'm GATA. That's pretty much it. I'm better than you've been told I am.
Head or gut? Stab wounds, we mean.
Ugh. Gut, I guess. I've been stabbed in the back enough times, gut should be a cakewalk, LOL

Vampires or zombies?
Vampire zombies.

For President, your fave horror icon:

Stephen King.

Your booty call soundtrack: top 3 songs.

Oh, man, that can be anything! Prince is a good way to go. Plus any metal. There actually is a special one that I love just because my partner gets SO into it...but I'm keeping that one to myself...

See more of GATA at,
and GATA's Facebook Artist page.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Interview With John Birmingham

Claws Bared cornered John Birmingham ("Crazy Animal", "The Vampires Of Zanzibar"), and demanded he give up the goods. Here's what came flying out of him:

What got you started in filmmaking?

was an artist and musician and got into creative writing and I was also
interested in philosophy and questioning religion and the way the earth
works and wanted to change society for the better and I figured
filmmaking encompassed all this stuff.

How many films have you made?

I have made a bunch of short films and projects and two feature legnth movies.

Is the indie horror industry hard to break into?

But here is the bottom line, best advice I will give any aspiring
filmmaker or horror filmmaker. BEFORE you go and start shooting things
and making movies,
you have to learn the art of screenwriting and spend YEARS ON IT. It
is free. No losses there. Either that, or read hundreds of
screenplays yourself, each one 100 pages long about... and figure out
ones that stand out from all the rest and find somewhere that needle in
the haystack a good, really good script. Or like I said, spend years
and learn to write one yourself. Just start writing night and day, you
need that before you jump in and start making movies like I did, lol...

Are you a hardcore gorehound, or have you considered other genres as well?

Well, my new movie, The Vampires
of Zanzibar, has a lot more gore than my first movie Crazy Animal. VoZ
has blood spurting and intestines falling out and being eaten and stuff
like this, a real horror movie
you could easily label it... but I was never in particular into gore,
more into those things I mentioned that got me into filmmaking.
However, I am a big fan of Troma, Peter Jackson's
early stuff... but I am also into Peter Jackson's later stuff and
movies that have a message and help society see something, like Poultrygeist even, though many people may not agree, it at least says something in the end.

Who's easy to work with? Who isn't?

Ron Jeremy is very easy to work with, you
just pay him something reasonable that his agent is okay with and he is
a truly great guy. A lot of times, and I hate to say this, but friends
who you get to act or people with not much of an acting or film resume
are usually gonna be very hard to work with, because their history
speaks for itself, they have made no conscious efforts to do any of
this stuff, so why would they all of a sudden be great on your movie.
I would choose people who love what they do and work at it and have a
good work history in the stuff, unless there is something outstanding,
truly outstanding that you think qualifies them as a seperate case.

Is there anyone you'd love to work with?

Yeah, Jack Black.

What are your plans for future projects?

a REALLY, really, really, really, really amazing one of a kind truly
great and deep and brilliant script before ever making another movie.
I spent months writing both of my previous movies and I thought that
was enough, but I may need to take my writing to the next level as my
wife has tried to ring home to me... I still think my two features I
made are brilliant in their own way however, both took years of my life to make and are works of art.

What is your opinion on the state of today's horror?

Hmmm, well, I think a lot of horror seems
to be sort of like a rollercoaster ride, and a lot of younger people
and young kids go to get a shock out of it, especially SAW movies and
the newer mainstream Japanese horror, they really shake you up and
actually scare you, which I guess is good. But I am more of a fan of Troma movies
that are feel good throughout and just do it sort of slapstick cutting
off people's arms and stuff and it is like obviously fake, but it is
just funny and fun to watch and makes you feel good because it is all a
joke. I don't like the feel bad stuff.

Any advice for aspiring filmmakers?

Yeah, just engulf yourself in film, work on movies all the time, read
movies all the time, study it, get a camera and get better and better
at operating it, get an editing system and get good at it, write more
and more scripts, keep getting better and better at it, take classes,
keep networking, networking with people no matter where your area other
people are doing it.. work on their movies, make friends, marry a
movie person if you want (like I do, haha)... ummm, yeah, make it your
life and just be determined to get better and better and better and it
will start happening. Never stay stagnant, keep taking it to the next
level, and who knows, you may find yourself in Spielberg's shoes one
day, but then you come up with a brilliant idea to create a new form of
mass media like some weird interactive media that society can't do
without, who knows, keep an open mind to better and better
possibilities only and never lose site of what you want,ed to and want
to achieve and if you want it with all your emotion and being you will
get it. The more emotion and energy you put into it and the more you
know it will happen the more likely it will happen.

7even Randoms:

End of the world party; what do you wear?

Naked. Completely comfortable.

If you had to watch one film for the rest of your life, it'd be...?

Hmmm. The Secret.

What makes you
so freakin' special?

I am a genius. I'm invincible.

Head or gut? Stab wounds, we mean.


Vampires or zombies?

Vampires. ...of Zanzibar.

For President, your fave horror icon:

Hmmm. Lloyd Kaufman.
He seems to have a lot of political views I like. I honestly think I
might trust him as crazy as that sounds. I don't know, I would have to
see him do something outside the Troma box, totally left field for him
first to make sure, like, make an Oscar winning dramatic movie of
sorts, or choose a new, really badass cinematographer, though his
movies are great, it just seems like he could get some top of the line
cinematographer if he wanted, no problem, right?

Your booty call soundtrack: top 3 songs.

Wow, I never played music really while having sex. Is this what you're
talking about? Ummm, how about "Enter Sandman" by Metallica, just for
humor and the fun of it. That is the only one that comes to mind.

Check out more of John at and his website for The Vampires of Zanzibar.