Wanna play Truth or Dare with Jessica Cameron?
There’s nothing better than keeping in touch with an old friend - am I right?
Jessica Cameron has been a friend of this site since its inception going on three years ago. Our first encounter was way back in the days when I was head writer for GoreZone magazine and I used to have the assignment of interviewing up and coming talent in the horror movie industry. Well, Jessica was certainly talented and her star continues to rise.
Members of the site’s Facebook page will have been delighted with her updates on there, as Jessica often drops by to let us know what’s going on. (If you haven’t signed up to the site’s FB, please feel free to do so.)
Regular readers will know that Jessica has widened the scope of her talent and has added producing and directing to her skills with Truth or Dare. We HAD to chat about this....
Robin Pierce: Where does your incredible work ethic come from?
Jessica Cameron: My Mom and Dad. They both worked 7 days a week and typically 12+ hours 6 of those days. They raised me to believe that to be a success you must work harder then you ever thought that you could.
My parents owned their own business, a successful boat manufacturing factory in Canada so it feels normal for me to always be working. When you love what you do it doesn't feel like work, just fun : ) In fact there is nothing I would rather be doing.
RP: Actress, producer, writer, director - if you HAD to choose one, which would it be and why?
JC: Actress - no question. I just love creating the character for the audience to enjoy, I love going through the script in character and exploring other people's lives/motivations/dreams/hopes/hurdles/etc.
It’s a fascinating process and one that I find very challenging. It allows me to explore lifestyles other then my own which intrigues me.
Second would be Producer - I just love the business end of the film world. And I have been told that I am pretty good at being a hard ass ; ) I love getting deals and finding solutions to problems, its like a giant puzzle and I adore putting the pieces together!
RP: There has been a LOT of Internet buzz about Truth Or Dare, your directorial debut currently in post production, which you also wrote - what can you tell me about it?
JC: As a horror fan its everything that I want in a vicious torture flick! As a child growing up when my friends would play Truth Or Dare I would always worry that they would dare me to do something that would hurt me (like I dare you to stab yourself with this pencil) but they never did.
Then as I got older I realized that this fear would make an interesting horror film. I really wanted to see a horror film with a very real/"normal" villain. Someone who does not have super powers, someone who is very average but just desperate for fame and friends (like a lot of people I meet in LA). I combined the two thoughts and that was the start of what would become Truth Or Dare.
And I know what you are thinking, but I actually had a very normal childhood ;)
RP: How did you direct yourself?
JC : Ha ha ...carefully ?!?!?!
I actually depended a lot on my DP and producers for that. When I wasn't able to be behind the camera (or easily able to jump up and watch play back) I would ask them if "X,Y,Z" came though on camera.
Since I trusted their judgment and we had spent so much time discussing my film with them, they knew what my expectations were so I could rely on them to tell me. It was hard though to balance being in the world you create as the actor (which is character focused) with that world that you create as a director (which is focused on ALL the actors, their beats, character arcs, etc). I definitely don't recommend it!
RP: Writers are often frustrated by their artistic vision being interpreted differently by the director, who can be equally frustrated by the restrictions of the budget enforced by the producer. You pulled triple duty on this, how did you manage both the artistic and management roles?
JC : Honestly it all comes down to having a great team in place that understand what you are going for. It takes a team (and many miracles) to complete a film.
It was definitely a juggling act - balancing all the needs and expectations from each of those roles. I am a firm believer in the power of compromise and that helped a lot, and I tend to always look at the "bigger picture" and I find that when you do that the answer is often obvious. I did learn that I would rather produce then direct, its just my own personal preference.
RP: Do you have a release date?
JC: We are starting our festival run and then will finalize distribution. At that time we will have a release date and will announce it on the Truth Or Dare facebook and twitter pages so please stay tuned.
Right now we are screening at the "Arizona Underground Film Fest" on Fri Sept 13th at 9 pm (tickets are on sale now) as well as upcoming dates for the Salty horror festival, Montreal Horror film festival and the Twin Cities film festival.
RP: As if all THAT wasn't enough - you've recently been cast in Bedlam Stories - and have been kind enough to share some of the production art with us. From what we can see, this project is going to be one of your biggest to date.
The synopsis is intriguing and promises a dark and tortured vision of Alice in Wonderland which even the king of quirk Tim Burton would shy away from.This is from the press release:
Set in the 1920s, intrepid reporter Nelly Bly fakes insanity to gain admission into the infamous Bedlam Asylum.
While researching her expose, Nellie meets a young patient, Dorothy, who has delusions of a fantasy land she calls "Oz." Digging deeper into the dark history of the asylum, Nellie uncovers evidence of human experimentation on another inmate, a young girl named Alice, who’s "Wonderland" mirrored Dorothy’s imaginary world. Nellie is determined not to let Dorothy share Alice’s fate as a human guinea pig.
But the horrific experiments open a portal to these other worlds. When the dark and twisted inhabitants of Oz and Wonderland clash for control, Nellie realizes that they aren't delusions at all they are terrifyingly real.
Check out the concept art for the Cheshire Cat.
RP: How did you get involved with this project?
JC: I have known the director, Pearry Teo, for years. I adore his work, and his twisted beautiful vision of the world. I have always wanted to work with him so needless to say I was honored to be approached to be a part of this epic film. The imagery is simply stunning, and Pearry's ability to create the world that he has created always impresses me.
RP: You are going to play the role of “Nurse Tilley.” While information about the film and it’s characters is limited, we do know (and I quote) that Nurse Tilley is “The last kind face you will see, but her eyes hint that she knows about the dark secrets and practices within the walls of Bedlam Asylum.” How are you going to prepare for this role?
JC: I am going to do more research on the era and specifically the job of the nurse at that time. I think its important to be historically accurate whenever possible, and in the 1920's women were treated very differently then they are today. I studied fashion Design in University and as a result I studied the history of design (which was often heavily influenced by society rules) so I have a better handle then most but will continue to do more research.
RP: The merchandising for this film kicks off in September with the tie-in novel and there's an art book due in November. When can we expect to see the film?
JC: Right now the plan is to shoot it next year (2014) and release it the following year (2015). I know that sounds so far off, but its not in the wonderful world of film! Its always a challenging process in patience when you have a project this cool that you can't go and shoot it tomorrow...
RP: How the hell do you top your achievements in 2013? What's next?
JC: HAHAHAHHAHA....I honestly have no idea! Crap. I have not thought about that.
I supposed I will just work harder then ever and hopefully continue to climb the ladder : ) I will say that I am working with some amazing people this coming year, nothing I can announce yet but all people that I greatly admire and its a dream come true for me to get to work with them : ) Stay tuned for more details!
My thanks to Jess for sparing the time to chat, and for kindly supplying all the imagery for this article. I'm going to leave you with an image of the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow like you've never seen them before. Sweet dreams, kids....
Copyright © 2010 - 2013 Robin Pierce. All Rights reserved.