Meet the Filmmaker: Erica Fellion, “The Hanging”

The Hangingwww.ericafellion.com

Fellion-Headshot-2013Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
EF: I have always been passionate about photography and storytelling. My sisters and I grew up going to the movie theatre, seeing off-Broadway plays and making our own short films on my dad’s camcorder.

In college, I majored in art and quickly switched after I realized that film/video could convey a message much stronger and clearer than any other medium.

I then began volunteering to help with EVERY student/independent film project I could find and was immediately hooked on the absurdity, chaos, unpredictability and adventure that came with the production process.

I guess I have always been a different sort of adrenaline junkie and I get easily bored with the ordinary. Making films/videos seemed like a great way to avoid being bored.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
EF: The Hanging is a post civil-war period, western twist on the short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce. In this version, a woman tries to reconcile with her past as she awaits her sentence of death by hanging.

This short was as my senior thesis film for The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and it was re-finished in 2013. It has not yet been released or publicly screened.

My friends in the film/theatre community encouraged me to screen it at the EFP and I finally decided to go for it. If everything goes well and this piece is well received, I might also submit it to a few festivals.

Q: What else are you working on?
EF: I am working on a re-write for a “hero’s journey” type comedy and also doing research for a documentary that I might pursue.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
EF: Oddly enough, all the costumes and most of the props in The Hanging were destroyed in the Black Forest Fire, both locations used in the film were threatened by wildfires and the original edit files were also destroyed. I am thinking this is a pretty clear sign that I shouldn’t re-edit this film or have a sequel…

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
EF: The Hanging has a facebook page at www.facebook.com/thehanging and you can find more information about my work on my website at www.ericafellion.com.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about the Emerging Filmmakers Project?
EF: I have heard so much about the Emerging Filmmakers Project and how much it has done to help local filmmakers. I am so thankful to be a part of this year’s screenings and I am excited to see the Colorado film community continue to thrive.

The Hanging will screen April 16th at The Emerging Filmmakers Project.


Meet the Filmmaker: Jimmy Lee Combs, “Conflicted: A Gothic Romance”

Jimmy Lee Combs ArtistConflicted: A Gothic Romance | www.heartandfireproductions.com

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
JLC: I have always been a huge movie buff and storyteller ever since I was a little kid. The magic of cinema captured my active imagination at a very young age and has stayed with me my whole life. I’m so thankful to my parents for allowing me to watch a wide spectrum of movies growing up. It truly gave me a vast knowledge of films and helped pave the way for my filmmaking career. I love the arts and filmmaking has been a very liberating way for me to share my art with the world.

A huge influence in my life has always been the Rocky movies starring Sylvester Stallone. I can’t tell you enough how many times these movies have pulled me up and made me believe in myself. These movies have given me the courage to go out their and go for it! I highly recommend this amazing saga to everyone, especially filmmakers. Rocky is the symbol for the underdogs of the world and proves if you got the heart and fire and go for your dreams, no matter what, you will always be a winner.

I had the amazing honor of meeting Mr. Stallone (my hero Rocky) back in December of 2006 when I went to an advanced screening of Rocky Balboa with my Dad. Let me tell you, it really changed my life for the better. I was filled with inspiration after talking with Stallone and seeing the movie. It definitely gave me the confidence to get out there and make films.

The older you get, the more of life’s hard knocks you encounter. I have had a lot of bad relationships in my time that have hurt me. Not only has movies and filmmaking helped me coupe with that hurt but also gave me the opportunity to make films that other people in similar situations can relate to. Those films I could identify with such as Rocky in my tough times, really helped me, it felt good to know I could relate to a character or a movie’s story. That has always been another huge reason for me becoming a filmmaker to let my audience know that you are not alone. Hopefully it gives them something they can relate to and take away from some of my films. I’ve had a recent focus on horror films and will continue to make films that are inspirational in some fashion.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
JLC: Conflicted: A Gothic Romance will be shown. It tells the story of an unhappily married man who becomes conflicted when he falls for a fascinating woman. Torn between staying committed to a derelict relationship and following his heart, the consequences of his actions sends him spiraling down a path of madness, sorrow and solitude. In a stylized Gothic romance from Heart and Fire Productions. It has screened recently at Galaxyfest in Colorado Springs where it won an award for “Best Arts/Experimental” film. My plans currently are to keep it publicly on my Youtube and Vimeo pages for all to enjoy and I’m sure some can relate to.

Q: What else are you working on?
JLC: Currently writing a feature script for a supernatural action horror western called Spirit Reckoning. I’m billing it as Sergio Leone meets John Woo meet the horror genre. But first up will be short film spin off featuring characters from our feature film Hans Crippleton: Talk to the Hans. Then we have a Horror Anthology in the works; my segment will bring a cool twist to the werewolf genre I think. And at a later date a psychological horror film that is a throw back to the 80s and the video rental stores that peaked in that era. We tend to be very spontaneous as well, so when the urge hits to tell a story, a new film can spark at any time.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
JLC: I really enjoy dipping my french fries in mustard. A lot of people have told me that’s weird or they start talking like the character Karl Childers from Sling Blade. As far as my films, their is definitely a recurring theme of hearts being ripped out of peoples chests or being represented in a symbolic way. Just hits me every time I’m writing something horror to include a heart. I’ll have to keep doing it, might be like my signature trademark that viewers notice from film to film lol.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
JLC: www.heartandfireproductions.com www.hanscrippletonmovie.com www.facebook.com/heartandfireproductions https://www.facebook.com/jimmy.lee.792197 and www.facebook.com/hanscrippletonmovie

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
JLC: EFP is a wonderful organization that has my full support as a filmmaker/actor/screenwriter/producer. Being able to network with peers who all share a love for film and others involved in the indie filmmaking scene in Colorado is invaluable! Not to mention it’s a great outlet for local filmmakers to showcase their hard work whether it be a trailer or a short film. The interaction between audience and filmmaker at the end of each film is one of many highlights at the EFP and of course Patrick Sheridan.

Conflicted: A Gothic Romance will screen April 16th at The Emerging Filmmakers Project.


Meet the Filmmaker: Vivian Lie, “Something Better”

Something Betterwww.vivianlie.com

DramaAtlEditedTomHResNov2013-4Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
VL: I started out as an actress so this is actually my first effort at fully producing and contributing in the writing and casting processes of a film. Acting in films eventually led me to become interested in the other aspects of filmmaking. This is a great time when many actors feel the urge to create their own work!

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
VL: Something Better is a comedic short that talks about misunderstandings in a very fun way with the help of some quirky characters. There’s a lack of cute and innocent comedies nowadays and I wanted to create something along those lines. My inspiration was I Love Lucy. I’ve had so much joy acting in comedies so I definitely wanted my first film to be a funny one!

Something Better premiered at the UMFF in Atlanta. This is our Colorado premiere and we are very excited to show it to our friends and fellow filmmakers in this wonderful community. My plan is for it to continue showing in the festival circuit.

Q: What else are you working on?
VL: I actually have been traveling and visiting with my family in Brazil for the past 5 months. Now that I’ve returned to Colorado, I hope to begin working on some new projects soon.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
VL: There is something strange that happens to me quite often when I am working on a film. Perhaps the strangest example would be when I was practicing to play a clairvoyant named Santona in a short. The day before filming, I watched a Netflix movie Bicycle Thief that had just arrived that day. To my big surprise, one of the characters in the movie was a clairvoyant named Santona! Later I confirmed with the director her inspiration came from that movie. Talk about weird! We both got the goosebumps!

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
VL: My website is www.vivianlie.com
My IMDB page is www.imdb.me/vivianlie

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
VL: Thank you so much for the awesome venue that you are making available to Colorado filmmakers!

Something Better will screen April 16th at The Emerging Filmmakers Project.