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Team Alpha Recon Airsoft Interview

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Recently, I got to interview the guys at Team Alpha Recon – a well-known, Texas-based airsoft team making waves in the action sports community with their upcoming Op. Red Bear. I’d like to thank “Reaper” and “XL” from Team Alpha Recon for taking the time to answer our questions.


Q) Hey Reaper! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview. You are one of the co-founders of the Team Alpha Recon airsoft team. Could you tell us a bit about your team in general? How it came about, how long you have been a team, number of members, etc?

A) No problem, we are honored to be a part of it Jerry. XL and I met in mid-2013 when we first discovered “Milsim” and we became very interested in the unofficial sport.We began buying gear slowly as we gradually learned about big name brands. Shortly after a few training sessions, we created Team Alpha Recon; in the beginning it was very slow for us because we didn’t know about all the National Ops. We first attended a local operation called “Op. Gridwall” which is located at Tank’s Paintball in Richmond, TX. This is where we quickly became part of the community and started making a name for ourselves. A little over a year later, we have acquired over 20 teammates ranging from 14 – 45 years of age.

Q) There are probably as many ways to coordinate and organize an airsoft team as there are teams themselves. How does Team Alpha Recon organize itself – fire teams, etc?

A) Being such a big team we first separated the adults from the younger guys.We usually break up into two fire teams and rely on our comms; we do this so we can be at two places at once giving fore from two different angles. You become more of a threat that way.

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Q) Operating such a large team must come with some challenges. What kind of challenges, if any, do you encounter in keeping the team operating and everyone engaged?

A) Challenges you say? Definitely, you will always have small conflicts in a big group of guys. You don’t always know a player’s true personality until after a few times going out together. We’ve dealt with negative attitudes, guys not showing up to training, even an occasional argument between players. Being that we (XL and I) are both CO’s we have each other’s backs and handle any problem as a unit.

Q) How often does your team practice and train, and what kind of drills do you guys prefer?

A) We practice every Sunday when the weather allows us to. We like to do a lot of two man drills; it adds a whole other element to the drill. We study a lot of Haley Strategic doctrine so our drills tend to mimic theirs.

Q) Airsoft is definitely starting to become a multi-generational sport with players of nearly all ages participating. What is the age range of the players in Team Alpha Recon?

A) When we first began we started out as an adult only team with about 5 players. After getting some attention from the smaller ops, local juniors started asking if we could create a junior squad so that they could be apart of the team. So we did, our junior team consists of 14 – 17 years old and our adult team ranges in age from 18 – 45 years old. If you can operate, you can operate – age is just a number.

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Q) Does Team Alpha Recon have any sponsors you would like to plug now or perhaps pursue in the future?

A) First I’d like to give our partners at Watch Your Six Clothing a shout out. We started a partnership with them shortly after making our team. We help them sell their gear and they return the favor for us! We are currently sponsored by Tanks Paintball in Richmond, TX. That being said, we are not sponsored with a major airsoft-specific company. We have had opportunities with local shops in the past but nothing promising for the team. We are patiently waiting for the right companies to partner with. Some of the companies we would like to work with are: Valken, Evike, Arisoft GI, AMS, Elite Force, KWA, G&G and Emerson.

Q) How does Team Alpha Recon work its recruitment procedures? Do you guys host dedicated “open houses” or just keep your eyes on players you meet on the field?

A) We look for players that are as dedicated as we are and can afford to put time and effort into training and our team, the rest can be developed within training. We want the sport to grow so being new to airsoft doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not good, if you find that your friend is a little better than you, ask him to teach you anything simple that’ll help you. Those are the type of guys we are! We love to have fun and hang out but we do take our team seriously so you have to be very dedicated to be a part of TAR.

Q) Would you guys like to share any stories or anecdotes from your most memorable games or ops?

A) Well I’ll never forget the time we played a local team, who was supposed to be a pretty good and well known team. Outnumbered and not having the equipment like they did, we managed to win every round – most of the time without the single death of a teammate. After that game, we knew we could really compete in airsoft ops and take things to the next level.

Q) Now that we are at the start of the year, event hosts like American Milsim and Operation Lion Claws are both gearing up their new season. What are Team Alpha Recon’s next big games/ops coming up?

A) As of right now, we will be attending BB Wars at D14 in Dallas, Tx hosted by Airsoft GI; along with Broken Home 4, Iron claw 2 & the Reindeer game at the end of the year hosted by American Milsim.

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Q) Can you give us a rundown of your basic loadout? Any particular brands or types of guns, gear, etc you swear by and don’t leave home without?

A) Adult team – AOR 1 GEN 11 Emerson BDU’s (awesome fit and very operational). We run coyote tan gear and plate carriers but the rest is based on players preference. As of right now only the BDU’s and tan gear are a requirement. Weapons we run – M4,M14, SR25, G36c, R36k, etc. We only run BluFor weapons so that way if a teammate runs out of ammo, one of us can help out.

Q) What advice would you give players looking to start their own team?

A) If you want to start a team I’d say the first thing you should do is figure out exactly where you’d like your team to go. A plan or goal is vital to a team’s success. Always recruit guys that share the same passion you have for the sport – you’ll find out that half the guys that play show up whenever they want and aren’t very dedicated. Also, a team doesn’t necessarily have to be real big, a 5-7 man squad is perfect plus it’s easier to manage. So, good luck guys and I hope this ends up helping out!

Q) Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions, Reaper. Finally, is there anything else you would like our readers to know about Team Alpha Recon that we haven’t touched on already?

A) We would like people to know that we are hosting Op. Red Bear in Humble, TX this May 31st and hope to see you there! This sport means a lot to us and we will continue to help out the community as much as possible. Thank you so much for taking the time and remember, BANG BANG!!


Once again, we would like to say thank you to Reaper, XL, and the rest of Team Alpha Recon for taking the time to answer our questions!

Team Alpha Recon Photo Gallery

LA Haunted Hayride Preview and Interview

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Recently, we got the chance to tour the warehouse which currently stores many of the props you will find at the upcoming Los Angeles Haunted Hayride as well as interview the event’s COO, Melissa Meyer. We would like to thank the Ten Thirty One Productions PR staff as well as Melissa Meyer for making this interview possible.


GS) Just to start off, would you mind introducing yourself and telling us what your position is with Ten Thirty One Productions?

MM) My name is Melissa Meyer and I am the COO (Chief Operating Officer) of Ten Thirty One Productions. I have been with the company since its inception.

GS) And when did Ten Thirty One start?

MM) We are going into year six.

GS) Was it always, as I assume from the company’s name, focused on haunted attractions?

MM) Yes, definitely, our main focus has always been on live horror events.

GS) This year, you guys had a much larger presence with The Great Horror Campout, what was behind the idea of taking it on the road?

MM) We actually had the idea to take it on the road since its inception when it was just in Los Angeles the previous year. We started planning the next year almost immediately after.

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GS) With the LA Haunted Hayride being the big haunted attraction it is, when do you guys start designing and planning the whole thing?

MM) Well we start the concept and engineering as early as December and we continue planning and creating the entire year. Finally, we have an 11 day actual move-in, building, and rehearsal period at the event’s location.

GS) Did you ever consider any other locations for the LA Haunted Hayride?

MM) Well year one we were actually at the old Gillette Range in Calabasas, CA. After that, we wanted to get more central to LA and Griffith Park is one of the most paranormal places in all of Los Angeles – all of Southern California for that matter, and the Old Zoo has really crazy, creepy history as well as a lovely natural ambiance. We really like to utilize the environment with our haunted events.

GS) A lot of news was released on Mark Cuban’s investment into Ten Thirty One on Shark Tank. What has that meant for the company in terms of being able to put these events on. What has that enabled you to do that you were not able to previously?

MM) It definitely helped with The Great Horror Campout tour. A lot of those fund are going to the expansion of our current projects.

GS) Melissa Carbone [CEO of Ten Thirty One] mentioned on Shark Tank that she was planning to expand the LA Haunted Hayride, is that correct?

MM) Yes, we actually have plans to take it back East potentially as soon as 2015.

GS) If you have never been to the LA Haunted Hayride before, how would you describe it to someone coming for the first time?

MM) I would definitely describe it as taking the Halloween season back to its roots. It’s very old fashioned – lots of glowing lights and pumpkins and fog in the air. We always put a big focus on making a great live theatrical experience like the old Grand Guignol where you get to see things that are a little bit more than just a jump-out scare. Don’t get me wrong, we have those as well, but we try to a lot more too.

GS) How does Ten Thirty One create all their special effects? Do you guys work in-house or contract out an effects studio?

MM) We do all of our special effects in-house. We have a team that is currently building away to do all of our props, creature suits, masks, and everything else.

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GS)  So what is the overall theme of this year’s LA Haunted Hayride?

MM) So the theme this year for our sixth season is called “Echoes from the Rift”. As it is our sixth season, we wanted to pay tribute to Hell (laughs), like any good horror event should and so we have utilized a lot of larger than life, leviathan type creatures – lots of Greek mythology and basically lots of influence from Hades and Hell.

GS) I have been fortunate to attend every LA Haunted Hayride with the exception of the first one. Can you tell me a bit about what’s new for this year?

MM) Yes! So we actually have two whole new attractions. We still have our Purgatory Zone and also have our dark maze as well as the hayride. This year, however, we have added the House of the Horsemen and the Seven Sins Sideshow so two completely new things to do within the event.

GS) Can you explain a bit more about each of the new attractions?

MM) Yeah, definitely, so the Seven Sins Sideshow is loosely based off of a side/freak show utilizing the motif of the seven deadly sins. The experience is going to be very interactive with the audience having to “activate” the scene each time they walk into a new area. The House of the Horsemen is a little more of a walk-through maze that has guests interacting with each of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

GS) Last year, you guys had a really neat tent full of grotesque photo opportunities. Will that return this year?

MM) Yes, absolutely, we call that Death Row and we will be having one this year as well.

GS) Will the pro pumpkin carving area return?

MM) We are bringing pumpkin carving back this year and we are even adding a contest element to it. It’s just more reason for people to stay for the whole thing.

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GS) “For the whole thing” – are you guys changing your hours at all?

MM) Oh no, but something that will help people attend more nights in the hayride is our new season pass program. It has no blackout dates and allows guests to have VIP access every night if they wanted. Personally, I think it’s amazing because there is so much to do at the LA Haunted Hayride this year, more than one night might is necessary to take it all in. I forgot to mention we also have a Theatre Macabre this year – do you remember last year we had the paranormal investigators?

GS) Oh, on the Purgatory stage?

MM) Yeah exactly – this year we have the Theatre Macabre which is a very audience participation oriented, improv acting out the scenes of famous horror movies on stage. We also have Blood Drums – we will be bringing them on the stage that is in the line queue for the hayride attraction itself.

GS) As someone who runs and helps build a haunted attraction, I have to ask what scares you? What freaks you out?

MM) For me, it’s anytime there is anticipation – those quiet, creepy moments that speak true because maybe you didn’t jump out of your chair but you go home thinking about this messed up situation all night. It resonates so for me it’s the slow and creepy.

GS) What are your thoughts on the current state of haunted attractions?

MM) Well on the whole I am happy to see this large movement to take it to more of a spectator sport, and that’s something I think we try to help lead the charge on. Making things a little bit more of an interactive, weekend warrior type of event.


Once again, we would like to thank Ten Thirty One Productions’ COO Melissa Meyer for taking the time to speak with us. The LA Haunted Hayride runs multiple days in October beginning on October 3, 2014. You can see the full LA Haunted Hayride schedule and purchase tickets over at the event’s official website.

Images from Our Warehouse Tour

Interview with Matt from Evike

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Recently, we got the chance to send some questions over to the face of Evike.com, Matt! You may know Matt as Evike’s Youtube host as well as event host at their various gaming events around the country. Matt has been in the airsoft game for a long time and has seen a lot of trends come and go in the sport. So, we would like to thank Matt as well as Eddie over at Evike for making this interview possible.

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Q) Hey Matt, you are a well known figure in the airsoft world. Tell us a bit about your background: How you got into the sport, how long you have played, your involvement with Evike, etc.

I’ve been playing airsoft for about 12 years now. Originally I played with friends in their back yards, then started playing at Airsoft Playground, which is now Tac City North. I’ve always been more of an CQB oriented player, but as I do more and more events for evike, I find myself having to adapt my playing style to a more “outdoor” mindset. I started at Evike purely by chance I suppose. Their previous Youtube personality (Brandy Grace) was moving onto bigger and better things with her career and there was a spot that needed to be filled. I had been shopping at Evike for quite some time, and had made a few friends that worked here. They suggested for the owner to bring me in, and as I had some background in acting and improv work, I guess it was a perfect fit!

Q) Do you have a favorite airsoft field here in SoCal?

It’s difficult to say I have a favorite. There are fields I miss, like Zipper Factory and Killhouse. And there are fields I call “home” like airsoft playground. But I think my current go-to’s are SC Village and ITS Stops, which is a training facility in San Diego.

Q) Can you give us the rundown on your typical airsoft load out. Equipment and gun favorites, etc?

I have a custom made vest and battle belt by BeaverTac, which takes the best parts of the Mayflower APC and the Shellback Tactical Banshee, and combines them into a great package in Ranger Green to fit my needs in terms of carry capacity and size. For mag pouches I use HSGI Tacos and various other HSGI, Blueforce, and BeaverTac pouches. Primary weapon of choice for me alternates between my VFC HK416 with a custom Pro-win 8mm gearbox that I built years ago, still running strong 😉 or my VFC SCAR-L, with a G&P 8mm gearbox. For a secondary, I use a full custom Tokyo MaruI Hi-Capa that I converted into a lightweight STI 2011 platform, combining tactical functionality with IPSC “like” accessories to help with speed and in-game effectiveness.

Q) What’s more important to you: Rate of Fire or FPS?

For a long time, being an older-school airsofter, rate of fire was the goal. The faster you went, the more rounds you could lay down range, the more pain you could inflict on your opponent. I have learned over the years though, that a well placed single shot is far more effective than a huge volley of fire. So i’d have to say that FPS (to a point) and accuracy are more important.

Q) What hurdles do you feel that airsoft must jump to become more widely accepted?

Teaching airsofters to respect airsoft guns and to treat them with the same care and amount of safety that they would with a real gun. And then in turn, educating the public on how safe and responsible people are that actually PLAY the sport. The actions of the few and the irresponsible cannot and SHOULD NOT reflect upon the hundreds of thousands of players who behave responsibly and that understand that airsoft guns are not toys.

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Q) Are you currently on any airsoft teams?

I was on a team for a long time, and since most of my teammates have retired I am currently just playing as part of the “Evike Team”.

Q) Do you have any comment regarding the banning of the Green Mountain Rangers team from all Lion Claws events?

You’re playing a sport that replicates and pays homage to the “real thing”. If you choose to attend a military simulation event, you should be prepared to simulate real military behavior, and that means following orders from those in charge. But that’s beside the point. Every military service member and well as law enforcement officer should demand a certain level of respect, whether you’re in the service or not. These people have given and ARE GIVING their lives on a daily basis to allow us all to continue living in the comfort that we do. And to disrespect any member of the service, especially one so decorated, is absolutely unacceptable. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Q) What advice would you give a person who wants to start playing airsoft?

Start small. There’s no need to buy everything ALL AT ONCE!!! Build your arsenal and your load over time, give yourself a chance to get used to every piece of kit, and every weapon. It will make you far more effective. Also remember, Referees and Airsoft field personnel are there to keep you safe. I know their decisions can sometimes be frustrating, but keep your cool, accomplish your mission, and have fun.

Q) Do you have anything to promote or any additional comments you would like to leave our readers with?

“In addition to…” 😉

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Once again, we would like to thank Matt for taking the time to answer our questions. You can checkout Matt over at Evike’s Youtube channel and their main online store.

Interview with Trick ‘r Treat Director Michael Dougherty

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Legendary Entertainment has announced a special screening of Trick ‘r Treat at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles on October 28th. If you can’t make it to that screening, the whole thing – both movie and a short Q&A, will be live-streamed across Facebook on Legendary Entertainment’s profile page. In preparation for this event, we wanted to interview Michael Dougherty, director and creator of the now-seminal Halloween cult film.

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Q) Trick ‘r Treat has, to many people, become just as important and as seminal a holiday film for Halloween as A Christmas Story is for the Christmas season. Did at any point during production – writing, filming, editing – did you realize that you had made something that would achieve that status?

Well, it was such a long process. I think that was always the dream, for the film to become that but obviously the film had such a strange journey that I questioned whether that would be the case or not. To see it finally on that path means a lot to me – its very satisfying

Q) Were there any additional Halloween night rules you were going to add into the movie but didn’t get the chance?

Umm, no. I felt like we had a good set of rules to start with – whether or not that ends, well see. I always felt like those are the four basic rules that I remembered from my childhood. Not that they were ever solidified in stone anywhere but they seemed to cover cover all the bases.

Q) What was the reason behind the film not having a general, theatrical release – instead being pushed back two years and sent straight-to-video?

I think the studio got cold feet. I think it was a lot of different factors. It’s such an unconventional horror films. When it comes to horror movies made by studios, they tend play it safe and this is a film which went against all the trends. The first trend it wasn’t was a Scream knock off with five attractive twenty somethings and an unseen killer. We had Scream, Urban Legends, Final Destination, etc. when studios read the original script in 2000/2001 they said this had vampires werewolves and zombies – no one wants to see that. Ten years later thats all we have. Then when we made the film, the trend was all torture porn. This film comes a long which is a weird horror comedy anthology that celebrates this holiday we love and has this sort of mischievous personality. I think the marketing people looked at it and said we just don’t know how to handle this. Instead of the studio handling it, they threw it to DVD. Smartly, Legendary Entertainment were the people that discovered the script, fought for it to get made and to get a teatrical release, etc. When they lost that battle, they wanted to take this to a more sleeper, undergound route. They sent copies out to festivals and conventions, building word of mouth slowly and organizally. All their attempts to plead with Warner Bros. simply fell on deaf ears. (editors note: Boo, Warner Bros!)

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Q) My sister is just as huge a fan of the film as I am and she wanted me to ask you, and I quote, “Why the hell did you make Lil’ Sam so damn adorable and was it always your intention for people to root for Sam or did you originally want him to be more ominous?”

Both! I don’t think they are mutually exclusive. To me, it was important to create a character for the film that embodied everything the holiday was about. It’s not purely scary, there is an innocence about it. It’s fun, creepy, and adorable. We dress our children up as monsters and send them out to get candy in the darkness. We tell them to break the first rulle of childhood – don’t take candy from strangers. We tell them it’s okay, go up to houses with corpses and rubber limbs hanging from the trees. It’s a bizarre holiday that is always about contrasts. I felt Sam should embody that contrast. He should be cute, but creepy.

I think a good example can be found in these Sam toys right now – these action figures and plush dolls. I sent the plush doll to my 2 year old nephew. He is too young to know about what Halloween is really about or even who Sam is in the movie, but my Sister sent me a message saying he was really scared of it at first but now he loves it. That is the perfect reaction you want people to have towards him. You would hang and party with him but would always be watching your back. I look at gremlins from the film Gremlins and I think they’re kind of cute but they are monsters.

So I think that we created a horror icon that’s not about being gross or bloody or bad-ass. You can have these contrasts. Even the aliens in Alien are a good example – there is an elegance or beauty to them. I would even put Pinhead from Hellraiser in that category – there is something regal about him.

Q) In one of the short films you created, Sam has decomposed into pumpkin guts and, in others, he seems to exist all year-long at other holidays. What officially happens to Sam during the rest of the year?

Um, i think his mythology needs to be explored more. I am still figuring that out in my head. There is probably a little bit of both versions. I like that he is ever present in some form or another and he reveals himself when he needs to. I also think that in creating a horror character you don’t want to give too much away. The less you know the better. We didn’t know where the Alien came from until Prometheus.

(At this point, Michael and I move into a geeky tirade, that I will spare you from, about Alien, Aliens, and the Dark Horse comics based on that I.P. Michael says that Aliens is his favorite film, we talk about the Aliens figures we have in our respective offices. Geeks really rule the world right now.)

Q) The inevitable question, of course, has there been any news on the Trick ‘r Treat 2 development front?

No, no official movement. When i first thought out the idea my dream was to do one movie at least every other year. I think if we did one every year we would overstay our welcome. At least every other year is the way to go. However, I feel like the first film’s journey has been such a long process that we are just enjoying the reception its getting. So, I would say no immediate plans but I wouldnt mind it!

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Q) It would seem obvious that Halloween is a big holiday for you and yours. How are you celebrating it this year?

Im pretty traditional – pumpkin carving parties, a full cemetary in the front yard. We invite friends over on Halloween night and will watch scary movies and spend a few hours scaring children as they come to the door. Those were always the best houses when I was a kid, the ones where the neighbors went all out and scared the crap out of you. I want to give kids that fun yet terrifying experience.

Q) Do you ever go to haunted houses and attractions and, if so, have you hit any of them this season?

Oh yeah! I actually had the trip of a lifetime last weekend. Thomas Tull from Legendary flew myself and Guillermo Del Toro out to PA to check out a couple! One was in Pittsburgh and the other in Philadelphia. They were the Scare House and the Easterns State Penitentiary. It was amazing, they were both fantastic. It was especially great to visit them with Del Toro. It was like some weird dream – being in a prison with Del Toro – did that really happen? It was the trip of a lifetime and great to be around people who “get” the holiday and enjoy it. The haunted houses were scary without being oppressive.

Los Angeles has so much this time of year – Disneyland, Six Flags, Knotts Berry Farm, Universal Studios – everyone has a haunted event and there are so many that is sometimes too stressful to hit them all. L.A. is becoming the Halloween capital. Multiple costume shops, every store brings their Halloween merchandise out. All the art house movie theaters are showing nothing but horror films. I have been to a lot of cities and there is just something in their air in L.A. during Halloween.

Q) Do you find yourself religiously-sticking to the rules of Halloween night? If not, which do you usually break?

I think the rules we created are there because those are the ones i stick to – even as kid, I never blew out my jack o lantern – it felt sacrilegious, The candle should go out on its own.

Q) What do you think of the horror film genre? Is it moving in the right direction?

Well, it changes all the time, it’s a constantly evolving genre. It’s a good time for horror because it’s everywhere – tv, film, etc. At the same time, its weird and sad that the only film released this month was a remake. We got Carrie everyone, that’s it. How do the studios not take advantage of the month and release a horror film that “kills it”? In some ways, we are in a golden era for horror. The Conjuring came along and made over a 100 million dollars when tent pole films were crashing all over the place. The Blumhouse films have micro-budgets and did the same thing. Clearly horror is big and it doesn’t cost a lot to produce. The only thing I wish we had was more variety. As much as we are getting, there is still a tendency to stick to the trends. Found footage, remakes, and haunted house movies are all over. We do get some variety but there are multitudes of the same trends. One vampire show isn’t good enough – we need four or five. How many shows or movies do we need where some doe eyed girl has to choose between a vampire and werewolf? The anthology format forces you to be original – you can’t recycle. you can’t write a horror anthology tv series and i think thats what we need more of – lets just slow down on the remakes, guys. I don’t have anything against them [remakes] in principle as there are some really good ones – but I think they [remakes] should be the exception, not the rule.

Peter Jackson put it best when he said that when he grew up, they were inspired by Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon and old sci-fi serials. That then led to Star Wars, for example. For his generation, it wasnt about remaking them, it was about being inspired by them and crafting what was influenced by them and was original. George Lucas didn’t make Buck Rogers, he made Star Wars. I think that’s what we need to focus on more – lets be honest it’s [remakes are] lazy.

Q) Is there anything you would like to plug or give a shot out to right now?

Not really, it’s all about the screening on the 28th at the Egyptian. If there you can’t see it there you can on Facebook because the whole event is being streamed live.

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We would like to thank both Michael Dougherty and Legendary for making this interview possible!

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Interview with Trick ‘r Treat Star Dylan Baker

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Legendary Entertainment has announced a special screening of Trick ‘r Treat at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles on October 28th. If you can’t make it to that screening, the whole thing – both movie and a short Q&A, will be live-streamed across Facebook on Legendary Entertainment’s profile page. In preparation for this event, we wanted to interview Dylan Baker, who played “Steven” in the now-seminal Halloween cult film.

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Q) How did you come to get involved with Trick ‘r Treat? Did you simply audition for it – did your agent bring it to you, etc?

I guess it all comes down to Michael Dougherty. My agent sent over the script and also sent some other info that Michael Dougherty had sent over – some drawing, etc to give me a visual concept on the film. When i read it, I really liked its great sense of play and liked how his characters weaved in and out through the story. I said yes, I would love to talk to Michael Dougherty. I got on the phone with him and from the second he started talking I could tell he was a Halloween nut – he loves holiday and the traditions behind it. I just knew it was going to be magical. I have had fun meeting up with Michael since then at Comic-Con and screenings. Michael really brought his infectious spirit and playfulness to the whole cast.

Q) What was the length of time you were on-set for shooting your scenes?

I was in Toronto for about a month before the new year and then came back after it for about a week or so – so about five weeks over two months.

Q) What do you think your character Steven’s motivations are for doing all the terrible things he does? It almost seems ritualistic for him – doing these things and also clearly being a Father to his son.

I think there’s a bit of doing it by ruse, he is sort of this maniacal killer and then has that funny moment when he realizes the kid is really heavy and has to fight his weight to get him into the house. Luckily my character offered something to Sam. Thankfully I gave him something or Steven could have been in real trouble.

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Q) How was it working with Michael Dougherty on set. How would you describe his directing style?

Michael is hilarious. One thing i can tell you is that his impish spirit continues on the set. He would set up elaborate tricks and practical jokes on the cast – actress Leslie Bibb especially. Every time she would head back to her trailer, Michael would have some gag poised to scare her It was always fun to see what he would try to pull on Leslie next. I also really enjoyed hanging out with Brian Cox and thought that there was a sense of fun written into the script and Michael’s directing style was an extension of that.

Q) At any point during your work on the film, did you know that it would have such a resonance with fans of the holiday and take on this cult film status it has?

I have to say that over the last five years or so when I do get recognized on the street, often it is because of trick r treat. Three fourths of the time it is because someone knows what happens to my character in the film and they always talk about it.

Q) How long after the film was finished did you get to actually see it in completed form?

I think the first time i saw it was a screening at the Lincoln Center in New York. It was a little after I had it was done and Michael just started showing it and bringing it to conventions and stuff. I remember seeing it with a group of people and we thought it was the funniest thing we ever seen. People were screaming and laughing and having so much fun. At Comic-Con, a lot of the people had seen it and some hadn’t but were voicing their desire to. You really got that sense that the horror film community was dying to see the film. Legendary is so smart to do this screening and hopefully, they make it a yearly thing.

Q) Did you get to keep any mementos from the film?

Actually, I was very excited to present my little Sam doll to my manager. She still keeps it in her office and this time of year the other people will open a drawer or cabinet and be surprised to see Sam lurking. They are constantly surprising each other with him. Sam has that power in her office.

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Q) If there is a sequel to the film, would you want them to find some way for them to bring your character back in some way? If so, would you like to see him as a normal human being or a ghost or zombie, maybe a werewolf, etc?

I think that the great thing about a sequel is that you can play on that sense of time travel and especially with the film is that you can loop it through the story. Maybe Steven passed his rituals on to his son or maybe we can see the origins of them and how he celebrated Halloween each year. Maybe we could see what his nightly rounds were during the film. It’s funny that with one of my first movies, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Every Thanksgiving, families watch that and see what they go through to get home and I hope to see that happen with Trick ‘r Treat during Halloween.

Q) Lastly, do you find yourself breaking any of the halloween night rules set out in the film and, if so, which ones?

After being a part of this film, do you really think i would do that (laughs)? I don’t mess with Halloween!

Q) What else are you working on?

Well, I have a sweet little Christmas movie coming out called Anchorman 2 with Will Ferrell and Steve Carell and Paul Rudd – all these sweet little elves delivering gifts to the children (laughs). I play the guy that gives Will Ferrell his next job and takes him on that journey – it was a total gas.

I directed a film called 23 Blast – it’s a family friendly sports themed original film. It’s about a boy named Travis Freeman who plays football, contracts a blindness-causing disease, and then continues playing football on his varsity team. It just premiered at the Heartland Film Festival and we had the real family it’s based on come out for the last couple days. The audience stood and and applauded when they saw them. The film celebrates Travis’ courage and is a very inspirational, warm hearted film. So far, we are talking to distributors right now – two or three offers are on the table.

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I wanted to say thank you to Dylan Baker and Legendary Entertainment for making this interview possible!

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Interview with Trick ‘r Treat Star Quinn Lord

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Legendary Entertainment has announced a special screening of Trick ‘r Treat at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles on October 28th. If you can’t make it to that screening, the whole thing – both movie and a short Q&A, will be live-streamed across Facebook on Legendary Entertainment’s profile page. In preparation for this event, we wanted to interview Quinn Lord, who played “Sam” and “Peeping Tommy” in the now-seminal Halloween cult film.

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Q) Could you tell us how you came to be involved with Trick R Treat?

I auditioned like anyone else but one thing that I think was different that might have been the reason that i got the part of “Sam” was that at the end of my audition. I thought I had the character completely down and so I asked Michael Dougherty if he wanted to see what I thought “Sam” would do if he saw a cat on the side of the road and he said sure. I then proceeded to walk over to the cat, gently pat it on the head, and said “nice kitty” in a creepy voice, and then yanked it up by the tail and then carried it away in the bag. I think it was because of that that when I [in the film] was at Dylan Baker’s house in the movie, that when I go back down the stairs you hear this noise in the bag that sounds like a muffled cat hitting the stairs.

Q) A lot of actors have played holiday icons like Santa Claus, etc. Few have actually helped give birth to a whole new one. How does that make you feel to know that you had a big part in bringing that character to life?

Its just like – it’s unbelievable actually. For me to actually be seen as that kind of figure or icon or whatever you want to call it – it’s really – I’m just speechless. I mean, I just enjoy that I actually got to do something that all these fans revere so much. That all of these people are so attached to this movie that they find this character is the absolute icon of Halloween and I’m like, just, wow! I did that when I was 7 – that’s over ha’f my lifetime ago. For it to have such a large cult following for this long and is truly amazing. It was so easy and fun to perform that I didn’t think it would turn into this big of a deal – I don’t think anyone expects something to become this much bigger than you originally thought of.

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Q) If they did a sequel, would you be able to play Sam again with being taller now? If not Sam, would you like to return as a grown up version of Peeping Tommy, the human child you played?

That would be an awesome homage and i would definitely – totally be a part of a sequel. Not sure I would be able to play Sam again because I am double the height I was (laughs). But that would be a good homage if I could play the older “Peeping Tommy”. I would totally do it.

Q) How was it wearing that costume while filming? How did you see out of it – was the material transparent or did you have eye holes on the hood?

Actually, before the film started shooting, they cast my entire head to get the shape and size, etc. Based off of that, they made a kind of bubble – hollow ball shape that they fit over my head and cut out a oval bean-shaped slit for my eyes to see out of. They asked what would happen if I had to do some running and then they cut another slit for my mouth so I could breathe. It actually became a second place for me to look out of! Also, i think that the head cast really played a part in making the prosthetic appliance with animatronics in the face. I thought it was so cool when I first saw it. I think remember actually getting to control little parts of the face after I first tried it on.

Q) So you were wearing the prosthetic as Sam without the hood – that wasn’t a second unit actor or puppet, etc?

I had a stunt double and two photo doubles. The only stunts that weren’t me was the part where “Sam” jumps on “Krieg” from the ceiling after crawling along it – also the subsequent smashing into the glass. Oh yeah, the other sequence that isn’t me is when “Sam” is biting the leg of “Krieg” – that “Sam” is not me (laughs).

Q) When did you realize the film had such a cult following?

I heard about the cult following maybe a year and a half after the movie came out. I was like, “cult following for what?” and they said “Trick ‘r Treat!” and I was just amazed that so many people “got” it. I actually saw a couple people get a Sam tattoo. I have an older brother in Alberta that was talking to me about how a couple friends wanted to watch the movie. He said I was in it and they were asking him what character I played. He told them and they said they had a tattoo of him!

Q) Did you keep any mementos from the film?

Not props or costumes, but I did get to keep the head cast of my face. It’s actually up in my room – I should put in on a stand or something.

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Q) Do you go to haunted houses,etc?

I would like to say I love haunted houses but I’m just not scared of anything basically because Trick ‘r Treat (laughs). You know, I got to see all the gore and how it was down. The first day on the set, Michael Dougherty waved me over and I saw the character of “Charlie” puking on the stairs. It might have been before that, but I just knew it was fake. But, haunted houses are kind of fun to go through to see what people do with all the effects stuff. We actually have “Fright Night” here in Vancouver that has multiple haunted houses and all these different things to do. I went to a haunted house recently and because they know I am not scared, they made me go around all the the corners first (laughs). I remember this one time they pushed me around the corner and then I saw this spider thing jump out at me and go down to where it was after shooing air my way. When I looked closer, the actor behind the spider had a leaf blower in one hand nd a chainsaw in the other. I was just shocked – it was clever!

Q) Do you personally break any of the Halloween night rules?

I’m not sure because what usually ends up happening is I g out and carve pumpkins and do the fun stuff and light them and put them on the porch. Then I go out and do something fun outside of the house. For a couple Halloweens in a row, it was raining here in Vancouver. It just had to rain on that day… Honestly, It’s actually still quite fun (laughs)!

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I wanted to say thank you to Quinn Lord and Legendary Entertainment for making this interview possible!

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Haunted Hollywood Sports 2013 Interview

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Haunted Hollywood Sports has always been an interesting haunted event for me personally. Its uniqueness among “haunts” in Southern California cannot be denied – as it combines the worlds of airsoft and haunted houses together. This year, the event has returned for ten nights throughout October and we got the chance to ask Candice Catron, director and designer of the event, some questions about its 3rd year.

Q) How did you get into designing haunted attractions? Do you have a background in the haunt industry?

A) Getting to actually be a part of the production/fabrication of a Haunt from start to finish has always been a dream for me. I was lucky enough to be thrown into it out of the blue. I have been a part of the Haunt industry for a while. This marks my 8th Halloween season. I started off as a talent for one season then continued with special FX/character makeup.

Q) What were some of the challenges that Haunted Hollywood Sports faced this year?

A) Every event always has some sort of hold ups but we do our best to alleviate the situation as soon as possible so we are able to move forward. Our biggest challenge has been correcting the mistakes we made in the past along with applying the parts that did work at the same time and ensuring everything flows together.

Q) With Haunted Hollywood Sports being such a young haunted attraction, what kind of things are you guys doing to separate yourselves from the rest of the pack?

A) Our Kill Houses definitely separate us from the rest of the haunted attractions out there. We have such great talent backing us up inside those kill houses to really make the experience something unlike you have ever been through. It’s so interactive that you feel like you’re really at risk!

Q) When looking at designing these interactive experiences, such as the “killhouses”, how is the process different when compared to designing a more traditional walk-through haunted house?

A) Constructing a scenario for the guests to interact with and play a role is key. Also, all the fabrication of wardrobe is SO important. Each “kill suit” is made so the talent is safe and protected the entire time so they can have a good time and the guests still have the feeling they are shooting a Zombie.

Q) What kind of airsoft gear and guns will attendees who pay for the “killhouses” use for the experience?

A) G36 Assault Airsoft Rifles and Safety Goggles for the Voodoo Kill House. The Zombie Kill House will have guests using an M4-based, Assault Infra-red Rifle, M4-based Omega Assault Paintball Rifles, and Safety Goggles.

Q) How many monsters does the park employ for the course of the run?

A) For 2013 we have 150 Monsters taking part in scaring the pants off of our guests :)

Q) Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about Haunted Hollywood Sports?

A) This year we learned from the past, improved our event and we are ready to welcome everyone into the park to come get scared and have a great time.

We would like to thank Candice for making this interview possible. Also, for ticket information and more, checkout Haunted Hollywood Sports official website.

Interview with Jim Walls and Robert Lindsley on Precinct

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Recently, we got the chance to ask Jim Walls and Robert Lindsley, the two men behind the upcoming police adventure title “PRECINCT”, some questions about its gameplay, mission structure, and more. We would like to thank Jim Walls, Robert Lindsley, and Jon Ramsey from FTW! PR for making this Q&A possible.

Q) How does it feel to be at the helm of a video game’s design again?

A) – Jim: It feels fantastic, especially after reading some of the feedback from the fans. They seem to be just as excited as we are. It’s also great to be working with folks such as Robert Lindsley and Jason Crawford.

Q) Will precinct feature an open-world style patrol mode?

A) – Jim: Precinct will be police work. Your open world will be the beat you are assigned to. You will start as a rookie officer on foot patrol, and work your way into traffic, where your beat will expand accordingly. The game won’t be a full open-world style game, but there will definitely be times where it feels very open.

Q) Will traffic stops be dynamic, random events or are all the game’s events/encounters scripted?

A) – Jim: A little of both. We will be building a “crimes database” where random events are generated to make the Precinct world seem more alive. There will also be scripted events that are tied to the main thread of the story.

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Q) Will using deadly force be handled by RPG-like, push-button controls or with more traditional “shooter” control methods?

A) – Jim: We are in the concept level of the interface control. That said, I don’t think the game will ever feel like a ‘shooter’. We want to keep the game as realistic as possible and retain the spirit of the old Police Quest games.

Q) Have you guys looked to any past, real-life events for plot points in the game’s story like the Norco Bank Robbery, North Hollywood Shootout, or Rodney King incident, etc?

A) – Robert: The missions have been designed loosely based on past police cases, but so far we’re not basing any missions specifically on real-life events.

Q) In terms of equipment and gear, are you guys licensing any real-world firearms, tools, or equipment brands for use in the game?

A) – Robert: We don’t currently plan on using licensed weapons or equipment in the game.

Q) Will Precinct feature any high speed pursuit sequences?

A) – Jim: This is one of the areas that thrills me the most about making Precinct. We will do our best to put the player into pursuit sequences that are as real as we can possibly make them. This is the purpose of Precinct. To give the player a true to life police experience.

Q) What are the plans for Precinct with regards to multiplayer modes?

A) – Jim: None at the moment. However, Precinct is a planned five game series, so if there are interesting ways we can integrate it, you could see multiplayer in a later game.

Q) How accurate will Precinct be with regards to penal codes, health & safety codes, etc?

A) – Jim: Very. When we were making the original Police Quest our goal was to be as accurate as possible and we are carrying that idea into Precinct.

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Q) What is your greatest challenge in creating Precinct’s gameplay experience?

A) – Jim: The realism. And I think the first person perspective will go a long way towards helping us do just that.

Q) Will players need to do any report writing or court appearances?

A) – Jim: Yes, Precinct is a police oriented adventure game. It will have many aspects of police work including court appearances.

Q) Will player’s be able to call for backup and/or a supervisor car?

A) – Jim: Calling for backup, paddy wagon, supervisor’s car, traffic unit, tow truck etc. will all be part of the game.

Q) Just what IS the difference between an oral and rectal thermometer? Sorry – that Police Quest 1 joke always cracked me up. 😉

A) – Jim: The taste?

Q) Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about Precinct?

A) – Jim: Police Quest was born when I first met Ken Williams, back in the mid 1980’s. If we could bring that time forward to the present, Police Quest would look very much like what Precinct is today.

Interview with Derek Mears

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Derek Mears (right) puts the strangle on at the 2012 Eyegore Awards

We recently got the chance to interview the very talented Derek Mears. Who is Derek Mears? You may know him as the actor behind the hockey mask in 2009’s Friday the 13th reboot. Or, perhaps, as the actor inside the “classic Predator” costume in Robert Rodriguez’s Predators. Maybe you were out in L.A. and saw him performing improv comedy at ComedySportz LA? The point is, you have seen this man somewhere and that film or event was better for having him in it. Derek has worked on over 80 films or specials as an actor, stuntman, or crew person. At 6′ 5”, this large, well-built man might intimidate the un-introduced – but, don’t let that fool you. Underneath his intimidating frame is an extremely talented individual and great guy, with an incredible outlook on life. Recently, Derek has provided voice work for the HALO 4 Spartan Ops web series and has a big role in the upcoming Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.

GS: [After some technical problems] Yay! It works, we are now recording.

Derek Mears: Take that, technology – boom!

GS: So, Derek, we had some questions posed to us for you from some of our readers (and ourselves) and we thought we would shoot ’em your way.

Derek Mears: Cool, I have no problems embarrassing myself, so let’s do this!

[Laughing]
GS: You are now involved with the venerable HALO franchise. How did that happen – what was it like?

Derek Mears: Well my entire career I have felt like a fan representing the fans out there. I’m such a, in a loving way, nerd/fanboy. I love comic books, sci-fi, machinima – yup, that’s me! [laughs] With the HALO game, I guess my name was being tossed around somewhere and I was asked, “Hey, if you could work on the new downloadable content for HALO 4, would you want to be involved?” and I just said, “Yeah, are you kidding me?!?” I tried to hide the twelve year-old cheerleader in me that wanted to lose my mind and they said, “Great, we’ll talk to the game managers and work this stuff out”. It was super-flattering and super-fantastic to be apart of. I play a giant, human-hating elite named “Gek”.

GS: You have been able to play, I am looking over your IMDB here, you have been in a ton of stuff – as an actor, stuntman, etc. Of all the things you have done – of all the characters you’ve been able to play, which has been your favorite?

Derek Mears: You know, it’s tough. I’m a horror-nerd and I know its cliché but Jason Vorhees is my favorite horror character and he gave me so many nightmares growing up as a child – being able to play him is unbelievable. It came out in 2009 and even today I get tingles thinking to myself, “I got to play Jason! How fricken’ cool was that?” That was an absolute blast. The runner-up to that character would be with Steven C. Miller who just did Silent Night the remake. We did a movie called The Aggression Scale and I played a character called “Chissolm”, which is a horrible, horrible-sounding name [laughs], but that was a lot of fun – the movie is kind of like Home Alone on crack, I’d say [laughs]. Don’t get me wrong, any role that I get I am just thrilled and feel very fortunate to play.

 

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Derek Mears (right) as the Classic Predator in Predators

GS: So we touched on video games a little before, but I wanted to ask if you had any favorite games that you’re playing right now?

Derek Mears: Yeah, well it’s so crazy right now with everything going on – I recently got to touch on HALO again and re-visit Skyrim a little bit. I have been finding myself doing this crazy “new thing” called reading books [laughs], which is weird. Um, I do love the Resident Evil game series. When I play them I like to turn off all the lights, turn my surround sound up and get completely immersed in the game. I find myself doing things like trying to look around the screen with my own face instead of the character’s face – like I am actually going to be able to see around the corner that way [laughs]. I love the horror/survival games.

GS: Have you gotten a chance to checkout any of the Dead Space games?

Derek Mears: No I haven’t yet, how are they?

GS: Pretty darn good – they have a survival-horror aspect to them but mix in a bit more of the shooting stuff so the pace is a bit faster than most survival-horror games out there. It’s kind of like The Thing meets Aliens [laughs].

Derek Mears: [laughs] Aw, dude, those are two of like my favorite movies right there! Based on that alone, I am sold.

GS: Some people might not know this, but you are pretty involved with improv comedy and the ComedySportz LA troupe. How did you get into that world?

Derek Mears: Well, I grew up in Bakersfield, California and I have a disorder called alopecia which basically means I don’t grow hair, though I do a little bit now. People are always like “Oh wow, you were the jock in school ’cause you’re muscular”, and I am like “Oh no, I was the nerdy kid reading comic books”. I got into acting because of Dungeons and Dragons. My Mom bought it for me and I was like, wow, I wish could actually make a career out of playing with my friends – acting was the closest thing. When I was in high school, I went and saw an improv comedy show called “ComedSportz” and it was similar to “Who’s Line is it, Anyway?” and I fell in love with it. There is no script, it’s just an amazing creative process happening in the moment and evolving. It’s like having a giant party on stage and asking the audience to join you. Afterwards, they offered classes on who to play the on-stage games and I thought it would be fun to do and, at 17, I took a class. My only intention was to have fun and play and the owner came up to me and was like “Hey, we think you’re funny. Would you like to join the main company?” and I was just like “But I’m only 17 and you guys are much older…” and he just said, “We know!” So, I joined the team. Eventually, I moved to Los Angeles to do acting and comedy and ComedySportz LA was like, “You don’t need to audition, you’re part of the main company here” [laughs]. So, in my film jobs I am mainly known for punching you in the face and throwing you through a window – doing fight scenes, but my background is all improv so in my free time I like to go goof around and have a great time.

 

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Who is Jared Padalecki and Amanda Righetti afraid of? Derek Mears, that’s who!

GS: That’s an awesome story. Is that something you would like to do more of on-screen?

Derek Mears: Yeah, it’s funny because all my buddies are comedy guys and seeing them in film and TV is awesome. I would love to do more.

GS: So is there one type of work you like doing more than the other: Acting, comedy, stuntwork, etc?

Derek Mears: You know, it’s hard to say because for me it’s like playing with all my friends. I like to play and create and so I feel like my job in life is to tell stories. My life philosophy is that nobody is better than anyone else – we all have our different skills and areas. I used to teach martial arts and I remember I had a student come in at one point and he had his head all lowered and bowed his head toward me. He said he saw me in a film and it was really cool and all that and I was like why are you bowing? He said “Well, its cool but I don’t do what you do.” and I just said “Dude, everyone has their skills – nobody is better than anybody else”. I asked him what he did and he said he was “just a mechanic”. I said “we all work together as a society. I have no idea how to work on a car. If my car breaks down, I go to you – you help me. You need a story told in your life, some entertainment, that’s my job, that’s what I do. No one is better”. What he did was very important and he said he basically never thought of it that way. That’s just kind of my philosophy in general about things.

GS: You spoke about martial arts – you’re a big guy, you obviously keep in shape. How much does fitness play a role in your daily life?

Derek Mears: It’s kind of part of the job now where it’s like me clocking into the office is me clocking into the gym or training in martial arts. I get my work from being the big bad guy so I don’t know how many times a week I work out – it varies as I kind of listen to my body. But I definitely have to maintain a certain level of fitness, not for vanity but for a certain level of marketability.

GS: So have you found a particular workout program or set that you really like – free weights, CrossFit, etc?

Derek Mears: No it just depends on what role I have coming up if I need to gain weight or lose weight or have, you know, functional strength. I definitely vary it up – I bounce between things like CrossFit, martial arts. Anything I can do for muscle confusion.

GS: You have a very distinguished filmography and worked with some very interesting people. Is there a particular person you would like to team up with again?

Derek Mears: I have been so fortunate, man, to work with some really great human beings out there. If I am a fan of a particular actor and I don’t know them before the shoot, I sometimes find myself hanging back and not engage as much with them because the fear is – it’s happened before where you meet somebody and they turn out not be a good person and then any film I see them in afterwards I am like sad because I can’t get into their character because I know that they are not a good person. There are so many people who really deserve their careers – Will Smith is a fantastic human being. Jared Padalecki who I worked with on Friday the 13th is phenomenal – like just a down to Earth, good guy. I could literally make a list of a ton of people that are rock stars and I am so happy for them because they deserve all the accolades they receive.

 

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Derek performing at ComedySportz LA

GS: So when you were growing up and first coming into the business, who were your idols? Were they stuntmen, comics, maybe?

Derek Mears: That’s a big question – I don’t know, that’s a good one… A lot of them are not so much, like, well-known people. I liked a lot of people for different aspects like in my relationships there are certain things that I admire about people that I really dig. Rob Schrab and Dan Harmon, for instance, are friends of mine. Dan created Community and Rob created Monster House and we’ve been friends since… Well, I have known them since I did ComedySportz in 1990 – since I was 17. Seeing them as creative individuals, constantly in different mediums, being open, and constantly creating – it’s so inspiring to me. I remember they kept getting close to these really big projects and commercial success which would end up falling through. I just kept telling them to keep going – that they are both so far beyond talented. I am so stoked to see the industry finally saying that they are really great and to see them blow up and get that love and respect they deserve. They just have that perseverance like a true artist. You know, whether I get paid or not I am going to be doing the exact same thing but from home because that’s what I am here to do. I really respect and admire them for that.

GS: Is there anyone you would like to work with in the future that you have not yet?

Derek Mears: Oh yeah, for sure. It’s weird because when it comes to actors, as a fan, I like actors that have a bit of madness about them [laughs]. Like you look behind their eyes and say “there’s something going on – there is some history there”. Like, I would love to work with Tom Hardy some day. He’s got that kind of “Hmm, what’s going on behind your brain” quality [laughs]. It’s hard to shoot from the hip on this answer – later on I am going to be looking through the article, I’ll read it and be like “Oh no, wait up, what I meant to say was –“.

[laughing]
GS: So is there anything you have coming up that you wanted to talk about specifically?

Derek Mears: Yeah, I am so lucky, man. I have a lot of stuff coming out in the first quarter of this year. I have a small spot in Gangster Squad – have a fun little scene with Josh Brolin that’s cool. The big thing for me right now is I have a big character in the upcoming Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters. I really hope people like it because after reading the script I was like “Oh my god, I am the demographic for this movie”. It’s the writer and director from the Norwegian zombie movie called Dead Snow. This is their first big production, possible tent pole movie. How I tried to explain it to people was like what Evil Dead is to horror, Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters is to action-fantasy with a huge horror element and cool feel to it. So, you’ll see characters get their faces blown off – it’s at the point where the violence is so over the top where it becomes slapsticky and funny. When they first pitched it to me, being a fanboy, I was just thinking that this was another fairy tale movie. After reading the script, I was just thinking about how much comedy was in it was so off-the-wall, cursing comedy. It is so wacky and yet taken so serious. I really hope people dig that (Editor’s Note: I really think the studio should have re-thought their marketing campaign for this film. Derek’s description makes me want to see it ASAP, unlike the trailer they released for it). So I also have Hatchet 3 coming out in, I think, the beginning of Summer and that was fun. I just did a movie called Compound Fracture with Tyler Mane who played Michael Myers in Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake.

GS: So what advice would you give young people out there looking to break into the industry these days?

Derek Mears: Well, as actors we are always taught to be creative – that’s really our job. The weird thing about this business – to make a career out of it, is that we are often not taught that business side of it. The business is changing so fast now because of all the new media and its accessibility. That’s really where I see the future of all this. I always tell people that so many of us just sit around and wait for that big call. I just think that if you are creative, stop wasting your talent waiting and start creating now with whatever means you have. Get a video camera, get an iPhone, shoot yourself doing whatever you do and post it online. It’s also great in a marketing sense because if, say, you are a can of great soda and you are not on the store shelves, no one knows you exist. If you have that can of soda and its a good product, put it on that shelf – the Internet in this case, so people can shop and see it. The talent, I think, always rises to the top… It also helps you get better and better at the skills you have producing this content that eventually you might have a job in the industry because of all that time you spent just creating.

 

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Derek Mears in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

GS: The last question we have for you today is, are there any plans for a sequel to your Friday the 13th?

Derek Mears: Aw, man, I wish. I really wish. I spoke to Brad Fuller a couple months back and we had lunch. He was saying how Friday the 13th was his favorite project to have worked on. It’s all in the studio’s hands at this point…If they green-lit it, we would drop whatever it is that we are doing and we would make part two. We have a script and we are ready to rock but it’s all just the studios deciding what they want to do. He had mentioned that they wanted me to come back as Jason if they did it. I was just telling him that, as a fan – even if I didn’t come back, I am a fan and I would want to see more from the series as we all love the iconic character, Jason.

GS: Well I hope they would have you return, your portrayal of Jason was amazing. The way you approached the character and managed to get emotion through a hockey mask – even before it was the hockey mask in the movie, was pretty darn incredible. It was a totally different take on the character that was before but still paying homage to the original character that was before.

Derek Mears: That means the world to me, man, thank you so much for that compliment. When we were shooting it, we were trying do just that. You have to be respectful to what happened in the past with such a loyal fan following but you also have to take a risk and try to do something new for the new generation of fans who might not know about the character’s past and put them together. It was a challenge to do it but I am so happy that people enjoyed it.

We would like to give a special thanks to the awesome Derek Mears and the good folks at Persona-PR for making this interview possible.