Hello Carlos and welcome to UK Horror Scene. Before we begin thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us.
UKHS – You started out in music, during the 1970s you worked at the famous Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, well done! What can you tell us about this remarkable achievement and do you still play the Banjo and Guitar?
CD – Well, in the early 1970s I was playing Banjo in a Bluegrass band called “THE DIXIE TRAVELERS” and during the summer we worked at a Ski Resort in the tourist town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Tourist would ride the chair lift to the top of the mountain and they had a little stage there where we would do a 30 minute set (of songs) every hour. One afternoon Archie Campbell (Grand Ole Opry and Hee-Haw Fame) and his son rode up and it just so happened that the son Phillip was learning to play the Banjo. He and I became good friends and he invited me up to Nashville when school started back in the fall. So I did, Phillip took me back stage at the Grand Ole Opry. There I was introduced to the late Bill Monroe. Bill called me a week later and said his son James Monroe had a band, needed a banjo player and would I like to audition. (I think it was a question he already knew the answer to.) Anyway, I auditioned, got the job in-part because I already knew every song they did. I ended up playing in both Bill’s and James’s band for the next 3 years at the Grand Ole Opry and on the road. And yes I still play and write songs.
CD -There were 2 influential people in my life: One was my Grandfather. When I was a 7 or 8 year old boy, I used to love to spend the night with him because every Saturday night was SHOCK THEATER at 11:00. He always made it special for me with popcorn, cokes and ice cream. It was one of my fondest childhood memories. He was a wonderful man and I miss him a lot. He used to always tell me. “Forget what them damned preachers say son: Just do the thing in your heart that you know is the right thing to do and you will be fine.” The other man was Herman Jordan. He was an old bachelor that lived alone down the hill from us. I used to love visiting him because he had an enormous Pulp-Fiction Magazine collection. He also had a prized collection of old original horror books. Herman liked me because (Unlike some of the other kids) I always brought the book back after reading it and he always wanted to know what was my favorite part of the book. I liked that, he (of course) knew all the books by heart. I guess I was about 10 when I started trying to write and Herman (Poor man) had to listen to my stories. He was the one that taught me to be a “DREAM CATCHER” that is, keep a notebook on the nightstand and write down my dreams in the night so I can remember them next morning. So picture this, here is this 10 year old kid in study hall at school writing his dreams from the night before into stories. I have been doing that for 50 years now. And yes, I THOUGHT YOU WERE A NICE MAN came from a dream I had about 3 years ago.
UKHS – Can you please tell us about your company Vampires2 Films and is your novel ‘I Thought You Were A Nice Man’ your first feature film production?
CD – Vampires2 FILMS started out as Vampires2 Publishing Co. Back in the late 1970s a good writer could still make a living writing 3500 word short stories. Back then all a good writer had to do was type up a good story, tuff it into a brown envelope and mail it to a pulp-fiction magazine. Odds were, a few months later you got a check in the mail for $35.00 (1 cent per word.) That was pretty good money for a teenager back in the 1970s. So, I set a goal of 1 story per week. In the beginning most of the stories were returned to me, but gradually less and less of then did until I was selling everything I could write. Then in the mid-1980s all of that started dying out as people started buying paperback books and all of those Pulp-Fiction short story magazine markets died out. Vampires2 Publishing was a last ditched effort on my part to keep that style of Pulp-Fiction art and stories going. Once in a while you still see a copy of Vampires2 Magazine on eBay. The last one I saw sold for $25.00. Anyway, Vampires2 FILMS is the new effort and a chance for not only my stories but other great stories to be told in Film Format. The idea is to use a Crowdfunding Platforms and a Team Approach where everybody contributes his (or her) expertise and together we produce movies that are above and beyond everyone else’s.
UKHS – Charles W. Bailey will be directing ‘I Thought You Were A Nice Man’ and I believe your niece Monica Landin from Mexico will be acting in the film. Will the film be shot in Mexico and have you cast the main actors yet?
CD – Every time I think about the fact that the: Charles W. Bailey is going to direct: “I THOUGHT YOU WERE A NICE MAN” well it just blows me away! Did you know he worked for and was mentored by the late Hollywood FILM Mongrel: Dino de Laurentiis? That in and of itself is how I know this film is going to be really special. Charles already has a Global Marketing plan in place for the movie. Yes, My niece Monica Landin as well as Tempast Wulf have signed contracts and been cast for the Major Female roles. We are still looking for the Major Male Characters but expect to be making major announcements shortly about that. This film will most be likely shot on location in the USA (location TBD, but Atlanta, GA is a possibility.) The sequel is more EPIC in nature and is called:
“AN ENGLISH VAMPIRE IN MEXICO.”
It will be shot in the UK and in Mexico. So far, Monica Landin of Mexico and Tempast Wulf from Hollywood are the only Cast Actors who have signed contracts. And of course the Legendary Hollywood SFX and Makeup artist Michele Mulkey is head of our effects department (It does not get any better than her).
UKHS – Mexico is actually my favorite holiday destination, I love the people, the culture and the Tequila. What do you love most about this beautiful country and how does it compared to the USA?
CD – That means you definitely have to come to Colima and visit with us next time you are there. My wife actually has a Non-Profit Foundation there that helps low income Children go to College. We currently support 8 girls. It is called: STRONGER WINGS –
www.strongerwings.org I am actually a USA citizen and a permanent resident of Mexico. My wife has dual citizenship (USA and Mexico.) We own a house near the Pacific Ocean in the city Colima, Mexico. It is 85°F year round. There is an active Volcano about 30 miles from our house that we can sip tea and coffee from our Balcony and watch the volcano smoke. Every day is a party in Mexico, lots of amazing food and good times. The people are always happy and the life is all about friends and family. When I am there, stories and screen plays seem to pour out of me like water and I do lots of “DREAM-CATCHING.” Last trip there we were invited to the “DAY OF THE DEAD” party at the Main Colima cemetery. Picture this everyone in town was there (10,000 or more people) music, food, Beer and Tequila and dancing it was amazing! So, yes I love everything about Mexico! How does it compare? I am ashamed to say this but the USA is a boring place by comparison.
CD – Forgive me for saying this, but I do not have a favorite Horror Movie. That is why I am making: “I THOUGHT YOU WERE A NICE MAN.” It will (in my humble opinion) be the first really believable Horror story ever made. My favorite horror book is a lot easier. Thumbs down that would be “DOLAN’S CADILLAC” by Stephen King.
UKHS -Finally when will shooting begin on ‘I Thought You Were A Nice Man’ and do you have any other projects lined-up for 2014 which you can tell us about?
CD – We plan to shoot: “I THOUGHT YOU WERE A NICE MAN.” in February for release in September. And we have already started preliminary work on the sequel: “AN ENGLISH VAMPIRE IN MEXICO.” Which as I have already mentioned will be shot in the UK and in Mexico. Further down the road will be a Pulp-Fiction Vietnam Thriller called: “THE TREE TOP FLYER”, a Sci-Fi Vampire Western called “FRONTIER-LAND” and a Futuristic Sci-Fi film called: “ANDROIDS.” I am a storyteller, so my plan is to retire in the next 48 months, move to Mexico permanent and write screen-plays and produce movies. Who knows perhaps you and I can work together on a project soon. I would like that.
The INDIEGOGO Campaign as of today has 16 days left and we are about 15% funded. The purpose is to fund the Pre-Production costs of the film. There will probably be two more, one for Production and a last one for Post Production. Links:
UKHS- Good luck with the Indiegogo campaign and the movie. I would love to work on a project with you and it’s great news that the sequel will be shot in the UK and you are doing a Sci-Fi Vampire Western. Wow! Amazing stuff. I would love to work on those projects. thanks.
CD – Thanks for this interview. It is much appreciated
UKHS- You are welcome. It was a joy chatting to you and we look forward to hearing more about ‘I Thought You Were A Nice Man’ and your other projects. Thanks!
Image courtesy:Carlos Dunn