Saturday, April 22, 2017


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Today, I post a little talk i had with director Marc Leland. He allowed me besides have a enjoyable talk, make him a few questions about his life, his career and his upcoming film SHE WOLF RISING his first feature film. With a prolific career as a choreographer, Marc Leland represents the word "Artist" in its whole rising expression.

EFF:  Hi Marc, I'm really glad you've had gave me minutes from your occupied time to attend this interview. When did born the passion to makes films? That moment you felt that films would be your Life?

ML: The timeline of my creative life is well documented in my Amazon eBook (also in paperback) titled From Page to Scream, the book is about the making of She Wolf Rising. To answer your question, it was in 1990 after I just completed my first short, “Threshold”, a 15 minute excerpt from my screenplay Martina that we planned to use as a marketing tool to show financial backers, this was years before crowd funding was popular. Making “Threshold” was my film school; we shot on 16mm film and had many experienced union pros on board. It was much more expensive then I had imagined but I justified the expense as my tuition to learn how to make a movie. The feature was never produced but I have no regrets, I paid my dues with that project and as a bonus, I was introduced to Ben Wolf, a talented cinematographer and now a close friend who has worked with me on every creative film/video project since “Threshold.”

EFF: Apart from to be director you are also a choreographer, right?

ML:  Yes. I started dancing in my mid-teens and was working professionally as a dancer by age 20. I love dancing and every film project I’ve done has had an element of dance. My western comedy film, “Gone with the Wieners” has numerous dance sequences and an extravagant dancing finale all choreographed by international choreographer, Richard Pierlon. I’ve been away from performing for a while but last year I ended up singing and dancing and choreographing in five productions. To quote a line from Al Pacino from Godfather III, “I keep trying to get out but they keep dragging me back in!! -  LOL!

EFF: Ok, let's talk about your horror film "She Wolf Rising", this is you first and so far you unique feature film, how the idea it came to you? Why you decided realize the film?

ML: The first time Ben Affleck and Matt Damon launched Project Greenlight on HBO a friend of mine was pushing me to submit my 3rd screenplay, Boardwalk. At the time I was frightened to send this one off into cyberspace, it was my masterpiece. I had this crazy idea for a sexy horror story and I told my friend I would write it. Three weeks later I had the first draft of Horrortica completed, so with only one proof read it was uploaded to HBO for submission to Project Greenlight .It got pretty favorably reviewed but ultimately it was not selected. The reviews were so positive though that I decided at some point this movie would get made. As you know, the movie was made and the title was changed to She Wolf Rising.

EFF: After you got the idea, how was the process of pitching out the idea to producers or anybody who wanted to invest on it?

ML:  I wasn’t actively looking to produce the movie but circumstances fell into my lap and the result was that the movie was made. A would be investor approached me, in the end he was full of  hot air and wasn’t able to come up with a dollar, the only reason the movie got made and completed was because of me and a very close friend that funded the project. I detail the multiple layers of deception and bullshit in my eBook if you want all the facts.

EFF: How long it took the entire creation process of the film; pre-production, shooting and post production?

ML: Pre-production about 6 weeks, we had 16 shooting days 11 with Tiffany Shepis our lead - post production was a nightmare, we waited months for a score and a mix that in the end I had to redo.

EFF: Does this film fall into grindhouse subgenre? If it's not, what would it fall into?

ML: No, it’s not a grindhouse movie. It’s a light, campy and sexy horror movie that’s a lot of fun to watch. The trailer is pretty bloody and filled with gore but that was not my choice, my original distributor wanted it that way. I wanted to highlight some of the humor. Please understand, this is not a comedy or a Troma-type all out campy film.She Wolf Rising is a movie within a movie with light and sexy moments. The actors give outstanding performances; Tiffany Shepis won a best actress award for this film at the Orlando Freak Show, I still say that actor, J Edmund Fond was overlooked, his performance is off the charts and Brandon Ellis, one of the feature actors, hasn’t stopped working since this production.  I’ve attended a few public screenings and a comment that I often heard from the audience is, “It’s not what I expected but I liked it.” It’s not your typical horror film but it does have a lot of entertainment value.

She Wolf Rising

EFF: Every project whether high budget or low budget faces issues to get success, what issues you faced in shooting this project?

ML: Timing! I say that because the first version of SWR was completed right at the demise of the DVD market, Blockbuster, Hollywood Video and all the chains had closed for good. We had a distribution deal with an “old school” distributor who hadn’t embraced or better yet, accepted the new platforms to release a film. Had SWR been completed 1 year earlier, deals would have been signed and checks would have been exchanged; unfortunately SWR sat on a shelf for 4 years. Eventually I obtained the North American rights and made a deal with IndieRights to release the film digitally and on DVD. Prior to its release in January 2016, I added a few new scenes and rescored a major portion of the film. The version that is out there now is truly the Director’s Cut.

 Marc Leland

EFF: Searching information I found that the budget was around 400 thousand dollars? What was the most expensive in the project?

ML: TIME was the most expensive thing! The 400K number is a marketing number, the real budget was half that amount. I truly got wonderful deals from everyone involved with the project. However, we were hustled by a few bad seeds, I talk about this more in my book but the one I’ll mention here is the Public Relations/Press Agent.  A complete waste of $30,000 she did NOTHING!!!! In case you missed that, she did NOTHING!!!!

EFF:  Did you ever use or thought in use a crowdfunding page and what do you think about this web pages, do they really work?

ML:  I know they work because friends and associates of mine have used them with great success. I did not go that route, I use my own resources and then a friend came on board to help make this happen.

EFF: How was the casting process? How did you get involved the actors in your film?

ML: I used the internet and referrals from other filmmakers and then we held auditions. The only two people that didn’t audition were Tiffany Shepis and Debbie Rochon. I watched a number of their movies and knew they were talented enough to handle this project.

EFF: How did it went the film through festivals and audience response?

ML: She Wolf Rising was in 5 festivals. It was always received well and we secured our first distribution deal from one of the festival.

EFF: What did you learn making this film?

ML: Build your audience as soon as possible. Be careful who your hire and know where and how to spend the money. Spend it on name talent and great effects.

EFF: What subgenre horror do you like most and why?

ML: I like horror that’s implied with minimal effects, of course that only works if you have an incredible script and amazing actors. The Conjuring is the best example of what I truly like. I just watched it for the 3rdtime and it still made me jump. I also like syfy horror too.  

EFF: If any producer gives you the chance to makes a horror remake, what could it be and why?

ML: I’d remake my movie, She Wolf Rising. I have a few script changes that would make the plot a lot clearer to my audience.

Marc Leland

EFF: What equipments, cameras, lenses and softwares did you use for this film?

ML: We used the Sony EX-1 and the Canon 7D. The movie was edited using Final Cut Studio 7 and After Effects.
EFF: What directors has influenced on your career? Directly and academically.

ML: Frank Capra, Quentin Tarantino,  Steven Spielberg, James Wan and Ang Lee

EFF: What advice would you give for those want-to-be filmmaker who are undecided in how to make their first film?

ML: The answer to that question is found in my book, From Page to Scream available on Amazon. Here’s a quick answer-  have a great story, make a short movie first then graduate to a feature. Have fun, surround yourself with supportive and honest people and have the budget money in the bank before you start. I’ll say that once again, in the bank before you start.

EFF: what is new on your career? What are you doing?

ML: I’ve been making shorts, I recently shot a short for Halloween called The Plumber’s Assistant. I’m just finishing up on my first web series too, The Other c Word, it’s all about community theater. I have a blog that I began almost a year ago that I keep updating,

**MARC LELAND'S Twitter | Imdb Facebook | WebPage Instagram 

**SHE WOLF RISING'S Twitter | Imdb Facebook Amazon | iTunes BestBuy


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