Monday, July 17, 2017


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This month (July) is has been released a film that is rising up a little bit more everyday, that film is "BLOOD HUNTERS" by Tricia Lee, she is a canadian filmmaker, wait, no, she is a extremely talented canadian filmmaker, yes, that way is much better say it. "BLOOD HUNTERS" is her third feature film after "SILENT RETREAT" and "CLEAN BREAK" in 2013. Each of her films has been written by Corey Brown creating a stronger workin relationship in every film. Lee is an awarded director with her three films with huge road in front of her life and I've been so lucky she allowed me interview her, so I hope yo like this interview. 

"BLOOD HUNTERS" tells the story of a single mother who wakes up in the basement of a medical facility only to discover that everyone around her is dead and she is somehow nine months pregnant. As she struggles to escape, she encounters other survivors, each with their own secret. Together they must unlock the mysteries of the facility which will take them to the brink of death and beyond...
Blood Hunters (2017)  | iTunes Vudu Amazon |

EFF: When and how you began your love to make movies?

TL: It all started when my parents took me to Universal Studios when I was 11 years old and I saw how movies were made. I realized that I wanted to be a storyteller and the medium I wanted to reach people through was movies.  

EFF: Seeing the record of films you have made so far, including short and feature films, I could watch your first works, short films were in genres like romance, comedy and drama but no terror, when did you decide change the genre of your movies ?, Specifically to terror?

TL: Yes, I made family shorts, coming of age and satirical comedy!  Very different from horror.  My first feature was where I started toward this genre.  It was a thriller film called Clean Break.  The genre fit the story we wanted to tell and that was the first step into the terror / horror genre.  Then I made my second feature Silent Retreat, which was a creature feature and full on horror.  And ever since, I've never turned back!

EFF: You have made a lot of works with Corey Brown he like writer, I have reading that you two studied at the same film school, is that right? And how was that connection, because in your three films he has been the writer?

TL: We are great friends and having worked together on many creative projects, we have created a really great working relationship.  I am very lucky to have a collaborator that has the same sensibilities as me, but also compliments my strengths and weaknesses.  It's great to have someone to bounce ideas off of.  When we disagree, we work together to come up with the best solution for the story and not for our egos.
Tricia Lee and Corey Brown

EFF: What different things brings us "Blood Hunters" from your others works, "silent retreat" and "clean break", I mean on the conception and not the plot indeed.

TL: Blood Hunters is an elevated genre film that tells the story of a single mother who wakes up in the basement of a medical facility only to discover that everyone around her is dead and she is somehow nine months pregnant. 

While it is also a creature feature like Silent Retreat, we deal with very different ideas and themes.  The characters are all very flawed and have all made mistakes in their past.  This film takes place 95% inside a medical facility.  After shooting outside in the cold, we decided we would write for a one location interior shoot so we wouldn't have to be so cold!  

The budget was a little higher than my last film and so we had 20 days to shoot this one.  It still didn't feel like enough time or enough money!  And I got to work with some fantastic actors.  Lara Gilchrist embodied the main character of Ellie in a way I couldn't have imagined just reading it.  In her audition, she brought the character to life and I knew she was our lead.  She was very well paired with Benjamin Arthur who plays Henry.  They are strangers when they meet, but their chemistry and with his comedic background, they found a great banter throughout the movie.  And I got to work with some experienced and talented veterans like Julian Richings and Torri Higginson, so I feel so blessed that they all signed on for the film.  
Tricia Lee

EFF: In Silent retreat you tried to build an emotional bound beetwen the audience and your protagonist, in "blood Hunters" we are going to expect the same? Or you work with other type of connection mechanism?

TL: In all of my films, I think it is important to build an emotional connection between the audience and the characters.

I love the genre because we get to look at humanity from the outside.  Humans are put into these crazy extraordinary circumstances that truly are life or death.  And we get to explore how humans react in those situations.  On an emotional level, what comes out?  We get to speak metaphorically about our society through the genre, while have lots of fun with scares, blood, guts and gore.  

I think it's so interesting that audiences want to feel scared or uncomfortable.  These are traditionally negative emotions, but horror audiences are seeking it out.  They want to feel these emotions, but in a safe place.  They want to feel scared for a character, and not be in the situation themselves.  What I think is cool about that is that the audience opens up their emotions.  They want to care about the characters and what makes them scared is the fact that they connect with the characters.  So I always make sure that we really develop the characters so the audience genuinely cares about them.  And that's when the scares are most effective.     

EFF: What was the budget? Did you find troubles on your financing searching? How was the process to give life your "blood hunters" movie?

TL: The budget was about $500,000.  I spent 2.5 years raising financing for the film.  It was not an easy process and certainly not a short process.  I took off my director hat and put on my producer's hat.  I learned about business plans and pitch decks and angel investors.  I went out and pitched to investors.  It was a very different process that I am used to but it was a great learning experience.  And you have to do what you have to do to get the movie made!

 Blood Hunters

EFF: Tell me about the experience you had at frightfest? How the audience responded? How did you feel about it?

TL: I thoroughly enjoyed myself at Frightfest.  It's such a great festival put on by really passionate and fun people!  Blood Hunters played on closing night and I was in the audience with the writer Corey Brown.  It was great to see the movie with our first audience and they all responded well.  We got great feedback and reivews from the press.  I'm very happy and proud of the film.

EFF: How many locations you used? And which of them was the hardest to getting for shooting?

TL: We shot it all in one location. We built the medical facility in an empty warehouse.  Everything you see in the movie was constructed.  We didnt' have a large budget for art department, so that was a feat to build the whole set.  But our production designer Vince Moskowec was brilliant, hard working and made treasure out of trash.  We were shooting beside a Target that was closing down and we got a lot of stuff they were throwing out and made it part of our set!  We spent one day shooting at the Scarborough bluffs for the exterior scene.  That was interested because we had to use greenscreen int he rocks to construct the entrance to the facility.  We built part of it and greenscreened the rest.
Tricia Lee

EFF:  Could you tell me what common factor we could see on your three films, I mean, what idea or thing you always put to your movies? 

TL: I would say that the common factor is that we like to really dig into our characters, their backstory, their motivations and their emotional arc.  I like to make audiences connect to the characters so much that they cry for them.  

EFF: Could you tell us, from silent retreat to blood hunters, what has changed on tricia lee, obviously artistically, in your way to make movies?

TL: I always learn from each film I make.  I have shadowed directors since I made Silent Retreat and have learned different ways of approaching how to shoot a scene.  I have started thinking more about backstory and discussing that in more detail with the actors.  I am always trying to improve how I communicate with actors.  I am continually learning.  I have started taking acting classes to dig deeper into that process.  
Tricia Lee 

EFF: Tell us a little about the cast, how was the selection, what you wanted for of every character?

TL: Ellie - I wanted a strong female lead who was also vulnerable and relatable.  We found that in Lara Gilchrist, who is a very talented actress and really brought herself and her vulnerability to the part, while being able to carry the movie on her shoulders, the safety of the other characters and weight of the world on her shoulders.

Henry - I wanted an actor who had comedic chops to play Henry.  We offered the role to Benjamin Arthur who embodied Henry just as I pictured him, and added more.  He made Henry really likeable and light on his feet, giving the whole film an light layer even though we are dealing with dark subject matter.  As I mentioned earlier, what I loved, but couldn't predict, was the amazing chemistry between Lara and Benjamin that really made the leads likeable and believable.

Father Stewart - It was so great working with Julian Richings, who has been the face of Canadian genre movies for years.  I understand why he gets so much work, it's because he's so collaborative to work with.  We wanted to make sure that Father Stewart was not a two dimensional character.  He could easily be the crazy preist, but we wanted to make sure the character had conviction and even if you didn't agree with him, you understood why he does what he does.  Julian was a great partner in making that happen.

Marion - Torri Higginson is no stranger to strong female roles in a man's world, but this is her first forray into horror.  I love watching her kick ass.  But while she is tough, we worked to make sure Marion was also vulnerable. She has made mistakes that she regrets and Torri was able to bring that side of the character to life, which made us really care about her.
Intern George - I watched Mark Taylor on Student Bodies when I was younger and loved him in that.  But the performance that really got me to cast him was an emotional moment in Flashpoint.  He is such a dedicated actor and really strives for the best performance, which I really appreciated in working with him. 

 EFF: I saw that you had a fundraising campaign.

TL: Yes, we did an Indiegogo campaign and had 123 backers.  

EFF: well, if in one hand we have Corey Brown in another we have Aaron Gilhuis, in your three films he has been in them, would you describe that relationship?

TL: I have worked with both of them on all three of my films.  They are both amazing collaborators, and that's why I keep working with them over and over again.

Well, with Corey, we met on the first day of Frosh week in University.  And we have been friends ever since.  We were both in the film program at York University and we worked together on projects in school.  He has done sound on my student films and he tells me I shot one of his films, but I honestly have no memory of this.  And after we graduated, we stuck together and continued to make films.  He would help me write my short films and eventually, we fell into the roles we have now.  He writes and I direct.  He has tonnes of great ideas and he pitches them to me.  We find what we really connect on and push those projects forward.  

And Aaron, he contacted me for my first feature Clean Break and we interviewed him.  He was very enthusiastic and I was in Toronto and he was in Ottawa.  We only met once in person, in all the years we have worked together.  We have a way of communicating creatively and efficiently and getting across an emotion with the music without having to be in the same room.  He captures the emotional beats in an orchestral way that I love.  I hope to continue working with him again on next projects.
Tricia Lee

.**TRICIA LEE'S Twitter | Imdb Facebook Website Filmmonkey |

BLOOD HUNTERS' | Imdb Webpage Twitter | Facebook iTunes Vudu Amazon |


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