By Grave Reviews Staff
Recently, I sat down with filmmaker, producer, and writer, Cassandra Sechler. Ms. Sechler is a San Francisco-based filmmaker that created the production company, “Dreams for Dead Cats” in 2008. She sat down with us to discuss her newest film entitled “Elliot,” which she created with her life partner/film partner, Craig Jacobson. Furthermore, both Ms. Sechler and Mr. Jacobson have collaborated on several short and feature films and she is talking with us today about her newest creation.
Interview with Cassandra Sechler
Q: How did you get into the Horror Genre?
A: I think that I have a dark outlook in general and I feel that everything seems to be getting worse. I grew up in a small suburban, close-minded, Christian Republican town. My parents were the only atheists on our block. I remember in middle school, I use to get rocks and bottles thrown at me. I feel that it was inevitable for me to get into horror because it’s the world and real life that is a scary thing, and that has certainly inspired me. Eventually, when you get to College, you start learning about real American history and the darker side of society. I went to college for photography and sculpture mainly. I found my medium, which was mixing motion and photography, and it has just gotten darker as I have dived into filmmaking.
Q: Growing up, who were your inspirations?
A: It’s a combination of things. To start with positive things that have inspired me, I would say my parents have inspired me to do anything that I put my mind to. They were ok with me watching horror films. As a child, I would watch movies and shows such as ET, Care Bears, and He-Man, but I would also watch black and white horror films like Frankenstein and Hammer Horror Films– my father would let me watch those films. Things like Godzilla and King Kong got me hooked. I later got into other 80s films like Nightmare on Elm Street. Elvira was a huge inspiration to me as well.
Q: What would you say is one of your fears?
A: I would say that Society as a whole is a primary fear of mine. I would say my feeling of society is one of the concepts behind my work. One of the works we just completed (Elliot) is about social media and how people treat each other in person versus online. The film has all of these layers expressing what is happening to humanity in general. Growing up in a town where I felt very bullied has contributed greatly to my distrust of humans and fear of their actions, and I still feel very bullied but at least I know how to handle it and feel more confident as an adult now. I think that people are the real monsters and we are all capable of doing such horrible things. The most terrifying thing for me is knowing what awful things people are capable of doing. I try to communicate nightmarish feelings and you hope that someone can relate to that exorcism.
“The most terrifying thing for me is knowing what awful things
people are capable of doing.”
Q: Tell me a little bit about Elliott.
A: Elliot is our first feature film. Surface value, Elliot is a maintenance worker in a mysterious power complex about his inner struggle and trying to understand the world around him and the people in it. It is about Elliot confronting himself and all the people in is his fantasy realm. Often times, the lines between what is fantasy and what is real becomes blurred, and the film focuses on Elliot’s ability to distinguish between both what is real and what isn’t, at the same time, trying to find who he truly is.
Q: How long did it take you to complete the project?
A: The project took about four years. In 2013, we completed a short film called Wireboy, and it was around that same time we began production on “Elliot.” Having a low budget, combined with the idea that you have to go at the pace of life, and the fact that we all have day jobs, etc, made for a lengthy shooting process. Four Beautiful years is how long it took to complete the movie.
“It is about Elliot confronting himself and all the people in is his fantasy”
Q: Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
A: We are working on a variety of projects. We are working on Tearful Surrender, an erotic horror trilogy, which is another feature film still in pre-production. Another work is a web series called “Acrotalk” which is a black and white discussion series as a fun side project. We are also working on a Virtual Reality type project called “Windows,” and it will really focus on voyeurism and making your own adventure.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: I would like to possibly have more space for my props and costumes and bigger funding for our endeavors. I have had to give away props because we don’t have the space to store them. It would also like a bigger work/live space. I think if we had the funding that can be a possibility.
Furthermore, I had an opportunity to view Elliot. It was visually stimulating and did not come off as a low-budget film. I almost thought I was watching a mix of Star Trek, Dune, and Alien combined in one film, which was very exciting to watch. Overall, I could appreciate the artistic and vibrant yet dark nature of her work. In addition, we wish Ms. Sechler the best of luck on her adventures into the dark realm and we are excited to see more of her works in the future.
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