The B Club presents “The Interview”
In this edition of The Interview, we are delighted to be joined by…..
THE SUPER TALENTED AND STAR OF THE CAMPUS,
RACHEL AMANDA BRYANT
B: Welcome to The B Club Rachel, your time is very much appreciated in what must be a very busy period for you. So, The Campus, a great horror film, can you tell everyone what it’s all about?
Rachel: Thanks so much for having me! The Campus is a horror film that follows a young woman Morgan as she’s trying to steal some stuff from her estranged father’s office campus (hence the title, The Campus).
Her father has just died a few days before, and unbeknownst to her, he’s passed on a curse to Morgan… The Devil will take her soul one piece at
a time until it is his. So, Morgan ends up in a Groundhog Day-esque loop where she dies, comes back to life, dies again, comes back to life etc, as the devil is slowing torturing her and essentially tearing her apart.
It’s brutal and graphic and horror fans will love how each time Morgan comes back to life, she ends up in a different horror sub-genre, either zombies or body horror or monsters. It’s a crazy ride that’s pretty dark with little bits of humor throughout.
B: Haha, The B Club agrees. The humour goes well, especially with the darker side of the Groundhog Day! So Morgan looked like a fun character to play? No spoilers, but did you get to enjoy the role or was there too much suffering in makeup department?
Rachel: Haha, well, I think it will be obvious when people watch it that this role was quite physically taxing for me. I’m often covered in gooey substances, running, falling and literally being destroyed by the Devil. But it was SO MUCH FUN! This isn’t my first time working with blood, in fact the Special Effects Artist Robert M Bravo and I had worked together on numerous projects already, so we knew how to communicate so that we can get a successful shoot.
He is SUPER talented and his practical effects really shine in this film. Really, I felt like a kid on this set… I’m a very tactile person, I love touching weird things and you can even see in the trailer, there are points where I am covered head to toe in blood. It was so gooey and weird and fun. Like, how many people can say they've done that? Of course some days were longer than others, and sometimes the blood was uncomfortable (it got very cold when I was outside) but it was such a great experience for me telling Morgan’s story and exploring this character through these crazy circumstances. I would definitely do it again.
B: The SFX are excellent, some scenes not for the squeamish......but you dance with devil, you pretty much know it’s going to get messy! The Campus is a great feature with a story not really told before, from the creative mind of Jason Horton. How did the lead role of Morgan come about? It is quite a lead role with most of the action focused on or around her. Credit to yourself for the development of the character, to be fair she’s not a nice person to start with but so grows on you.....
Rachel: Oh thanks! I’m so glad y’all liked it… yeah I think this film really works on a lot of levels and Jason Horton’s premise, writing and direction make this film really good and fun. I remember when I was first approached by Jason and Robert (the SFX Artist who is also a Producer on the film) about playing the lead role, the script was not quite complete. We talked about the premise and the overall characteristics of Morgan.
A couple weeks later when the script was finalized, Jason and I started meeting regularly to discover the nuances of Morgan and how she ticks. I came in with
my own ideas and Jason had his. I remember wanting to discuss every scene and to be on the same page, because like any film, we shot out of order and Morgan’s in very different emotional places throughout each re-incarnation.
Jason and I communicated really well and we took a lot of notes on both of our scripts, so we were really prepared when we got to set. I really liked that she fights back in this film, that she’s unexpectedly strong. She doesn’t just roll over and die.
But I also think she’s not very likeable, she’s got a chip on her shoulder, she feels entitled and has a bit of a “woe is me” complex. And that’s why I think the audience is on board at first with watching her die. But she slowly finds redemption throughout the film, and I really think she regrets the fact that she never reconciled with her dad.
I mean when faced with your own impending doom, you evaluate your life choices, you reflect on the highs and lows of your life… I think that’s
where she finds her humanity in the film. She realizes that she can't take back certain choices (and neither can her father because of his own death). That’s how she’s relatable and that’s where audiences I think will turn and start rooting for her.
Yeah it’s horror and yeah it’s bloody and definitely not for the squeamish, haha but also at it’s core is a story about a girl grieving the death of her father and trying to figure out her own identity.
B: From the passion in your reply, we can see how much you enjoyed the experience, can you see another collaboration in the future, with both Jason and Robert? It obviously works from the end product with The Campus.
Rachel: I would definitely collaborate with Jason and or Robert again, through the process of making this film I genuinely felt like I gained another family. I trust them and I think they truly trust me as well. We had a blast on this set and I would LOVE to be on another set with these guys again! It was just so much fun! I think it would be interesting to see what something that is more fantasy or science fiction centric (vs horror) looks like with these storytellers.... I think we could do something really innovative and compelling.
B: A different genre would be exciting, fingers crossed! So, tell us more about Rachel Amanda Bryant, actress of stage and screen, producer, Cosplay Cuisine! Was this always your career path? You have also recently been cast in John E Seymore’s “Solitary Confinement” along with a couple of The B Clubs friends, Heather Dorff and Jessica Cameron of @ScreamQStream. Did you get to know them, again any chance of another collaboration in the future? This seems like a good match to The B.
Rachel: What’s funny is, through most of my childhood I wanted to be
a writer, and I was excelling in math in high school, took AP courses
etc, my brother and my dad are both computer scientists so I think in
a parallel universe I’m an engineer, LOL. But I’d always loved live theater, and I remember seeing “The Invisible Man” when I was young
and thinking “wow I want to entertain people and tell stories because
this looks like so much fun!” I really didn’t have the courage to start
acting until I was in high school, and that’s when I started doing
community theater. I realized that the thing that made me the most happy was telling stories. And I still loved writing and coming up with ideas and characters, so that lent itself nicely to producing.
And as you mentioned, I do have a YouTube cooking show called Cosplay Cuisine where I dress up in cosplay from various films and tv shows and essentially make a fool of myself. Because why not? I love making people
And yes, I met Heather Dorff and Jessica Cameron on the set of Solitary Confinement! They are so fun and such talented women, I respect them so much, and I can’t wait for us to work together. The right project is gonna come along where we collaborate together, and we are all so powerful, I imagine it will be a fierce film. We would work together well!
B: Rachel Amanda Bryant in a parallel universe......sounds like a possible sci-fi movie with Jason and Robert!? Excellent, so what’s next for you? Can you talk about any current or future projects in the pipeline?
Rachel: Well, I star in a short film that I also produced entitled “The After Party,” which will be having its premiere soon and then will be touring the festival circuit. I am excited to travel all over with that film, in fact I think we are going to be in the UK with it this year!
“The After Party” is a “Twilight Zone”-esque thriller that’s shot in Black & White in a noir style. It follows a young woman as she wanders into a dive bar and encounters strange yet oddly familiar women. I love that it stars five diverse women, and I think it will resonate with a lot of people. One of the most prominent themes of the film is how one is portrayed on Social Media, and some of the pitfalls of that.
Beyond that, I have some films coming up that I’m not yet able to talk about, and I’m writing a lot more this year. In fact, Gas Money Pictures and my production company, Blueberry Hill Media, actually have teamed up to host a monthly screenwriters workshop. That starts at the end of January, and I’m excited to be part of a group that builds a little indie screenwriting community.
B: Sounds awesome! We looking forward to seeing The After Party, especially if you bring it to the UK! We do have the best fans and appreciate it when the extra effort is made. So busy busy......good luck with The Campus, we hope it’s a big success for you and rightly so! Keep us informed on future develops, especially with The After Party. Finally thank you so much for time again and giving an excellent insight into the Indie Film world, all the best.
Rachel: Thank you so much for chatting with me about it and taking the time to watch it! And hopefully I will see y’all in the UK soon!
The Campus is making it’s Theatrical Debut on 26th January 2018;
Arena Cinelounge Sunset 6:30PM Red Carpet, Screening 7:30PM
For more information see http://arenascreen.com/event/campus
Coming soon to DVD/Blu-ray and VOD.
For the latest information on The Campus and future projects, follow/subscribe to The B Club.
Rachel Amanda Bryant;