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David Sterling

David: "I’ve worked constantly because
it’s what I want to do".

Conducted by Phil Davies Brown
July 27th, 2004

David Sterling may not be a familiar name to many of you, but there is no doubt that horror fans will have seen at least one of his movies, as he has been behind most of the low budget efforts made available in recent years, and he has never even seen Scream!

I had the chance to talk to David about his career and grabbed the chance to ask him about cult favourite Camp Blood.

Read on for some shocking news about the 'The Clown' as well as news on all of David's new projects.

You started working in the entertainment industry as a DJ, what inspired you to make the leap into feature films?
I grew up in Chicago and I saw a huge crew filming one day and it was Poltergeist 3 and I went on set and I saw little Heather O’Rourke just before she died and it was just amazing and that really made me want to work in movies.

Your first feature ‘Things’ was an anthology and you managed to get Jeff Burr to appear in it as well, that’s amazing for your first film, how did that all happen?
Yeah, we started shooting that in 1991 and did the second part in ‘92 and it was finished in 93 and out in 95, so it took a bit of time to get it out there.

I met Jeff on that set and we have been friends ever since.

You then worked consistently on a number of projects throughout the mid nineties; did you just find it naturally easy?
I’ve worked constantly because it’s what I want to do. So many producers have like one or two films to their name and that’s it.

In the late nineties you jumped on the slasher movie bandwagon with cult hit ‘Camp Blood’, how did that project come about?
That’s an interesting story actually. I was working on features like ‘Eyes of the Werewolf’ in 3-D with a production company and whilst they were pleased with my work, they had said that I was too slow and that they needed something that could be churned out quickly, and so I talked to Brad Sykes and I said you know lets just watch ‘Friday the 13th’ and a bunch of other movies and just throw something together. The result was ‘Camp Blood’. It’s just a rip off, but it’s all good fun you know. The script took like 3 weeks to write and we just went and shot it straight away.

We shot the movie in 6 days with a Sony 1 chip mini DV camera and just used simple lighting and a simple Sony microphone on a boom. An interesting story is that the guy playing the clown committed suicide not long after the film came out.

The film was very popular amongst youngsters, why do you think they liked it so much?
People like the genre because it is mindless fun; they just want to be entertained for 90 minutes.

Why do you think the genre is so popular?
I think the genre is popular for the same reasons. I liked 70’s horror movies like the original ‘Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ because directors like Tobe Hooper weren’t total amateurs but they weren’t total professionals either you know, so they worked hard at trying to scare the audience and back then they had the freedom to do that. Nowadays too many people have creative input and so in trying to please everyone you end up losing your target audience.

Another bad aspect is the fact that in the eyes of the audience my movies have to compete with things like ‘Spiderman’. You can’ t take ‘Camp Blood’ and put it alongside ‘Spiderman’ but the critics do you know?

I love independent film; it’s more interesting than watching some of the studio crap that gets made.

How do you go about securing funding for your projects?
Well, I started by going to companies, but then there are other people going to them also so you have competition. Private investors like to have their name attached to a movie because it’s fun. I approach them and say we’re making a movie and this is what it’s about and they are really interested and supportive so it normally works out well.

Whose idea was it to make ‘Camp Blood 2’?
I approached the same distribution company and struck a deal with them, and we started working on ‘Camp Blood 2’. Brad gave the script a lot more intentional humour and it ended up as a nice companion piece. I think personally that the first one is better but the second one has a better look as we had a better camera. I also play one of the inmates in the movie.

Considering the notoriety of the movies do you have any plans for a part 3?
I’m thinking about part 3 but I’m waiting for the right time.

The horror genre is cyclical, everything just now is about ghosts and remakes of Asian horror movies but maybe by years end the slasher movie will make a comeback?
You’re absolutely right, the genre does work in circles so I’ll hold off, for now. I definitely want to do it when the time is right.

What can we look forward to from you next then?
Well I work constantly, and being a producer allows me to do this. I have lots of projects coming up. Firstly there is ‘Creepies 2’, then I have a project that I’m doing for Brain Damage but I don’t really want to talk about it just yet, I have a movie in post called KILL, I’m doing a space movie, and I have more horror movies out soon, one called Highrise of Blood and one called Studio 666.

I also have two other projects coming out soon, one called Pralien that’s sort of my take on Alien versus Predator and another called Lord of the Magic’s that is basically a spoof of Lord of the Rings.

I am also currently sifting through 7 years worth of footage that I taped when I was working the clubs. I used to tape bands live on stage so I have a lot of footage of over 3,000 bands. I just need to figure out what to do with it?

"Thank you ever so much for taking part in this interview David.
And we wish you the very best of luck in the future."

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