Considering that she just turned
18 and already has four feature films under her belt, Ohio
Writer/Director/Actress Stephanie Aldridge is well on her way to a long
career in her chosen field, in a time when many of her peers will be lost
in the big wide world, with no clue of where their lives are headed. I
had a chat with Steph about her career so far, and her plans for the
When did you first become
interested in film?
I have been interested in film for as long as I can remember. I know that
I’ve always loved some part of it whether it was directing, acting,
lighting, editing, etc. I would have to say ever since I was about 7 years
old. I wrote my first script when I was 8 years old.
Have you always been a fan of
the horror genre?
Oh yes, I have always loved the horror genre. I have been watching horror
films since I was 5-6 years old. I pretty much grew up watching these
kinds of films.
What attracts you to low
I think one of the main aspects that attracts me is the creativity that
can be involved when you have a low budget film. With the creativity, I
mean you can be more involved with your project such as making your own
props, doing the special effects make-up, and creating things. With an
A-stream film, you pretty much have people to do that for you and are not
nearly as involved with your project as you are with low budget films.
What are your favourite
I think everyone knows this…the Subspecies films. I grew up watching those
movies and love them. I also loved all of the other Full Moon movies and I’m
also a big fan of any and all vampire films. I like Queen of the Damned,
Interview with the Vampire, From Dusk till Dawn, Near Dark, and Bordello
of Blood. I also like the horror classics, such as Texas Chainsaw
Massacre, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Psycho, Hellraiser, Child’s Play,
Nightmare on Elm Street, Phantasm, Evil Dead, The Hills Have Eyes,
Suspiria, and of course so many more.
"Favourite directors….hmmm. Definitely Ted Nicolaou".
Who are your horror
Wow! There are so many. I would definitely have to say Denice Duff from
the Subspecies films, since I practically grew up watching her in those
films. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting her at a convention some
years back, which was an absolute thrill for me since she is without a
doubt an idol of mine. I would also have to say Reggie Bannister, Bruce
Campbell, Brinke Stevens, Kimberly Lynn Cole, Isabelle Stephen, Anders
Hove, Suzi Lorraine, Gunnar Hansen, Bill Moseley, Robert Englund, Kane
Hodder, Tim Thomerson, Ben Chapman, and many more.
Who are your favourite
Favourite directors….hmmm. Definitely Ted Nicolaou, the director of the
Subspecies films. I also admire Dario Argento. I think he is an amazing
director. And of course “the greats” Wes Craven, John Carpenter, and
George Romero. I really admire every director though for at least “taking
a stab” at directing a film and following their dreams.
You initially wanted to
concentrate on acting. Why did you decide to take on directing and editing
roles amongst many others?
Well, with my first two films I had been doing the acting thing as well as
directing and everything else. It was a great experience and I love
acting, but I guess directing got the best of me. With those films, it was
a little overwhelming with trying to memorize the dialogue and then making
sure the camera angles were right, that the lighting looked good, etc. So,
I decided to take some of the stress off by concentrating more on
directing the films and making it look the way I had planned. Don’t get me
wrong, I love acting, but directing is a lot more rewarding seeing your
project “come to life” before your eyes. I also love editing the films as
well. Now, with my two vampire films I did act and direct “Descend into
Darkness,” but for “Descend into Darkness 2” I was originally set to play
the role of “Faith” again, but decided to just focus on the directing
aspect this time around.
How do you go about financing
your projects and finding your cast etc?
Well, for the moment my parents and I put up the money for the financing
of my films. I’m hoping that one day I will be able to have a producer for
my upcoming films in the future. As far as finding my cast, I post casting
calls on web sites and locally as well. However, there are some
actors/actresses that I immediately know would be perfect for roles in my
films, so I will just contact them directly and discuss the film with
So, you’ve recently finished
filming your fourth feature 'Descend into Darkness 2' can you tell us a
little about the plot?
Yes, I just recently finished filming this movie. “Descend into Darkness
2: Battle of the Undead” is about a young, innocent woman who was bitten
by a 500-year-old vampire. She now struggles to survive her battle with
the curse that has been bestowed upon her—vampirism. Her friends must try
and save her soul before it is damned to all eternity and before the
battle of the undead begins.
"I am very particular with my scripts
and want to make them the best they can be".
What stage is the project
This film is currently in post-production.
You recently showed the
trailer at a festival and got very positive feedback. Did that spark any
Yes, I showed the trailer for “Descend into Darkness” at the Frightvision
2004 convention. The trailer was received quite well. I had a total of
five standing ovations for it and was very pleased with the outcome and
peoples reactions. It sparked people’s interest in the film and allowed me
to receive contacts from various parties. However, I am still looking for
distributors for both “Descend into Darkness” and “Descend into Darkness
How do you find the time to
write all of your scripts?
Well, that’s a good question. I guess the first reason is that I love
writing so I will begin writing something the first chance that I get to.
In between editing and shooting I find myself writing more screenplays and
coming up with various ideas. I am always coming up with new ideas for
scripts. I take it day by day. Sometimes I will write maybe 3 pages of a
screenplay one day, the next I could write 8 or 10. I am very particular
with my scripts and want to make them the best they can be, so sometimes
it may take me 6 months or a year to finish a script. I take my time and
make sure the final product is to the absolute best of my abilities.
What kind of equipment do you
use? Do you shoot your movies on digital?
I use a Canon-GL-2 camera to shoot my films with; so yes I shoot on
digital. I also use an Azden SGM-2X boom microphone, etc. Most of the
equipment I have is up-to-date (digital).
What kind of releases have
your previous films received?
None of my films have been released thus far. However, I will hopefully be
releasing “Descend into Darkness” and “Descend into Darkness 2” sometime
early 2005 and will also be searching for possible distributors as well.
Both of these films are currently in post-production.
What are your future
My future plans are to continue to keep making films and continue doing
what I love. I am currently working on writing a new script at the moment
to be shot sometime in summer 2005, and am also coming up with other
screenplay ideas. So, continue to look for upcoming films from myself and
Vamping You Productions. Keep checking my web site:
"Thank you ever so much for taking part in this interview
And we wish you the very best of luck in the