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Stephanie Aldridge

Stephanie: "I wrote my first script
when I was 8 years old".

Conducted by Phil Davies Brown
June 13th, 2005

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 future.

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 budget movies?
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 films?
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.

Stephanie: "Favourite directors….hmmm. Definitely Ted Nicolaou".

Who are your horror idols?
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 Directors?
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 them.

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.

Stephanie: "I am very particular with my scripts
and want to make them the best they can be".

What stage is the project currently at?
This film is currently in post-production.

You recently showed the trailer at a festival and got very positive feedback. Did that spark any distributor interest?
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 2.”

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 plans?
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: http://www.spookyart.com/blackie/blood.htm

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


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