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TOMI: "We had different plans of attack".

Conducted by Phil Davies Brown
July 7th, 2005

How time flies when you're having fun. I know it seems like it was only yesterday I began my online ramblings about the horror genre, (which some people call reviews) but July 7th marks my second anniversary as a staff member here at the Horror Asylum. To celebrate I have a world exclusive interview for our readers.

Many of you will no doubt be aware of a low budget horror movie called 'Granny'. I first saw the film over five years ago and was intrigued to know more about this very strange little movie I had just seen.

Any real information on the cast, crew and making of the film has been almost non-existent....until now;

In his first and only ever interview about the movie, I would like to welcome TOMI to the site. TOMI produced, wrote, scored and acted in the film, so read on for all the gossip on one of the genre's more obscure titles.

Is Tomi your real name or is it just a stage name?
Tomi is my artist name.

Where are you originally from? I couldn't make out your accent, is it Swedish?
We are from Slovakia me and my brother Boris who is the director.

Who came up with the idea of making Granny?
Well me and Boris came to the US in 1995 to make it big in the entertainment industry.

We got a job working on a high class golf course where we became good friends with one of the members there over the years and he funded Granny and other projects. It was my idea to make a low budget film and try to take it as far as possible. Eventually it became a group effort as far as the script and input of ideas was concerned.

What was the basic premise?
We had different plans of attack, different story lines. Funds were limited so we had to come up with something that would attract in some way or confuse the viewer.

Had you always planned to use the hag mask and call it Granny?
No we actually found that in a Halloween store and found it very interesting.

TOMI: "Yes, my brother is Granny".

Were you always going to play Tom?
Always, that part was written for me so that I could put my acting to rest for a while after that film.

Was the film really shot in Chicago?
The film was shot at my uncleís house in Chicago. We had the whole family move out and live in a hotel for 2 weeks.

How did you find your cast?
We put ads in the local paper. 340 people showed up.

Are any of the cast working actors, or are they just friends of yours?
Just working actors.

What cameras were used to make the film?
I think it was Super 16 mm donít know the make. It was shot on video and transferred to film.

Did you have much time for prep?
We had about 3 months to get ready. We were gonna spend the money that was invested to go to college for 4 years. It was study or make a movie so we made a movie.

How long did the shoot take?
Exactly 2 weeks.

Was Granny really played by your brother?
Yes, my brother is Granny.

Do you make music full time?
I am a full time singer/songwriter and am ready to sign with a major label in the US. I will get back to movie making when I get settled and get a hold of some real budgets.

What films influenced the score for the film?
Dracula, Silence of the Lambs.

How long was Granny in post?
2-3 weeks.

TOMI: "It was study or make a movie so we made a movie".

Did you use a typewriter sound effect for the stabbing scene?
I donít know what was used in that scene, that was Boris who handled all that with the sound guy.

How did you go about getting distribution for the film?
We took the film To Santa Monica California Film Market, where companies around the world come in and buy and sell big budget and small budget films. The company who ultimately ended up distributing the film saw us there and liked the project. It was very expensive to get a booth at the market.

Were there ever any screenings of the film?
One screening in L.A.

Was the film released theatrically anywhere?
Not that I know of. I wish.

Did the film do well financially?
We are going through legal issues. Yvette Hoffman, the President of our distribution company Spectrum Films stopped paying us our assigned percentage royalties. So basically, they are stealing from us.

Was the film made to prove a point?
The film was made to inspire other filmmakers and dreamers, and also to demonstrate that a bunch of young hungry artists from another continent were able to make a film In the USA that was seen around the world for $30,000. It wasnít about the quality, it was about believing in yourself and making your dreams come true. Granny is not a smash hit; itís a B-Movie but a hell of an accomplishment in my book.

Any plans for a sequel?
You will be seeing movies coming out of my Company which is called Illegal Films Inc. This time they will be big screen smash hits. Granny was a great time. My idea was to make a horror movie for thirty thousand that would become a smash. It didnít work at the time, but it worked for the Blair Witch Project crew. At least someone proved a point.

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

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