Fango writer Jeremiah Kipp has also been making his own stabs into the filmmaking game. Following his well-received first effort, THE CHRISTMAS PARTY, he is now working on a horror short called THE POD, and has posted some photos over at the news page of his personal website. Produced by Brian Jude and scripted by Carl Kelsch, THE POD is described on Kipp’s site thusly: “Straight-laced Caroline (Mary Remington) is moving to another state pursuing her chosen career path. Her artist boyfriend Jonas (Emanuele Ancorini) is willing to uproot himself only if she’s willing to take an equal risk for him: ingesting a strange, mind-altering drug called The Pod, meant to be taken by couples only and revealing whether there is true connection. When Caroline refuses, Jonas takes the drug alone and leaves instructions for her to find him…only if she’s ingested The Pod, too. When she does, Caroline sets off on a strange, reality-bending night of horror where she’s forced to confront her deepest hopes and fears.”
“I’m interested in creating unnerving stories,” Kelsch tells Fango, “that could be described as ‘heartbreak horror’: scary imagery to break through the viewer’s skin, then some emotional devastation to pour salt on the wound. People suffer in horror movies, and by writing believable characters, I think the trauma becomes scarier because the psychological toll of these terrible situations isn’t ignored.”
Pictured above is FX artist Daniel J. (THE ROOST) Mazikowski applying a special makeup to actress Vanessa Marushkin for a hallucination scene. ROOST executive producer Larry Fessenden has an acting role in THE POD, James Felix McKenney (for whom Fessenden exec-produced THE OFF SEASON) is co-producer and another ROOST veteran, David Bell, did the pod sculptures. Anthony (DEAD SERIOUS) Pepe contributed additional FX, and another New York indie fright filmmaker, Alan Rowe (I’LL BURY YOU TOMORROW) Kelly, takes a part as well.
“Working with Larry has been an honor,” Kipp says. “My director of photography [Jonathan Jacobson] said that he wished Samuel Fuller was still alive so he and Larry could meet each other—they both share a sense of integrity, a belief in the subversive nature of genre filmmaking and the canny resourcefulness of working in the low-budget arena.”
“This is a great little family into which I find myself being inducted here,” Mazikowski says. “First with [McKenney’s] MonsterPants Films, then moving into [Fessenden’s] Glass Eye Pix, and now discovering the world of Kipp-Miller; it’s an environment infused with just the sort of dementia I can connect with easily. THE POD in particular resonates with me in terms of how it mines the psychological and emotional realm for its horrific elements—I’m really into the hallucinatory, ‘this could go anywhere’ nature of the concept, and it's exciting to be a part of the visual interpretation of that. These cats have been overwhelmingly supportive and happy to have me as part of the gang, so even though on set I keep things fairly low-key, trust me: I’m jazzed, psyched, pumped, stoked, and bubbled up with every manner of hoo-hah.”
Kipp also recently worked for Fessenden and McKenney, serving as assistant director on DEATH TO THE AUTOMATONS. Keep an eye on Kipp’s site for more POD updates.