Tuesday, October 30, 2012

'In Fear Of' Director Mike Polizzi Talks About 'Selenophobia'

Very seldom do I come across a werewolf movie or TV show that is unique and entertaining. "Selenophobia: Fear of the Moon" is an episode of the "In Fear Of" Web series that tastefully portrays a woman's struggle to fight the best within, and the choice her lover has to make to end her life with silver bullets. I liked "Selenophobia" so much, that I decided to interview the director, Mike Polizzi. Check it out!

1. How did you get involved with "In Fear Of?"

I met Scott W. Perry about 19 years ago in a 2-year video production class. He and I shared a common interest in horror films and collaborated on several projects outside the curriculum. We had lost touch in the late 1990s, but then reunited in 2009 when he showed me his films, introduced me to Jeremiah Kipp and inspired me to get behind the camera again.

I found myself writing screenplays, which included “Selenophobia”; not knowing that in April 2012, Scott would tell me about his phobia web series. It was a perfect opportunity to share the story with him and he was glad to include it with “In Fear Of.” 

After several weeks of storyboarding, casting and meeting with the crew: we shot “Selenophobia” in 15 hours on September 15th.

My first involvement with the series was on “Thanatophobia: Fear of Death,” written and directed by Scott. I was his assistant director for the day, and then, later that evening, he asked me to compose some of the soundtrack. I started with “Monophobia: Fear of Being Alone,” and then eventually “Achluophobia: Fear of the Dark.” I also had the honor of composing the series’ opening theme song, which is also heard in the trailer.

2. What attracts you to the horror genre? 

I was an 80s kid that grew up in the movie theater; obsessed with films like “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “The Dark Crystal” and “Gremlins.” They all had creepy elements that really inspired me. In addition: my father and stepmother always rented VHS horror movies and my stepfather, Ronnie, and I always watched the Universal Monster films of the 1930s and 40s. “Alien” was another film he and I watched repeatedly.

By age 10 I knew I wanted to make supernatural movies in my adult life.

3. Was there any real life influence or experience that you drew on to help you as you worked as the assistant director on "Thanatophobia: Fear of Death?"

“Thanatophobia” was Scott’s project. But, I think most of us fear death. We just don’t want to admit it or think about it. At least I don’t. Having to watch my stepfather pass away at age 57 was a wake up call for me. Life is too short, don’t blow it.

4. Were there any movies that you used as inspiration during your creative process?

I’ve always been drawn to Sam Raimi’s films: the Evil Dead series and Darkman. He really knows how to make a fun movie. I’m also very fond of Tim Burton’s work; especially his 1980s and 90s films.

5. What are you afraid of? Did your short film include aspects of your own phobias?

I fear mother nature. Tornados, tsunamis and earthquakes freak me out. I fear megalomaniacs. 

I don’t personally have a fear of the moon. Although, when I was a kid I had a vision of it colliding with earth; but, that’s just my sci-fi mind on autopilot. 

With “Selenophobia” I wanted to make a unique werewolf movie. I’ve wanted to do so for 10-years. It was a passion project and I must thank the beautiful, talented Louisa Ward for being so amazing in the lead and Mike Lane for his stellar performance. I also thank my crew: Steven-Mark Glassner (cinematographer), Morgan O’Connell (Assistant Director), Ria Schlingheyde (Make-Up) and Jay Priole (Production Assist.). It’s always great to work with friendly, positive people and, most importantly, to have fun in the process.

6. Do you plan on filming more short horror films in the future? If so, what projects are you working on and what can fans expect to see from you in the coming months?

This past May, I made a short zombie comedy called “Dead Drunk,” starring Mike Lane, Adrienne Asterita & Morgan O’Connell. Everyone that’s seen it really enjoyed it, so we’ve decided to make it a web series on YouTube, under my flickgorilla channel. It’s also been chosen to screen at the NYC Horror Film Festival’s Kick Off Party on November 7th. 

Aside from that: I have a couple of horror shorts in development for 2013, including another episode for “In Fear Of.” I am also writing a horror/comedy feature with my old collaborator and friend, Jay Priole.


Mike Polizzi is a New York based writer, composer and filmmaker. After attending film school in 1997, he assisted story department executives at Paramount Pictures, and then later published a novella titled “Dead Ed.” His latest work can be viewed at flickgorilla.com

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