Slasher.com is a scary, fun thriller from director Chip Gubera. His film recently was released on DVD and other formats worldwide. To celebrate the momentous occasion, I sat down with Chip to talk about himself, the filmmaking process, and his new film Slasher.com.
Chip, thank you so much for the time to answer some questions about yourself and your film, Slasher.com. I recently saw it and really enjoyed the story, acting, and filmmaking.
Thank you for the interview. I really dig your website and am honored that you wanted to speak with me!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into filmmaking?
I am an Assistant Professional Practice Professor for the IT Program at the University of Missouri. I teach media technology. This is includes audio and video design, graphic design, 2D and 3D animation, motion graphic design, and visual effects design. I’m teaching two online courses this summer that are open to everyone if anyone is interested. I am also, as you know, a filmmaker. I have directed five feature films since 2004. The first is a zombie musical called Song of the Dead starring Reggie Bannister. I then directed 2 Mexican masked wrestling films starring legendary luchador Mil Mascaras. They are Academy of Doom and Mil Mascaras Vs the Aztec Mummy. I then followed that up with a documentary on my hometown that got destroyed by a tornado. That film was called Joplin, Missouri: A Tornado Story. That movie was nominated for a Mid-American Emmy. And now I have Slasher.com.
I got into filmmaking in high school in the early 90’s. My father had a VHS video camera on which I used to make short movies with my friends. I would cut the movies using two VCRs with a mixing board in between for audio. It was strange way to work, but it laid the tracks for the formal training that I received in college.
Do you have any actors or directors that inspired you to get into filmmaking?
I do. There are several. However, one sticks out more than any other, Sam Raimi’s film Evil Dead. My friends and I loved this film as kids. The film had a unique way to tell a story visually and aurally. It was amazing. The story behind the making was amazing too. He was 18, I think, when he and his friends made it. They made their own film rigs to shoot with. They made their own special effects. They did it with no money. It was inspiring. It made me think that I could do it.
Man, I also love the Evil Dead. As you said the way it was filmed is truly inspiring to filmmakers.
Can you tell us some information about your feature film Slasher.com?
It is a love story about family in a horror film shell. It has a lot of twists that should keep most people surprised. Probably, as a filmmaker, the most unusual thing about the film is that tried my best to shoot the film through the female gaze. Instead of having a half naked woman running through the wood we have a half naked man, Ben Kaplan. He is a great actor with a lot of range. Hire this man! He is a star.
Jewel Shepard, is the puppet master of the story. Her character, Momma, is the terror, teacher, and in an odd way provider to the leads. Jewel totally did a great job shaping her character in this direction. She changed her look, voice and mannerisms to embody the character.
The awesome RA Milailoff created his character as a wrecking ball of terror that is totally under the control of Momma. Morgan Carter gave an amazing performance with lots of range. Rebecca Crowley gave a perfectly crazy performance as a momma in training. Delious Kennedy was tough as hell as the sheriff of the area. It was a great cast. The film has lots of strange sexual things that are frightening, gross, gory moments, and a spoon that will make you gag. Check it out! It’s fun!
Oh… I’d second saying there is a spoon that will make you gag. It definitely made me. Haha! But someone that made it more unique and fun to watch.
While watching Slasher.com I was sensing a lot of inspiration from classics like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes. Where these films an inspiration for Slasher.com. Where there any others that were an influence?
We tried to be as original as possible with this film while working with lots of genre tropes. Chelsea Andes, the writer, and I didn’t really watch any films for ideas. However, Slasher.com is a fear the redneck kind of film like the ones you listed. We tried to give the genre a fresh, modern spin.
One thing I notice in Slasher.com was the numerous twists throughout
That is for sure one thing we tried to do for sure. I don’t want to talk too much about this due to spoilers! Watch the film and see if you can figure it all out before we show you! Make it a drinking game perhaps.
Haha! There definitely are enough to make a great drinking game.
Of all the parts of making Slasher.com, what would you consider to be the most difficult part?
Man, that is hard to say. I love filmmaking and I appreciate every second I got to work on the film. We had such a great crew and cast. The producers were very supportive and put a lot of trust in me. We shot for about a month then had a few reshoot throughout the post period. I’d have to say the postproduction was the hardest. I did most of it on my own. I need to give credit to Alina Katrevich, who did a ton on the film including script supervisor and second unit camera, helped to get the rough assembly together. And producer Adam Boster helped to refine the cut. He was a huge cheerleader at times when I wanted to give up. And Chris Tobin did the color. Beside this, it was pretty much all me – Many, many hours of work. I scored the movie twice to get the right feel.
It always great to have a team surround you that you trust and trusts you just as much.
How long did it take from conception to the final edit to make Slasher.com?
Slasher.com, in all, took about a year and change to complete.
Do you have any other upcoming project you can tell us about?
I am working with Ben Kaplan on a dark semi-romantic comedy that we hope to shoot this winter. It revolves around the ideas of loneliness and what people do to not feel it. There are themes of life, love, death, and career within the story. It should be fun and terrible and real. I am looking forward to making it. We also have a few horror ideas floating around. Producer Adam Boster has a few projects that I will probably work on coming up as well. One is a family film called The Lost Treasure of Jesse James and a post apocalyptic TV series called I-70 Knights. It should be a busy next few years for me…hopefully.
That’s quite a lot. Based on your previous work, we’d be excited to see anything you do. So definitely keep us in the loop for all those and whatever else comes your way.
What else does the future hold for you?
I hope I get the chance to continue to build my career as a filmmaker. I love telling stories. I am really happy at the level I am working at but I would like to take it further. Passion is a hard thing to describe. But I have a real passion for filmmaking. There is nothing else I would rather be doing. It is when I am my happiest and at my best.
I also love the independent film level. But there’s definitely fun to see an strong indie director break out into different projects. I definitely wish you the best.
Do you have any advice to any of our readers that wish to get into filmmaking?
Yes I do. Go make films! It doesn’t matter how small the film is. Learn the craft. Watch movies with a critical eye. Learn the technology. Enter into film festivals. Take a class or two from me!
How and when can our readers watch Slasher.com?
Our distributor ITN has been great at getting the film out. Currently Slasher.com is available on DVD in stores like Wal-Mart, Barnes and Noble, and Best Buy. You can order it online pretty much anywhere. If you have a Family Video in your hometown you could rent it there. Soon it will be available on VOD and iTunes. It should be on other TV and streaming platforms at some point this summer as well. It is also available all around the world in all kinds of formats.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. We’re really excited to see what you do next.
Thank you so much for interviewing me. I appreciate your interest in Slasher.com!
Don’t forget to check out Slasher.com from all the formats Chip Gubera mentioned. Also, if you want to learn more about filmmaking, you can check out his online class at the University of Missouri. And don’t forget to check out my full review of Slasher.com here.