Reyna Young is such a driving force in the indie horror film world both in the promoting and making of films. Labelled the Queen of Horror she has been influential in all areas of her chosen genre from writing and directing to staging the now established short film festival “A Nightmare to Remember”; not only that but under her company Last Doorway Productions she has produced such titles as Zombie Attack and Welcome to the Dark side, a documentary about women's involvement in independent film making.
So it was no surprise that we at Razberry Juice were keen to spend some time with the this very talented lady and find out all about her world of horrors!
Reyna I am sure our readers would love to know how you got started and where did it all begin – this indulgence with the dark side?
“Well, when I was a little girl I snuck into my father’s VHS collection early one morning and I grabbed the first film I saw which was Halloween, John Carpenter. I fell in love with being scared and ever since then I started reading Edgar Allen Poe and any horror books I can get my hands on. I started to write my own horror stories and watch any horror I could. I grew up wanting to be a writer, actress, Director and accomplish everything I could and so far I have been.”
What are you up to right at this point in time; what’s in the works as they say?
“Right now I am working on two feature films, 'Allison' and 'Forgotten Tales', I am also currently Working on Season 3 of my TV show Miss Misery’s Movie Massacre which I host as Miss Misery. I am also running events like live shows and gearing up for a 2nd year of my horror convention Days of Terror. I am also working on comic books and getting my Poetry book published through an indie publishing company.”
Last Doorway Productions has been involved in producing a large number of films over the last few years; can you tell us a little bit about the company's goals and where would you like to see it's standing in say five years?
“My goal has always been to produce, write and direct what’s in my head, what horror goes on through my mind and what people like to see. One great accomplishment of mine is my Women in Horror Documentary, Welcome to my Darkside. It was a dream of mine to meet other females in the genre and learn about who they are. Our goal is to produce the best indie horror films we can and hopefully in five years we would have produced films that people love to watch over and over again.”
One area I know I would love to know more about and I am sure our readers would too is, how do you make a movie, are they financially viable and how do you promote it? “See so many questions!”
“Well making a film is something you need to really be passionate about, write the script then put it away in a drawer for about a month and then go back to it and re-write it, that’s what I do. Then I put together a crew of who I need this can be friends or from ad’s you put up. Then you do auditions, that takes more ad’s or if you are just starting out there’s nothing wrong with using your friends. Once your finished promotion is simple, you have so many internet tools you can use to help promote the film plus you can always have an event at your own house with friends and family to view it. But do take advantage of everything you have online to help promote yourself.”
You also write, having recently produced a poetry book, is this something you have always done or something you got in to from the film side of things?
“Since I was little I have gotten into writing, and writing poetry is something I have always been passionate about, I did independently publish the book through lulu.com where you can check it out and purchase it. I write all the time and as much as I can. I love it! It’s called Dislocated Thoughts and it’s all my Poetry I wrote from when I was in High School, I put it all together and decided to publish it. Yes there will be more coming too.”
A Nightmare to Remember has become pretty firmly established in its own right, allowing short film makers the chance to have their films seen and reviewed at the same time having the chance to win the odd prize. How did this festival come about and how has it grown over the years?
“Well it’s going on six years now and still going strong, The fest was an idea I had to help promote independent horror film makers in the bay area and also find them. There’s not much going on in San Francisco when it comes to horror and so I wanted to do the fest and also give film makers a chance to get work out here. We have trophy’s for the first three winners, raffle for the audience and goodie bags for the first 20 people in line. We have special guests and special indie guests who are local. The fest continues to grow and I cannot wait for more years to come.”
What are your thoughts on the independent film scene today? It seems to go from strength to strength; I feel that the internet has had a huge part to play in this, but also women also are taking on a much larger role these days, no longer being as they say Scream Queens, but now writing directing and are at the forefront of any promotion work.
“I think internet is the future, people are hungry for something original and specially right now during the time of the remakes. There has been a big change in the industry where more and more women are directing and writing and being not just in front of the camera but behind it. I think it’s great that so many women are doing what they love. It’s always great meeting them also.”Besides trying to run around killing people do you have any hobbies or interests outside of film making?“I play Guitar and write songs, I’m hoping to get an album together within the next year of my acoustic tracks.”
And one final question, I know you have a book out Independent Horror Scrapbook that goes over how you made your movies, is there any advice you could offer anyone wanting to get started in film making or acting?
“Best advice I can give you is do it, just pick up a camera, get some friends together and shoot something. That’s what I did and I learned how to edit because learning how to edit is also a good tool with learning how to shoot angles and put scenes together and really know if what you’re doing flows together or not. In acting I put my resume and picture up on online websites and also ask friends who are doing films if I can audition. Check out any auditions at colleges too. Anywhere you can look helps.”
Well Reyna I could keep you here for another interview I have so many questions I would like to ask; but before we end we like to ask our guests some fun questions.
What is your all-time favourite Movie? “John Carpenter's Halloween”
If you were a cartoon character who would it be? “The Little Mermaid”
If you had to spend a night in a haunted house who would you choose to spend it with you – and no husbands allowed? “I would spend it with my best friend Dave Reda, because we have each other’s back and we would totally survive together.”