Camp Death III in 2D!: An Interview with writer/director/producer Matt Frame Interview by Thad Timothy; Writer, Cult Classic Horror Show
Q. How did the idea for Camp Death III in 2D! come about?
A. I went kayaking because I was bummed about a film project having fallen thru. The lake reminded me of Crystal lake from the first 'Friday the 13th (1980).' The idea for a spoof 80's slasher movie came from that.
Q. Where was it filmed?
A. About 40% of it was filmed at Camp Miriam on Gabriola Island, British Columbia. The remaining 60% was filmed locally here (Vancouver, B.C) at a variety of forest locations. By that point we had run out of money so more than half the film was shot at locales in which we were essentially trespassing.
Q. I saw nods to many cult classics in this movie; Obviously Friday the 13th & Sleepaway Camp but also Halloween, Return of the Jedi and even Sesame Street perhaps? What else inspired this project?
A. A large inspiration was to poke fun at my own experiences in mental health 'rehabilitation.' Several of the characters in 'Camp Death III in 2D!' are based on people I have met along the way in psychiatric units and out-patient group therapy sessions. Pretty varied group of folks but the one thing we all had in common was our ability to laugh at ourselves.
Q. This film is loaded with blatant over-the-top camp and satire. What was the atmosphere like on set? Did it mimic the fun, eccentricity of the film?
A. Oh boy, I was dreading this question. I'll preface what I am about to say by stating that many of the cast/crew had a wonderful time. They still speak of how much like a 'vacation' it was for them. Speaking for myself, however, I can say with the utmost honesty that it was hands down the most difficult and stressful experience of my entire life.
Q. Do you have a favorite on set memory you can share?
A. Almost setting fire to Niall King (he plays the potato loving Irishman) is a moment I won't soon forget.
Q. IMDb credits 18 people as writers for this film. As the person who penned the screenplay, can you tell us a little about these collaborations during the writing and filming processes?
A. I cast the film before I had a finished screenplay. As I worked on the script, we work-shopped and rehearsed for an entire summer using a lot of improvisation. Because the actors did such an amazing job of expanding their characters and ended up contributing bits and pieces (ideas, dialogue etc) I felt it only fair to give many of them a story credit.
Q. This film has quite a large cast of characters. What were the audition and casting processes like?
A. That was hands down the best part of the process! Every Sunday (for about 3 months) we workshopped the characters using improvisation and very basic scene outlines. That was damn fun!
Q. Had you worked with any of the cast or crew previously?
A. Yes, a few of them (Chris Allen, Shawn Bordoff, Caroe Sandoval, Gerald Varga) but the vast majority were people I had never met before.
Q. In your experience as an independent filmmaker, which has been harder: getting a film started or being able to get it finished?
A. Oh my lord...no contest in that department. Starting a project is easy. Finishing one is exceptionally difficult. I had expected to finish 'Camp Death III in 2D!' in about 6 months. It ended up taking me 54.
Q. In this movie you have two characters with the last name Van Damme, the killer being Johann Van Damme. Is that a tribute to the legendary Jean Claude?
A. I should claim that but it wouldn't be the truth. I was simply trying to come up with the most moronic name for our killer (that sounded similar to Jason Voohrees) and came up with Johann Van Damme.
Q. Any plans for a Camp Death IV or perhaps parts 1 & 2?
A. Absolutely. I'd love to make a direct sequel. It want to shoot it in legit 3D and employ some gratuitous eyeball-into-the-camera 3D trickery from those early 80's 3D movies. Title would be 'Camp Death III, Part 2, in 3D!' Truth of the matter is, this sucker was an unbelievably troublesome production for me. It's a bit of a miracle that I managed to cobble together a (somewhat) cohesive story-line due to several actors quitting mid-shoot. I did the absolute best I could but with better organization and a bit of a budget we could really make something special.
Q. When will Camp Death III be available in the US and on which media platforms?
A. Fingers crossed that it'll be widely available before the Spring.