Sunday, June 12, 2016

Digging Up The Dirt With KillDozer and Scott Frazelle, Creator Of Moggy Creatures

We had the pleasure of meeting Scott Frazelle while we were all on our way to Monsterpalooza. Actually, we were trying to find our way out of a maze-like parking structure, and started talking to the man with the crate in the same predicament as us. And because of that, we got to hear about the film he was making, complete with hand made monsters that he designed. KillDozer contacted him after the convention to talk more about his feature film, Moggy Creatures.

KillDozer: Let's start with an introduction. Who are you and what is your role in putting together Moggy Creatures?

Scott: I am Scott Frazelle, a southern California native working in TV and Film production, and I am the driving force behind Moggy Creatures.

KillDozer: What is a "moggy creature"? What inspired its creation ?

Scott: Moggy is slang our brethren in the UK use for cat. The moggys in my story are hairless cats that have mutated into monsters. The inspiration came from a discussion of the recent popularity of hairless cats, or Sphinx cats, as pets. Comparing a Sphinx side by side with a regular cat, is fascinating. They move the same, have similar, familiar features, yet also appear sinister. The facial expressions can be eerie. My line of thinking was that if all it took was one small mutation to change the perception of a warm and fuzzy domestic animal, how much larger a change could be tolerated? Could they get bigger, and still be pets? If so, how much bigger? Could the get stranger? Scarier? Los Angeles county still has mountain lions, and they don't differ much from a house cat except in size. Cats are great pets, but they don't hesitate to sample your corpse after you die. I think you should find that disturbing. All of this sort of lead up to one thought; Just how far could a person's attachment to a cat go? And then, what if that person isn't quite right...

KillDozer: The teaser trailer looks amazing, the more I watch it the more excited I get to see the final product. What was the shooting like for that? How long did it take?

Scott: Thank you! I worked very hard to make that work, and to give a genuine taste of what I want the final film to look and feel like. We shot that over the course of a three day weekend, with a minimal footprint, and though it was mostly a volunteer effort of my friends working together to make it happen, it was a smooth, professional shoot from beginning to end. I'm blessed that my friends in the industry are, truly, fellow creatives and professionals. The first day was a lot of the background stuff, no dialog scenes, and no creatures. I got the impression that my crew didn't really know what I was up to at that moment.

Day two was the biggest challenge. The first Producer I worked for in this business wisely told me “No animals, No kids!” when trying produce anything on a budget, and I had decided to shoot with an untrained, non-show cat. I knew I needed a Sphinx to sell the concept to viewers, and the lovely Cassandra Parigain, another industry pro, volunteered the amazingly funny and energetic T-Rex, her one year old Sphinx. T-Rex was about as agreeable and easy to work with as one could hope for, we got all his stuff after an hour. After that, we brought out the first creature gag, which was to have it run across the back of the couch. We set up the running rig, and one by one, everybody came by and got a good look at it. We got that running shot after just a couple of attempts.

We ended that day getting the big scene in which the two male leads, Michael Moon and Joshua Bermudez (two guys that are about to break-out, big-time) battle the creatures hand-to hand. There was some choreographed action we had to rehearse a bit before we rolled. I called cut, and looked over my shoulder to find the entire crew huddled up to our little monitor to watch playback. And when we played it back, I watched their faces and saw real fascination, and smiles, and approval, and it was awesome! I think we all finished up that night feeling like we were doing something fun and unique, and that was the best I could hope for.

In general, it was a fast-paced shoot, and I never could have done it without the help and understanding of my cast, which includes Joette Marie and Sadie Katz. I worked with Sadie on the indie thriller House of Bad (2013), and her career continues to pick up speed; I feel fortunate that she took time out of her schedule to help me. Many thanks to the vivacious Joette, she came in and did a cold read, and was asked to step in to her role on a moment's notice, and was great.

We shot a lot of material in a short time, some of which will undoubtedly show up in additional teasers to come.

KillDozer: What has fundraising been like? Are you still looking for investors?

Scott: Fundraising is about to begin, tell all your friends! But seriously, we're currently in the process of looking for investors, and preparing for a crowdfunding campaign, and I envision the budget coming from the combination of both.

I'm trying to raise awareness of the project online. Anyone interested in seeing the trailer can go to and sign up for the newsletter, and be in on all the developments leading up to the crowdfunding effort in October, which will end on Halloween. There will be more materials there as well, including Behind-The-Scenes photos and footage.

Potential investors can contact me at

KillDozer: Were you always set on using practical effects? If so why? What has the sculpting and design been like? Do you have an effects team? What are the Moggy Creatures made of?

Scott: I've been set on Practical FX since I first conceived the story, mostly because it's what I prefer, it's the kind of movie I want to see, and I know how to produce. I've been working in Practical FX since 2010 and find it to be the best overall solution to a lot of visual goals. Practical FX have the unique ability to bridge the real and imagination, and combine them both. The most ridiculous creature ever conceived, in the right shot, the right circumstance, the right light-will still, for even a millisecond, register as real. It's an advantage over the alternative, and has a charm all its own.

My FX team currently consists of the amazing Julian Ledger, Mark Fenlason, and the collective brain at Tom Talmon Studio.

Julian is a creature creator/designer/artist known throughout the industry. I've worked with Julian on multiple projects, and he took an interest in my project early on. Julian designed the first 3D model of the creature, and sculpted the first full size master from which I've built all the puppets.

Mark “Red Dog” Fenlason is a Production Designer and veteran of the film biz, he's got a background in blood n' guts, miniatures, creatures, you name it. Because of his attention to story elements and his ability to get the shot no matter what, Mark is my Visual FX Supervisor.

Tom Talmon puts the Practical in Practical FX. A mechanical genius, Tom knows what works and more importantly, what can be made to work. He's done everything from create an actual tornado for Disney, to making a bra that shoots fire for Lady Gaga. That's a resume' that's good enough for me.

And while we're at it, I can't say enough about my Director of Photography, Chad Courtney, or my composer, Terry Huud. None of the shots people like so much in the trailer work without their efforts, so its fair to say they're just as much a part of the FX team.

As for actual construction; the Moggys you see on screen are exo-skeleton support puppets, made from fiberglass-reinforced resin, aluminum tubing, and flexible urethane foam, covered with a very soft skin of silicone rubber. For those interested, pictures of the creature being built in-progress are at, and will be included in the newsletter.

KillDozer: Did you create the creature or write a script first? Are there any elements of your life in the Moggy Creatures story?

Scott: I wrote Moggy Creatures as a short story first, just flexing the creative muscle. I entered the film business by selling a script, and thought of myself only as a writer when I began. Although I didn't really think of it as a film project at the time, after I helped to produce House of Bad, I realized that making Moggys into the kind of film I wanted to see was within my wheelhouse. Whether you decide to or not, when you write, you bring elements of your own life into the work. It can be a mindset, it can be the voice of your characters, it can be the desire to go somewhere new. In my case, it was the fact that my grandfather was eaten by his cats after he died.

That's just a joke. He wasn't really dead.

KillDozer: What creature features inspired you to create your own? How did you become a monster kid?

Scott: I've always been a fan of monster movies, as long as I can remember. I don't think any one film was the inspiration to do my own. However, I do think a large portion of the motivation comes from the lack of big studio efforts to keep up the genre. It astounds me how much support indie films get, how many of the classic creature features are still available as rental or VOD only as opposed to simply floating around free in the cloud, and the big studios simply don't pursue it. Again, I want to make a movie that I want to watch.

I think the thing that made me a monster fan was seeing the old black and white classics at a young age, some of the really hokey ones were fun. I was fortunate to grow up at a time when creature features were entering their golden age; Jaws and Alien were big hits and the studios were pursuing more, we got John Carpenter's The Thing, then Aliens. A practical creature was a legitimate character in a film, and the people that made them took it seriously.

KillDozer: Tell us a little about the Moggy Creature petting zoo you brought to Monsterpalooza. How can other monster/creature kids connect with the Moggy Creatures? Do you have a web site, Facebook, or Instagram?

Scott: For those that weren't there, the Moggy petting zoo was just another take on the classic Jack-in-the-box; only this time when the lid pops open, there's a mutant Sphinx cat coming at them. I built a crate, and a mechanism inside, to get the head to pop up, and added an independent mechanism to allow for a single claw to reach out, as well. I had various growls and groans emanating from it. It was inspired by the classic Creepshow segment The Crate. I wanted to start promoting the film, and thought Monsterpalooza would be the best place to start. The response was great, some people got a good scare, and most people got a good laugh along with their scare. I knew the project was a good idea, and all throughout Monsterpalooza, people were excited about the concept.

Again, you can go to and see the trailer, you can see some pics at the Moggycreatures Facebook page, or follow moggycreatures on Instagram. As more people join the team, we'll be releasing more stuff. By the way, we're accepting applications...

KillDozer: How long will the feature be when it is complete? Could this be a possible franchise?

Scott: It's planned as a full-length feature, my gut says it will probably hit around the 90 minute mark. Like all good writers and producers, I'm trying to deliver a quality film that entertains, and leaves room for sequels. Personally, I'd love for it to be the kind of film that turns into a franchise, but ultimately, that's up to the audiences to decide.

KillDozer: As far as a soundtrack is concerned, what are you going for in terms of music?

Scott: I plan on hiring a composer to create an original score. Perhaps more than any other genre, horror depends heavily on music. It's one of the more powerful tools in the box, and I think I'd be doing the film a disservice to ignore it.

KillDozer: Okay time for some fun quick questions- Are you a dog or cat person?

Scott: Cats bring you trophies of the dead they have claimed, but dogs inherently know to act cute when you're trying to pick up women in the park. So, Dog.

KillDozer: What is your favorite creature feature collectible? 

Scott: Without a doubt, an original Godzilla doll, like the children's toy that actually appears in some of the films!

KillDozer: What is your favorite "nature run amok" movie?

Scott: March of the Penguins. Watching those Antarctic masochists is terrifying!

KillDozer: If you could re-make any film what would it be?

Scott: Runaway, starring Tom Selleck. I loved it, but I really would have liked to see Tom Selleck battling formidable robots instead of a toaster that got a hold of a gun.

Make sure to visit to see a preview of the film!


No comments:

Post a Comment