Sunday, August 7, 2016

Digging Up The Dirt with KillDozer and Clint Carney of Dry Blood

If you were at the first night of Monsterpalooza this past April, you could have been one of the lucky people to see the world premier of Dry Blood, alongside most of the cast and crew, and their families. Since that initial screening, Dry Blood has only been growing in popularity, even though its film fest circuit is far from over.
Since Dry Blood is an indie horror movie, most people involved have several titles under their name, which is definitely the case with Clint Carney, the writer, producer, and main character of the movie. KillDozer got in contact with Clint, to find out more about this film and the man who helped make it a reality.

 KillDozer: Let's start with an introduction. Who are you and what was your role in bringing Dry Blood to the screen?

Clint: I’m Clint Carney, the Executive Producer, writer, and star of Dry Blood. I’ve got a handful of other credits on the film too, but those are the big ones.

KillDozer: Dry Blood had an awesome full house screening at Monsterpalooza. Why do you think your film became such a buzz the day it screened?

Clint: Director Kelton Jones and myself, as well as the rest of our wonderful cast and crew had been hyping up the screening for several months beforehand. I think the teaser trailer for the film is pretty solid, and piqued a lot of people’s interest in watching it (find it here!). And the amazing poster (designed by Sam Pfannkuche) has really grabbed people. It’s a throwback to a lot of the VHS box art that I loved as a kid, and is quite striking. And of course, Monsterpalooza itself is such an amazing venue to do a test-screening. We had so many horror fans in one place, and we’re thrilled that so many people chose to spend their time at the convention watching our film.

KillDozer: Did you make the decision to act in the film while writing it? Did you choose to play Brian? If so why?

Clint: I had absolutely no intention of playing Brian when I was writing the script. Hell, I didn’t even know if the film was going to get made when I was writing it. Brian Barnes is a very complex character with a lot of difficult scenes. I’m glad I didn’t know in advance that I would play the role because then I may have written the part differently… maybe more tailored to myself. But I’m glad it worked out the way it did. It was definitely a challenge as an actor. In our early pre-production stages, Kelton suggested that I play the part, since as the writer, I was very familiar with the complexities of the character. Shortly thereafter, I realized that he would do a brilliant job playing our sinister cop in the film. So really, we cast each other.

KillDozer: This film is dark but also has comic moments that worked really well, like the relationship between the cop and Brian Barnes. Is it easier to write comedy or horror? Why do you think it works so well in the film? Did you even intend for it to be funny in any way?

Clint: For me it’s easier to write horror than comedy. I try to write characters and situations that feel real to me. Well, real human interactions at least, in the context of the genre. And I think those comedic beats just form naturally if the audience is along for the ride and believes in the reality of those interactions. I can’t premeditate comedy though, which is why I don’t write comedies. The humor either comes out when I’m writing, or it doesn’t. Horror, on the other hand… when I have a really scary scene, I usually know it even before I write it down. I’ve loved scary movies since I was a little kid, so writing horror comes more naturally to me.

KillDozer: Dry Blood gives the viewer a glimpse into the horrors of addiction as well as recovery. Is this something you have experience with? Do you relate to the characters you created?

Clint: I’ve had people that I’ve cared about go through such things. Though I’ve never personally been an addict, I can still empathize with someone who has to deal with that. Other aspects of Brian’s behavior were less easy to empathize with. Ha.

KillDozer: As a writer do you already have a soundtrack in mind for the film? Who did the music for Dry Blood?

Clint: While writing Dry Blood I was listening to some of my favorite horror scores: Creepshow (John Harrison), Trick R’ Treat (Douglass Pipes), Salem’s Lot (Harry Sukman), etc. When it came to the music that would actually go in the movie, I had a very specific vision in mind, and ended up scoring the film myself, under my band’s moniker, System Syn. And then there are a few old timey licensed songs thrown in there that just matched the feel of our fictional town.

KillDozer: The relationship between the two main characters seemed very sincere. Is that a relationship or chemistry you build during rehearsal or do you actually know each other as friends and just translates naturally?

Clint: Jaymie Valentine plays Anna in the film. We’ve been good friends for a number of years. I had cast her in a music video that I directed a few years back, and she was just fantastic on camera. When it came to casting the role, she was the first name that Kelton, Susan Jones (Producer), and I thought of. Being friends really helped sell a natural chemistry with the characters. That being said, both characters are so very different from how both of us are in real life. So, it was a fun challenge to work with Jaymie and Kelton to build the dynamic of those characters’ relationship.

KillDozer: Did it take you long to find someone to believe in your script? Did you raise funding or was this a community effort with everyone coming together to make the dream happen?

Clint: We were very fortunate to piece together a group of private investors that wanted to see the story come to life and believed in us as filmmakers. Surprisingly for how fucked up the subject matter of the film is, the funding came together rather quickly. It is an indie film, so we weren’t dealing with any of the politics that come along with making a studio picture, and were completely free to run the show as we saw fit. It was a huge undertaking though, and certainly we could not have done it without the support of our backers, and our amazing cast and crew. I really implore everyone who sees the movie to stick around and watch the end credits. All of those names scrolling on the screen put their blood sweat and tears into Dry Blood, and I’m just truly grateful to call them all friends.

KillDozer: Have you toured with the film at all or attended other screenings? How have the responses been?

Clint: We are just starting up on the Horror Film Festival Season, so we’ll be taking Dry Blood all over. We’ve already won “Best Horror” at the Phoenix Film Festival Melbourne, and the “Gold Award” at the Spotlight Horror Awards. Next we’re taking Dry Blood to the Lost Episode Film Festival in Toronto, the GenreBlast Film Festival in Virginia (where we were just nominated for Best Horror Feature, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, and Best FX), the Horror in the Hills Festival in Tennessee, the Bram Stoker Film Festival in the UK, and F.A.S.H. Fest in Los Angeles. If all goes as planned, we’ll be showing it in a lot more cities too, but those are the ones on the books at the time of this interview. We’ll have all the latest screening news on for anyone who wants to keep an eye out for local showings.

KillDozer: What other film projects have you been a part of or are you working on now?

Clint: I’ve got a number of other film projects in the works at the moment. Kelton and I have been trying to get a brutal punk rock film called The Violent off the ground for a while, so I’m hopeful that one will get rolling soon. But beyond that, I have several others that I can’t talk about just yet. But trust me, you’ll see a lot more film work from me coming soon.

KillDozer: I've read about your prop making/artist work and also the work you do as a musician. How did you get involved in prop making? What are your musical projects like? You sound like a "jack of all trades" but what is your main focus or interest?

Clint: My good friend, Skip Crank, pulled me in to create a painting for "Scream 4," and that pretty much started my whole prop making career. I went right from there to working on Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo, then JJ Abrams’s Star Trek Into Darkness, and on and on. Before too long, I’d amassed a pretty huge list of films and TV shows that I’d created props and art for. And I still do that quite often. Musically, I’ve had a pretty long career. My main band that I am the singer and songwriter for (System Syn) has been around for almost 20 years now. I’ve also been a live performer for the bands Imperative Reaction and God Module. All three fit into the “Industrial” genre, I suppose. I don’t have a ‘main focus’ per se. I just love doing anything creative, be it music, painting, film, etc.. I keep pretty busy.

KillDozer: What do you hope the audience will get from Dry Blood?

Clint: I hope that our audience is entertained, scared, disturbed - any of those would be a win. I had an absolute blast making it, and I hope that people have just as much fun watching it. Well, maybe “fun" isn’t exactly the right word for this film… but if you love horror like I do, then again, maybe it is.

KillDozer: Okay here are some fun quick questions. If you were forced to write a script for a remake what film would you pick?

Clint: It would have to be a film that I personally love, but that maybe just isn’t so great. There are a lot of films that you love for nostalgic reasons, but at the end of the day, you know they just aren’t that good. That sort of film would give me something to improve upon while still keeping the elements that I love from the original. I’d rather just make original content than do a remake. But if the opportunity ever came up, I’d have to put a lot of thought into the choice. See how I avoided the question there?

KillDozer: Which 2 films have you seen in 2016 that have blown your mind (if any)?

Clint: Green Room for sure! Jeremy Saulnier is rapidly becoming one of my favorite directors. I also just saw a feature at FilmQuest this year called No Way to Live that was fucking brilliant. Keep an eye out for that one. And though not features, the short “Die Sitter Die: Rupert” by the Boxleitner Brothers (another fantastic film from FilmQuest), and the Netflix Show Stranger Things are topping the list of my favorite things this year.

KillDozer: What is your favorite piece of horror film memorabilia that you own?

Clint: That is a tough one. I’m a collector and I have a lot of cool horror shit. One of my favorites is the full scale Predator bust that Sideshow Collectibles put out many years ago. The detail on that one is incredible.

KillDozer: What is your favorite family film and why?

Clint: Well that’s the first time I’ve been asked that one. Ha. Maybe The Labyrinth? Does that count as a family film?

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