By now you’ve read a little about Lia Scott Price, however, as her next biggest fan, I had to know a little more. Lia was kind enough to take some time to answer some questions about her path of destruction through the horror realm.
What got you started in the horror genre?
Three words: Writing is therapy. I’ve been through some very traumatic experiences in my life and I vented through writing, and what better way than through horror. It was an escape. Writing horror is, in a sense, therapeutic because it helps me face my inner fears and experiences and turn them into something creative. Creating an imaginary world and even adding a little of myself and my own experiences into this world is the best therapy there is. Some people release stress or vent through kickboxing or other activities, I do it through writing horror. Plus, if I’m mad or depressed, I start writing. It’s amazing what I can come up with.
What made you want to branch out from writing?
I wanted to see my characters come to life, and I saw film as a way to do that. I also saw comic books as a way to bring the dark world my characters lived in to life, as my comic book artist Wendell Nelson would say, to make them live through actual imagery and not just through words. It’s that aspect of bringing something to life through other means other than writing that really fascinates me and that I am passionate about doing.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your characters?
I’m a “recovering Catholic” and I tend to question a lot of the aspects of religion. I was listening to a sermon about guardian angels in church. The priest had said “Guardian Angels exist to protect us and help us.” My response to that was “Oh really? What if they don’t?” And so that “what if” question became my big influence and it became a “what if” game in creating my characters: What if the entity we pray to is really evil? What if it’s disguised as good? What if guardian angels are really tired of our whining and are flawed and vengeful? What if guardian angels killed us instead of help us? What if they were vampires? What if I prayed to one and he turned out to be a mercy killer? And I created my characters from there. Another thing I wanted to do was to mess with the ordinary, to create something disturbing from something so innocent and supposedly protective.
Having done it all, what is your favorite aspect of filmmaking?
Running the camera and being behind the camera. I love the technical aspect of filming and editing. I love being able to create a world through props, costumes, and actors and then see how it all comes together through a camera. I love being able to create a mood through lighting, framing a scene, being able to direct an actor and bring the emotion out of him or her. I love the editing and being able to create a story and see an actor bring one of my characters to life or interpret the character. It’s always exciting to see how a book can become a film and the world in it becomes alive through the camera’s eye. I remember the first time I picked up a camera, a Panasonic DVX-100A to be specific, and ever since then, I was completely hooked. Even now I cannot watch a film without taking notes or saying to myself “I love how the DP framed that shot!” or “That lighting is awesome! Gotta find out how they did that!”
Very few people, possibly in the history of creativity, have accomplished as much as you have, are you happy with where you’re at right now?
I am very happy and satisfied with how far I have come. I started with writing scripts for a small acting class in Los Angeles and ended up with three novels, three feature films and several film shorts, and now comic books. Looking back, it took ten years of experimenting, self-publishing, creating, self-marketing and promoting and filming and I loved every step of it. I’m grateful to everyone who’s helped me or contributed in some way to my projects. It feels good to have something to feel proud of and that you’ve done on your own, from concept to creation to publication. And I don’t think I’m done yet. I’m always looking for a new avenue to promote the characters and I’m always excited at the prospect of a new project. Who knows what might be next?
You’ve made yourself available to your fans in a way that I’ve rarely ever seen before; do you feel it’s important to have that open connection to your fans?
I feel it is very important. I’m very appreciative and grateful for fan support, and that’s why I wanted my works to be available as much as possible to my fans, from offering free downloads of my books to free films online. It’s more important to me that my fans get to know my characters and know and enjoy the stories. I also offer the option of purchasing my works as well, so they have a choice. Getting my work out there and making it accessible is also important. I just see myself as a creative person who is sharing what I love doing and I welcome questions about my works. I want to share the world I created, because these characters are my passion.
Big budget filmmakers have seem to run out of fresh concepts as they continue to crank out sad remakes and “reboots.” The indie film industry is loaded with fresh ideas, fresh directions and incredible filmmakers such as yourself, are you excited about the opportunities that indie filmmakers are getting now?
I’m very excited.
1. As far as opportunities are concerned I am driven by something I was told when I first got started in filmmaking. I was once told by another producer that I could never make a film unless I was “big and powerful” in Hollywood and that I needed millions of dollars, I had to follow an outdated formula for filmmaking (Sex, violence, and big actors in your films) or I would not be considered a “real filmmaker” and that digital film would never be taken seriously. Of course, I didn’t listen to that person, and I went ahead and found a way to produce my own films and promote my own works, from forming my own film company, to hiring the right people and utilizing volunteers and talented actor friends, and eventually getting my own equipment. I used digital film to make my first movie, and uploaded it to sites like YouTube. Now, digital film is the norm, along with digital downloads like Amazon unbox and DVD producers like createspace.com. I was also told that unless I was on the shelves of Blockbuster, I wasn’t a real filmmaker. Now, anyone can distribute their own DVD. What that person said still drives me. I didn’t want someone telling me that I couldn’t do anything unless I had to rely on someone big and powerful to make success happen. I didn’t want anyone telling me I had to follow a Hollywood “formula” to make a film and that new ideas and concepts would not be accepted. I went ahead and created my own films my own way. I learned to define my own success. I wanted to do it on my own. And now with online media and digital video anyone can get their film seen and distributed. We’ve come a long way and I am so thankful for that.
2. I also tend to stay away from the “slasher” aspect of horror films; my approach to filmmaking is a lot more stylistic and concentrates more on the mood, atmosphere, acting and characters. I’m greatly influenced by “X-Files” and “Twilight Zone”, so you’re not going to find a lot of slasher/gore in my films. I tend to make my films a lot more psychological. I want people to be more disturbed by the concept of what guardian angels could be. If you start to feel scared to pray, then I’ve done my job!
After reviewing the artwork and storylines behind your upcoming graphic novel I seem to have found myself literally on the edge of my seat. What can you tell us about this massive project?
I have three books that were a series featuring my unique Serial Killer and Vampire Guardian Angel characters, and I recently combined all three books into one “trilogy”, so the stories follow each other and fans don’t have to buy three separate books. Then I realized that the whole trilogy would make a great graphic novel/comic book, so I hired a friend, Wendell Nelson, a comic book artist and graphic designer here in Torrance CA, to create the comic book art. He’s already done some illustrations and we plan to release the illustrations in stages through my web site so that the fans can follow the progress. Wendell has a very dark vision for the whole atmosphere of the book which is exactly what I envisioned. He read all three novels and immediately grasped what I was going for, the whole religious questioning, the psychology behind the characters, and how they would translate into a comic book character. Wendell’s done a phenomenal job with the initial art, and is currently experimenting with different art styles, even anime, so the book will be a combination of different, but cohesive, artistic styles. My plan was at first to just do about 5 or 6 illustrations based on some scenes from the book just to see what they would look like, but they turned out so good that I ended up commissioning a full graphic novel from Wendell. I think that although the stories are great to read, the visual of the entire stories in comic book format is going to be really exciting and will bring really bring more to the stories, make them come to life. It will be year-long project, with the planned release of the book in October 2011. But fans will get a chance to see the illustrations online as they progress.
When can we expect to see the novel available for purchase?
The whole book should be in production in September 2011, with a planned release in October 2011. I will also publish some of the illustrations online.
While it seems that nothing can stand in your way, what’s on the horizon for Lia Scott Price?
I took a break from filmmaking to concentrate on the comic book illustrations, but now that it’s in the capable hands of my comic book artist Wendell Nelson, I plan to do some more films based on scenes from my novels in January 2011 and will release them online. I’m constantly experimenting with the characters and filmmaking is my passion, so I plan to continue filming as much as possible.
And now the standards for the Examiner horror interview:
What is your all-time favorite horror film?
Ginger Snaps, the Beginning. A close second: Halloween, the original. I want that theme song playing every time I enter a room.
What’s one thing about you that most people wouldn’t know but might find particularly interesting?
I write music and I sing, and it’s trip-hop music. I also love pink. My other favorite movie is Legally Blonde. I would like to think that my personality is a mix of Elle Woods and Elvira. If I were a serial killer I would have to have color-coordinated axes and outfits and heels, and it would have to be sparkly. I started out writing romance stories but I always ended up killing the heroine in the end, in a really gruesome way.
Thank you again Lia for taking time from your schedule to give us a piece of your mind. Remember this interview now, remember what you’ve read here and watch out for Lia Scott Price in the future because she’s on her way up.
Get over to www.liascottprice.com where you can find downloads of the books and free films as well as some very interesting merchandise from Lia’s shop; I know I’m getting a new coffee mug. You can also join Lia on facebook at www.facebook.com/liascottprice. Give her books a look and check out her films.