It was Tuesday 10 PM, I was alone in my apartment, doors locked, blinds shut, all of the lights turned off and the only bright light exposed on my face is the light from my laptop, already cued to play Sobrevivo, indie horror short by filmmaking duo Matt Sullivan and Dena Schumacher.
Now with the eerie mood already set in my apartment, my excitement to watch this film couldn’t be any greater, especially after reading numerous accolades this film has received both here in the US and in the UK. Some of those include, a feature article in one of UK’s leading horror site, The Slaughtered Bird, a Rondo Horror Award 2015 Nomination for Best Short Film, Winner for Best Zombie Film at the 2015 New York Scary Film Awards, feature article in Westchester Magazine, feature at the Winter Film Awards and Black Bear Film Festival.
Sobrevivo chronicles the struggles of a woman in a post-apocalyptic world in which she must overcome her fears in order to survive. Initially “holed up” in an abandoned prop house with her boyfriend Conrad, April is surrounded by items that used to be relevant to her previous life, but now serve as a museum of her past. When their safe-haven is compromised, the two must flee and search for a new place to call “home.” The world that April had since become comfortable with is once again broken and she must start anew.
After nearly losing her fight for survival, April is saved and taken in by a trio of strangers whose intentions are questionable. While the world outside of her new home is perilous, she begins to recognize that the dangers existing inside may prove to be deadlier and even more sinister.
Now, before you read my interview with film director, Matt Sullivan, let me just tell you that this film does not disappoint! It captures the top traits of my Psychotic Creepy Horror Film List—Sense of Fear, Panic, Dread, Killing and Survival. When I finished watching this film , I stared at my monitor for 2 minutes saying to myself, “Holy Shit! I didn’t see that coming.” Now, I am not going to give away too much because that would spoil all the fun in watching this film. However, I do want you to sit back, relax and enjoy reading my one-on-one interview with Matt Sullivan. And don’t miss my Creepy Cool Commentary at the end of the interview. Enjoy!
How did you come up with the storyline?
“Dena (Screenwriter) is the brain child. Once I read it, I was along for the ride. I think what Dena thought about, is what is the worst thing that can happen to me in an apocalyptic world and from that sprung the fear of a woman being alone with men. [You don’t realize it], but people are the most dangerous and lawless society left to their own devices. Without law and religion what are we capable of?"
“Sometimes you have to bend the rules and break some barriers that other people haven’t done to get some attention.”—Matt Sullivan, Film Director of Sobrevivo
How did you and Dena meet and come to crazy minds with each other?
“[We] work at a Public Access Station in Mamaroneck, NY. Dena is the Studio Production Manager and I am the COO of the company. [We] really wanted to make a film and [are] always bouncing ideas off each other. Dena came with a script and then we started to make a film. “
How long did it take you to shoot the film?
“The film took a year to make and we were working on post production for 9 or 10 months. But [we] worked on our “homework assignment” first, called “Don’t be a Bear” (short indie horror film). Very dumb down version of Sobrevivo. [We wanted to] dust off the cobwebs and make sure we are on the same page with each other in making the film. We had some fun and once we knew that, we knew we can work together. “
"Don’t Be a Bear" Film Synopsis: A young couple on a weekend hike through the woods stumble upon an unconscious, injured woman. But after finding an empty campsite whose inhabitants mysteriously fled, the couple begins to question what they were running from.
What is your Creepy and Coolest moment of the film?
“All night shoot in the house. [We] got there at 5 and stayed there till 11am the next day. [This is the] house where Conrad and April escape. Conrad was killed. Sun was coming up…. technical effects gag then splatters on Rachael's face (actress, who plays April). Instead of giving a little blood spurt to Rachael it was A LOT of blood and it looks so great and I am so happy to watch every time! You feel for her [Rachael]. It was a real reaction and she wasn’t expecting that and the blood went up her nose and eyes! The hardest part was yelling cut….She was happy she let it [the cameras] roll. Very real! “
Is there a Sequel?
“Plans for this [film] is to make a feature and we were hoping through film festivals and potential distribution [to] be interested in [making] the feature. Prequel would be interesting as well. I have my zombie fix, but working on another project [I am] really excited about. Start shooting in Oct/ Nov.”
Can you share with me what your new project is?
“Sure. Project is called In Time and it’s basically a story of a woman who is feeling the internal and external pressures of her life in time. We live our lives everyday based on this time measurement device and through this device, we except time differently and we have our own meaning of time. Time is always tense and this woman chooses how to deal with it and she doesn’t need to be told by Facebook or society. At her own pace and time, she will get to where she needs to be.”
Wow, that sounds like a cool Sci-fi film! Can’t wait to see it! But before I let you go, how did you come up with the film title for Sobrevivo?
“April was going to be a Latino woman, originally. She spoke Spanish and there was a Spanish theme running [in] the film. We re-worked the film, but liked the title, which means "I Survive." [The title] gets you thinking and it sounded better in Spanish than in English.”
The film score was awesome! It is not too cheesy or has heavy rock music like in most horror films. How did you come up with it?
“Brendan Revera is an acoustic artist and on Spotify. He always wanted to score a film, so we got together. I am a BIG John Carpenter fan and [I] force-fed him John Carpenter. He worked off of that along with Brendan Rivera, Matt Labozza and Stephen DeRaffele. They used a waterphone to create the music, which is used in a lot of horror movies.”
Creepy Cool Commentary:
What more can you ask for! Fear, Survival, Zombies, Blood, Creepy Cool Flm Score and 2 crazy minds, Matt Sullivan and Dena Schumacher, who bounce ideas off each other to make a twisted horror film for our enjoyment! I want to thank Matt again for being a guest on my blog.
To Watch the Trailer, see below.
To Learn About the Cast and Crew, Buy the Film and More, visit http://sobrevivofilm.com