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Zoë Wassman and BAMPIRE!

If you haven't seen any of the posts floating around about the indie horror film Bampire, what are you even doing?! The crew for this film is a brilliant example of the passion and talent that exist in the indie community, and a reminder of what can be accomplished when we support each other. Make sure you go follow them, and check out the interview they did with Scott, from You Run Podcast!

Thank you so much to Zoë for being a great sport with these questions, and so inspiring in her enthusiasm!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, and your history as a horror fan/writer in general!

Ahoy! My name is Zoë Wassman and I am a screenwriter currently based in Eugene, OR.

Growing up, scary movies allowed me to experiment with sensations I was privileged not to experience often: unease, discomfort, suspense, fear. That’s why I advocate for the creation of uncensored artwork. It is my staunch opinion that movies made to make us scream are just as important as those that make us laugh or cry as empathizing with joy, sorrow, fear or even hopelessness from the relative-safety of our own homes can be incredibly cathartic, especially in the disconnected society we live in today. I truly adore and value the creation of all artwork that allows people to ethically and safely connect with their feelings, movies being an especially effective medium for generating those intense (even taboo) sensations often experimented with in the horror genre.

2. With so many characters becoming public domain now, do you have any other ideas waiting to be brought to life? What would be your dream project?

Many modernized fairy tales are quite dark at their origin so this boon of re-rewriting them into horror movies intrigues me. Such extravagant twists have been made to turn them into children’s stories yet now we insist on refashioning them into fearful things. BAMPIRE is a prime example of this as it contains themes more similar to the original novella Bambi: A Life in the Woods, which is a potent allegory for the inherent struggle of all creatures surviving the natural being akin to WW1. In the future, I may feel called to untwist one of these narratives, but as with BAMPIRE, I would likely prefer to be inspired by these older stories rather than directly readapt one.

Honestly, just getting to finish BAMPIRE is still my dream project!

3. What has been the most enjoyable part of this process so far for you?

Definitely working with other artists who are just as passionate as I am. That passion is not presently an industry standard but it is a standard that I would be honored to uphold at PATH FILMS for the remainder of BAMPIRE as well as all future productions. Empowered artists make inspired art and that has never been more obvious after working with our cast and crew.

4. Are there any horror tropes that you don't like? If yes, do you try to avoid them, or do you like to flip them on their heads instead?

Short answer? Flip ‘em.

I completely understand wanting to do YOUR version of a horror movie trope. I truly do. I love them all and BAMPIRE has its fair share. As a writer who enjoys the staples of her genre, my advice would be to get clever with your tropes. We all want sorority girls wandering around their house in stilettos, but sometimes you’ve got to be satisfied with a jock running through the woods wearing only his sneakers and a dirty gym sock on his ****. If you can create something new enough that your audience forgets to take off their proverbial heels before venturing deeper into the metaphoric basement of your obvious trope, I would consider that a very successful use of said trope.

5. Have there been any resources that were invaluable throughout this experience? Classes you'd taken, websites you found, or mentors?

Our co-producers, Taylor Morden and Emily Claire, have brought an awesome level of guidance throughout this project that only experience in the industry can provide. Someday, it will be a goal of mine to bring that same level of knowledge and personal aid to other first-time producers exploring this industry.

6. What is your perfect movie-going experience? Snacks, beverages, theater vs. at home, you name it!

Funnily enough, there wasn’t a movie theater within 100 miles of where I grew up, so it always feels like a special occasion when I go out to see a movie! Popcorn, milk duds, root beer, something irresponsibly large exploding…Oh man I want to go right now!

7. If someone else preparing to go down this road asked you for advice, what are some things you would tell them?

Find other people who love what you love. No matter how backward it may seem, together is the only way as an independent artist, and finding my business partner, the co-creator of BAMPIRE, Malachite Saaquya, has been one of the biggest blessings that has come from reaching out to my local film community.

8. What are your top 5 favorite horror movies, and why?

The Descent -- Terrifying and has a large, all female cast which I’ve found to be relatively uncommon.

Cabin in the Woods -- Is an all-time favorite and one of the best horror-comedies.

Hostel -- As a traveler, I am glad I waited to watch this one, but it rocks the socks off.

The Thing -- Hands-down Best Jump Scare Award + an Honorable Mention for the costuming department for the cowboy hat.

Talk to Me -- So impressed that this was an independent film. Inspires me endlessly.

9. Is there something in particular you've learned about the movie-making process while filming BAMPIRE that was a shock to you, or just completely unexpected?

For those who have never independently produced a movie, here’s the big melty scoop because BAMPIRE was my first feature film and boy-howdy did I get schooled on the basics:

1. Pre-production or “the planning phase” contains a metric ****ton of unpaid work.

2. Executing a movie is incredibly high-stakes, very expensive, and in the case of BAMPIRE, ultimately successful due to a near-miraculous level of problem-solving.

3. Post-production is time-consuming and also expensive but is especially so if you include epic hand-drawn animation in your movie instead of using CGI like everyone else.

10. What are some actions people can take to support BAMPIRE, monetarily or otherwise? Anything that might help!

PLEASE DONATE CASH MONEY to our campaign to finish BAMPIRE!

We are competing against films with budgets in the millions. Filmmaking is inherently expensive but we are doing something incredible with a tiny fraction of the resources. Visit to learn more about our project and support independent filmmakers. Along with all of our thank you gifts, we promise to show you the movie before everyone else.

On a personal note, screenwriters need your help bringing our artwork to life. Our stories are visual, and even though they begin on paper, the true testament to their success is whether our imagery that tells the story better than words on a page ever could.

Instagram: @bampiremovie

Facebook: @bampire

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