Jessica Cameron, Scream Queen turned Director
Every now and then I get to talk with someone I truly admire. Well that has happened today as I got to talk with the beautiful Jessica Cameron, one of the greatest scream queens of the past decade. Jessica has appeared in more than fifty films and has won more than a dozen awards. I first discovered her at Gen Con in 2012 where Aidan 5 won Best Web Series. While she was only in a couple of episodes, her performance made me take notice and I looked her up. Looking at films like To Jennifer, Potpourri, and The Black Dahlia Haunting, I discovered an actress with a wide range of skills, a beautiful voice, and a seductive nature that captivated me. Her performance in The Black Dahlia Haunting as Marilyn Monroe was perfection.
In more recent days, Jessica has moved from in front of the camera to behind it, directing two feature films a a few shorts. In a world where female directors rarely get recognition, this multi-talented women has proven that she truly is the queen of the indy film world.
Jessica, as a veteran of the film industry you have worked on more than fifty film productions, numerous television shows, and more. Do you have a favorite performance or experience that you would care to share with us?
JC -Honestly filming Truth or Dare was such a great time in my career. It was my first time behind the camera and I loved it. The ability to craft the story was new and is very exciting. It was also a story that I felt SHOULD be made, its a graphic torture flick and its been too long since we have seen a good one of those. I fell in love with movie making on this film. And now its something I do as often as I can.
I came across a teaser trailer for your new feature film, Mania and loved it. What can you tell me about it?
JC – THANK YOU! Its my “fucked up lesbian love story”, its a really fun sexually charged cross country romp about a couple who flee after a severe manic episode. Its intense, and although it is a horror film its a love story at its core. Its my second time in the director’s chair, and this time I did not venture in front of the camera. I produced it with my amazing Truth Or Dare Producer Mem Ferda, it was a joy to work with him again. He is just so intelligent and passionate with a great eye for film!
You put together an amazing team to work on this film including some greats of the indy film world. I noticed that you had pulled in Carlo Mendez (From Bitch Slap), Ellie Church (From The Girl Who Played with the Dead ), and so many others familiar faces. What can you tell me about your actors and their performances?
JC – Thanks for noticing – I appreciate it! I am so blessed to have worked with so many great actors in this business, it really enables me to get access to some tremendous talents. With Carlo and Ellie I have been fans of them for years but never worked with them, so I have been wanting to cast them when I could for a long while. Carlo gave an impressively strong read during the audition – it was very different then how the character was envisioned but worked so well. Ellie was exactly how I saw the character during her Skype audition, I could not take my eyes off her. She lights up the screen in a really magical way which reminds me of old Hollywood. I was also able to hire Becca Moore, who was an actress I worked with years ago and adored, I try to hire her for everything she fits cause she is so talented. Same with Ali Ferda who starred in Desolation.
What made you decide to move from in front of the camera to behind the camera?
JC – Well I still act in front of the camera a lot. Acting is always going to be my love. But I really enjoy creating the films that I as a horror fan want to watch, because I feel like too often they are not getting made. Some one has to create the content that fans want to see!
It also enables me to make sure I am getting the strong female characters that I love to play.
What kind of budget did you have to work with?
JC -If I were to tell you that I would have to kill ya….and after you watch Truth Or Dare you will be glad you didn’t ask me again 🙂
I understand that you also made a documentary of the making of Mania. What can you tell us about that?
JC – We did! Its actually a documentary about the making of MANIA and Desolation which are the two films that we shot while traveling across the USA. Its going to be an honest look at indie film making under extremely challenging circumstances. Aaron M. Lane directed it and I am very excited for it – its kinda our decent into madness as we try to do the impossible.
When can we expect to see Mania?
JC – We start making the film festival rounds starting with Arizona Underground on Sept 18 – you can request it at your favorite film festival NOW. We are also screening at RIP and a few others that I am not at liberty to say. Stay tuned for more, we will be posting all the news on facebook and twitter.
Would you like to talk about any of your other projects that are coming in 2015?
JC – Desolation is the other film that we shot while we traveled across the USA.Its a female driven hitch hiker tale from Director Ryan M. Andrews, and we expect to finish post production on it this fall. Look for it at festivals next year.
All Through The House is the upcoming film from Todd Nunes, brought to you by The Redmond company.Its a new holiday horror film which is really great and original. I LOVE IT!
I just shot my scenes for The Listing, Mario Cerrito and his team were a joy to work with. Stay tuned for more info on this project!
Stay tuned for upcoming news on Truth or Dare 2 and my spookiest story to date!
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