Although it's one of the fewnon-superhero entries in the C2FCinema, a fan film combining two 1980s franchises has become one of the bestreviewed shorts. "Freddy Vs. Ghostbusters" pits 1984's greatestvillain against 1984's goofiest heroes.†
This week Eli McElmurray,founder of DCLive Action Comic Books e-mail group, sits down with Hank Braxtan, thedirector of "Freddy Vs. Ghostbusters."
Eli McElmurray (EM):Please give a brief story synopsis of "Freddy Vs. Ghostbusters."
Hank Braxtan (HB):Basically Freddy Krueger is terrorizing Neil Anderson in Denver, CO. Soon afterthis begins, Neil's friend Ed Spengler (nephew of Egon) arrives along with hisbuddy Eugene to investigate a certain surge in PKE [ED. NOTE: that's"Psycho Kinetic Energy" to you lay-people] activity in the MileHigh city. They soon discover there is a large outbreak of ghostly activity inthe area, and the Denver chapter of Ghostbusters is open for business.Eventually they learn the real threat is Freddy, and they are the only ones whocan stop him.
EM: Is this your firstmovie? Why the interest on doing a movie based on pop-culture icons?
HB: Well, I've actuallybeen making "movies" for a long time. I think the interest in thesetwo really stems back to when I was growing up--I have always loved theGhostbusters and Freddy movies. After seeing "Freddy VS Jason", Ithought this would be a blast.
EM: Who are the actors,what did they play, and how were the picked?
HB: The actors arefriends I know here in Denver. I picked Tim Johnson (Ed Spengler) and Jason Cook(Eugene O' Fitzpatrick) mainly because they looked perfect for the part. JasonWeiss (Neil Anderson) is just a very talented actor, and I wanted him to playthe lead. Brad Roddy (Freddy Krueger) was brought on board because of hisamazing likeness to Freddy. The rest were friends who either looked the part, orwanted to help.
EM: Where was thisfilmed?
HB: This was filmedentirely in Denver, Colorado. Some of the notable locations included UnionStation, Area 39 bar (special thanks to Haylar Garcia), and really just all overDenver, to include the 16th street mall, the Paramount Cafe, and The Hard RockCafe. Thanks to all those people for their help as well.
EM: What were thecostumes made of?
HB: The proton packswere made from blueprints I found on the internet. I ordered a few fabricatedparts, but built most of them from scratch. It took about four weeks to completethe three packs. Chris Cdebaca from No-FaceStudios provided us with the wonderful Freddy make-up prosthetic.
EM: Is there a chancefor a sequel?
HB: Well, I can't eversay there is NO chance. I'm not sure what we'll be doing in the future--we havea lot on our plate right now. It was a lot of work, but if enough people likeit, and the cast wants to make another one, I'd do it.
EM: Why do a moviepitting Ghostbusters against Freddy?
HB: I just love thesetwo franchises. They're both so much fun, and as I said before, I've alwayswanted to do a movie about each. I figured this would be a great way to do bothof them at once. Another reason is, there just aren't really too many fan filmsabout either. As a huge fan of both, I thought it's time we had some fan filmsfor these two.
EM: Do you think you gotacross what you wanted to in the movie, if not where do you think you missed it?Or now that it is done what do you wish you would have put in it?
HB: Well, any filmmakerwill tell you that there are things that worked and didn't. Things I would haveliked to have done better. On the other hand, sometimes during the course of amovie, something goes better than expected--better than you could have planned.I think we really conveyed what we wanted to with this. I think fans of bothfranchises will be happy with what they see.
EM: What type and howmuch special effects did you use? How much was CGI as opposed to traditionaleffects? What type of program did you use on the CGI?
HB: There were a lot ofspecial effects in this that you probably won't even notice. For most of the noticeableones such as proton streams, I used a combination of Ulead Media Studio Pro'sVideo Paint, and Adobe After Effects. I'm not a believer in CGI, and that's notjust because I have no idea how to do it. When setting out to make this, Ireally wanted to make the entire film exactly the way they had to do it in theeighties, or at least close to it. The streams are old school, painted on frameby frame, and Slimer is a puppet we super-imposed into the film. I tried to useas many physical effects on set as possible--they always look the best, in myopinion.
EM: Since "Ghostbusters3" seems to be dead in the water, do you considers your movie to be"Ghostbusters 3" or, perhaps, "Ghostbusters: The Next Generation"?
HB: Definitely more nextgeneration. There can never be a "Ghostbusters 3" without the originalcast, and we wouldn't even try to play those characters. I don't think"Ghostbusters 3" is completely dead, and hopefully one day it does getoff the ground.
EM: Where does yourmovie fit in with the Freddy movies?
HB: I'm not really sure,to tell you the truth. We tried to make this Freddy closer to the dark Freddyseen in the first "Nightmare on Elm Street" movie. That, and to keephis face out of the light a lot since it's obviously not the real RobertEnglund. I think most fans of Freddy can watch this, and it's just kind of init's own part of the Nightmare timeline.
Anyway, we had a lot of funmaking this, and I very much hope the fans like it!†
Enjoy the film!