October’s Horror Filmmaker of the Month – Tory Jones

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Horror Survival: How excited are you to be doing a sequel to your baby “The Wicked One”?
Tory Jones: I’m very excited to be revisiting this character and taking it in what I believe is an unexpected and unique direction. I always knew there would be more wicked one films, but I wanted to make sure the story was right.

HS: Can you tell us the synopsis?
Jones: In Wicked Ones, we sort of open the film with our antagonist from the first being brought to justice. From there the story sort of explores the mythology a bit more and centers on the detective who brought him down. He’s now plagued by nightmares and visions and begins to lose his humanity over the course of the film. It’s very different from the first.

HS: Who’s working on the project with you?
Jones: I have an incredible team involved with this one. Shawn Burkett and Concept Media Films, Studio 605, Saraphen Films, Taintbad Productions, Gorecore Fx, and Rocky Gray. It’s a super talented team.

HS: What makes a fruitful collaboration? What do you do to enhance the collaborative process?
Jones: For me, a fruitful collaboration is when the team subscribes to a singular vision. Now there are many ways to achieve that vision and get to the finish line, but everyone needs to be on the same page in regards to what the tone of the film is and what we are setting out to achieve.

I listen to a lot of opinions. I hear what everyone has to say and their thoughts on how to achieve something. Sometimes I don’t have all the answers and sometimes other people have better ideas than me. And no matter if I like an idea or if I don’t I always respect someone’s view. Ultimately every decision I make has to serve the film, so it’s really about me trusting my team and them trusting me. If you can’t trust who you’re working with, then you shouldn’t be working with them.

HS: Have you cast any actors yet and if not where can people find out more about casting?
Jones: Our cast for this is going to be amazing. We have Michael Leavy from Fuzz on the Lens Productions. Here’s a guy who has directed and worked with the likes of Malcolm McDowell, Gilbert Gottfried, Bruce Davison, Tyler Mane, and so many others. We have Talia Schade who I worked with on Angel and is an incredible actress. She’s got some films booked and she’s definitely one to watch. Loves acting and is all about serving the story, not herself. Patrick Taft who’s relatively new to the game but is going to surprise everyone. Jason Crowe who is one of the most accomplished indie actors out there and James Tackett who is always a dream to work with. Roman Jossart from Don’t Fuck in the Woods and of course Jack Norman returns as The Wicked One.  (HS: Cast photos are below the article)

HS: What are typically your biggest frustrations when making a movie?
Jones: My biggest frustrations with indie filmmaking usually stems from wanting to do more and achieve more than budget often times allows. There’s never enough money. So that’s probably my biggest frustration.

HS: What makes a film great for you?
Jones: That’s a tough question. I think for me what makes a film great is whether or not the story is engaging enough that I’m emotionally invested. It’s when everything lines up perfectly, the cinematography, the score, the performances, the tone… it all comes together effectively.

HS: What has to happen to your film for you to consider it a success?
Jones: For me ultimately this is a business. Sure it’s my passion, and all I’ve ever wanted to do but it’s still a business. So I definitely gage my success on if the film is being purchased, rented and generating revenue. I have no delusions or need to be famous. I just want to do what I love and be paid for telling stories other people enjoy. So I always try to make movies that people will like or at the very least checkout. I’ve been fortunate so far that has happened. Wicked Ones is my fourth film, so I’m grateful for this being something I can continue to do.

HS: When you get angry at a movie, what sets you off?
Jones: I rarely get angry at movies. There’s been few I’ve seen that i legitimately have walked out pissed off. I am not fond of films however that there’s no pay off for in the end. You see a lot of horror movies that end abruptly and leaving a lot to be desired… those are sometimes frustrating for me personally.

HS: What failures (of your own) have you been able to learn from? How did they change you and your process?
Jones: My biggest failure has been taking people at their word and putting too much stock in individuals who weren’t professional enough to finish a project or their commitments to a project. Finish what you start or don’t start at all. Everyone wants to “make a movie” but for some people, they have no idea what they’re signing up for or the level of commitment required to make independent films. These things aren’t easy to do. So I’ve had situations like that. I’ve definitely been more selective of whom I have on my team and how I go about selecting those people.

HS: So far what has been the saddest or most disappointing moment of your filmmaking career?
Jones: Most disappointing moment of my career was having to reshoot the wicked one after dealing with a situation like I mentioned in the post above. But we did it and look how it’s been since! It’s been amazing!

HS: Crowdfunding has opened up many doors for indie filmmakers and you seem to be pretty successful with it. What’s your secret?
Jones: It’s funny because I have other filmmakers ask me that a lot. Crowdfunding I’ve been lucky with (knock on wood). I studied other indie filmmakers that had achieved success in their crowdfunding efforts and it was apparent that a lot of the success of it is attributed to branding. A lot of times the film isn’t enough so you have to offer items and cool merchandise associated with your film. Clothing, toys, collector’s items. People love that kind of stuff. Also, it’s offering personalized material too. People respond well to that.

HS: Where can potential backers find the project to crowdfund?
Jones: The film is currently funding on Indiegogo.

HS: What are some of your favorite perks you are offering?
Jones: All of the perks we are offering I dig! I really like the keychain and the mini bust and character cards.

HS: What will the money be going towards?
Jones: The money will go towards completing our budget. Lodging, catering, equipment rental, visual and practical effects, wardrobe, stunts, paying our team… without these funds, we can’t make this film.

HS: What’s next for Tory Jones?
Jones: I have ideas but as of now all focus is on Wicked Ones. It’s the most ambitious film I’ve ever set out to make. After Wicked Ones I’m not sure what will come next… but as long as it will be fun and something I can invest in wholeheartedly the sky is the limit