Interview with Director of Photography from Planet of the Vampire Women

Planet of the Vampire women is showing its world premiere tomorrow, Saturday, April 30, 2011 at the historic Crest Theater in Sacramento, CA. Everyone here at The Order of the Zombie is counting down the hours until the premiere.
We recently interviewed Christy Savage, Director of Photography and one of the Producers for Planet of the Vampire Women.

History of TFO Productions

TFO PRODUCTIONS is a Sacramento-Based Motion Picture Production Company specializing in High Quality, Low Budget horror and exploitation films for the global market. TFO also produces the wildly successful Trash Film Orgy Midnight Movie Film Festival which takes place annually since 2001 at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento. The company is a partnership between Darin Wood, Christy Savage and Amy Slockbower, although TFO relies heavily on the involvement and support of local talent, volunteers and business sponsors to create their unique brand of movie-magic. TFO Productions past projects include the features Curse of the Golden Skull and Monster from Bikini Beach as well as short films (Cheerleaders from Hell) and music videos (Heathen’s Dying Season and SoulMotor’s Down in Mexico). TFO is also commonly credited with inventing the worldwide phenomenon that is the Zombie Walk in 2001 in Sacramento.
Christy Savage on the set of Planet of the Vampire Women

When did you know you wanted to be a filmmaker?

Although always profoundly influenced by motion pictures, I consciously made that decision when I was about 12…took a while to put it into motion, though ☺


Was there a specific film or director that inspired you?

Yes, many…I think the real clincher was somewhere between Alfred Hitchcock and Roman Polanski, but Corman made me realize it was actually possible. Also greatly influenced by John Carpenter, William Castle, Dario Argento.


Do you recall your first horror film? How old were you?

I recall always watching horror films as a kid…and I was lucky enough to have awesome horror hosts where I lived, too (Sammy Terry and Dr. Creep!!). One of my youngest memories though (maybe age 4) was watching Trilogy of Terror and being scared half to death by that little damn fetish doll!!! And of course, I saw ‘Halloween’ when it opened in 1978 and I think that one cemented my destiny to be a horror filmmaker…I was obsessed and saw every horror movie I could after that.


Between your first film and your most recent, what would you say is the biggest difference in how you work now?

While I still concentrate on making the best possible art I can, we now also treat it as a business and think about what’s going to sell as well as just what we like. We take it a lot more seriously, as a whole, I think, but we still have just as much fun!!


What is your favorite part of the filmmaking process?

Being on set shooting, absolutely. Although, it’s an amazing feeling to FINISH the movie…maybe one of the absolute best feelings in the world even.


What is the part you dread the most?

Raising money and looking for distribution…you know, the business parts. But I’m cool with it…it’s a necessary part of the process.


What’s the worst set-building accident that’s ever happened to you or your crew?

Honestly…I don’t think we have any truly gory building stories…we have a pretty darn safe set. The saddest accident, though, was absolutely the MONSTER from Monster from Bikini Beach falling out of the truck on the freeway on the way home from a shoot, though! That was devastating!! But we made a new one and continued on because that’s the way we roll…


Out of all your films, who is your favorite character?

Hard to say, hard to say…everyone is so awesome for the most part. I think I have really fallen in love with the character that Stephanie Hyden plays in Planet of the Vampire Women-Astrid Corvair. She’s a pleasure-clone turned space pirate who can change her outfit/look with a slight movement and she is well-versed in history and alien archaeology.


Have you ever wanted to get in front of the camera? What kind of character would you like to play?

No…I’m very comfortable behind the camera and have no desire to be an actor at this point.


If you had fifty million dollars to make a film, what would you make?

A badass Exploitation Horror movie with monsters, sexy ladies and lots of car stunts and explosions.


Have you written your first Oscar acceptance speech?

Nope…figure that one’s a ways off…but I’m sure I’ll forget to thank someone important.


You’ve dealt a lot with monsters, zombies, actors, volunteers, etc. in your movies; what’s the best way to put down a zombie?

Oh come on now…everyone knows it’s a headshot!


If you could have any one famous actor/actress (from any time) appear in your film, who would it be?

Damn…that’s a hard one. I’m gonna go with Blue Demon cause he kicks major ass and has my same birthday!


After the eventual zombie apocalypse and you’ve got your basic needs (shelter and so forth) taken care of, what five things from your past would you risk your life to go back and get?

My badass HD camera and my 2 movies and my EC comics and my stuffed Deep One.


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