VQDM - Damien how did you get started in the creative process of making movies and how long had you thought about doing things like this prior to you actually being involved?
Damien- It all started in 2000 when I began writing my first screenplay. I’ve been writing all kinds of stuff since I was in High School. Right now, 2017, I am writing Season 1 to the new JEZEBETH TV SERIES that will be streaming on Amazon Prime via SGL Entertainment. This will also be available on blu ray & dvd. I am also the Director and Lead Producer. My Executive Producers for the Jezebeth tv series includes myself, Jeffrey A Swanson, Ray Van Blarcom, Todd Rodgers and Matt Moody.
VQDM - What was your first idea for a project that came to fruition?
Damien- My first feature film that came to light was “The Blind and the Dead” back in 2007 which was screened at The Portage Theater in Chicago back in 2008. The same Theater where part of a movie was filmed that featured actor Johnny Depp. At that screening of “The Blind and the Dead,” that is also when I hooked up with Jeffrey A Swanson, the President at Dark Star Records and SGL Entertainment, a worldwide film distribution company.
VQDM - Have you ever thought about what it would have been like if you chose a different path all together?
Damien-Yes, all the time. But I wouldn’t change a thing. I am a driven man and the Jezebeth movie & tv franchise is my life. It’s all I know. It’s all I care to know. I’ve had offers to work on other movies, but I have zero interest in that.
VQDM - Is there a specific sound you look for when your making the filming process to help with the visual effects when it comes to the music aspect?
Damien-Well first, whether I’m writing the Jezebeth tv series or a Jezebeth movie, all I focus on is my story. The music soundtrack comes later in Post. This is when I rely on Jeffrey A Swanson, who helps select the right music. Right now, for our Jezebeth tv series, we are excited to have the Jezebeth theme song by Grigori 3. The track is called “Delusion” And we are also very excited to have Leaving Eden included and the track is called “No Soul.” I would like to point out that Grigori 3 and Leaving Eden will be filmed in a Jezebeth tv shoot on June 24, 2018 at The Forge in Joliet, Illinois. Both bands of course are signed to Dark Star Records. And also, the music of Jenny Franck, Blackjack Sass, Conquestmetal and more, will be included in the Soundtrack, and again, all signed to Dark Star Records.
VQDM - Do you listen to specific music on set or on headphones to keep you in the mood ?
Damien- No. When I am directing, I need quiet. I want to hear a pin drop.
VQDM - What was your worst moment and what was your best moment on set?
Damien- I won’t answer that. I will not burn any bridges. But I will say that the first actress that ever played Jezebeth was Bree Michaels in Jezebeth (2011) and she was so wonderful and so talented. That movie won for “best picture” at the Milan, Italy Online Film Festival in 2016. Ana Santos played Jezebeth in Jezebeth 2 Hour of the Gun, and that movie won for “best soundtrack” at the RIP Horror Film Festival in Hollywood, CA in 2015. Ana Santos was also wonderful to work with and talented. And now, in 2017, I am honored to have with me, actress DaVena Sulevan, who is the new Jezebeth in the Jezebeth tv series and she will reprise her role as the schizophrenic vampire Jezebeth Wyck in 2019, when we film the 3rd installment in the Jezebeth movie franchise: Jezebeth 3 Absence of Light.
VQDM - Do you have a favorite actress or actor you would like to see in one of your films eventually?
Damien- Well, my favorite actress is Sharon Tate “Valley of the Dolls” but as for a favorite actress or actor to appear in a Jezebeth movie or in our Jezebeth tv series, I already have that, and her name is DaVena Sulevan. And also, I am honored to have indie horror icon, Debra Lamb in our Jezebeth tv series. Also, we are excited to introduce young actress Abigail Van Blarcom, a 13 year old, who will appear in both the Jezebeth tv series and in Jezebeth 3 Absence of Light.
VQDM - Have you been able to be on any of the classic movie sets to observe or work with anyone as a co production?
Damien- No, not really.
VQDM - How long do you separate your work from your personal life or do you live in it 24 hours a day?
Damien- 24 hours a day.
VQDM - Who was your biggest influence in the career you have chosen and why?
Damien- Bergman, Swedish film director, writer and producer. As for why, I love his style. He’s the greatest film director ever. There is no one better.
VQDM- Did you ever wish you could be a superhero or a villan? Who and Why?
Damien- No, but I am a very big fan of Seth MacFarlane (creator of The Orville). And my wish would be to appear in an episode of The Orville.
VQDM - Last but not least what lies ahead for Mental Case Pictures for 2018? Sneak peaks that only the readers will find out?
Damien- In 2018, we are filming the Jezebeth tv series, starting in June in Muscatine, Iowa, and part of a scene at The Forge in Joliet, Illinois on June 24, 2018. We will be looking for about 200 extras for that tv shoot where the bands Grigori 3 and Leaving Eden, will perform, but this is NOT a concert. Just a tv shoot for the Jezebeth tv series.
In 2019, we will film Jezebeth 3 Absence of Light, the 3rd installment in the Jezebeth movie franchise.