Interview Written by David Strege
With Daniel Murphy and Tom Komisar of HMM Films.
MG: First let’s begin begin with your names, where your from, and What were your inspirations for becoming a director and or writer of independent films?
DM: Hi, My name is Dan Murphy I am from Crawley in England, UK. I used to run a horror movie website for a few years and i got in to Indie film by reviewing them for other people. I went to school for acting and theatre studies so it has always been a big part of my life! and Horror has always been my fav genre.
TK: My name is Tom Komisar, I’m originally from Los Angeles California…I’ve been a fan of horror movies since I was a little kid…I used to write short stories when I was young. I always wanted to write screenplays and make my own movies…I decided to quit dreaming about it and start doing it. So I started reading screenplays online to teach myself how they were done. My first screenplay was a feature length film. A guy I worked with at the time also wanted to start making films. He was going to college for Audio/Visual production. The head of the department let us use their cameras as long as we used their students to help out. We filmed the movie over 4 days…it wasn’t very good hahaha…but it was a fun experience and we learned a lot.
MG: Why did you choose horror? Or at least the genre your creating in Independent Film?
DM: I grew up watching horror flicks with my Dad and was hooked for life! plus you can do so much with a horror movie! we try to include something for everyone, when it comes to gore, scares and laughs!
TK: I was always a big fan of horror and monsters. I had an old black and white TV in my room when I was a kid and I used to stay up late and watch Japanese Monster movies all night.
MG: What kind of challenges did you have in making “And Then You Die”?
DM: This was my first movie so it came with many challenges, we learned everything as we went really. But we kept if fun and everyone worked together to make it happen!
TK: I met Dan while he was making “And Then You Die” so I’ll leave that question for him…
MG: “The Night of the Dolls”?
DM: Night of the Dolls was a very smooth shoot, i guess the hardest part was teaching some of the cast how to “pretend” to play instruments lol.
TK: Night of the Dolls had a pretty big cast…I think the biggest challenge was scheduling the shooting days…we had to shoot it on weekends over several months, and change the schedule quite a bit due to different circumstances. But in the end, once everyone was on set, things went fairly smooth…I can’t think of anything that was too crazy…the cast and crew worked great together…like one big family…other than the heat, and people driving past our set with no mufflers on their cars haha!
MG: “House of Whores 1 or 2”?
DM: Both movies we filmed in just a few days and also went very smooth. The content is very extreme so some scenes were a bit crazy to shoot. But as i said before we are a laid back bunch so really there were no issues! Even though i had the flu the whole time we filmed part 1.
TK: House of Whores 1 was a dream! A piece of cake…we came up with the idea and literally shot it at Dan’s house over a weekend…I LOVED filming Part 1…Now, House of Whores Part 2? That was a different story haha! We had a lot of crazy shit going on while making that movie…no specifics, but we had a main character drop out on the day we were shooting, we had to rewrite half the movie on set because we didn’t have a replacement AND the person that was letting us use their house forgot to inform his wife (who was out of town) that we had a bunch of half naked girls running around the house haha! There were other things…but I’ll leave it at that!
MG: “Blood Moon River”?
DM: We had some VERY long days/nights but again the shoot was scheduled very well and outside of one of the original cast dropping out after we started filming it went very well!
TK: Poison Ivy and our poor actors having to go back into that freezing cold nasty pond to do take after take…they were troopers though…but I felt bad for them.
MG: Did you have a favorite scene or shot you remember that you can share from And Then You Die”?
DM: I really like the tree death scene. We had 3 kills in mind for these characters, but we went with this kill and i’m glad we did! it was the hardest to shoot, but i’m very happy with how it turned out.
TK: Another question for Dan.
MG: “Night of the Dolls”?
DM: The music video shoots were fun, BUT also HELL! it was so hot in that building, so these shoots i will always remember. My fav shoot was the bar fight scene. A couple walked away with bruise and scraps but we all had A LOT of fun doing it!
TK: The last shot on the last day…we were at Dan’s place after shooting all day…we had one more shot to do at a location down the street…we forgot that we needed some fake semen for this scene…Dan’s wife Judy mixed some powdered sugar and milk together in a cup, it looked perfect…while we were shooting the scene, we had a tube attached to the actor and when the semen started coming out of the tube Dan started gagging haha! It was awesome!
MG: “House of Whores 1 or 2”?
DM: The casting couch interviews were definitely my favorite for part 1, we had a different opening in the script and changed it last minute to what you see now. it was all made up on the spot and completely made the movie and the characters what they are today! it would not have been the same without this scene BIG thanks to R J Cecott for taking the reigns on that one!
The game show scenes with Porn Star Riley Grey were a tonne of fun to shoot so i think that is my answer for part 2!
TK: House of Whores 1…the “Pee” scene with Dan and Linda Schrader. House of Whores 2…ramming the Dildo Gun into AC McCray’s mouth haha!
MG: “Blood Moon River”?
DM: The whole movie was so much fun! I can’t pick a scene because this flick is so versatile if that makes sense! we have a lot going on so each scene has it good points! The skinny dipping scene was the toughest to shoot though, did it over 2 days separated between a couple of months dude to a schedule conflict so that was fun to edit lol
TK: The final scene of the movie was the last scene we shot as well. It was a super long day and it got cold as hell inside that machine shop…but everybody pulled together and we got some fantastic shots that night…to be honest, the whole movie was like that…very long days…but a very dedicated cast and crew got the job done…we’re very very happy!
MG: Where did you happen to film “And Then You Die”,”Night of the Dolls”, “House of Whores 1 or 2”? and or “Blood Moon River”?
DM: All of the movies were filmed in or around Winamac, IN we had a lot of help from local businesses and people, allowing us to shoot on their property etc. we have been very lucky as far as that goes. THANK YOU WINAMAC, IN!
TK: Night of the Dolls was mainly filmed in the town of Winamac Indiana…, House of Whores 1 was filmed at Dan’s house in Winamac. House of Whores 2 was filmed in Noblesville and Winamac Indiana. Blood Moon River? Out in the woods somewhere… where were we Dan? Lol!
MG: Who were your make up artists for “And Then You Die”,”Night of the Dolls”, “House of Whores 1 & 2”, and your newest “Blood Moon River”? And how were your relationships with any of them during any of these productions?
DM: We like to use Harry McCane F.X, he is a great guy and can do anything! his first movie was Night of the Dolls and its been fun watching him grow! the guy is VERY talented!
TK: Night of the Dolls and House of Whores Part 2 was Harry McCane. Blood Moon River was Harry McCane and Laura Newman.
MG: How do you think your characters or effects turned out after production for “And Then You Die” and or “Night of the Dolls”?
DM: We did all of our own F.X for And then YOU die! there are things i would do differently now if i could but for the most part i’m happy with the kills! its a fun movie to watch and it is supposed to be a bit cheesy so that helps! Night of the Dolls came out great though, so no complaints there.
MG: “House of Whores 1 & 2” and or “Blood Moon River”?
DM: I am very happy with the F.X in these movies! Harry did a great job in Blood Moon River, he even made his first (SPOILER ALERT) Head, and it turned out great. The HOW’s movies are also supposed to be very comical so yes i have no complaints for these movies either!
TK: We’re very happy with our effects. Harry McCane is our SFX specialist and he always takes good care of us. We have detailed discussions in our preproduction meetings to make sure we have a solid game plan before any production begins.
MG: Did you have any problems casting for any of these four features of yours? And how was your relationship with your casts and the rest of your crew or crews for your movies.
DM: No, we have never had any trouble! we have a super close group and hand pick everyone so they fit in and get along, everyone has a good positive passionate attitude which def helps when you are making movies. We try to avoid any drama. If you can’t have fun doing this, you shouldn’t be doing it! It is what we love, it has to be fun!
TK: We’ve been lucky…we’ve never had a problem with casting. Sometimes due to scheduling you may have to recast someone, but overall, we have a great circle of actor friends that we can always count on.
MG: Is there anything else that you’d like to ad? If you have some possible new film in development or an older project why don’t you tell us a little more about it? If not will we see more of your talent?
DM: We have A LOT going on right now, we are hosting a horror film festival this Oct called the Midwest Horror Fest, find out more here: http://www.midwesthorrorfest.com PLUS we have teamed up with Heidi Moore to produce Dolly Deadly 2. Pre production is well underway and we hope to shoot in June/July this year! it is a Rock Horror Musical!
Thanks for for taking the time to interview us, means a lot!
TK: We are currently working on Dolly Deadly 2. It’s a Punk rock musical sequel to Heidi Moore’s Dolly Deadly…The script is completed and I’m currently working on the soundtrack…we hope to start filming it this Summer. And we also have the Midwest Horror Fest coming up this October! We are very excited about that!
MG: Well Mr. Daniel Murphy and Mr. Tom Komisar we thank you so much for your time and for letting me dig deep inside your Twisted Minds!
TK: Thank YOU! We appreciate your support.