"Jennifer’s Bodies is a roving annual festival of female-helmed horror movies and part of Women In Horror Recognition Month, an international assortment of affiliated events organised partly to highlight just how much women can and do contribute to the genre outwith the typically accepted factors of tits, ass and mezzosoprano screaming." Starburst Magazine

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Blast from the Past - An Interview with Maude Michaud - Red and T is for Toothpick!

Name of Short – Red
Running Time – 15 minutes
Year of Completion – 2011  
Location of Shooting – Montreal, QC (Canada) with one sequence filmed in Los Angeles, CA (USA)
Director - Maude Michaud

Name of Short – T is for Toothpick
Running Time – 4 minutes
Year of Completion – 2011  
Location of Shooting – Montreal, QC (Canada)
Director - Maude Michaud

What inspired you to make this short in particular?

For Red, the idea had been haunting me for quite a while... After making Snuff, I knew I wanted to further explore the idea of ‘snuff’ films, but this time as part of a more ‘traditional’ narrative. I also wanted to assemble on screen all my aesthetic fetishes I had experimented with in order to make the ultimate short that would represent and use all the themes, images and elements I enjoy when watching a movie. And somehow, out of all this, the idea of Red was born.

As for T is for Toothpick, a crazy idea crossed my mind and, instead of logically dismissing it like I usually do, I decided to go for it and have fun with it!

Is this the first short that you have worked on and if not, what other work have you done before this?

I’ve worked on over a dozen shorts in the past few years, including Hollywood Skin, Snuff, Reflection (from the Frankenstein Unlimited anthology film) and Recessed.

What are you working on next?

I’ll be working on my first feature film which I plan on shooting at the end of the year.  This will be my biggest project yet!  

Name one woman who you would just absolutely love to work with and why?!

I’d love to work with Mia Kirschner (pictured below). I've been fascinated by her for a long time. She’s not only really talented; she also tends to pick unusual characters, which I find really refreshing. She has this intense presence... I can only imagine what would come out of an artistic collaboration!  

If you could choose one person, living or dead, who would choose to work with on your ideal project?

Vincent Price! I’m a huge fan; everything about him is wonderful: his voice, the way he carries himself, his presence... Not only is he super talented, he also oozes gentlemanly charm even when he’s playing a villain or a madman. That is hard to pull off!

Are you going to be doing anything special to celebrate Women in Horror Month this year?

Things will be a bit quiet for me this year; I will be donating blood soon and will follow it up with a small movie night at my place watching some of my favourite shorts directed by women with Dead Hooker in a Trunk acting as the cherry on top! I’m super excited about that! I’m currently polishing the first draft of my feature length script that I plan on producing later this year, and that is keeping me busy full time. Also, two of my shorts are screening as part of a few Women in Horror festivals, so I’ll be there in spirit! 

Random question – if you had to recommend one TV show that you think people just HAVE to watch, what would you recommend!?! 

My all-time favourite: Twin Peaks! But I also really enjoyed American Horror Story if you’re looking for a more recent one.  (Yay!  I am a HUGE Twin Peaks fan!)

What's your favourite film from the past year? (Doesn't have to be horror!)

The first one that comes to mind is Theatre Bizarre. I was lucky enough to be at the World Premiere during the Fantasia Film Festival and the energy in the room was just... wow. Nobody was prepared for what hit them! It’s a real roller coaster ride and I thoroughly enjoyed the variety and the way each filmmaker brought its own distinct touch to the project.

T is for Toothpick, haha, this is exactly the kind of shit I think when I see toothpicks, I totally just want to stab people with them...were you always the same, is this what made you come up with this super awesome concept in the first place, haha?

I learned about the ABCs of Death contest and wanted to participate. As soon as I read the rules, I started looking for my ‘T’. I don’t know why, but the first thing that came to mind was ‘Death by Toothpick’. I started laughing hysterically at the absurdity of the idea and said to myself ‘why not?!’ So, I called up my awesome special f/x partner in crime and told him about it, expecting him to tell me I was insane. His reaction was as follow: a few seconds of silence... followed by hysterical laughter!  So, we put out two twisted brains together and listed all the sick things one could do with a toothpick and voila!

I love your obsession with snuff movie, and I totally get where the fascination with them comes from! Anyone who missed my interview with Maude last year, I totally recommend checking it out, she is a lady with a definite love of the delightfully macabre! So anyhoo, Red continues this love affair with the world of snuff movies...and just like Snuff...it ends in just the manner I like, bwahahaha! Red features the gorgeous Shannon Lark, who still despite not even saying a word, still manages to be completely engaging. What was it like working with this legendary lady?

Shannon was simply awesome to work with! She kindly accepted to shoot this little video segment with me during my passage in L.A. for the Viscera film festival. What made everything even more amazing is that we were on the same wavelength, so she totally understood what I was trying to get. She is definitely someone I want to work with again and I’m looking forward to a future collaboration with her.

Olga's hair...the fringe, WOW! Was that your idea or is her hair naturally that quirky?

This is Olga’s natural fringe, which I felt was simply perfect for the role and added a little something to the character! I’m glad you liked it!

How is Bloody Breasts coming along, would you look at actually turning this into a full length documentary?

For the moment, I really like the webseries format. I have two or three new episodes I want to edit with the material I already shot which I feel will nicely wrap-up phase 1 of the series. I don’t plan on editing them all together as a feature-length documentary – I’ve already done so for some festivals and my thesis committee, but I prefer to let people pick the episode they want to see – I’m already thinking about phase 2 and I have so many ideas! I can’t wait to have a clearer plan to be able to talk about it.

Can we expect any feature length snuff from your lovely self in the near future?

Yes for feature length, but it won’t have to do with snuff this time. If everything goes as planned, you’ll hear more about it later this year! But for now, everything is still hush-hush until I get a few things figured out. 

You are working on a new photo project, can you fill us in on where you're at with that? :)  

(Maude - Pictured above)
Yes! I did a few horror themed photo shoots to use as b-roll for my documentary webseries and really LOVED the experience. I came up with so many ideas... I decided to turn it into an ongoing conceptual photography project that I then want to try to pitch to different galleries and maybe gather in a coffee table book. I’m still designing the parameters of the project which will draw some inspiration from the work of Cindy Sherman and Alex Prager with a horror and Euro-exploitation touch and which will also explore the relationship between cinema and sequential photography. I plan on starting to shoot new series in March for a launch during the summer, so stay tuned!  

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