Townie Q&A: Local horror filmmaker Neil McCurry

Neil Davis, director of Night Scream

Mar. 13, 2009

Neil McCurry is the director of Night Scream, a new vampire movie that was filmed and produced entirely in Sarasota. The film will be released as one of five shorts on a DVD titled Slices. A party celebrating the release of the disc will hit Club Phoenix Nightclub this Saturday. (See See&Do for full details.) Here’s McCurry on:

How the movie came about:
“About two years ago, some filmmakers, friends of mine from Los Angeles, called me and they had the idea of getting five filmmakers, all making independent films that have their own feel and flavor and story, and then bundling them all onto one DVD, but having a wraparound story to tie them all together. The reason is when you make shorts, there really is no outlet for them. So you really need to have 60-plus minutes of content if you want to have any sort of commercial viability with them. They would call the whole film Slices, which I thought was a good play on words: There’s five slices to it all and it has a horror kind of theme as well. So, the films are all completely different but they did a wraparound story of a guy who’s got insomnia and he’s sitting up at night watching each of these films. Then at the actual end of the movie somebody comes in and kills him, the guy watching them. They really did a good job with it.”

Why he makes movies:
“The filmmakers I did it with do it for a living. I do it because I love art. I love creating something. I don’t do it with any expectations of financial gain. I always say, ‘I don’t golf, I don’t boat. This is what I like to do as my outlet.’”

Why a vampire movie:
“They said, ‘Hey, what about a werewolf movie? Nobody makes them anymore.’ So Night Scream started as a werewolf movie. I started thinking about how to make a werewolf and not make it look too bad. Even though it’s low-budget you don’t want someone coming out with a rubber mask. So I started talking to a couple special effects people. I switched it to a vampire, really, because of all the creatures, some colored eyes, some fangs, some blood ­— you got a vampire.”

—Tim Sukits

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