Trainwreck’d Society’s Person of 2011: Steve Sessions [Exclusive]

Steve Sessions may very well be the greatest indie horror filmmaker that you have probably never heard of.  Despite having an immense track record including writing and directing  and music work for over a dozen of his own feature films, a plethora of shorts, working with some of today’s hottest horror stars (Jeff Dylan Graham, Suzi Lorraine, Debbie Rochon just to name drop a few), and much more miscellaneous projects with other filmmakers.  Steve’s work is undeniably well crafted, as well as well conceived.  His embodiment of the indie world is absolutely amazing.  His work isn’t even low-budget.  It’s “no budget”.  He makes movies for “less than the cost of an average funeral”, as he has been quoted as saying.  Somehow, through the magic of innovation and raw natural talent, he pulls off brilliant indie masterpieces on less than a shoe string budget.

2011 proved another amazing year for Mr. Sessions.  He shot and released his latest masterpiece, Shriek of the Sasquatch, as well as releasing the quintessential “Sessions-esque” thriller, Sinister.  The man has been at it for quite a while.  And his love for cinema is his one true drive (especially since he makes an average of zero dollars per film).

I have been a fan of this man’s work for a lot of years, and he has been one of the greatest friends you could ask for since we first corresponded via e-mail about 6 years ago. I was on my first tour of Iraq and decided to e-mail Steve to let him know how much I loved his film Malefic, which we found at the PX on our (sort of) desolate FOB in central Iraq. And in his kind manner we all have learned to love, he sent me (and my dear friend Wiggy) even more of his films to enjoy. Since this time, I have had the pleasure of heading down to Biloxi and meeting Steve in person whilst touring the beautiful cemeteries and waxing political America at a Waffle House. Quite an honor to say the least.  But, I have to admit, I don’t know the man like most do.  Therefore I called upon the people who would understand his genius even greater than I.  The actors, actresses, friends of this legendary man.  And I was not surprised by their responses.  Here’s what some of them had to say about Trainwreck’d Society’s Person of 2011:

“Steve and I have grown to know each other to the level where he does not have to “direct” me. I know what he expects of a character and i do my best to meet his expectations before he asks me to do something in particular. Steve is so accommodating and appreciative of his actors that he doesn’t ask as much as he should from them, so working with him is a little confusing until you understand that his role of director surpasses just “directing” an individual, but is more of allowing the actor to express himself or herself in the role he envisioned. Steve is very open to allowing the actor to interpret the role as they see fit and portray the roles in a manner that befits their personality; this type of directing makes the experience much more relaxing and fun and tends to make actors want to return to be a part of multiple Steve Sessions’ productions………Fate led me to my introduction to and interactions with Steve Sessions, beginning with stumbling upon a local news story about his first feature film, “Cremains”, and on to our chance meeting in an online chat room in which he was casting for his second feature, “Malefic”. Without our interactions and creative collaborations, i would never have had the inspiration and confidence to pursue my own goals of writing and directing feature length films. Steve showed me that one can achieve such a goal with perseverance and creativity when financial instability and the instability of unpaid actors can present difficulties and frustrations. If one wants to accomplish their creative goals, that person can definitely do so. That is what i have learned through my interactions with Steve Sessions. I have accomplished many of my dreams in just assisting Steve in his movie projects, and also gained experience that allowed me to venture further out into creating my own movies. Being a part of Steve’s movies has taught me much in the ways of casting, production, and filming with little to no budget for actors, locations, and props. A dream is enough to fuel the fires of film making! ”

Lucien Eisenach (Torment, Shriek of The Sasquatch, Southern Gothic, At The House of Madness, Malefic)

“Awful. He’s really mean.  Seriously, it was a blast. We were working long hours, but we were having so much fun and laughs, it honestly didn’t feel like work! As a director, he’s really easy going, and open to the actor’s interpretation of the role. He provides great feedback and direction, while still allowing the actor to spread their wings and improv a bit too.  Steve is a prime example of a filmmaker who shows it is possible to make a really fun (and scary) film on a low budget. He’s a really talented writer too, and I think a lot of his strengths lie in this. I would gladly work with him again! You hear that, Steve?”

Suzi Lorraine (Torment)

“Working with Steve is always great! First of all, he has great stories and great atmosphere, so it’s awesome for an actor to work on his movies. You know they will turn out good! His vision is just terrific.  Steve is always doing great movies and does his 100% to deliver the best!! It’s not only a joy to work with him, it’s a privilege!”

Luc Bernier (At The House of Madness, H8, Southern Gothic, Torment, Sinister, Dead Ink, Shriek of the Sasquatch, Contagio)

“Weirdly, sometimes “life imitates art” — as soon as I arrived in Biloxi, the weather turned for the worst.  It quickly

became apparent that we couldn’t possibly shoot outdoors on such a stormy day.  Brilliantly, Steve salvaged the script by re-locating my scenes inside my own hotel room…….  I was so impressed by Steve’s incredible “grace under pressure”…  how he make it all work out, in spite of unforeseen obstacles (like a hurricane!).  Later, when I watched “Dead Clowns”, I was stuck by his amazingly artistic vision… he’s so good at capturing beautiful visual images, like a true artist.  And besides all that, Steve is a wonderfully gracious host and a genuinely nice guy.”

Charlene Brinke Stevens (Dead Clowns)

“Steve is such a genuine sweetheart. When he picked me up at the airport the week of the shoot, we had some extra time, and he showed me around his hometown of Biloxi, MS.  Steve knew I loved cemeteries, so he took me to this really awesome one right off the Gulf of Mexico. It was so serene! We took time and walked through it together, taking pictures, and getting to know each other more, it was a blast! The whole shoot was fun. Steve is all about getting the job done, yet having fun while doing what we needed to do. He’s a very easy going, genuine director who obviously loves what he does or he wouldn’t be here doing it.”

Sarah French (Shriek Of The Sasquatch)

“[On working on Shriek of The Sasquatch]……It was a fun time and hope to do it again in the future. Steve’s a great guy and fun to work with!”

Michelle Trasatti (Shriek of The Sasquatch)

“I’ve always had a blast working with Mr. Sessions and hope to return soon.  He’s always treated his cast/crew members with the utmost respect.  There’s something very nice and peaceful about filming in and around Biloxi, MS.  The folks are really welcoming.  Nice weather, too.  I don’t think it ever snows down there……..Steve has been a tremendously great friend for over a decade now.  He’s offered me some great advice and encouragement on my own filmmaking career.  I hope his work gets more recognition in the future.”

Eric Spudic (Dead Clowns, Psycho Santa, Cache)

“Had a great and easy going shoot with Steve. Will always work for him when he wants me.   Steve is an easy going director and knows what he wants in a scene.”

Ted Alderman (Torment, Shriek of The Sasquatch, Blood of the Spider)

“Working for Steve was a very fun and memorable experience. I had always wanted to be an actor in a horror film, and Steve gave me my first chance. I shot only a few hours on both films, but it was a very relaxed environment. He allowed me to just go with the flow during my death scenes, and I liked that. Overall, I have only great things to say about acting for Steve……Steve, you are a great director and a true talent. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to have been a part of your films.”

Jade Michael LaFonte (Wolfika, Torment)

“Steve was great, he has a unique way of filming and he always turns out good work, he allows the actors to create and run with each scene which was awesome.  I admire Steve for his persistence and ability to get the job done, he thinks outside of the box and makes films in ways most people would think is not possible but yet he does it time and time again, I’d work with him again in a heartbeat.”

Deanna Meske (A Night At The House of Madness, Shriek of the Sasquatch)

” I absolutely love working with Steve. He is a mad genius on a shoestring budget and ALWAYS makes it work. I hope to have the pleasure of collaborating with him again in the near future.”

Laura Aust Danner (Dead Ink, Shriek of the Sasquatch)

“He is a sweetheart, very creative and fun to work with.  He deserves mucho credit for all the heart and soul he puts into his projects.”

Mona Duvera (Shriek of the Sasquatch)

‘I’ve had very good relations with Steve. I’ve found him to be honest and straight forward, which I also found is not common when it comes to independent films.  I think Steve is a very talented film producer and would love to work with him in the future.”

Gore De Vol (Horror Host Hall of Fame legend)

“Steve is a wonderful director to work with on projects. He easily leads you as an actor toward the vision he has for the film and still gives you the freedom to expand on the character. There’s no limits to Steve’s creativity whether it involves props or issues with lighting. He always finds a way to bring what he envisions to print. There’s not alot of indie directors who are able to accomplish that…….There’s alot of people you meet in this business that come and go from set to set. Some people you work with and will never see again; they don’t have a lasting impact on your life or career. Steve doesn’t fall into this category or anywhere near it. Not only is he a talented director, producer, actor, as well as composer, he’s a truly great guy. Really genuine….what you see is what you get. In Steve’s case, you get a really good-hearted man who’ll be one of the best friends you could ever get.”

Lanee Landry (Shriek of the Sasquatch, Luc Bernieer’s H8)
“Steve Sessions is one of the most talented film makers I have ever known. It was an honor and a pleasure to be able to work for him and with him. He has a true vision of horror that is just spine chilling on so many levels. If I had never had the supreme honor to work with him I would have still wanted to buy and watch all of his films!  I did not just think of Steve Sessions as a visionary and a fantastic director I also was proud to call him my friend.  I just want to say THANKS STEVE and many many blessings to you in all that you endeavor to do!”

Kimberly Lynn Cole (Cremains, Dead Clowns, Deadfall, Have You Seen Me?)

View Steve Session’s complete works at IMDB.

Easter Egg

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About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

4 Responses to Trainwreck’d Society’s Person of 2011: Steve Sessions [Exclusive]

  1. Best damn piece this blog ever turned out. Steve Sessions is cooler than the other side of the pillow.

  2. Eric Spudic says:

    A terrific tribute! I like the fact that Steve has done a film every single year since what, ’99 or 2000? That’s dedication to the genre!

  3. Pingback: Two Years of Trainwreck’d [Exclusive!] | Train Wreck'd Society

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