Kerry Fleming [Interview]

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Long time readers out there will be well aware of our avid love for the world of horror. Even more hardcore readers will know that we adore everything that happens around two of our favorite horror filmmakers and past interviewees, Tom Holland and Victor Miller. Both of these geniuses have been kind enough to cross our digital pages, and we are truly honored for this. And yet, they have managed to bring us even more in the likes of making us aware of the brilliant new screenwriter Kerry Fleming. And while we love Tom and Victor, today is all about our new dear friend Kerry.

Kerry Fleming has lived a full fledge life. He has been involved with the world of air traffic control for the greater part of his life, but the idea of writing for the screen and/or television has always been a niche in his mind, and he has now managed to make all of those ideas swirling in his head become a true expression of art. Our new friend Mr. Fleming has developed a brilliant new horror masterpiece that will be known to the world as Rock Paper Dead. He managed to get Victor Miller to assist on the script, and eventually was able to get  the great Tom Holland to direct. It is one of those beautiful stories that are always a damn good thing to hear.

But, let’s not let my inept and incorrigible introduction take away from the real story. We are fortunate enough to get some words from the great Kerry Fleming himself. So how about we read what he has to say for himself. So, Ladies and Gentlemen, Kerry Fleming!

 

So, for many years you were working outside of the film industry. What made you want to switch gears and become a part of the blood thirsty world of filmmaking & screenwriting?

In 2005 the Federal Government decided to privatize a section of air traffic control that included the group I worked in. After a stress filled year and a half I was finally re-hired for a unique workgroup tasked with protecting our nation’s airspace, but was forced to relocate to Washington, DC. It was during this transition that I had an idea for a Sitcom that revolved around the stress filled environment of air traffic control.

You have recently teamed up with our old friends Victor Miller and Tom Holland on the project Rock Paper Dead that seems quite intriguing. How did you come into this project? And what can you tell us a bit about the project?

Well, as I explained in the previous answer I wanted to explore how to make a sitcom and while discussing it with a good friend he mentioned that he knew a writer that might be able to help me. That person was Victor Miller. Victor agreed to act as my mentor and after completing the entire treatment for the sitcom (which I still plan to make) I started writing feature length screenplays. One day I had an idea for a horror thriller about a reformed serial killer who is haunted by his past and loses touch with reality. I pitched it to Victor and while he was somewhat hesitant at first (because he was thoroughly enjoying retirement) he did engage on the structure of the story and the character development. This went on for a few weeks until one day he said it sounded like fun and let’s do it. Over the course of the next several months we held weekly Skype sessions in which we discussed how each upcoming scene would play out and which of us would be tasked to write it. Last spring we were introduced to Amy Williams through Moveeman John T. Baker and Brad Lambert. Amy had an investor who wanted to work with her and although Amy had other projects she could have pushed, she loved our story so much she chose RPD. Amy was the one who brought in Tom Holland with the help of his son Josh and Vincent Guastini. The film is about a “cured” serial killer named Peter Harris. At the start of the film he is apprehended shortly after adding the lovely Angela Grant to his “doll collection”. Instead of getting the death penalty he is remanded to the hospital for the criminally insane, but several years later budget cuts force the staff to release several residents, including Peter. Peter initially believes he actually is cured and moves into his family’s ancestral estate. It isn’t long before memories of a tortured childhood and renewed temptations begin to unravel his sense of normalcy. When his new neighbor, the mysterious and beautiful Monica Barfield, enters his life that things get very interesting.

 

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Now that the film is finally complete, what are your thoughts on the final product? Did the story you saw in your head become projected onto the screen?

It was very humbling watching the story unfold every day on the set, and now that it’s finished I am very excited to share it with the world. It was the story in my (and Victor’s heads) head and somehow Tom Holland managed to crawl inside my brain and make it come to life. I also have to give a big shout out to our DP, Yash Bhatt, for his camera artistry on this as well. I know I am biased in my opinion, but it is a very compelling story and will bring audiences on a roller coaster ride of emotions. There are scenes that will absolutely make people cringe, scenes that will scare and scenes that will just blow everyone away. I know it sounds like a cliche, but all the actors brought their A games. I know I have heard that term used before and never really knew what people meant when they said it. I do now. While you expect that from Tatum O’Neal, Michael Madsen, and Maureen McCormick, you will be blown away watching Luke Macfarlane, and Jennifer Titus as our leads. Add in superb performances from John Dugan, Anna Margaret, and Courtlyn Cannan and I think RPD will become a rousing success.

 

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What were some of the first horror films you can remember watching, and have any of them influenced your work today, and how?

I always loved horror whether it was the classics of Frankenstein, Dracula, or The Mummy, or the B movies that Chiller Theatre would air on Saturday nights in the 70s, to the slasher subgenre that began right after that. All those films served as a base, but it wasn’t until the late 70s and 80s that I developed a deeper appreciation of the genre. There are several films that influence my writing because I found them so powerful the first time I saw them. Films like; Psycho, The Exorcist, Friday the 13th, Night of the Living Dead, Child’s Play, and the Amityville Horror. Rock Paper Dead is like a modern day Psycho, but with influences of the supernatual and slasher subgenres. It really has something for all fans of horror and our amazing cast is just icing on the cake.

When you’re not working on writing stories to frighten the hell out of people, what would one find you doing? What do you do for a bit of “me time”?

I’m still enjoying getting up every morning for my “day job” watching the skies for threats and protecting America. My wife and I spend a lot of time traveling together up to NYC to visit family, especially to see our son and his wife.

So what else do you have coming up in the near future? Anything to plug?

Funny you should ask! A friend of mine, Trent Moran, wrote a very cool supernatural thriller called Something’s on the Roof that he has asked me to help produce. We are in the process of putting together the team and to find funding. I have an 80’s throwback slasher script that I wrote called Opening Day that I would like to get into production right after RPD comes out. On the writing front, I am working on a story inspired by the haunted house I grew up in on Staten Island. It’s called Nefarious and it will be a set piece from the 60’s.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My wife, Karen and my Shih-Tzu Lucy.

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About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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