Shawn Papazain [Interview]

Welcome to Day 11 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Month of Horror Showcase. Every day during the month of October, we will have a horror related interview and/or film review for your fright-filled reading pleasure! The set up will be the same as usual, but the topics will be far more terrifying. Enjoy!

For regular readers of Trainwreck’d Society, you will remember that last years Week of Horror showcase featured a legend of the modern horror world, Mr. Daniel Myrick. The man who brought you The Blair Witch Project, Rest Stop, Sublime, and more. Well today we are going to talk with a cat that is also partially responsible for the success of Myrick’s post Blair success. I’m talking about the amazing producer and director Shawn Papazain (if the title of this piece didn’t give it away).

Shawn has had some tremendous success in the world of film over of the years, including a terrific splattering of films with Myrick’s Raw Feed Films. This dude produced and directed within the Rest Stop franchise, which is an incredible group of films that everyone should enjoy. He also produced one of the most underrated and creepy as shit horror films, Myrick’s Believers. Seriously, watch that one. It would change you!

So with that, please enjoy some amazing words from the even more amazing Shawn Papazian!

When did you decide you wanted to join the world of filmmaking? Was it an early aspiration or did you just sort of land in it?

When I was 5 years old I knew what I wanted to be: A Producer. Since my father was a Producer at that time (and has been for the better part of the last 50+yrs), I wanted to be one as well—I had no clue what a “Producer” was or what he/she did. I was very fortunate to have grown up on tv and movie sets throughout my young years so that by the time I was 18 and going off to college I had a sense of what being a ‘producer’ entailed.

You’ve worked alongside our old friend Daniel Myrick on such great projects like Rest Stop and Sublime in the past. How did you your relationship with Myrick begin? This seems like such a dream team for the horror world!

Hahaha… Dan is great to work with. He and I met on the films you mentioned and have been working together ever since then.  We see story and characters in the same way. We like to bring empathy and sympathy to the characters we create so the audience has a sense of both what the antagonist is/has gone through as well as what he protagonist is/has gone through. In addition, we like the element of scare tactics but try best to enhance those moments so that they would hopefully resonate within the audience in a way that makes one take things personal level by referring to something that happened to them in a similar way. Intimate!

What was it like to jump into the full blown director’s seat on the follow up to Rest Stop?

AMAZING! I did all the 2nd unit directing on all three Raw Feed Films as well as produced them. Fortunate for me, the 2nd unit directing I did was more than the standard assumed pick ups one would go off and shoot. So, the guys (Tony Krantz, John Shiban, and Dan Myrick) realized my eye and fully supported me when the studio wanted to develop and produce the sequel. WB was beyond supportive of the idea as well since I produced the first Rest Stop and they knew I was very close with John Shiban’s vision of the characters and their circumstances as well as having the insight with how best to notch it up visually. What were your intentions going into filming, and do you feel like you got most of what you wanted to see on screen? Why or why not] My intention was to give someone a ride while tell a story. Based on budget, I got a good amount of what I wanted to achieve.

What is it about the horror genre specifically that makes you enjoy working within it?

I enjoy scaring people as a comedian would enjoy making folks laugh.

What is your favorite scary movie?

The Strangers… its stillness as you sat through it was eerie. The camera work was seamless. And the editing was perfect in timing and storytelling.

What are your plans for this coming Halloween? Any traditions you try to stick to each year? 

To take my young daughter trick or treating! And hope to watch sum ol’ school horror flicks that will be on TV—we love to channel surf and jump around to those classics on Halloween. Of course, once my sugar crazed little one has crashed for the night. 😉

What does the future hold for you? Anything you’d like to plug to our readers?

Yes! Dan and I are currently writing the sequel to our TV film Under The Bed that aired on Lifetime earlier this year. We’re working with Lifetime/AE network on the sequel and are loving every second of it! I’m also producing an Independent film with Scott Eastwood that’s currently titled House of the Holy that we are aiming to start production in early 2018.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My two kids stoke on their faces while we were vacationing in Hawaii a couple weeks ago.

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About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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