Barry Jay [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! Welcome to the 2020 edition of our Month of Horror. It’s almost humorous that we are showcasing the motion pictured displays of horror when it seems as though we simply have to look around us to see the natural horror that is enveloping our daily lives. But nevertheless, a quick escape from the surrealism of our daily lives is often appreciated. In this vein, we honor these wonderful folks who seek to only entertain us with a good scare and a break from the actual horror that is all around us. We have assembled a wonderful batch of actors, writers, directors & beyond, who have worked on so many different projects that you know and love. I am beyond excited to share them with you all throughout the month of October. Enjoy!

Today we have some wonderful words from the brilliant writer & filmmaker Barry Jay. One of his most recent films, Killer Therapy, is an absolute must see for any die hard horror fans out there. It’s highly original, and just a god damned delight! Other works include his debut film The Chosen, as well as work on other projects like Patient Zero & Ashes. He’s a delightful person, and we are so excited to have him as a part of our Month of Horror.

So Folks, as we keep trucking along and nearing the end, I hope you are enjoying what we have brought to you this year, and please enjoy some wonderful words from the great Barry Jay!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it an early aspiration you can always remember having since your youth, or did you just find yourself in this world one day?

I have been a voracious horror fan since I was kid living in NY. I was however always parking in community theatre and managed to teach myself piano and to write songs. I tried the acting thing in NY for a while but ultimately it wasn’t for me. Once I was 20 years old, I decided it was time to move to Los Angeles and pursue songwriting. I’ve had very minor success in that field, nothing to live on really and stumbled into a job at a PR company. That job lasted about 6 years before I was let go.  Being a fitness enthusiast at that point, I took at job at a local fitness studio. There I met friends who would become my biz partners and we opened Barry’s (aka Barry’s Bootcamp).  I went back to songwriting for a bit on the side, but my love for horror was haunting me — no pun intended. I started writing scripts.  Many many scripts.  And I met some friends at Barry’s that were in the movie biz and one of them asked to see my scripts.  He suggested we write something together and that script became The Chosen.

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any kind of lessons learned from this project that still affect your work today?

Well I made little bits from here and there from songwriting along the way. Got a song on Ugly Betty that paid well.  But The Chosen was my first script I sold and it was an incredible experience! I loved being on set, it was a very upbeat environment and I got a rush from rewriting on the fly to improve scenes as we shot them.  That was produced by Terror Films and they hired me to write the wrap around for Patient Seven after that.  I learned a lot about what worked well, how a happy set is a productive set (and just more fun!) It was in a way film school for me and gave me the confidence to know I could write/direct Ashes, my first film I produced.  I would say creating a positive environment and surrounding myself with extremely talented people is something I learned and keep with me as I grow as a person and director.

 

In your own personal opinion, what do you believe it is that makes the horror genre special? What sets it apart from other genres you have worked in?

I feel something when I watch horror — my blood flows, my heart races, its the only genre where screaming at the character on screen is acceptable and appreciated! To experience fear, like a roller coaster ride is something unique to horror movies. Also that old adage what you don’t see is scarier doesn’t always apply with other genres — you need to see the light saber battle in Star Wars. But not knowing where the killer is in the house… terrifying.

What is your favorite scary movie?

Okay — so I go back and forth between Halloween (1978) which is a master class in horror filmmaking IMHO.  And Night of the Living Dead, a movie that has inspired me in so many ways since the first time I saw it. George Romero putting everything he had into that movie reminded him many days that its worth betting on yourself.

I know this year may be a bit different, but I am curious to know if you have any sort of Halloween traditions? Anything you would normally do each year?

For a while I was known for my way-over-the-top Halloween parties — think big then multiply that by 10.  However, they were a LOT of work (we’d start planning in July) and costly and messy… so we stopped.  Other than that I watch the iconic horror every night of October, and I can be found at UNIVERSAL HORROR NIGHTS about 3 or 4 times a year. Also on Halloween night and the night before I write, love to work on script on those days. (The night before Halloween was called GATE NIGHT where I grew up and I wrote a script with same title)….

 

 

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

Killer Therapy was released on September 15 for North America and Canada, And other territories will be released on December 4th.

My latest script Aroused, a psycho-thriller is in pre-production.  And I am really excited about this one!

What was the last thing that scared the hell out of you?

It’s 2020 — take your pick.  BUT in terms of horror…. sadly nothing yet this year in films. But the trailer for Unhinged did get my blood pumping. Can’t wait to see it.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My pups — I can always count on them for that.

 

 

 

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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