Camp Slaughter Actor Speaks!Posted by:
Maybe two or three years ago I was up at Opera Films office and terrorized my friends Martin and Anneli. Iâ€™ve just worked as a co-producer on an action film, Farligt FÃ¶rflutet, and they where preparing for a new movie. They handed me a synopsis for a slasher, Camp Slaughter, and together with another fellow, a very nice man named Rickard Lidberg, I read it and found it very amusing.
The years went by and I tried to work with film and television. One day Anneli EngstrÃ¶m, the producer, called me up and asked if I wanted to come to an audition. Iâ€™ve never said no to an interesting experience and a couple of weeks later I did a terrible audition for Martin Munthe (the director), Anneli and this guy Olof Stierna. I hated my performance. I was so nervous I couldnâ€™t speak and thought that this was it. My career as a movie star ended the same day I first had an audition. In some way, donâ€™t ask my how, I got the part and some months later it was time to shoot the flick.
To work with microbudgets is always a fun, but hard thing. To be an actor in these kinda projects is frightening, but also very challening. The days are long and the filming goes fast. But with Martin Munthe it was a pleasure to work. What I know the production was shot on time and on budget and Martin was always up for an extra take if some actor wasnâ€™t pleased with his or hers performance. The main thing is trust, and I think we all had that with Anneli and Martin. I worked, if I remember it correctly, eight or nine days out of a total of 30, but I feel I could continue to work for the whole time if necessary. The last week we shot at and old childrens camp outside Stockholm, swedens capital. It was a spooky place, but I felt so comfortable there during the shooting that I stayed a couple of extra days just because of the fun of it.
The most memorable thing was the strange supernatural things happning there. The doors to the outhouse was looked one time after another, from the inside, strange marks of childs hands was found outside on a statue and it was always as someone was looking at you. I filmed a couple of these things and it all came together as a documentary on the dvd, The haunting of Camp Slaughter. I donâ€™t belive in ghosts, but Iâ€™m sure there was a deranged maniac running loose out there in the woods somewhere ;)
Iâ€™m not a professional actor, but I try to be. Iâ€™ve worked on a couple of movies, tv-commercials, short movies and also worked as an illusionist for many years, and the Camp Slaughter-experience was the best. Well...one night I almost regret that I said yes to do the character of "Fluffy"...This is a spoiler, but I getâ€™s killed and afterwards Iâ€™m found hanging up in a tree with some of my limbs lost. Iâ€™m not afraid of heights, or at least I thought so, because when we where about to film that scene I climbed up the ladder and realised that I couldnâ€™t do it. I felt dizzy and I was convinced that I would take a dive from the tree and broke every bone in my body. So I climbed down again. I couldnâ€™t do it.
It all worked well in the end. First, Olof Stierna, the AD, dressed himself as me and climbed up the tree. But finally that shoot didnâ€™t turned out as well and effective as it could have been and a couple of nights later we reshoot it with me lying on a blue screen pretending to hang upsidedown from a tree. With the work of digital effects it looked quite good.
Sweden is a small country and much of our filmindustry depends on contributions from the state and different kind of funds. Thereâ€™s not many private investors to be found here. This creates a special industry where only a few can make movies and also, of course, getâ€™s a LOT of money to produce movies that no one will see. Last year, only six of twentyfive swedish movies got their invested money back. Thatâ€™s very, very bad. The commercial film is dead in Sweden, at least until now. Digitala Hus is a chain of digital cinemas around Sweden. There smaller movies, genre movies, indie movies, can get a wider audience and more publicity more than ever. Of course, the critics and the swedish filmindustry hates this. Why? Because they no longer have any kind of control of what kinda movies the audience can pay to see. With Camp Slaughter, for example, the audience had the possibility to watch a swedish, english-spoken, slasher film with blood, a freaky guy called Bunnyman, some nudity, strange dialoge and young swedish actors getting hacked up in graphic detailed. This is heaven for me and other indie-filmmakers, but hell for many of the so called (the think at least) important critics.
You can make films for a small amount of money. Forget the big budget Hollywood-blockbusters. Make your own flick, get it distributed and feel that you have joined the revolution.
Fred Anderson, actor and filmmaker