Interview with Carver Writer & Director Emily DiPrimio
Many would argue that horror is a man’s game. Some say that it’s primarily men who embody the savagery, the intensity, and the love of gore to truly embrace and expand the horror genre. Nuts to that, I say! Case in point—Emily DiPrimio is a young writer and director whose successful Kickstarter allowed her to make her debut horror film: Carver. The 2014 release is the tale of a killer with a disturbing calling card and a lust for…you know…killing.
DiPrimio was only 13 when she penned the script. One can’t help find that impressive. DiPrimio’s drive and determination are far from her only talents. She is an avid horror fan, a dedicated cineaste, and a passionate student of film production. We hear she’s also great to work with. We’re thrilled that Emily was able to take a few minutes to answer some questions for our readers.
–Let’s start with an easy one. Horror, why?
I love the experience of watching a horror movie. The white knuckled anticipation. The visceral feeling of fear. I wanted to try and give the audience that feeling, one that I enjoy very much.
–Who are your influences within the horror genre? How about in other genres?
Alfred Hitchcock and John Carpenter are definitely my biggest influences when it comes to Horror. Other genres, Edgar Wright, David Fincher, and Ava DuVernay. Ava is brilliant and I marvel at her talent.
–Your project, Carver is an 80’s style slasher film. You’re too young to have seen this type of film in the theatre, so how did you first encounter the 80’s slasher genre?
Actually you are incorrect. I saw John Carpenter’s Halloween in a theater in South Jersey when I was 10. They held a special screening on Halloween night. I was hooked after that.
–I’m aware that funding this film was a challenge. Did you really have a zombie-bikini car wash? Was it successful?
Funding was a bit of a challenge. That is why we used Kickstarter. And I know you were one of my 500 backers. Thank you Wednesday! The zombie bikini car wash was a fundraiser that my dad did to raise funds for our Kickstarter video and it was not successful.
–Was “Sorrow Hill” the first film you worked on? Tell us about that experience.
Sorrow Hill was the second film I worked on that my dad directed. I was also in his first film. A short titled WAKE. I only acted in WAKE. For Sorrow Hill I had a number of duties when I was on set. I was script supervisor and I did slate as well. I worked hard and paid attention to what was going on. I didn’t want the cast and crew to think I was only there because my dad was the director. I wanted to contribute and be seen as part of the team.
–While Carver is not a zombie movie, I’m aware that you’re a fan of the genre. Please tell us about your introduction to the walking undead.
I do enjoy a good zombie film. My into the genre was the amazing, brilliant film Shaun of the Dead. I still watch it all the time. It is usually on in the background while I am working on my projects.
–The poster design for Carver is excellent. Can you tell us how it came about, and maybe something about the artist?
I wanted a creepy, expressionless pumpkin mask for our killer. So I spoke with the incredible team from The Living Corpse Comic. Buz Hasson, Ken Haeser, and Blair Smith came up with an amazing concept and then proceeded to design our amazing poster.
–What have you found are the biggest challenges of being a young, female filmmaker? Do you feel that your age or gender impacts how people respond to your projects?
I am constantly marginalized because of my age and gender. People tend to think that horror is an exclusive club, one that is run by men. It may have been that way years ago, but now things are changing. Slowly. But they are changing. Film makers like me are the future and sometimes people are afraid of the future and cling to the past. That causes them to lash out and immediately want to go on the offensive and try and knock down the work of young people, minorities, and women. When I first began this process I knew I would be faced with people who wanted to see me fail. It is incumbent upon me to succeed and to continue to make films not only for me but for all the other young film makers out there trying to find their voice.
–While directing (co-directing?) Carver, was there anything that surprised you about the process?
I was the sole director on Carver. There wasn’t much that surprised me. I’ve been on sets since I was four so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. The one thing that did surprise me was the length of post-production. The process from initial edit to final cut can be very long.
–I understand that you are moving forward on the webseries Violet. What can you tell us about it?
We just finished post production on Violet. It is a web series that is produced by horror legend Eli Roth for his Crypt TV network. It is a supernatural, revenge story.
–If you had all the money in the world to make movies with, would you stick with horror or try another genre?
I don’t ever want to limit myself. I love horror. It will always be my first love but I would jump at the opportunity to direct a comedy. Comedy is hard. I would love that challenge.
–Do you have any advice for budding filmmakers?
Don’t let anyone try and stop you. If you have the desire and the focus make it happen. You are the only person who is stopping you. Don’t be fooled, it isn’t easy to make a movie. However, if you stick with it and finish there isn’t anything more satisfying than yelling that’s a film wrap on your final day of production.
–Where can fans reach out to you and learn more about your work?
Thanks, Emily! Peep this Carver trailer!