Wicked Channel Interview-Dave Campfield (Caesar and Otto’s Deadly Xmas)

It is the holidays, a time of cheer and reflecting back on the year that was. I am saddened this year by the lack of Christmas horror that came out, but Dave Campfield has given horror fans a little comedy that if given a fair shot could become a cult classic. Caesar and Otto’s Deadly Xmas is out right now, and I figured let’s talk to the man himself, enjoy….

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1. Dave Campfield such an honor thank you. What was the first film that inspired you to pursuit filmmaking?

When I was a child, I can’t say I fit it. I wasn’t athletic, I was socially awkward and was just on a different wavelength. But when I was taken to the movies for the first time as a child, it was the first time I felt fully alive… And ever since then, film has been what’s inspired me.

2. You are a jack of many trades, you act, direct, write and produce. Which one is easiest for you? Also which one do you prefer?

Writing doesn’t typically involve anything but yourself and a laptop. You’re not dealing with the rigors of production (as is the case with directing and producing), forgetting lines (acting), or a myriad of computer crashes (editing)… So, by default, writing wins.

3. If indie movies door did not open for you, what was the back-up plan?

Being homeless. It’s all I wanted to do. And who knows, I must just end up living in my car in pursuit of this. But time will tell.

4. Now, let’s talk about Caesar and Otto. What inspired you to make these shorts and films? Was this an idea that came to you one day or was this years in the making?

Paul Chomicki (Otto) was a friend of my older brother. Since we both had a love of film and acting in common, we’d collaborate on home movies. Around the year 2000, I came up with the idea of us playing half brothers for a sketch. Caesar and Otto. It just hit me. Since then, it involved from sketches, into a feature, then into horror comedies.

5. As the horror community knows the new Caesar and Otto film Deadly X Mas just came out, as you know that means the dreaded critics. Do you read all the press your films get? If so, does the bad stuff (if there is any) hurt you?

Yes, I’m guilty. I regularly google “Deadly Xmas” to see what reviews have come in. I guess I’m just looking for validation. I would like to proceed with “Caesar & Otto’s Paranormal Halloween” but I just want to make sure I’m not wasting my time in the eyes of the public. I had read a succession of maybe 3 or 4 dreadful dreadful reviews that hurt terribly, then followed by a whole series of positive reviews. So long as a good number of people enjoy the film(s), I can deal with the negative comments.

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6. Do you think your films are misunderstood? That maybe people are unfair?

Some understand what I’m going for, others just look at the low production value, silly, off the wall comedy and get rubbed the wrong way. I’m going for something very unique and outside the box. I know full well some will just hate it for not being what they expect it to be rather than just judge it as the film it set out to be.

7. People seem to love the word “indie” so much these days. What does that term mean to you?

It can mean Zack Braff making a film for 3 million dollars that he raised on kickstarter, or a guy using $6,000 of his own money… Either way, it suggests not getting your funding from a Hollywood studio.

8. It seems for the last 6 years that Paul Chomicki has been your co-star in these films playing Otto. How did you meet him? And also are we going to get more Caesar and Otto stuff with you guys?

As I touched on earlier, they first time we took on Caesar and Otto was around the year 2000. We love playing the characters, and are eager to take on the next installment. Will it happen? Time will tell.

9. Dave today is the official dvd signing release at a local video store. You get there and it is a pretty deep line or people. (these things never go well) You get a fan come up and hand you a downloaded version of your film and asks you to sign it. What do you do?

“Couldn’t you at least pretend to have bought the movie? For my sake, dude? You do realize you’re missing about 6 hours of bonus features that are on the dvd, right? Then I slip a few dollars from his wallet when he’s not looking.

10. Do you think our government does all it can to stop piracy? Also, what piracy does to a film like yours, just in case people do not know who do this?

Without making the US a police state, I guess there’s only so much they can do. On one level, it makes the film available for more people, on another level, I can’t justify making these films and losing money every time out. This is my 4th feature film, and my 3rd official release. Dark Chamber, Caesar & Ottos Summer Camp Massacre were heavily torrented. Collectively, those films lost about forty thousand dollars of my life savings and investments from others.

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11. Deadly X-mas has some fun cameos throughout the film. How did that come about? Also who haven’t you worked with yet that you would love to work with?

I worked with Felissa Rose on my first film, and she opened a lot of doors for me. In effect, there was a snowball effect. Some actors/actresses were willing to take a chance on me since I had worked with others they knew personally. Down the line, I’d love to work with Sid Haig. I have a part in mind for him in my next production.

12. If a young kid came up to you and asked you for advice on how to break into the business. What would you tell him?

Take what you’re offered, and make the most of it. Just keep active, be willing to be broke, and never give up.

13. What was the last film you went to the movie theater to see? Also, beside anything you are a part of, what was the last film you bought?

Ender’s Game… I love all different genres of movies… And the last film I bought was NetherBeast Incorporated. It’s a film from years back that I had always wanted to check out.

14. When you watch someone else’s film are you able to distance yourself from what you do to enjoy the film or do you find yourself picking it apart or thinking what you would do different?

Every director has their own approach. I try to watch a film for what it is, and enjoy it on that level.

15. If you had to sum up the Caesar and Otto experience so far in one sentence what would it be?

A liberating wild ride where I do what the hell I want as a filmmaker…

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16. What is on a Dave Campfield iPod? You are not getting off that easy. What is the most embarrassing song you listen to that you would never admit anywhere else? Also, what is your favorite cd?

Dave Campfield Ipod? John Williams, Hans Zimmer, James Horner, Jerry Goldsmith, Marco Beltrami… and then there’s the pop music. Embarrassing? Errr… well, I do have a couple of Brittany Spears tracks. God forgive me. Favorite CDs? I’m not going to pick one favorite but I love Iceland’s Cynic Guru, and NY’s Brotherlove.

17. You seem to have a film history with Felissa Rose. How did you guys meet? Also why do you think she is often overlooked when people talk about female icons in horror and scream queens?

I met her on the set of a local commercial circa 2000. We’re both from Long Island. I told her about a film I was in production on. She was intrigued and wanted to read the script. That’s how it all started (this was before I saw Sleepaway Camp incidentally). She’s done so many conventions that I’m not sure she’s overlooked, perhaps a little underappreciated.

18. When a director complains about time and the budget as to why the film was not good, do you think that is a fair gripe?

If my films had an actual budget, they’d be more widely accepted. It’s just the way it goes. Production values equates to more mainstream audiences. There is validity to that argument, but at the same time, filmmakers sometimes just use it as an excuse for issues that aren’t budgetary.

19. If you could remake any film, what would you remake? And who would you cast?

I’d like to remake Caesar & Otto’s Summer Camp Massacre, this time with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. I’m kidding, but don’t deny it, that’d be fun.

20. What do you think is the biggest misconception about your Caesar and Otto Films?

That perhaps I don’t work as hard as I do. I’m obsessive with my work, whether its Caesar & Otto or a more serious film., I put more hours into the films than I can even count. They’re a labor of love, despite how silly the content actually is.

21. Take a deep breath, we are done. I was not too hard on you. This is where you promote and plug, thank you so highly sir.

I wrote a script a number of years ago named Fear the Reaper. It’s a dramatic horror film, and I’m eager to get it into production. Please check out the very unique crowd funding campaign we’ll be coming out with soon.

I’m on facebook, hit me up any time. In the mean time, follow Caesar and Otto on youtube at youtube.com/caesarandottoforever and twitter.com/caesarotto and finally davecampfield.com

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