By MICHAEL GINGOLD
While up-and-coming filmmaker Avalon Fast was at the Fantasia International Film Festival to host the Quebec premiere of her debut movie HONEYCOMB (reviewed here), she was also busy at the fest’s Frontières International Co-Production Market, working to get her follow-up feature CAMP off the ground. She and producer Taylor Nodrick (pictured with Fast) took a few minutes to talk to RUE MORGUE about the project.
CAMP, which also has Michael Peterson (DARK NATURE, HARPOON) and Peter Kuplowsky (PSYCHO GOREMAN, AGNES) on its producing team, continues HONEYCOMB’s themes of young women exploring the psychological dark side. “It’s about Emily, who experiences two traumatic events too closely to each other,” Fast tells us, “and her mother suggests she go work at a summer camp for troubled youth, to kind of heal herself. When she gets there, she falls in with some of the other female counselors and they forge a friendship–and they’re into some ritualistic witch stuff. So she starts turning to the dark side and gets evil, but it helps her get over her guilt from her past, and accepting that she may be a cursed person.”
Fast began work on the CAMP script right after she learned that HONEYCOMB had been accepted to make its debut as part of the Slamdance Film Festival. “I wanted to make sure things kept happening,” she explains. “I wrote it really quickly, because I wrote it for a competition. I didn’t get into that, so I started developing it further, and Kaila Hier, who was my publicist for Slamdance, sent me to Mike. [To Nodrick] And then you read it…”
“Yeah, that was kind of funny,” Nodrick picks up the story. “I had been working under Mike on his previous movie for a while, and I had been watching Slamdance stuff out of my own curiosity, and I watched HONEYCOMB one night. I was like, wow, this movie is super-cool, and then when I met with Mike the next morning, he asked me, ‘Could you read this script?’ And he sent me CAMP, and I was like, ‘Oh, I watched Avalon’s movie last night!’ So I read it and loved it, and wound up here.”
The team has been seeking financial backing and sales/distribution partners for CAMP, which will certainly have a bigger budget than the DIY HONEYCOMB, though Fast hopes to once again cast friends in certain roles. “I’ve kind of opened it up to them, telling them we’re gonna have auditions,” she says. “Obviously there’s a bit of bias where I want them to be involved as much as possible, especially because of what they did for me on HONEYCOMB without getting paid. A couple of them were very excited when they read the script, and there are parts they want, so hopefully that will work out.”
Some fans might hear “summer camp horror film” and immediately think of FRIDAY THE 13TH and its ilk, though Fast notes, “It’s not a slasher; there’s maybe one or two moments of that, those elements, but it’s more within the same world” as HONEYCOMB. She also admits that when it comes to potential FRIDAY comparisons, “I actually haven’t thought about that! But that’s a good point.” We’ll keep you posted on how CAMP proceeds!