Recently we at Infamous Horror was lucky enough to interview Tory Jones about his new film ‘The Boy From Below’. We discuss the crowd funding process, the casting of legends and more, we also ask what can we expect from the film. Enjoy the interview below!
1) How did the concept of ‘The Boy from Below’ come together?
Tory: After our last film, Phantom Fun-World was in post, there was talk of doing another film. That film began to organically evolve until we decided it was time to make “The Boy from Below.” When the idea came for it to be a reboot for my character established in The Wicked One, I instantly got excited and yet very nervous. So I went to two individuals who were my sounding board. Those two guys are who I consider somewhat mentors in many ways and that was Andy Palmer (The Funhouse Massacre, Camp Cold Brook) and Michael Leavy (Terrifier Franchise, Stream) both of those guys really championed the character of The Wicked One and said that the potential is there to make something that can move the needle. And with the work both of those guys have done in film, when they say that…. You listen.
2) What can you tell us about the casting process and what has surprised you or impressed you the most about it?
The Casting Process on this film has been very different, especially with regards to the certain genre names involved. I knew going into this I wanted Dee Wallace in one of the main roles, she was my first choice to play this eccentric, quirky owner of our video store in the film. That was a whole lot of work but it came together and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I would argue there are very few who have the resume Dee does. I’ve always loved her work. And then to have the additions of Richie Ramone (The Ramones) Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp, Victor Crowley) Chaney Morrow (Haunt, Wrong Turn, Malum) and then Leah Voysey (Terrifier 2) were all exciting gets to for the film. Leah is one of our leads. I think with indie film there’s a lot of “Monkey See, Monkey Do” and people see another filmmaker use certain people and then they do the exact same thing with the exact same talent. To me, that’s the opposite of what I want to do. So all the names had to be people who’s work informed my love for the genre, or people who are dynamic actors. And that’s the thing, none of these people are glorified cameos. They’re all playing sizable roles in this. We may have some more surprises to announce that I don’t think will be expecting…. And then to work with such talented performers like Spencer Madison, Kamarra Cole, Cameryn Zupon, Dylan Hughes, and Raleigh Tabora, among several others, I think this film is going to highlight the talent of these awesome performers in a big way and I’m very excited to collaborate with them.
3) While navigating a campaign for this film, how difficult is it to get peoples attention? And then keeping their attention through the whole process?
Tory: Crowdfunding is a slippery slope to navigate. I knew there was no way to acquire the total budget on this film through that platform but I also knew I could at least get a chunk of it. With our film, to piggy back off the statement I made above, we wanted to present something different and present it to those individuals who maybe want to be involved with something different. If every independent film looks the same, feels the same, and uses the same talent it’s like seeing the same film over and over. At least for me it is. So we wanted to be different, and we wanted to present perks that were unique to the story we are trying to tell. Going back to the 90’s and the video store and genre movies being the focal point in this, we definitely had ways to include more people and get more people involved. Crowdfunding is more of a process and strategic game of chess than people realize. I have to give a lot of credit to Abel Berry, another talented filmmaker who has been super crucial to me learning the ins and outs of that process and how to do it successfully. We just try to be different, offer cool perks and sale the brand of the movie to genre fans who want to be a part of something special…. Our goal is not just to make another indie film that gets dumped on streaming… our goal is to make something that crosses over and delivers a new horror character for people to root for and want to see return again and again.
4) What has the support been like for ‘The Boy from Below?
Support for The Boy from Below has been humbling and overwhelming. I think a lot of that has to do with the character of The Wicked One/ The Boy from Below. People are starved for new horror characters. New faces. We managed to raise $50k on the campaign before one celebrity announcement was made. Now, two weeks later we are almost to $60k and that’s with the holidays and everything. The excitement seems tangible and it’s really cool for people to want to support or be a part of what you’re setting out to accomplish. This is a film literally being made by genre fans for genre fans… how far this goes and what we accomplish is because of the support and backing of genre fans. I’m excited to see where we land by the time we go to camera.
5) Where can we find updates about the film?
You can find updates on The Boy from Below by following the official film Instagram or by joining the private update group on Facebook. Occasionally I post updates to my website jonestownfilms.com as well. So be sure to like, follow, join all of those and stay up to date on the action! Our FB movie group is a great resource for us to share unreleased behind the scenes updates and give people a first look to what we are creating.
6) If you could tell us one exciting thing that may surprise people about The Boy from Below what would it be?
The most exciting thing for me personally is the potential this film has to really do big things. There’s a lot that has to happen between now and it’s release to make that a reality, but we are committed to making this film and not sacrificing its integrity or the vision we have for it. The other would be that it feels like there’s this low rumble, starting off slow, that genre fans are helping to create something that is theirs and something that they can say they were a part of. I owe everything I’ve ever accomplished to genre fans and their support in the industry, I knew when we made the original film “the wicked one” and it released nearly 7 years ago I wanted to come back and do this film right, reintroduce this character in a bigger way… genre fans have made that a reality and where we go and what this film does ultimately lies in the hands of those who love these movies and see these movies. I couldn’t be more happy and honored to try and do them all Justice with The Boy from Below.