The Horror Honeys: Ava Snow: The Next Generation of Superhero

Ava Snow: The Next Generation of Superhero

The Revenge Honey Interviews Director Zack Drisko

Don't know who Ava Snow is yet? You will. Created by Zack Drisko and Arielle Davidshon (and also directed by Drisko, written by both, and starring Davidshon as Ava herself) Ava Snow Battles Death is a webseries in the making with aspirations of becoming something even bigger. Billed as a "fantasy-horror-romantic-comedy" Ava Snow is the kind of hipster-hating, ass-kicking, misanthropic, take-no-shit-from-anybody (pardon all of the hyphens) heroine that every chick should be so lucky to hang out with. As she fights overlords from another dimension, as well as dipshits with handlebar mustaches, Ava is poised to become the "next big thing." (And trust me, I don't toss that phrase around lightly. I REALLY enjoyed the clips and teasers here kiddies.)

I recently sat down with Zack Drisko in Santa Monica to discuss Ava's origin story, where he and Arielle Davidsohn hope to take her, and how you can help a full-length Ava Snow webseries become a reality.
Revenge Honey: So tell me about Ava Snow...

Zack Drisko: Well, it's basically this mash-up of different types of genres. It's fantasy, action, horror comedy about a knife throwing badass named Ava Snow. And overlords from another dimension are trying to steal her soul.

Actress Arielle Davidshon as Ava Snow
RH: How did you conceive the original idea for the series?

ZD: I created the project with my girlfriend Arielle, and it was originally sparked by three different events. She was putting together an acting reel, and I offered to put something together for it. And Arielle is this really adorable, bubbly girl, but we did something where she played a really dry, cynical, asshole-type character and she was amazing. And we thought, "Well, that was great! We'll have to file that away!"

We also wanted to collaborate on a project together since she also writes, so Ava ended up being a culmination of all of the cynical feelings we've had working in Los Angeles. Where you're trying to break through, but you have to work twice as hard to get where you want to, so we channeled all of our frustrations into this character. She has a problem with authority, doesn't take crap from people, doesn't let people push her around and she suffers consequences for it: she's constantly out of work and pushed to the outskirts of society. But we admire that about her. Because when you're trying to get somewhere, you have to decide, do I make compromises or am I myself to the end? And most people fall somewhere in the middle, but we wanted to write a character who was completely uncompromising.

Don't worry Ava. We hate hipsters too.
The third thing that lead to the creation of Ava was that Arielle and I like to walk around our neighborhood and we both have completely overactive imaginations. So when we see something happening around the corner, we can't just the normal explanation for what that is. That's NOT just a drunk homeless guy. That's clearly a zombie, the first of 10,000 within an hour if we don't something. So we tell these stories to each other as we're just walking to go eat and we decided when we made the project, what if these stories we told were Ava's real world? What if around every corner, there is mystery and intrigue?

RH: What would you consider some of the major influences behind Ava Snow?

ZD: We are both really fans of Buffy, so that was a huge influence. Visually, I've been influenced by Edgar Wright, the way he blocks actors and edits. I think that was pretty applicable to this project, especially Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim. Some of the fight scenes in Kill Bill, definitely. They were very stylized, but they didn't pull any punches. I think too often you see fight scenes that don't feel like there is real contact happening. They're beautiful, but they don't really hurt. We wanted to do something like the scenes with Gina Carano in Haywire, where Fassbender is getting his ass kicked, and you thought, "Ow! I'm feeling that." So those are things we tried to emulate and surround ourself with a team of people who could create those moments.

Director Zack Drisko on set.
RH: How do you find yourself working on a minimal budget and making something that looks so professional?

ZD: The biggest thing is that we were fortunate enough to put together a really outstanding team. The guy who choreographed our fight scenes did stunts on The Dark Knight Rises and No Country for Old Men. Our editor cut the Tron: Legacy ComicCon teaser and promos for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Our DP worked on Ridley Scott's Prophets of Science Ficton. Our special effects artist worked on Game of Thrones. So when you're surrounding yourself with a team of people who are already capable of doing that kind of work, that's the product you end up with.

And we were lucky because we explained to everyone our budget constraints, but we worked really hard to write a great story and did all of the production design ourselves. I also storyboarded the entire series, start to finish, before we even started so I could show it to everybody. So we were just fortunate enough to get these awesome people who were willing to work on within the budget we had.

A girl who is annoyed with life and everyone in it? She could be a Honey!
RH: What are your long term goals for Ava?

ZD: We would love for it to become a feature film or a TV series, which is why we're are working so hard to make as much of the series as we can. We are already starting to explore those avenues though. Originally, Arielle and I wrote is a feature film and it was a ton of fun and spent all this time in the Realm of the Dead. And we thought, "Oh this is great. But it's going to cost about $30 million." So we knew it wasn't possible but we started envisioning something that was more doable. And we came up with this 5-episode arc webseries and we hope to be able continue her adventures. It would be really fun to do a TV series because we could keep exploring different facets of the story.

We also have a graphic novel in the works that we'll be updating on Kickstarter and showing some of the work we've doing on that. We have a really awesome artist doing a cover and some sample pages. So we are hoping to get this funded so we can see where Ava Snow goes next!

SOLD!
To find out more about Ava Snow Battles Death, click the link! You can also follow them on Twitter and check out their Facebook page. And don't forget to watch the trailer for Ava below and throw in a few bucks to the Kickstarter campaign! They have less than a week left to get funded, and you know how your Revenge Honey feels about donating to INDIE projects and NOT celebrities. So get on it Poppets!