The Horror Honeys: The Revenge Honey Interviews Filmmaker Dave Campfield!

The Revenge Honey Interviews Filmmaker Dave Campfield!

A Horror Honeys Interview

Writer/Director/Actor Dave Campfield

As a connoisseur of horror cinema, only one thing is more entertaining than low-budget B-movies: self-aware low-budget B-movies. And writer/director/actor Dave Campfield, along with actor Paul Chomicki and writer Joe Randazzo, has crafted one of the best meta horror series since, well, I don't care for the Scream films, so let's just say in recent memory. With stepbrother odd couple Caesar and Otto, Campfield captures the best of independent horror, while simultaneously drawing attention to many of the elements that tend to make it ridiculous.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Campfield about the inspiration for his series, his writing process, and the many future projects he has in the pipeline!

Revenge Honey: How did you conceive of the idea for Caesar and Otto?

Dave Campfield: Paul Chomicki (Otto) has been my friend for years. We were both aspiring actors and filmmakers who made a lot of shorts playing an array of characters. Among the shorts was Caesar and Otto. Something about the characters clicked, and we’ve been playing them ever since. Turns out playing outcasts is far more enjoyable that playing normal people.

RH: You bring together such a fantastic collection of horror icons in your series… Do you write with people like Felissa Rose and Joe Estevez in mind?

DC: Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I’ve made three distributed feature films. In the case of Deadly Xmas, I didn’t anticipate Felissa’s involvement until very late in the game. Same with Joe Estevez. When I found out they were available, I simply retooled the script. In the case of Caesar & Otto’s Summer Camp Massacre, Carrie was a role that was very specifically written for Felissa.  We’ve been friends since meeting on a film set some years ago.

Campfield & writer/producer Joe Randazzo winning 'Best Screenplay'
for 'C&O's Deadly Xmas' at the Macabre Faire Film Fest
RH: Caesar & Otto feature a lot of fantastic indie horror “meta” humor… Does that come more from filmmaking, watching horror films, or a combination of the two?

DC: As a filmgoer, I hate clichés. By definition they’re overused to the point they’ve lost their effectiveness. Yet, some filmmakers will use them ad nauseam. I was recently fired as writer on a horror script because I didn’t “use enough horror clichés." It astounds me that some filmmakers actually WANT to use them. As far as I’m concerned, the only reason to incorporate a cliché is to either lampoon it, or turn it on its head.

Regarding the indie film meta humor, I’ve been to a lot of film festivals, and have seen a lot of indie flicks on Netflix. Certain choices made by underground filmmakers drive me crazy, and the Caesar and Otto films have become a perfect avenue for me address that.

A scene from Caesar & Otto's Deadly Xmas
RH: Caesar is an aspiring actor, and definitely has elements of those “actors” we all know. Do you write bits of yourself into Caesar or is he more based on your experience working with up and coming performers?

DC: Caesar’s based on many many different characters and people. As a duo, the inspiration for these characters are obviously comedy teams like Abbott and Costello, Felix and Oscar, Lloyd and Harry, and the Three Stooges.  Caesar himself, however, is in part based on some actors I auditioned in the past. I met one actor who personally I found very cordial and likable, but when the audition started, he stopped being a real human being and started being an “ACTOR!" Couple that personality type with a young William Shatner, Norma Desmond, and you’re got Caesar. Though some of Caesar’s expressions are based on my older brother, who’s deaf, and has a tendency to be dramatic.

RH: You are the director, writer, and star of the Caesar & Otto series… How do you deal with that kind of pressure?

DC: I feel like I can get away with murder on the Caesar and Otto films. It doesn’t have to be technically brilliant, or at times good, so long as it's funny. It helps alleviate the pressure. I throw out the rulebooks when I make these films, and it's very liberating.

Campfield with his 'Best Actor' award from the Horrific Film Fest
RH: Can you tell us about some of the other projects you have coming up?

DC: A horror named Fear the Reaper, which I’ve been trying to get off the ground since 2009. The script won a number of awards, and it’s high time I get it made. We’re in the process of launching a very unique kickstarter campaign. Raising a budget is always the worst part of filmmaking. Whereas I can shoot a Caesar and Otto film for four digits, I wouldn’t want to do that for a film that’s not a B-movie comedy. After Reaper, I’d love to return to the C & O franchise with our next installment, Caesar and Otto’s Paranormal Halloween. Also, on Wednesday nights, I host a live interactive show at named NERDGASM. Myself and the co-hosts discuss friendly movies and games.

RH: What filmmakers do you look to for inspiration, past or present, when it comes to working in low-budget and micro-low-budget cinema?

DC: When it comes to the Caesar & Otto films, Edgar Wright is very much an inspiration. His editing style is so frenetic and unique. I feel like when you’re dealing with films of such limited production values, one way to hide it is by keeping the feature moving so fast the audience doesn’t have a chance to take notice. But Edgar Wright isn’t a microbudget filmmaker....

I’m inspired by a number of indie filmmakers. Off the top of my head, filmmakers like Schirmer (Found), Joe Zerull (Cadaver Christmas), and Lance Weiler (Head Trauma).

Campfield posing at the late night flex contest at theMacabre Faire Film Fest
RH: What kind of advice would you have for aspiring independent filmmakers?

DC: Be bold, be unique, make the films that you want to see. If you’re limited in budget, try to make the budget work for you as opposed to against you.

RH: Last question… What are your five favorite horror films?

DC: I’m going to add ONE comedy/horror to the list for good measure. The Exorcist, Jaws, Shaun of the Dead, The Invisible Man (1933), and The Shining.

You can follow Caesar & Otto on Twitter, catch Caesar & Otto's Deadly Xmas (trailer below) on Amazon, or order your very own copy through their website!