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B. Paulson & A. Burk
Horror Interview by The Gravedigger

Q: How did the idea for The Blood Stained Bride come about?

Aaron: Brad and I got invited by a friend (Josh Geismar, who acted in "The Van, and helped produce this movie) to Turner Broadcasting's employee day at Disneyland. I don't usually like going to amusement parks (they don't serve beer) but it was free and I had nothing going on that day. The park was packed that day so we actually didn't go on any rides, except for the Haunted mansion. Halfway through the ride there is a spooky bride with a heart beating in her chest. Right away I knew that a crazy bride would be a great concept for a horror movie. Right after the ride we talked about doing a killer bride flick and everything just gelled.

Brad: Yep.

Q: How did you guys decide who was going to do what on this movie?

Brad: Aaron and I co-wrote it because Ty was in flight school at the time. Originally, we were also supposed to co-direct. Then, we agreed things would probably be all over the place if there was more than one director so we made a deal: Aaron directed and I played the drunk guy.

Aaron: I don't think there was ever a formal process of who was going to do what. Brad and I both really dug the idea and just started writing. At the time Ty was in Alabama doing his military training. I knew he was coming back to LA around Christmas and I wanted to get the script hammered out by then, in the hopes that he would help us produce it.

Q: How does this movie compare to your previous feature, THE VAN?

Aaron: Well "The Van" served as a starting point for us. We hadn't made any films since college and just wanted to do a project. So it was a fly by the seat of your pants thing. Let's just do it and see what happens. When it came time to do "The Bride" we could see where things worked and where they could be improved, especially in lighting and sound. Having one story to work on one rather than three short stories as in "The Van" made the process more streamlined. We didn't have to go into pre-production/production three times we did it just once. There was also more of a support system in place because we had finished "The Van." People liked that movie and wanted to be involved what we were doing next.

Brad: "The Van" is much more of an underground horror movie. The comedy is less broad and it's far darker in tone. The overall structure is more experimental whereas, "The Bloodstained Bride" is more polished, has a motivated plot and a consistent throughline. It was kind of our test to see if we could hold a feature together. I like the uniqueness of "The Van" and that loveable psycho killer Nick Daley, but The Bloodstained Bride is definitely a more solid movie.

Q: Which one of you guys is most like the Tracy character?

Aaron: There are parts of us in all the characters. But in shaping Tracy it was important for him to be a bit of a push over so he could be susceptible to the bride's plan. So I guess I'm probably more like Tracy than the other toads. I hope I'm not as spineless as he is. Coming up with his character you draw on past relationships and situations and exaggerate them.

Brad: I think everyone has a little bit of Tracy in them. Just like every girl has a little bloodstained bride in her but not every girl is the bloodstained bride. There are experiences both of us have had with women which came from a very real place. Embarrassing things I wouldn't want to talk about here. Like the part where Madeline refuses to give Tracy oral. But, to answer your question, I'd have to say Aaron. He's got a very big heart so that tends not to play in his favor all the time when it comes to control issues with women.

Q: What was the most difficult scene to shoot?

Aaron: They were all difficult to shoot. But the most difficult was the scene where Madeline (The Bride) crashes the bachelor party. We had five days to shoot 50 pages in my buddy's house. So we were shooting in this room that room, front of the house, back of the house. Dressing everything breaking it down, it got pretty hectic. The difficult really started at the end of the 4th day at the house. After shooting about 12 hours we had to cover the entire back area for the bachelor party. We're shooting first thing that morning but the scene takes place at night. The back area is semi enclosed and there was a lot to cover. If any light gets though you'll know it's day. We got to the set around 7am and there is light streaming in all over the place. We spent hours taping and throwing tarp. At about 11 am it had to be good enough because the lead actress had to leave by noon. We shot something like 5 pages of dialog in 45 minutes. My buddies landlords didn't want us shooting a moment longer than we said. Going back and doing re-shoots wasn't and option. So if we didn't get it then, we wouldn't be getting it at all.

Brad: Yeah, that scene was the bitch of the bunch. It didn't help we got there early in the am and it was the only day I didn't have any booze. Time tends to drag on when you don't have any ale to help you along.

Q: The movie ended in such as way as so that you could have a few more BLOODSTAINED movies. Do you think that would happen?

Aaron: We've joked around a bit about it. The way the movie ends there certainly could be sequels. The Blood-Stained Marriage perhaps? But we left the movie open ended more than anything because it's a horror movie and the good guys don't always win in the end. The Bride is still out there some where looking for her soul mate.

Brad: That was intentional. Personally, I would love to do a sequel. There's so many directions further episodes of, "The Bloodstained Bride" can take. Who knows, maybe that will happen. My only reservation would be setting part four in space. Other than that, I think the bride's got many people to slay before she retires.

Q: Talk about your actors.

Aaron: Working out of L.A. gives you access to a huge pool of talented and hungry actors. We have been very blessed by the actors in both of our projects.

Brad: Dane was fucking hilarious as the redneck from, "The Van" so Ty had him read for the lead of Tracy. Originally, I didn't see him as that character but he ended out working better than I would ever have imagined. The ensemble of Tracy's friends clicked right away. Steve Lolli, who played Randy the cheap friend, is a stand-up comic friend of ours and is actually homeless in real life. So, he knows what it's like to be low-budget. Most of the other parts, side characters and what not, including the part of Madeline were cast through a friend of ours named Joe Jeffrey, who runs an actor's site. This time we didn't have to audition at Starbucks! Many of the smaller roles ended up becoming scene stealers. We couldn't have asked for a better cast.

Q: How can people order this movie?

Brad: We just finished this one and are currently searching for a distributor. Anyone interested in learning more about the movie can check out our site at TriToadFilms.com or, if you're a distributor and interested in seeing a screener for consideration, feel free to contact me.

Thank's for the interview, gravedigger! See you with the next tri-toad movie, hopefully around this time next year.

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