Interview: Filmmaker April Bedan on Horror Short I WISH I COULD FORGET

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Rising filmmaker April Bedan talks about her first short film, the music inspired horror fever dream I WISH I COULD FORGET.

Music-minded artist April Bedan has long been running FANGORIA Musick, the digital imprint that showcases a myriad indie artists whose music ranges from soundtrack composition to hard edged rock to Gothic metal to hip hop. All of these artists trade in darkness, all offer musical interpretations of the genre that are unique and diverse.

Now, dovetailing off of her association with the FM artist KARDIAC, Bedan has branched off and made her own short film, a bizarre, hallucinatory picture that is based around themes and ideas from the KARDIAC track “I Wish I Could Forget”, which not surprisingly is also the name of her film. It tells the tale of a young man who wakes up with some sort of sore on his neck that keeps festering and changing and, eventually, takes him deep into another world entirely.

SHOCK spoke with the up and coming filmmaker about her vision, her style and her future behind the lens.

SHOCK: What was it about the track that spoke to you and inspired you to adapt it into a film in the first place?

BEDAN: After releasing KARDIAC’s “In The Peripheral” album on FANGORIA Musick, we knew we really wanted to do music videos for the album. We had just wrapped up and released our first video, “The Cleanser” which was shot at two TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (2003) film locations, but I was already wanting to do another. I wanted to show the diversity of his music and lyrics on the album by putting them into visuals. I was wanting to do another music video, far from the style and subject matter of what we did in “The Cleanser,” so the next track that came to mind was “I Wish I Could Forget.”

KARDIAC has an amazing talent of story line type songs, so listening to that track immediately drew me in. The story was already written in the song, along with all of the gory details, so it was perfect. Eventually, we realized all of the aspects from the song that we wanted to cover and decided to make it a short film instead. There was just too much we wanted to do with it that we would not have been able to fit into a music video.

SHOCK: Can you talk on your style? You dive the camera in tight and then linger on shots at length. Who are some of your aesthetic inspirations?

BEDAN: To be honest, there’s not certain people or styles that I prefer. For me, the best shots are usually improvised and flow with the mood of each take. I had the idea in mind while filming, that I wanted some of it to be from the creature’s point of view, and some I wanted at sort of a stalking distance. You’ll notice in some shots, the camera is a tight, point of view type shot looking at the victim or surroundings, and in the next frame the creature appears. I did this with hopes to portray the creature’s point of view for the audience. I also wanted the lingering, distant type shots because it added to the creepiness of the film…almost like you’re watching something you shouldn’t be.

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SHOCK: Who did the FX?

BEDAN: When we were searching for a place to film, we ended up at a haunted attraction about an hour away from us, Graystone Haunted Manor in Longview, Texas. We met with the owner (Sue Gray) and the manager (Dusty Bean) to talk about our plans and ideas. Dusty was so excited about the project and dove right into it with us. He helped build a lot of the actual haunt, so to have him on board to help us with the sets and makeup FX was a dream. Dusty really took a lot of time to help prepare the environments and makeup for each take and we definitely couldn’t have done it without him. He even played the neighbor and Creature parts in the film! Many thanks to Sue who has been so kind and generous for letting us film at her amazing haunt. And, shout out to Dusty for being such a big part of the film! We actually added a lot of visual effects to it as well. Corey Jennings, or KARDIAC was the editor of the film and he was able to do some amazing things to enhance each shot. The abduction site was green screened and the abduction lights were added in post-production. There were also a lot of light flickers, fire, and film scratch effects used in order to give the film a gritty and raw feel. He also did the score to the film and it turned out better than I could have even imagined. I can’t thank him enough for taking the film to another level with the VFX and insanely great music score.

SHOCK: What are your plans for the film?

BEDAN: Right now, the film is making its round among film festivals. We’ve had two acceptances so far: FANGORIA International Online Film Fest (Screening Dates TBA) and ETHERIA’s Women Underground (Screening Dates TBA), and that will screen at the Egyptian Theater in LA. After that, we plan to press physical copies and make them available on as many outlets as we possibly can.

SHOCK: Any plans to expand it into a feature?

BEDAN: There was a period of time when we had thought about expanding it into a feature, but the idea was short lived. We were satisfied with the short film and didn’t believe we could add anything in particular that would make it into a better film, at feature length. We had started on a different feature length film idea, with the story and screenplay ready, but there were some snags along the way. We just haven’t been able to get enough traction on the starting line of that idea yet. However, we have already completed filming a commercial and music video in preparation for KARDIAC’s next album and it is in post-production. Viewers can expect to see those within the coming months. Keep an eye out…we have so much more to show you!

Follow April on Twitter to chart her progress and keep up to date on all of her projects.

And watch the I WISH I COULD FORGET trailer below.