Q & A With A Vampire
I rarely get star struck. I’m fanboyed out. Thanks to DVD extras, numerous conventions, and working on set my excitement over meeting celebrities has faded. For the most part, I’ve become “too cool for school”. But at the same time, I’m not jaded. The opportunity to meet John Amplas, Pittsburgh native and star of the George A. Romero’s deconstructionist vampire film Martin, was one I would not miss.
I wasn’t expecting a lot, my mind occupied with the numerous tasks that still had to be completed that evening. I was mainly interested in his process as an actor, as I have a severe lack of experience on the subject. I, thankfully, got much more than that.
The informal conversation John had with us before and after the film was like stepping into a time machine. He was able to put the film into perspective, not just historically or thematically, but connecting the dots within the vampire genre, reaffirming in my mind the importance of the film. There is definitely a before Martin and an after Martin when it comes to vampires in film.
He also spoke, as I had hoped, at length on the role of the actor; the preparation that goes into a performance. John also expressed the need for professionalism, from both the performer and the filmmaker. We are artists, but we’re also there with a job to do. He spoke on this topic honestly, but with a complete lack of cynicism.
And I think that’s part of why the event was so enjoyable. Here was a man, personable and with no pretense or an overinflated sense of self-worth, being completely honest with us. Not just about Martin or the film industry, but about himself.
Plus, he signed stuff at the end. For free. Anyone who’s been to a horror convention can tell you what that’s worth.
So thanks, John. You’re my favorite vampire. (Bill Paxton is a close second.)
By: Aaron J. Shelton ’10
The Factory Digital Filmmaking Program at Douglas
Aaron J. Shelton is a writer/filmmaker from Georgia. Since graduating from The Factory Digital Filmmaking Program at Douglas he has worked with a variety of freelance clients. His first feature film, Edgar Allan Poe’s Requiem for the Damned, was released in 2012. Take a look at some of Aaron’s work.