Q&A with 12/24 Director Anthony Colliano

By Heather Wixson

Recently, Gargoyle Entertainment released the trailer for the upcoming indie zombie flick 12/24 so I decided it was time to catch up with director Anthony Colliano to get the goods on his newest film and what we can expect from 12/24 and from him in the future.

HW: How did you get started in filmmaking?  Is this the first project you’ve directed?

AC: I actually got started being in front of the camera instead of behind it. As all through school I was involved in theater. I even received a scholarship to Point Park College. But during the summer program there I realized college theater wasn’t for me. I took some time off till I found myself involved in a wrestling promotion. a few times a month for a few years I would do wrestle and cut promos. I think that’s what brought the passion back in me. I then brought a team together a friend all through high school Eddie Daniels (CGI artist) and a guy I bumped into at the gym Matthew Bonacci. (Executive Producer) We all had the same passion   

So we formed Gargoyle Entertainment. After a few short horror films I directed under my belt we made into the Rhode Island International Film Festival with a short film titled “Family Portrait” The film starred Russ Russo (film threat actor to watch) and Jolene Matthews who know has a recurring role on the TV show Ugly Betty. “Family Portrait” is the film that kind got the ball rolling for us. But acting is still a passion as I just played a role in a movie “New Terminal Hotel” directed by my good friend BC Furtney who was also my A.D. on “12/24″

HW: Where did you come up with the idea for writing 12/24?  Were you always a fan of zombie movies?

AC: 12/24 believe it or not started out as a full feature mafia film. As I wrote it I thought to myself there has never been a zombie Christmas film so I did some re-writing and 12/24 was born. It’s the first ever zombie X-Mas film. To answer your question how could I not be a fan of zombie films growing up in Pittsburgh? I mean “Night of The Living Dead” and “Dawn of the Dead” where huge inspirations to me. Some people said it was walking on holy ground by doing a zombie film in Pittsburgh with my last name not being Romero. But I hope when we release the film people will enjoy it and see we are not just some copycats.

HW: Can you discuss the storyline of 12/24? 

AC: I think the storyline is pretty unique for a zombie film. I wrote the screen play a lot like the academy award winning movie “Crash” Where you have a couple and the husband just finds out that he is going to be a father. You have a family who is on their way home from X-Mas eve dinner. Two undercover cops watching a house for drug activity. And to finish it off you have the drug dealer and his estranged girlfriend. In the end they all get together in the end as they fight for their lives.

HW: What was your shoot like? Where did you guys shoot and for how long? Any crazy on-set stories?

AC: It was a 14 day shoot and we shot most of it in a little town in Clyde, Pa., which is about an hour outside of Pittsburgh. Nothing really crazy except a rain day that all most jammed us up good and some long-ass shooting days.

HW: How did Tiffany Shepis get involved, especially since she’s one of the premiere Scream Queens around?

AC: Getting Tiffany Shepis and Scot Davis were the pre-production highlights for me. They were incredible on and off set. I hope to work with them again in the near future. Also I want to add landing up and coming scream queen Devanny Pinn, former WCW and current NWA star Rob “The Stro” Kellum along with Pittsburgh’s very own Sam Nicotero was a godsend. I could honestly say my whole crew was great including F/X coordinator Jesse Leechok along with his crew, my main man Brinn McCall, and don’t let me forget  the people who let us shoot at the locations. They were all fantastic!

HW What’s your timetable now with the project?  When do you plan on showing it? 

AC: We are pushing for a late summer premiere just in time for all the great horror festivals this fall. Hopefully we can get out with distribution the holiday season.

HW: What are your future plans in film?

AC: Hopefully within a few days I will be announcing my next feature film. We will see what happens. If not look for myself and Gargoyle Entertainment to be a mainstay in the horror genre for years to come.