Behind the Scenes with the Soskas

This interview has been months in the making.  In fact, I am still pinching myself to make sure this is not a dream.  I mean, I got to interview the most wanted directors that the movies have seen in the last two decades.  These ladies know how to put together great films for all to enjoy.  If that wasn’t true then why have the directed two films for WWE Studios?  These ladies are gorgeous, talented, and know how to make a film.  Their film library consists of horror classics like American Mary and See No Evil 2 as well as the crime drama, Vendetta and future comic film Painkiller Jane.  Not only are they into film, they are into comics and recently got the go ahead for a horror themed game show.  We will discuss more in our interview.  I still cannot believe I got to interview these two talented and lovely ladies.  It is truly my honor to share this interview with you all.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, my interview with the Soska Sisters.

SWN:  At what age did you realize that you wanted to make movies?

Sylvia: I’m still figuring that out. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be involved, but that interest is constantly evolving. I want to make sure that good stories are being told, that originated as an interest in acting, then for more control over the final product developed into writing, directing, and producing, and now, thinking about the future, it has become a more production house based interest.

Jen: I was always on the path. Young women aren’t encouraged enough to become directors or filmmakers. The emphasis is usually on being an actress or in front of the camera. You have so much more power behind the camera, not only of the stories you get to tell, but of when you work. Actors have to spend a lot of time doing whatever just to be working. After we saw POLTERGEIST, our first horror film, had to be the turning point for us.

SWN: What deciding factor pulls you to make Horror films?

Sylvia: We got categorized as horror filmmakers even though it’s hard to label our original work in any kind of simple answer as they tend to be more batshit crazy. We love horror movies and creating film has to come from a place of love.

Jen: We love horror. It’s so much fun. Good horror has a message and I love how a horror film can tackle challenging issues without being preachy about it. I’ve never not loved horror. It’s like loving kittens, ha ha. There are so many delicious sub genres in horror. I’d love to take them all on.

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SWN: Anyone who is a fan of horror is familiar with your work. What inspired you to create such a classic like American Mary?

Sylvia: It was on a list of pitches to a friend. He picked ‘the one about a medical student doing body modification’ and we wrote the script in two weeks to reach our self-imposed deadline. It was a much more personal piece than we intended, but at the time that we wrote it we were going through many struggles both with being very poor and trying to break into an industry that seemed so out of reach, but more prominent was our grandmother’s failing health which had us spending a lot of time at the hospital. That sadness and misplacement became our lives and the script became our therapy to make sense of it all.

Jen: It was auto biographical for us in a lot of ways. This is by no means an easy business and it’s even worse if you’re female. This industry attracts a lot of monsters and they’re out there to take advantage of the young and unsuspecting, preying on people who are desperate to follow their dreams. Those people are real pieces of shit. I’ve met a lot of them. We wanted to show a story about a woman trying to be respected and seen as an equal in a male dominated industry. We also wanted to examine what makes a monster and what makes a man.

SWN: What films inspired you the most to do what you do? Did you have a favorite director growing up?

Sylvia: I can’t even begin to tell you how many times Jen & I watched Robert Rodriguez’s films. They were just so cool. The shots, the characters, the dialogue, the action – the everything. And he had his Ten Minute Film Schools. We were being taught by a master without realizing it as kids.

Jen: Robert Rodriguez. I think everyone in my generation was inspired by that man. His films which were over flowing with his special brand of cool, his ten minute film schools, and his book, REBEL WITHOUT A CREW. He was and remains one of the few artists that have shared their secrets and tricks of the trade with aspiring artists to encourage them to pick up a camera.

SWN: What was the process to be able to film the sequel to See No Evil 2?

Sylvia: Somehow American Mary made it to WWE Studios when they were looking for a new direction for their See No Evil series and we got the opportunity to get interviewed for the gig. We read Bobby Lee Darby and Nathan Brookes’ script which was really cool and thought there is no fucking way we’re going to get this gig. We started watching WWE when the Kane character intro story arc was happening, so it was a dream job.

Jen: Every film is different. There were some missed opportunities in the original film and we came on to expand on the concepts that worked first time around, but capitalize on the areas were we had room to grow. Being massive WWE fans it was the thrill of a lifetime to get to work with and collaborate with them on this film. And we got to work with an incredible cast including horror royalty, Danielle Harris.

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SWN: I really loved the movie See No Evil 2 and I am excited about your other film using WWE talent, Vendetta. What can you tell us about this experience?

Sylvia: The crew in Vancouver is unbelievable. They truly don’t get enough credit, but you see this magnificently talented, driven, hardworking, and kind crew bust their asses to make sure these films are bad ass. We were blessed to get to collaborate with them twice and I cannot wait to bring them onto the next films. A director is only as good as their crew and I have been spoiled by mine.

Jen: It was insane! Doing an action movie is a lot of fun. We’re 80s brats, so you’ll see that flair in both SNE2 and VENDETTA. We like casting actors against their types to give them something exciting and challenging to play around with. It was awesome getting to show the world what a bad ass Dean Cain is. And Paul (The Big Show) Wight is such a perfect villain.

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SWN: Besides movies, I understand that you are huge comic fans, especially Deadpool. What were your favorite heroes or villains growing up?

Sylvia: My first X-Men comic was Classic X-Men and it was the one where Kitty Pride made a deal with the Morlock Caliban to help Colossus, so there was a shotgun Morlock wedding that Storm, who was leading the team at the time, came to break up. Ororo had her mohawk and she was the leader of the team, it struck a chord with me. It also had themes of responsibility and selflessness which educated me. As I continued to read the series, it had these gems of wisdom that really shaped me as a kid into a young woman and it was Storm who I idolized. She’s such a strong, complicated, multi-dimensional character who I would love to see get her own film or at least a proper representation in a film.

Spider-man was my first Marvel comic. I read that as a nine year old and I loved how no matter how bleak the situations were that he faced or no matter what an outcast he was, he remained a good person with a sense of humor and a strong morale center. Those lessons are really important for kids. I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about the young age of the cast for the new Spider-man reboot, but he had the biggest impact on me when I was a kid, so I think it’s a smart decision.

Jen: SO many. We are Marvel girls. Ever since the first time I picked up a comic book I was looking for female heroes and I found Marvel had that covered more than their competitors. I love the X-Men and Rogue was my favorite. I adore Daredevil. I learned braille and trained in sais because I was obviously gonna marry him some day. Tim Burton’s BATMAN RETURNS got me really into Catwoman. I love Venom and I even love Flash Thompson as Agent Venom. Daken, Wolvie’s boy, I adore, but only the stuff Daniel Way did with him when he created him. I feel that character has really lost is way with current writers. Wiccan, Task Master, Arcade, The Sentry, The Avengers, Spidey, and, our babes, Deadpool. God, do we love Deadpool.

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SWN: You have a comic that you worked on titled, Kill-Crazy Nymphos Attack. What can you tell us about the book without giving too much away?

Sylvia: Daniel Way is a fucking genius. He is so well-read and effortlessly brilliant. I love the way he sees the world and I think the people who read the very graphic novel are going to love it too! It’s a very sharp satire without any holds barred. It’s refreshingly brutal in a lot of ways. Rob Dumo’s artwork is off the hook – a lot of our kick-starter backers are receiving their custom self-featured prints arriving right now and it’s super cool to see this whole crazy new medium coming to life.

Jen: It’s our first original graphic novel ever! We’ve teamed up with one of our favorite writers in the world, Daniel Way. He created Daken, has written hands down the best Deadpool stories, wrote Wolverine Origins… he’s just the fucking best. It’s a throw back to classic Grindhouse films, just in graphic novel style. We hope to adapt it into a film, however, given the content, you’ll for sure wanna pick up the book to get the director’s cut. It’s just pure, unadulterated, uncensored madness over flowing with clever social commentary. Just you wait.

SWN: Where can our readers get a copy of this long awaited title?

Sylvia: If you didn’t get one by supporting the kick-starter, then you will be able to grab copies when the graphic novel is out. We will announce the details closer to that date!

Jen: We pre-sold copies during our fund raising Kickstarter campaign. We’ll have release details for folks who sadly missed that opportunity first time around.

SWN: Staying on the subject of comics and film, you are slated to direct the movie adaption of Painkiller Jane. How did that come about and what are your plans with the character?

Sylvia: Aw, man. I can’t say really anything.

Jen: Another phenomenal writer, Jimmy Palmiotti, co-creator of Jane, brought us on. We’re buddies and we just adore Jimmy and Amanda Conner. They’re just so talented and down to Earth it’s ridiculous. It’s been a long time since we were permitted to have a starring female character in a super hero film, let alone one as real and complex as Jane. It’s a big film, so it’s a process, but it’s going to be well worth the wait.

SWN: Your followers also know that you just finished filming a pilot. Is there anything you can share about said pilot?

Sylvia: You can see the show Hellevator this October – but we’ve been sworn to secrecy!

Jen: It’s Hellevator, but we can’t say much more than that.

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SWN: What other projects can we expect from you in the future?

Sylvia: It’s an exciting time in our lives because we have a lot of stuff coming up which are all projects that are very dear to us. We don’t like to stop working, so we’re working even harder now that we’ve been given these new opportunities. The only big thing is a lot of these projects have to stay hush hush until we get the go-ahead to talk about them.

Jen: I’d really like to finally see our original high concept monster movie, BOB, find the right home to go into production. It’s a very precious story to us and is so similar to AMERICAN MARY in the way that’s it’s harsh content and originality actually scares people off… but everyone wants first crack at seeing it and distributing it. I think we’re getting close. It’s truly a beautiful film and it’s such a “right now” film.

SWN: Do you have a favorite project that you have worked on, if so what is it?

Sylvia: I’m a bit of a self-loathing artist. The project that I am working on is always my favorite which right now is the Frank Strausser written and Scott Stone produced Plastic. I can’t give too much away, but I really relate to this story in a very strong personal way. We’re pulling out all the stops for this one; it’s a very special piece.

Jen: I’m an ever evolving type of girl. I’m never satisfied, so I’m always striving to get onto my next project and my next one after that. I’ve loved parts of every film and filmmaking experience as well as I’ve hated aspects of each. It’s like picking between your favorite kids. Right now, I’m really excited about our two new ones, HELLEVATOR, with Blumhouse and Matador on GSN this fall (*cough*, shameless plug, *cough*) and PLASTIC, our latest upcoming feature we’re gonna be shooting in the fall, as well.

SWN: Where can our readers see more examples of your work?

Sylvia: Our Youtube channel has a ton of stuff on it from interviews to trailers to various other videos.

Jen: Check out our www.twistedtwinsproductions.net. We’ve got links to all our stuff and we have a sexy as hell site. You can get hooked up to us and our social media all through there, too.

SWN: What was it like playing a flesh eating Zombie in Dead Rising?

Sylvia: Unbelievably fun! We got to re-team with a lot of our Vancouver crew on the production as Zach Lipovsky and us have joint custody over that incredibly brilliant, talented team. Ryan & Megan Nicholson brought the gore and we got to be zombies with our long time friend, Ed Brando, who played our zombie gimp S & M client. We have gotten blessed with a very interesting resume for acting cameos now!

Jen: It was so damn cool! I’ve never got to play a zombie yet, so as a lover of all things horror, it was a pretty big deal for us. Also, we didn’t die, (aside from being, well, UNdead), so I’m thinking sequel, ha ha. And we just love Zach. He’s very talented. It was so cool getting to re-team with so much of our beloved crew! Even Tony Devenyi, our production designer off MARY, did their production design, which was amazing. We love that guy.

SWN: How long did it take to make the transformation from something alive and beautiful to undead and evil?

Sylvia: That is such a kind compliment, thank you! It took a little bit over an hour. They waited until we were about to shoot to drop the blood and gore on us. All those zombies and all that sticky lovely blood – we all became a close hoard quickly!

Jen: I actually look like “THEY LIVE” under all my make up so it’s way harder to look human than inhuman for me, ha ha.

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