Shattered in Blood: An Interview with Ashley McColeman
bY: dAVID BRIGGS
(pOSTED jULY 17, 2016)
Ashley McColeman helms Shattered Edge Productions, a company that, so far, has set their focus on the horror genre. She's on the verge of releasing her first feature, No Boys Allowed, a cottage country chiller, which she wrote and directed. Word around the campfire is that it brings the fear. And yes, there will be blood. Lots of it.
The film revolves around four friends who meet annually for a cottage retreat. A pact was made to keep the cottage a girls only event, with no boyfriends in the picture. Hence the title. However, one of the four brings her new girlfriend, which causes some friction amongst the crew. Add a group of guys camping nearby, some flirtations and invitations, a watcher in the woods, and the bucolic tranquility unravels fast.
She hopes to screen the film this fall as its rapidly nearing completion. Things are coming along in post-production, and the composer recently completed the soundtrack. "It's great," McColeman enthuses, "it changes the mood entirely, and really heightens the film."
The film went through the usual difficulties of indie productions, including "a few hiccups with ADR," but she's looking forward to the first screening.
In the meantime, she's been completing a handful of scripts for some shorts, which she hopes to roll out in the upcoming months. "We can make them very cheaply and finish them very quickly," she says, compared to the labours of a feature production.
"The first movie that got me into horror was Scream," McColeman says," so Wes Craven will always be a favourite." She also draws from comedic horror flicks, like Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, and those in the Behind the Mask vein. Her recent favourite is Australian creep show The Loved Ones, but she has no love for PG-13 horror, "I don't think anybody appreciates that," she jokes.
There's a high death count in No Boys Allowed, and for one particular axe attack, "actual meat and intestines," were used to heighten the gore. The screenplay for Altered States has "about thirty" victims throughout the feature.
Asked if there was ever too much blood, McColeman replied, "no, I don't think so," before mentioning the remake of Evil Dead to illustrate her point. "That movie literally rains blood, so there can never be too much."
Be sure to check out Shattered Edge Productions' Facebook page for all the news on upcoming films.
McColeman shot the film about half an hour north of her hometown, Timmins. Her family's cottage served dual purpose as the film's location and lodging for the cast and crew who settled in for a two week shoot over September and October of 2013. Actress Kylah Eide, also from Timmins, had connections for a nearby RV, which added to the accommodations.
With two rental vans and a borrowed car, their caravan left from Toronto—where McColeman currently lives and works—to the wilds of Northern Ontario. "It's about a seven hour drive when you're not driving with twenty other people," McColeman joked. "When you're driving with everyone it's about nine or ten hour drive."
The shorts will provide a nice calling card as well, and keep the production company on people's minds, which will help with future funding for the next feature, Altered States, planned to shoot in the greater Toronto area next year.
Altered States, which McColeman will also direct from her script, continues the horror theme, and promises viewers a female-driven slasher / thriller with "mature themes" such as murder, revenge and incest. Hana Holubec, Annabelle Loi, and Nicole Stawikowski are slated for roles, with Burns McDonald, Tanya Lee, Julia Knope, Becca Moss and others rounding out the cast.