Meet Comedy-Horror Filmmakers at Virtual BINGOFLIX for Laughs
On June 30, the CALS Ron Robinson Theater will host a cool virtual screening and visit from filmmaker Dave Campfield and his comedy collaborator Paul Chomicki. The two partners are responsible for the comedy-horror series that begins with Caesar and Otto’s Summer Camp Massacre, which will screen that night along with Dave and Paul’s commentary about indie filmmaking and the making of this particular series.
Even better, the film and visit are part of our BINGOFLIX series, which means the audience can play along with the screening to win prizes! Virtual chat alongside the screening always spurs snarky and amusing audience participation, which is half the fun.
Dave sat down with us to give a quick sneak preview before his visit.
How did you become interested in filmmaking?
DAVE: As a child who is neither athletic nor socially apt, you really feel the magic of cinema. Film was a medium that really spoke to me because it’s the culmination of all the arts: theater, music, writing, costume, lighting. Life was more exciting on film and people were more connected. It was an outlet for a kid who didn’t fit in.
First, I was doing puppet shows with my brothers, then I started making home movies at 11 or 12. They were terrible, like most kids’ home movies!
How did you make the transition to the professional world of film?
DAVE: I started making my first feature when I was around 24 years old. Say You Love the Devil, a thriller, ultimately got released. Afterward, the company that released it asked if I could produce a comedy/horror on the cheap for $6,000. I told them that my friend and I had invented these Dumb and Dumber-style characters named Caesar and Otto who would be great for that kind of story. I already knew actress Felissa Rose from Sleepaway Camp, and I thought about how great it would be to make a film like Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein that combined slapstick with horror and used these characters. Once we were on a roll, we could put Caesar and Otto into any situation, which we later did—Christmas horror, paranormal horror. So that’s how the series began.
How would you describe Caesar and Otto’s Summer Camp Massacre?
DAVE: Caesar and Otto tends to get extreme reactions on both ends: people who think it’s hilarious, or people who think it’s dead stupid. I’ve been in houses where I’ve seen both reactions. My sense of humor is inspired by The Simpsons, and Dumb and Dumber is one of my favorite 90s films. So, because comedy is subjective, this is the kind of humor that appeals to my sensibility. It may be a little too Looney Tunes for some, but others will really love it.
I play Caesar, and Paul Chomicki plays Otto. Paul and I met in high school. He was three years ahead of me but loved movies as much as I did, so that was the beginning of an ongoing friendship and comedy collaboration. He lives in California and I’m a New York guy. So when I make these movies, I fly out and crash with him. The apartment in the first Caesar and Otto movie was his actual apartment.
What’s it like to shoot on a shoestring budget?
DAVE: When you shoot on a low budget, you have minimum crew. Each of these films has had a Director of Photography who has a camera package and lighting pack. Like the filmmakers, they are trying to make a name for themselves, so they will work on a budget and do their best to make a feature film under the confines of that budget.
What’s going to be fun about you and Paul connecting with our audience for the virtual showing on June 30?
DAVE: It’s fun for people to get to know this film series, and what it was like making the series as well as the history behind it. In a world where thousands of indie films never get seen at all, it’s a joy to share that experience with an audience.
Any advice for beginning filmmakers, in addition to what you’ll share in your visit?
DAVE: To be a filmmaker and performer means you’re going to be broke and struggling. But do your best and stay the distance, because if you have a passion for the work, that’s what will carry you through.
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Join us on June 30 at 7:00 p.m. for some slapstick horror and behind-the-scenes chat with Dave and Paul. Dave will also tell us about his award-winning new project, Awaken the Reaper, which takes a turn into more serious horror fare. To find the event and the Kosmi link for the free virtual screening and chat, see the CALS Ron Robinson Facebook page here.
Here’s a personal invitation from Dave by video: