Screenplay writer and novelist, Terrance Zdunich spoke with Max Michaels, Supreme Ruler of Movement Magazine, on the eve of Collective Con 2015.
Max Michaels: You are currently working on a sequel to The Devil’s Carnival, correct? What made a sequel to that, top the list as opposed to maybe, Repo!, or something completely different?
Terrance Zdunich: The Devil’s Carnival cut to the front of the sequel line because it’s a project that we—the artists behind the film—control, as opposed to say Repo!, which is owned by a studio. We designed TDC around the idea of a creative brand that, if it could generate enough public interest, had the ability to expand into formats and approaches that would be very difficult to achieve within the traditional movie mill. We’re very fortunate to have devoted fans that not only support our experimental works, but have also shown interest in seeing sequels to more than one of our musical films.
MM: Any lessons from the first film you learned from that are helping on this one?
TZ: Yes. Every project presents its challenges, but I hope I’ve grown wiser and less bloodied with each bout. I’ve definitely become more informed about the business of indie filmmaking from having made TDC 1, but that’s the boring stuff. On the creative front, I definitely learned a lot from experiencing audience reactions to the first film. When writing Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival 2, I kept these experiences in mind. I think fans are going to enjoy what we’ve been up to with this new film as it pushes the limits of what they loved about the original. Plus, there’s a lot more tunes!
MM: You did an advance promo tour for the first Devil’s Carnival similar to what you did to kick start Repo! in theaters. Will you do something similar to part 2? (Is there a planned theatrical release?)
TZ: That’s the plan. We’re hammering out the details now, but the goal is to be touring TDC 2 before year’s end. Floridians have always been amongst are most dedicated fans, so when we tour, I’m certain that more than one stop will be in The Sunshine State. Official dates and cities will be announced soon.
MM: We’re looking forward to finally having you in Jacksonville at Collective Con. Early on in your con-going experience we shared one of my more bizarre con experiences together in Orlando. Any weird/wild best and worst con stories since?
TZ: Ha! I’d forgotten that we shared that dreadful convention experience. Thankfully, of the various events at which I’ve been a guest, the experiences have been overwhelmingly positive. Even during those rare unfortunate encounters, the fans have always been awesome. I’m very much looking forward to the adventure that Collective Con promises.
MM: I know I get some sideways looks from my family for some of the things I publish or promote. How does your family react to your bodies of work, especially something like REPO!
TZ: Family? What’s that? Ever since Ma fed Little Joe to the hogs, we don’t talk much no more. But in terms of sideways looks, if I wasn’t getting them from the muggles over my artwork, then I’d worry I was doing something wrong. After all, if it were easy or uncontroversial to make the sorts projects that we love, then everyone would be making them. If that were the case, there’d be nothing left for you and I to do but teach Sunday school.
MM: We made it a few issues into the Molting, admittedly we need to catch up, what’s happening in the world of comics by Terrance Z?
TZ: Unfortunately, The Molting comic book series is on hold at the moment. I paused after completing the seventh issue when my focus had to shift to The Devil’s Carnival. I still love The Molting, however, and will complete the twelve-part series one day. In the meantime, I hope fans will be content with the new movie, tour and music due out later this year, including a concept album that I’ve been working on with TDC’s co-composer Saar Hendelmen.
MM: Multi-Part Q – Of all the hats you wear … singer/performer, artist, writer (and any I’m missing) … do you prefer any above the others? What do you appreciate most about doing each? And what do you find most challenging about each?
TZ: This is a big question because, as you stated, I wear a lot of hats… beaver pelt, stove pipe, Angora. In this regard, I suppose I approach all projects like a fine artist: I look at a blank canvass and work until a world exists where once there was none. It’s this development process that I enjoy the most, creating something from nothing. Transforming that blank canvass is also the most difficult part of the journey, but it’s the most rewarding, too. By the time a project like TDC is ready to be cast and filmed, most of my hard work is already completed. So the performing part, which I suppose is what I’m most known for, is ironically not only the briefest leg of the journey, but also the easiest one. It’s like saving the dessert for last. Or, in my case, I go through hell… but then I get to play the devil. Rock.
MM: Where is the best place for fans to connect with what you’re up to and get updates on all your projects?
TZ: I write a personal blog that I update a couple of times a month, so it’s probably the arena by which to follow me that has the most personality: www.TerranceZdunich.com/blog. For more regular updates, be sure to like my Facebook page as well:www.facebook.com/tzfanpage.