The Telluride Horror Show in Telluride, CO is in full swing this weekend and we’ll have all the coverage you’ll need to make you feel like you’re right there. One of the most talked about shorts playing this weekend is The Stylist from Call Girl director Jill Gevargizian. We had some time before the screening of the film, happening tomorrow (Sunday) at 10AM as part of the “Sunday Suspensfuls” short film block, to catch up with Jill and talk about the making of the film.
How did the project (The Stylist) first come about?
I have been a professional hairstylist for over 10 years. A few years ago I realized, “why isn’t there a horror movie about a killer hairstylist?” You’d think there would be one in the vein of The Dentist. But I went a different route. I’m personally more interested in making films that affect the viewer emotionally. From the beginning I thought of this character is my female Leatherface. I wanted to create a psychopath that we could sympathize with.
From its genesis, how long did it take for the film to go from an idea to production?
I first put it to paper in spring of 2013. I know this because I recently found my first notes I wrote about it! Over a year later- summer of 2014- I employed the help of Eric Havens to adapt it into a script. Then put together the team and started on preproduction that Fall. We shot the film first weekend of February 2015.
How did Najarra Townsend come to be involved with the project?
Eric England, Director of Contracted, is a good friend of mine. I just reached out to him and asked him if she would be interested. And thankfully, she was. I can’t imagine the film working without her. She is The Stylist.
Was there a lot pressure going into this film coming off the success of Call Girl?
Definitely. And I wanted to jump 20 steps with this film. I wanted it to have super high production value. I think we succeeded. Thanks to the amazing crew.
Did you draw from a lot of the resources you had on Call Girl for this project?
Yes. I learned so much. But a lot of the crew is new on this project.
How long was and how smoothly did the actual production go?
We shot for 3 days and I think it went really well. We were really prepared. As they say, a film is made in preproduction. We spent over three months in prepro. I had an assistant director, Emily Herold, that kept us on a tight schedule. She was my savior.
What did you shoot the film on?
The RED Dragon. I have to admit I don’t know anything about cameras. I know it looks beautiful! Our director of photography Robert Patrick Stern is my hero. I can’t wait to work with him again.
Do you have any new projects coming up on the horizon?
I’m working on writing a couple features. I think it’s time to take the leap.
What are you looking forward to checking out most at the Telluride Horror Show/What have you already seen that you recommend?
I’m most looking forward to The Eyes of My Mother! I’ve missed it at Fantasia an Fantastic Fest. As far as what I’ve seen, I would definitely say do not miss Spring Break Zombie Massacre. It is SO fun.
Thanks to Jill for taking the time for this interview. We can’t wait to check out the film. Be sure to check out The Stylist at Telluride Horror Show Sunday at 10am. Follow them on social media here: Facebook.com/thestylistfilm
Check out Jill’s site here as well.