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Marriage Bites: A Hilariously Twisted Tale of Love, Vampires, and Social Media

What inspired the concept behind Marriage Bites?A couple of things. I had just finished writing a horror comedy about a Grim Reaper and was wanting to try another horror comedy. A friend of mine and awesome film partner, Joe Komara, had done some pictures as a vampire. I loved the way he made those pictures come to life! So, I asked him if I could create a character based on the pictures. From there, “Martin” was created. I asked him to play the lead and having worked with him before, I knew I could play off his acting skills in a fun and easy way.

Can you tell us more about the lead character Martin and how his transformation into a vampire affects the story?Martin is the suburban husband stuck in a rut. Basically, his life has hit the stale point, and he hopes for something to change or even become a tiny bit exciting. Life is just a boring routine for him. His transformation turns his life upside down, including his wife’s life, where now, housewife Linda has no idea how to handle this! Martin is now rediscovering himself as he learns to adjust and see all along that he wouldn’t trade his family for anything, it was just finding ways to make it open up and not be afraid to take chances.

How did the idea of incorporating social media theories into the film come about?

Comedy. I wanted to find more than just the typical ways of seeing what vampire theories work. There are so many social media theories out there on all kinds of subjects, some real and some fake. What happens if you follow even the fake ones? So, Martin and Linda will bumble their way through learning how to handle a massive change, with funny, and sometimes dangerous results, reminding people to not always do everything that social media tells you to.

Can you share some insights into the casting process and how certain actors were chosen for their roles in Marriage Bites?Martin was easy – he was based off of Joe Komara. I just made him a bit nerdy in the beginning as he goes through his changes. Joe is a fun, and creative person that could easily make Martin come to life, including his vampire moments (he has been a vampire before). Plus, having worked with him before, was a bonus, already knowing some of his skills and approach. Some characters I wrote based on some actors I’ve worked with before. A few characters, to fill them, a few names were recommended to me and after seeing some of their work, brought them on. There were also others, though there wasn’t a character made for them, I still enjoyed working with them.

What were some of the unique locations used for filming Marriage Bites, and how did they enhance the story?In December of this year, we will film at 2 studios – Studio Huntsville and Thunderdome Studios. Studio Huntsville will bring the office scenes to life and let us show a really bad workday! Thunderdome Studios allows to work with morgue and cemetery sets, which, what horror film isn’t complete without morgue and cemetery scenes? Once I was told about Thunderdome Studios through a networking group, I was able to write the scenes in, to bring a bit of the dark side to the story. For the arcade scenes, I could bring a bit of comedic effect (with a backup bowling alley if needed). There are a few other locations in the story that will give the story home life and more humor.

Can you talk about any special effects or stunts that will be featured in the film?

There are going to be some creative death scenes. Tara Merryman is awesome in SFX in regard to creatures and death scenes. For stunts, Justin Harvey definitely has the moves to help with a vampire fight scene, though won’t tell more to not spoil it. One fun one is dealing with fangs and mirrors.

How would you describe the overall tone and genre of Marriage Bites?

Though it will have some dark moments and some disgusting deaths, it is overall comedic fun. Kind of picture Dale and Tucker VS Evil, with hints of Cooties and Shaun of the Dead. There are also a few moments of caring, I mean, you have your marriage to work through in this after all. There are some jump scares and a few of those moments of “why are you doing that?!” yelling at a character.

What motivated you to combine horror and comedy in this film?

For me, it made it more fun! Although I love horror and comedy separately, I felt that a horror comedy was more up my alley right now to work with. With vampires as well, I felt that it would hit the bit of comedy more.

Can you discuss the importance of networking and collaborating with other filmmakers in bringing Marriage Bites to life?Without networking and collaborating, you won’t have a film. You can try to make one on your own, but you’re missing out on a lot. Plus, other filmmakers bring things to your attention that you may miss or not think of. They can make projects better. Getting to work with Alex Gibson and CinePros again is awesome – we mesh well. Jennifer Gibson is awesome in makeup. J Spencer brings great advice and perspective. Caitlin Kline is one of the best script supervisors I’ve ever worked with, while Tony Jenkins is fast and can nail my view down with music. Plus, the whole team can help if I’m stuck on something with the script. Of course, my longtime friend, film partner, and producer, Harry P. Castros is there as well on this project, providing me guidance and talent as always. This time, Joe Komara, Nicole Butler Vegas, Shawn C. Phillips, and Wendy Wilkins are stepping on as producers as well, all of them with valuable skills and talent. Constant networking and collaborating opens up more doors for you, helping you discover more locations, people, ways to get work done, figure out special effects and more while sticking to a budget and getting your project noticed and distributed, SAG or non-SAG.

How does the film explore the dynamics of a stale marriage and the unexpected challenges the couple faces?It makes Martin and Linda realize that they do love each other and come to learn that when something is wrong, you learn to work on it and not turn away from it. Marriage isn’t always boring and isn’t always exciting and can be difficult at times. They’re both pushed to their limits, when they have to help each other deal with something dangerous, especially since they have a teen as well. They have to learn to rediscover themselves while being there for the other person. They can survive with their love but won’t be easy at first as they’re tossed into nerve-wracking situations, especially when lives are at stake, knowing that you could lose someone you love in the blink of an eye.

Can you share any memorable moments or experiences from the filming of Marriage Bites? Though mainly in pre-production, we have gotten to do a photoshoot for it and a skit for it to introduce some of the characters early. The photoshoot, I remember the cute studio dog would try to join us, which of course, we were happy to play with Bonnie the puppy. In between, Joe was constantly cracking me up on set. It can be hard for me to have to stare a person down sometimes, and he is naturally a fun and funny person. And, when someone is a vampire in front of you, you may not be able to hold back the laughter. As for the skit with Rhiana Calderwood, her and I have played friends, then enemies, and now sisters. Rhiana is a natural with improv! And our skit, was improv. A handful of other characters did fake video message calls to Linda and Linda shows her sister, Shana these calls. Shana is freaked out about the vampire issue at hand. It was hard keeping a straight face with her. We did it in two takes. Plus, doing the campaign video with the director, I almost burst out laughing when he said we need lots of blood. I know coming up, it’s going to be extremely fun working with the other actors; there will probably be a lot of comedic bloopers. Even some “close” scenes will probably have us laughing. Doing the stunts will be interesting, especially with the unique sets we will be on. I’ve also had the pleasure of talking with the other actors and the crew about the story and the characters and getting some interesting takeaways on it that make me feel excited!

What do you hope audiences will take away from watching Marriage Bites?

That horror can be fun! And, that our team was fun and awesome working together on this. Of course, a few lessons: don’t trust EVERYTHING you see on social media, be there for your partner even when things get boring, and don’t be afraid of changes in life.

Can you talk about the Indiegogo campaign for the film and how people can support its production?Just sharing it is caring! We appreciate when people share. We still film regardless of what is raised, but the more we raise, the more interesting special effects we can do, and most of them are practical effects. They can check out our campaign and find all kinds of perks, videos to view, ways to share, and even basic contributions. The campaign will also lead them to the IMDB and Facebook page as well that will have behind the scenes, updates, and so much more. They can even have a chance to see live streams of some of the cast and crew.

Indiegogo link:

Are there any plans for future projects or expansions related to Marriage Bites?

Definitely! Can’t tell you what just yet, but there is room for a sequel that will be just as fun, but with more vampire twists that we’re already looking into.

How does Marriage Bites stand out from other vampire-themed films in terms of its storytelling and unique elements?I think it stands out because it incorporates marriage, with social media theories, with comedy and horror all rolled into one. You will see all kinds of vampires, and many of them breaking the typical vampire rules, while of course, keeping a few of the main rules. Most vampire movies you see the really evil, dangerous vampires or the completely “must drool” over them as well. This movie gives an interesting mix and twist, while throwing in those vampire puns you know you’re going to want to hear, while mixing in some creative deaths.

Check out and follow Marriage Bites on all their social media Pages.




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