Interview with Shane Cole of Masked Films

In addition to directing, you were also a writer on Deadly Presence. Is it important that you direct the projects you write? Would it be difficult watching a film that somebody else directed?


I would Direct other projects if brought to me, that’s not an issue. I only wrote this because I wanted to direct something I could control 100%.  The entire story was written around what I had access to, since this was a micro-low-low-low budget film. Did I stress low budget enough?  By writing the scenes, I knew I could shoot those exact scenes.


What was the writing process like for Deadly Presence, how long did it take for you to have a finished script?


Megan (Actress who played ‘Andie’) and I would work on the script in the late evenings during the week and on weekends until it was finished. We also brought in a writer friend of mine to tidy up some scenes and dialog in Deadly Presence

The script took about 2 months to complete.


Some of the props used in the film are very intricate, how long did the Diary take to create?


A couple of the props in the film are from past projects. For instance the mask hanging on the wall in the kitchen is from The Mutilation Man (2011)

The diary was something Megan and I put together on our spare time. The sketch book was drawn out by my friend and his wife Ozzie and Amy Ray.


How do you come up with Character names?

The Character names were actually something that Megan chose.  Some were names inspired by friends of hers, others were just what felt right for the character.  She also liked the idea of using a guys name for the female lead, and Andie just seemed fitting.


How long was the shooting schedule?


The shooting schedule was actually pretty long. We shot the film over a span of 7 months. We only shot on weekends and some week nights if we got lucky.  Sometimes we weren’t able to shoot every weekend due to scheduling or outside noise that was out of our control. We’d then wait till the next weekend to capture 6-8 more hours of shooting.

In between shooting, I would edit; color correct and play around with the footage, all on my 2009 imac with final cut pro 7.


Can you explain the responsibilities of a Sound Editor? How long is the process?


The sound editor’s job is to prep all the background sounds, sound effects, dialog and music for the film.

Since Megan and I were literally 98% of the crew involved in making this entire film, we both played double duty on this. We would stay up late on week nights and record all sound for scenes where we had noise interruption. Like cars honking and random helicopters (lots in Los Angeles) which would fly over and hover, and hover some more.  After all that was recorded, I would then spend the next evening adding it and tweaking it to fit the scene.

H. Anton Riehl composed some scenes for us, and Megan would work with him on perfecting the sound for the scene.  He did a great job with the moody score!


Do you have any funny stories from the shoot that you can share?


I have a story to share. There is a scene where Megan had to drag a fake body down the exterior staircase. We did this at 4am.  I was tucked away in a spot where nobody could see me, or my camera.  After the take Megan informed me that a neighbor had been watching, and from his perspective he would have only seen Megan dragging what appeared to be a body, down the stairs!


Will Deadly Presence be at any Horror film festivals?


Unfortunately no. When we finished the project, most of the horror fests were just getting over with.  However, shortly after editing the film, Deadly Presence landed distribution for North America and a second distribution company just picked it up for International!


Is there an estimated date for DVD Release?


At this moment, we don’t have an exact release date for dvd / vod, but it will be toward the end of 2013.


Tell us more about Masked Films, when and why did you start it?


I started Masked Films back in 2005 when I started making short films and fan videos for bands that I liked.  Since then, I’ve done some bigger work and got into producing and directing indie micro-budget feature films.


Do you have any projects on the go that you can talk about?


Actually, I have a script (From David Fite mentioned above) that’s in the works. It’s a feature film project that falls into the thriller/horror genre titled ‘The Face Garden’

Megan and I are also currently working on getting another feature film project off the ground which will actually involve a Producer and bigger crew – Details to come!  In the meantime, you can stay up to date with our projects on Twitter (@MaskedFilms) or my website



Thank you for your time.


Thank you for having me!


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