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‘The Ice Cream Truck’ Churns Up Screams As It Drives Through Post-Production

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“Okay, guys we are rolling! Quiet please, everyone standby…Action!” I was mesmerized, it was my first day on the set of the campy horror film, The Ice Cream Truck. It had been many years since I had last been on a working film set of any kind. Watching everyone work together to achieve the same goal was powerful and a pleasure to witness. Little is known about the premise of this film, and with that being said I was carefully watching every shot and piecing it together, and my creeps, you are going to be in for a deadly sticky treat!

Like most moviegoers out there when I watch a film I immediately connect with a piece of my childhood, the memories flood through my brain like water roaring through a broken damn! Director and Writer Megan Freels Johnston very much tares at our childhood psyche with The Ice Cream Truck. Ice Cream has been making the majority of us insanely happy since childhood. We had smeared it all over our faces, and screamed for it when we were babies, and now we are going to run like hell! Described as both comedic and gory, the world will never view an Ice Cream Truck the same as the jingle glides up the street, moving closer and closer.
The production is very fortunate to have a beautiful, talented cast and not to mention the hard working crew, working hours that I am sure felt endless! Everyone I came into contact with has a succulent passion for their profession. Witnessing all the technical aspects involved with film-making most certainly reiterated my appreciation for the process.

 

Enjoy behind the scenes photos below and take a gander at our interview with Director Megan Freels Johnston, and as always check back with iHorror for updates and exclusive content on The Ice Cream Truck!

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Official Synopsis:

Mary’s husband gets relocated for work which allows her to move back to her suburban hometown. As Mary’s family ties up loose ends back home, she moves into their new house all alone and ….waits. Although her familiar suburb is a constant reminder of her youth, something seems strange. A local Ice Cream Man with a love of nostalgia starts to kill some of her neighbors. Mary is torn between her mature instincts that something wrong and the distracting memories of her younger days.

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Recently ihorror caught up with The Ice Cream Truck’s director Megan Freels Johnston and spoke to her about the adventures that she has ensued in the film industry as well as filming her new feature.

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iHorror: Megan, The Ice Cream Truck has been described as a campy type of film full of nostalgia, what were your inspirations for creating this film?

Megan Freels Johnston: When I moved into my house, I soon found out there were several Ice Cream Trucks that drive by every day. I would hear the jingle coming from the truck and my mind would wander. There is something so haunting about the music, and The Ice Cream Truck is such a strange beast. We are taught not to take candy from a stranger. But it is perfectly acceptable to take Ice Cream from a Stranger. There seemed to be so many opportunities for a story to lie within that concept.

iH: What have been your greatest challenges during the production of The Ice Cream Truck thus far?

MFJ: The biggest challenge when making an independent film is time and money. You only have a certain amount for your budget and only a certain amount of days to get everything you want which is really difficult. I tend to do a lot of rehearsals too, so everyone is ready when we start shooting. Some things, though, you just can’t plan for. The police came on one of our nights at the Playground. I almost lost it. They were just doing their job but them being there for over an hour caused me to lose a pretty important shot. What can you do?

iH: How was The Ice Cream Truck financed?

MFJ: The Ice Cream Truck was financed through Private Equity. Getting financing for a film is easily one of the most difficult parts of filmmaking. It’s the reason there are so many talented directors out there, not making movies. It’s a grueling process.

iH: Any memorable experiences or stories during production?

MFJ: The production for The Ice Cream Truck was very memorable. What I will remember so much is how great the Cast and Crew were. Everyone wanted to be there, and everyone was so passionate about the project. It was a great feeling. We had so much fun! We laughed a lot. So much, so I think we might put in a Gag reel.

iH: How was working on The Ice Cream Truck different from Rebound? Any similarities?

MFJ: The Ice Cream Truck was nothing like making Rebound. Rebound was a life changing the experience for me. I had been a producer for so long, and it didn’t occur to me make a film myself. My frustration with the film business and films not getting off the ground led me to want to make a film on my own terms, which became Rebound.  Making my first very small film, allowed me to get my feet wet as a filmmaker. It taught me A LOT. Far more than I had ever learned as a producer.

I was able to take all that knowledge and apply it to a much bigger film. Rebound will always have a special place in my heart, but The Ice Cream Truck is truly a film that represents me as a filmmaker.  It’s a feminist horror film with a lot of layers.

iH: The film industry can be very rewarding, however on the flip side what are some of the Catch-22s of the business that you have experienced?

MFJ: The biggest Catch 22 of the film industry is that you can’t get financing with out a huge star, and you can’t get huge star without financing. It’s exhausting.

There is also a large portion of financiers who want a certain kind of B-List Name Actors attached who I will not name. Casting that way, to please your financier, is never a good idea but sometimes you feel tempted because more money will make things easier on the production. It does not, however, give you a better film.

iH: What stage is The Ice Cream Truck currently in? Any distribution for the film?

MFJ: The Ice Cream Truck has distribution already. We are currently in post-production. We are about to add score to the film. There will be a new poster and a teaser out shortly.

iH: Do you have any projects that you are currently working on? Anything planned for the future?

MFJ: I have several projects in development. Some I will direct and some I have other directors attached. It’s hard though to focus on other projects at the moment since post-production is pretty time consuming.

iH: Staying conservative is an essential skill when working in the world of independent films. The last thing that a director / producer needs are going over budget. What precautionary measures were taken to meet your budget during filming?

MFJ: I think as an independent filmmaker these days, you have to be resourceful. It’s no walk in the park. Making movies is hard work. When you have a small budget to work with you, have to be willing to compromise your vision a little bit. Choose your battles.  I also find that people will help you if you’re passionate about what you’re doing.

iH: What was the process for casting The Ice Cream Truck?

MFJ: Deanna Russo was the first person we cast. She is absolutely incredible in this film. She carries the story, and you really relate to her. I typically don’t make people read. I’d rather just watch their work, and I can tell a lot from that. The Ice Cream Man was probably the hardest to cast. It’s a very hard role to play. The character is sometimes funny and sometimes very scary. We ultimately lucked out finding Emil Johnsen. He is fantastic in this film. He’s a classically trained actor, and it shows. The wrong person in this role would have really changed the film. Ironically Jeff Daniel Phillips came on board because he had worked with Emil and knew how great of an actor he is. All the actors are great in the film. We really lucked out!

iH: What can you tell us about the actual Ice Cream Truck? What is the story behind its resurrection?

MFJ: I was looking for Ice Cream Trucks for sale on Craigslist among other places, and I found this ad for a gorgeous vintage milk truck on Ebay that had been restored by Laguna Vintage. So I called them. I thought there was no way they would be in my price range, but I thought, “What the hell? It can’t hurt right?” Well, it turns out they are the nicest guys. I told them about my film and why one of their trucks would make the film so much better than a clunky old Ice Cream Truck. So they agreed to work with me. Not only are they amazing guys, but they came to the set a lot and enjoyed the process.

Megan, thank you so much. As always it has been a pleasure speaking to you about your new film. We wish you the best of wishes and luck and look forward to talking with you again. Currently, in post-production, The Ice Cream Truck will be terrorizing your neighborhood in 2017!

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Tasty Links

Facebook          Twitter         Instagram         Official Web Site

iHorror Links:

Jump On Board The Ice Cream Truck! – Casting Update!

Horror Has Never Tasted So Sweet: ‘The Ice Cream Truck’ – Coming Soon

Filming Almost Complete – ‘The Ice Cream Truck’

So my advice to any filmmaker is that it is not over when it’s done. Make sure that you pencil in another year and a half of your life because you have to work that hard all the way to the end. I mean it is never ending, it’s like a baby your film is your baby. And because I think of it as 150% of my vision it gave me all the more all, the more drive to give it life. And I do think that some filmmakers get tired and are just like, ‘I can’t do this anymore’ and you have to keep going, it’s like a marathon.” – Megan Freels Johnston, Director, Writer, & Producer. (Rebound film, Red Carpet Premiere 2015).

The Filmmakers

(Photos Courtesy of icecreamtruckmovie.com)

Megan Freels Johnston

Director – Producer – Writer – Megan Freels Johnston

YuMee Jang

Producer – YuMee Jang

Omid Shamsoddini

Producer – Omid Shamsoddini

  • Behind The Scenes Photography – Heather Lynn Cusick

 

-ABOUT THE AUTHOR-

Ryan T. Cusick is a writer for ihorror.com and very much enjoys conversation and writing about anything within the horror genre. Horror first sparked his interest after watching the original, The Amityville Horror when he was the tender age of three. Ryan lives in California with his wife and Ten-year old daughter, who is also expressing interest in the horror genre. Ryan recently received his Master’s Degree in Psychology and hopes to some day write a novel. Ryan can be followed on twitter @Nytmare112

 

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‘Tales from the Crypt’ Publisher, EC Comics is Being Brought Back to Life at Oni Comics

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After seventy years of being shut down, the iconic EC Comics is coming back by way of Oni Comics. Originally founded as an educational comics brand, it would later become a publisher known for its horror comics and tales to keep you up late at night. William Gaines lead the way and during his time we were gifted with a run of comics such as Tales From the Crypt, The Haunt of Fear, The Vault of Horror, and of course Weird Science among others. Founded in 1944 and running to 1956 it was eventually shut down due to claims that comic books were affecting the minds of our adolescents. After reaching Congress the issue was large enough to take down the small comics publisher.

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Original Cover art for EC Comics Tales From the Crypt.

Of course, later on, HBO would take Tales From the Crypt and reboot it for television with a whole new generation. However, for comic collectors, it was up to either visiting select digital archives online or purchasing old issues by way of auction. It is exciting to hear that Oni Comics is going to bring EC Comics back to life.

“EC Comics is one of the most artistically important and culturally significant publishers of all time. In ways both artful and shocking, EC confronted the darkness lurking behind the thin facade of American society — a throughline of radically confrontational storytelling that we intend to both uphold and escalate with the first new EC tales in decades. We’re challenging ourselves to evolve EC’s relentless energy and fearless sensibilities in ways never before attempted. These are intense comics for our intense times.“ Oni Comics Publisher, Hunter Gorinson said.

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Cover art from EC Comics Tales From the Crypt.

The first two comics under the new partnership are two new anthology titles that both lend themselves to the flair of their classics. First up Epitaphs from the Abyss followed by Cruel Universe. You can check out the cover for Cruel Universe at the bottom of the page.

Although the partnership is said to not be about nostalgia, we are still hoping that following some of these new titles we do get a special revisit for Tales from the Crypt or one of the other classics.

Epitaphs From the Abyss is due out in stores beginning this July. Cruel Universe is set to arrive in August.

What do you think about the Oni Comics bringing back EC Comics? Let us know in the comments section.

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Cover for EC Comics upcoming title.

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Images and a Poster Have Arrived For Eli Roth’s ‘Borderlands’

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Eli Roth’s Borderlands is well on its way to a theater near you. The Gearbox Software game adaptation looks to take its characters, costumes, and the world of Pandora right from the game. So, that is a good sign. However, we are still on the fence with this one. We will have a better idea of what to expect when a trailer drops tomorrow. Today we have our first look at some images from the film along with a hyper-neon fun poster.

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Photo: Cate Blanchett as Lilith in Borderlands. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lionsgate.

The synopsis for Borderlands goes like this:

Lilith (Blanchett), an infamous outlaw with a mysterious past, reluctantly returns to her home planet of Pandora to find the missing daughter of the universe’s most powerful S.O.B., Atlas (Ramirez). Lilith forms an alliance with an unexpected team – Roland (Hart), a former elite mercenary, now desperate for redemption; Tiny Tina (Greenblatt), a feral pre-teen demolitionist; Krieg (Munteanu), Tina’s musclebound, rhetorically challenged protector; Tannis (Curtis), the scientist with a tenuous grip on sanity; and Claptrap (Black), a persistently wiseass robot. These unlikely heroes must battle alien monsters and dangerous bandits to find and protect the missing girl, who may hold the key to unimaginable power. The fate of the universe could be in their hands – but they’ll be fighting for something more: each other.

Borderlands stars Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Edgar Ramirez, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ariana Greenblatt, Florian Munteanu, Haley Bennett, Olivier Richters, Gina Gershon, Cheyenne Jackson, Charles Babalola, Benjamin Byron Davis, Steven Boyer, Bobby Lee, Ryann Redmond, Penn Jillette, and Janina Gavankar, and Jack Black.

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Borderlands arrives in theaters beginning August 9. Are you excited about this one? Let us know in the comments section.

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Micheal Keaton Says ‘Beetlejuice Beetlejuice’ Feels Like Original Including Practical Effects

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It feels like a ‘Beetlejuice’ sequel has been in the works for over 100 years. However, the timeline for an official production is much shorter and not as cluttered with faux fan posters. We’ve gotten spoilery glimpses of outdoor sets thanks to paparazzi and even seen some characters in costume. Everything so far boasts a handcrafted look. Additionally, it’s a bonus that Michael Keaton himself has said the sequel feels like the original and that it will be practical. Color us intrigued, Michael!

“It’s the most fun I’ve had on set in a long time…On one hand, you’d go, ‘Well, of course it’s the most fun. It looks like fun.’ As you know, it doesn’t always work like that.” Keaton told People.

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It is a well-known factoid that Keaton had more fun on the first Beetlejuice than any other film that he had made. It still stands up as one of his all-time favorites.

“The one thing that (director Tim Burton) and I decided on early, early, early on from the beginning, if we ever did it again, I was totally not interested in doing something where there was too much technology…It had to feel handmade…What made it fun was watching somebody in the corner actually holding something up for you, to watch everybody in the shrunken head room and say, ‘Those are people under there, operating these things, trying to get it right.’”

That sounds like a whole lot of practical magic to us. Plus, I’m sure that Burton himself has become a bit tired of turning to computer-rendered graphics for his films. They have become more and more filled to the brim with nothing but computer-designed worlds.

One of the most incredible achievements I’ve seen lately in terms of returning to practical effects has to be Netflix’s return to The Dark Crystal. If you watch the making of that film, it is incredible to see that even the backdrops were meticulously handpainted. Everything right down to the toenails was crafted. You should certainly give that a watch if you haven’t already. It is incredible and somehow was released at a time in which nobody watched it.

Well, we are pretty excited about what Keaton said concerning Beetlejuice Beetlejuice. Let’s just hope that it is not hype. What do you think about his statement? Let us know in the comments.

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