Director Jeremiah Kipp Talks “The Sadist”

I recently had the opportunity to interview a talented and upcoming filmmaker, Jeremiah Kipp, whose latest horror film, “The Sadist,” stars SFX-legend, Tom Savini.

The director, originally from Rhode Island and currently living in New York, has been making films since the age of 12. Kipp states,I was one of those 12-year-old kids running around in the backyard with the VHS camcorder making zombie movies, and never stopped. When you figure out what you love doing, you want to go there for the rest of your life.”

In 2003, Kipp got noticed after he submitted his short film, “The Christmas Party,” into film festivals, where they played for three years. The short involved children, which was noticed by CANON, who then hired Kip to direct promotional and commercial ads.

 Following the commercial gigs, Kipp went on to direct the short films, “Contact” and “Crestfallen”, which were critically acclaimed by some big names in the movie business including: Frank Henelotter (Basketcase), Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter), and Paul Solet (Grace). 

The attention that “Contact” received helped the director to score his first feature length film, “In 2009, I directed the short film CONTACT, which we decided to put online so anyone could see it, and it was reviewed extensively by various film critics and bloggers…The movie got around. The producers of “The Sadist” were seeking a director, [and they] happened to see my work and thought I fit the bill.”

The full length horror, which has yet to be released, tells the story of a war veteran, played by Tom Savini, who goes on a killing spree in the woods. Kipp explains, ” My empathy rested with this demented creature.  As much as we care about the victims in “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, my mind always goes to that scene where Leatherface, in a panic, goes to the window wondering where all these intruders are coming from.”

The horror shot for several weeks in Connecticut and conditions weren’t completely ideal, ” The conditions were utterly abysmal, where every day the crew woke up to work in a state of pain and frustration and terror. I’m grateful to all the hard work our below-the-line crew put into the picture, as well as our talented actors who came from New York. The people I brought on are like brothers who have been through a war, and “The Sadist” was a struggle.”

Kipp went on to say, “They say the making of the movie is like the content of the movie, and this one was crawling through the trenches, charging through the hills, in a non-stop battle.  Several of the cast and crew that came on board have worked with me again under less dire conditions since.  “The Sadist” certainly lived up to its title.”

When asked what it was like working with a movie vet like Savini, Kipp detailed, ” When we had the opportunity to hire him, I called around to different people who had met him along the convention circuit, as well as directors. Anyone who had not worked on set with him said he could be a difficult man, but those who directed him all said he came to work ready to play, was a true professional, and loved his job.  That was the Tom Savini I met.”

Kipp continued, ” Once he saw that the director of photography, Dominick Sivilli, and I were on our game, he was truly generous and ready to fight for us.  He even volunteered to do his own stunts, which were not required….so we’re talking about a guy who, if he trusts you, will go above and beyond the call of duty. And if he doesn’t like you, watch out.  But my working relationship with him was fantastic. I hope we get to collaborate again in the future.”

The director has an upcoming monster movie on the horizon and more recently, will start production on the short, “The Days God Slept,” starring Lauren Fox of Darren Aronofsky’s PI. He concludes, “There are a few other short films that are scheduled to shoot early in 2012 with some terrific actors I’ve loved working with in the past. We’ll see what the future brings.”


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