Old family wounds cut deep as the blade wielded by a madman as he pursues hardworking oilman Jett Burke and his daughter across the vast expanse of a West Texas oil field.
Ven Scott is the director of Crude Massacre. He was born into the stage and raised in a family of filmmakers, actors, actresses, play writes, directors, guitar players and singers. It was obvious to him and those around him that performance was in his blood. From the time he was in elementary school he was learning lines, crafting and presenting characters (both on and off stage). Ven would star in student films for the University of Texas film department, some of which included “The Thing Under the Bed” and “Pigger”. At age twelve he had landed his first lead role as Sean Rains in the independent feature “Red Boy 13”.
Behind the curtain and camera, Ven has a deep love for stage management, sound design and directing. He starred in and designed sound for several plays for Amarillo College including “Romeo & Juliet” as well as “Race”. In 2017 Ven produced the short film “Shilo“, directed by Tyler Russell. The film went on the win the Programmer’s Choice Award at Sidewalk Film Festival and has enjoyed screenings at SXSW, Rome International Film Festival and many others. His short horror film, "Date From Hell" would mark his directorial debut and received accolades, placements awards worldwide.
With several shorts in post and a feature on the horizon, Ven is enjoying the fruits of his labor from both music and film and is driven even more so than he was when he was younger. The future is ripe for the picking and Ven’s basket is never too full. It is our pleasure to interview Ven Scott for LA Indies.
What was the inspiration behind the making of your film?
Being primarily a horror director and this script really highlighting the horrors of the human condition, I wanted to address the chaos of the perfect "perceived" family unit. The glass palace that perhaps many look up to and covet but one that houses horrors and demons that would send them screaming. Especially in our COVID-world, these palaces are more and more common place and this was the perfect opportunity to really delve into the human-monster exploration and the consequences therein.
What is the most challenging aspect of working in this particular genre?
Horror and thriller offer a lot of leeway, but the greatest challenge is keeping it interesting. The audience will always expect a twisted or sleight of hand. So what is the solution? Adding that little change that or unexpected piece that, at the very least, makes that oh-so-expect reversal interesting. "I knew something was coming, but I didn't expect that!"
When did you realize that you wanted to work in media and make films and what was the first film project that you created as a director?
Ever since I was sixteen years old I knew wanted to direct. I had been acting and writing since well before then but I found inspiration in El Mariachi and Robert Rodriguez. I fell off the film-wagon for a decade and a half and came back with what I consider my first big-boy short; "Date From Hell" back in 2018!
How did you choose the cast and the crew of the film and what was the most challenging aspect of production?
Really for a film of this magnitude we had to call on trusted players we have relationships with. From there, we reached out to local members of the film community in the San Angelo/Midland/Lubbock area to lend a hand. And, honestly, they did more than lend a hand. Every single person from EP to PA had a heavy role in this. If we were down a single one of them, this would have been a completely different film.
And the most challenging aspect? Texas+August+Caliche. It would have been cooler weather shooting on the surface of Mercury!
What genre of filmmaking fascinates you as a director and which genres do you prefer to work on?
Horror and thriller. I love comedy and often like to include humor in my films where I can (Crude Massacre being one of the few that would not have benefitted from comedy).
How can cinema change the world and have an impact on society?
Cinema can only change the world in so much as the world is willing to change. The world has become an echo chamber wherein most will not watch a film whose theme differs from their own belief system. They boycott films with actors or directors whose politics do not fit their narrative. Currently, I don't feel like cinema can change the world so I would rather make cinema that distracts us from the world, even though I use "the everyday" as inspiration.
What is your next film project as a director?
Currently I am finishing two features that I am scripting. One is a horror western and the other a horror comedy, so it is my desire that my next project be my first feature film!