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Thursday, 22 November 2012

Shiva Rodriguez and Predatory moon.

Gazing through my Gmail account, I noticed an email about a movie called Predatory moon.
It went a little something like this:-
 The Indiegogo campaign has begun to raise money to start production on the movie Predatory Moon, a werewolf movie done with all practical effects that will be the directorial debut of F/X artist Shiva Rodriguez.

Shiva Rodriguez is one of the few female directors in the male-dominated indie horror scene. These
days most werewolf transformations are done with CGI but Shiva will be doing it with practical effects
like the classic film "An American Werewolf In London". Please check out the video on the campaign
page to see how she plans on achieving this difficult feat.

Official website:

Shiva has been in the entertainment industry since 1988, working with theatre and performance art
productions before moving into film and video in 2008. While she's best known for her work in
practical F/X for stage and screen, she also has experience as an art director, stage manager, costume
designer, set decorator, video editor, screenwriter, and producer.

She has done the effects for such movies as “The Housewife Slasher”
“Horrorscapes” “Rough Cut” and
“Dangerous People” .

Predatory Moon is a very old-school style horror film geared toward fans of the genre. This
production will be shot on location in Florida in 2013, utilizing a talented cast and crew of local film-
makers, natural locations, and 100% practical effects.

Instantly this got my attention.A werewolf movie with pure practical FX?Definately every horror movie fans dream.The movie is seeking funding , and every horror fan who can afford to contribute to what will be any lycanthrope fans wet dream should do so as soon as possible!!

I was lucky enough to ask the Director , and special FX creator Shiva Rodriguez some questions.So here we go.

First of all , would you like to introduce yourself to my readers?

I'm Shiva Rodriguez, and I'm a practical FX artist in Florida who is getting ready to direct a new werewolf movie called Predatory Moon.

Tell us about how your interest in horror and special FX began.

My father did a lot of work in theatre. When I was about five years old he was in a production of “Ten Nights in a Bar Room”. He was playing a character who got a glass bottle bashed over his head, so he brought a prop home and showed me how the effect was done so I wouldn't be upset when I saw it happen in the show. That's how I first learned what “sugar glass” was, and it was the first of many effects he'd show me over the years.
I also blame him for getting me interested in horror. He thought it was a good idea to read Edward Gorey books for my bedtime stories. I basically learned my ABCs from the Gashlycrumb Tinies.
Having worked in theatre and movies, which do you enjoy more, and what differences are there?
Seriously, I really can't compare the two or choose a favorite because they are so different. I'm really happy that I started in theatre though, because executing illusions in front of a live audience means that you have to design gags that can be done in one shot without the luxury of an editing room. This has certainly come in handy while doing FX work for film, especially when the director doesn't want any cuts in the scene.
How do you feel about cgi in movies?
I'm very much on the fence about CGI. On the one hand, I've seen it done so well to enhance a practical effect that I had a hard time spotting it. But I've also seen it done very poorly, and even worse, done when a practical effect would have been easy to do and more realistic-looking.
When it comes to creatures, I really prefer traditional makeups and puppeteer work to CGI because they have more of an organic and realistic appearance to them.
Tell us about your directorial debut Predatory moon.
Well, it kind of happened accidentally. I'm a partner in a production company that had been trying to get new film project going for a while and we kept hitting dead ends when it came to finding investors. Rather than just throw in the towel, we decided that we needed to find a project that could be done on a very low budget and still be very impressive in order to attract attention.
I had a script for a werewolf story that I'd written and so I put it on the table as a possibility. We discussed it, and then everyone decided that I'd be the best person to direct it because it was a horror story that relied heavily on FX during production. So within a few days I went from being the “gore girl” to being the director on the project.
Fortunately, many of the people producing this film are experienced directors, and they have been extremely helpful with teaching me the ropes while still standing back far enough to let me keep to my own vision. I'm also very lucky to have an amazing crew who have been working by my side to get this film into production.
Is it true that all of the FX in the movie are going to be practical?
Yes, all the creatures, stunts, and bloody effects will be done 100% practical without a speck of CGI.
Tell us about the story for Predatory moon.
Predatory Moon is the story about Kyle, a man who investigates suspicious animal attacks around the country looking for signs of werewolf activity. He suspects that Dean, the survivor of an alleged bear attack in Florida, may actually be infected with lycanthropy. Kyle struggles with trying to get Dean to take precautions to protect his family while also keeping it quiet about what he is really looking for in the small town.
Kyle's troubles only multiply when some of the local residents start to disappear and the police begin to keep a closer eye on the only stranger in town.
Will you be showing a transformation in the movie?
Oh yes! I originally wrote Predatory Moon to be a challenge for myself as an FX artist. These kind of transformation scenes are notoriously difficult and take a lot of time to shoot, and so of course I've been dying to do one for years.
My creature designer, Daniel Byrd, came up with some extremely unusual ideas for how the transformation would happen, and I'm really looking forward to bringing his ideas to life. We're expecting it to take as long as six days just to shoot the transformation sequence, but we all feel that the effort will be well worth it.
Do you feel you have to live up to werewolf movies of the past,or are you striving to create something fresh and new within the werewolf genre?

I have a feeling that we're going to be compared to other werewolf films whether we like it or not, but we are planning to put some new twists into the legends. The story itself is very genre-traditional by way of being a hunter-seeks-out-creature tale, but we will be presenting it in a way that I've never seen it done before.
When I was writing the script, I had to ask myself some questions about what it could really mean to be a werewolf. Was it a disease that was transferred through a bite, like rabies? What kind of biological changes does an infected person go through? How do people with lycanthropy keep their secret for so long? Do these people even know that they turn into werewolves? How do crime investigators explain the bodies of the victims? And why does it only happen during the full moon?
I think the viewers may be surprised by the answers I came up with to these questions.
Do you have an idea of when this movie will be unleashed on the general public?

It's really hard to say for sure. If we succeed with our fund-raising efforts on indiegogo, we'll be shooting the film in April 2013. Once it's finished, we are planning to submit it to film festivals before we begin seeking distribution. So it might have public showings as early as October.

We're doing everything we can to get the movie financed by the beginning of the year. In fact, the crew is spending the Thanksgiving weekend shooting a series of videos to launch what we are calling our “Blood Drive” for the last 30 days of our indiegogo campaign. Starting in December, we'll be posting a new video of the crew of Predatory Moon “killing” a different horror movie stereotype such as a zombie, vampire, clown, etc... every time a financial milestone is met on our campaign. (And yes, we'll be using all practical FX in those too!)
Many thanks to Shiva Rodriguez for taking the time to answer these questions!
Now, I don't know about all of you but I think this movie sounds amazing and the fact all of the FX are going to be practical just whet my appetite even more!! There's nothing worse than a movie which features CGI creatures. Just look at the trash churned out by the Sci Fi channel to see what I mean.
The story is another thing that gripped me. The way that it has been thought about how lycanthropy would effect someone, the questions Shiva asked herself about lycanthropy.
I urge anyone reading this to first of all go here to see all about the fundraising what the money will be used for etc to get an idea about the things needed for the movie, and then visit here to learn even more about the movie, the crew and others involved!!!
Support indie horror!! I really can't stress this point enough because without people like Shiva Rodriguez, all we horror fans would be left with are vacuous remakes and soulless horror films that are churned out by Hollywood every year. We have to do what we can to keep our genre alive, and out of the hands of the money grabbing devil worshiping giant media conglomerates!!!
Darkest regards......Dani.


  1. Excellent interview with the incomparable Shiva Rodriguez. Loved reading it.

  2. While I agree that some CGI has been so poorly done it's laughable, I think the story is the most important thing. If a movie's billed as a Horror fan's wet dream because of the FX (whether new or old), there's something wrong. But I certainly enjoyed the interview. My degree is in filmmaking, and I wish Shiva good luck in her endeavor. :-)

  3. If you are a fan of fantastical horror , then of course the FX are going to play a huge part in the movie.CGI has the power to take you right out of the story , so saying story is the most important thing is true , but only if complemented by realistic looking FX.Movies use FX to enhance the story.Look at movies like Labyrynth , or Alien.Just puppets , and men in suits , but it looks real , and you believe what you are seeing , whereas CGI ( when used excessively ) just ruins the fantasy.But each to their own!! Thankyou for your comment.