Last week, the horror world got the amazing news of Womp Stomp Films returning to Camp Crystal Lake for four brand new Friday the 13th short films. One prequel and three sequels to Womp Stomp’s wildly successful Friday the 13th fan film, Never Hike Alone (2017).
Crowdfunding is already underway at Indiegogo for the first project — the prequel, Never Hike in the Snow — and every penny counts!
Obviously, we couldn’t sit idly by knowing Jason Voorhees could soon be stomping around Crystal Lake again. We went hunting for more details and found that writer/director Vincente DiSanti was more than happy to indulge our curiosity.
Thanks for spending some time with us, Vin!
As has become tradition, I’ll start with my standard question for film directors: what filmmakers have influenced your style and/or inspired you in your directing career?
Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, Tony Scott, Christopher Nolan, and Ishiro Honda.
Aside from the obvious reason (i.e., because they’re awesome) what draws you to do so many fan films?
I am drawn less by the films and more by the people who are making them. When someone approaches me with a project they are passionate about, it doesn’t really matter to me whether it is a fan film or an original film. As long as someone is excited about it, you know they are going to give it all they have and those are the types of projects I want to be a part of. When I attach myself, I try to use my experiences to help people prepare themselves for the weight and responsibility of creating a film.
Not all of your recent work has been fan films, of course. You had a successful festival run with the short film Imagine (2018) which you directed. Plus, you’re executive producing a new short horror film Pathosis (2020).
We are extremely proud of both projects and how they have expanded the depth of what Womp Stomp Films brings in terms of content. Imagine just started streaming on our youtube channel and Pathosis is going to begin its festival run very soon. Austin and the rest of our team put a lot of hard working into Pathosis and we think it’s going to keep fans on the edge of their seats. We’ll make announcements on selections and screening times on our social media pages.
Given that a fan film is a non-commercial production while other types of short films can be “proofs of concepts” in hopes of making a larger feature down the road (Pathosis, for example), do you notice any difference between the two during production? The mindset of the cast & crew, external pressures, etc.?
None. Every time our team steps onto a set we intend to execute to the highest of our abilities no matter the content. Even sometimes working with extreme limitations, we pride ourselves with finding ways to deliver a cinematic experience. As far as what comes for the future, only time will tell, but as long as people are watching what we create we believe that is all that matters.
I’ve seen your name next to just about every job there is when it comes to making movies; writer, director, editor, producer, stunts, even drone cinematography and songwriter! Is there anything you haven’t done yet that you’d still like to try? Will we be seeing your name next to “catering services” any time soon, Chef DiSanti?
You don’t want me to cook, lol. I guess all I can really say is that I love filmmaking. Every aspect of the process is fascinating to me and every time I take a new position, I learn that much more about this art as well as the business behind it. My ultimate goal is to direct and so I like to think that my background has helped me understand the bigger picture of what it takes to achieve that and do it successfully.
Womp Stomp Films is currently running an IndieGogo campaign to fund Never Hike in the Snow — the first of four brand new Friday the 13th short films that take place along the storyline you created in Never Hike Alone (2017). What was it that brought you back to Crystal Lake in such a big way?
A sequel to Never Hike Alone began shortly after signing Thom Mathews. Even prior to that I had an outline for where the story could go, but Thom’s involvement brought a whole new aspect for us to explore. By the time we released Never Hike Alone in October, I had a feature length outline completed for the sequel. Over the last two years, we have been weighing the best way to go about bringing it to life. As a completed piece, the crowdfunding goals would have be dramatically high and we felt there would be a dangerous risk of legal intervention.
By splitting up the acts into episodes, we can streamline our budgets and schedules and turn around content much faster. Our latest releases Disappear (2019) and Pathosis, are examples of smaller scale productions that we are able to complete more efficiently without losing quality. This also keeps our crowdfunding goals in check and allows fans to contribute over time rather than requiring giant donations all around.
With this campaign we are looking for a large number of fans to work together to help us see this through. Even small donations go a long way, especially when fans are sharing our projects on their social media feeds.
The original Never Hike Alone was an overwhelming success and a viral phenomenon with horror fans. Does that make the idea of putting Jason on screen again more stressful or much easier? How does the reception of your original film affect how you approach these new additions?
I would say we are more excited to get back out there and complete what we started than anything. Never Hike Alone having so much success was a blessing and we obviously want that to continue. What we learned during and after that production has been vital in helping us elevate our cinematic and story abilities as we go forward. Our team has been dying to tell fans this story and we just can’t wait to get the opportunity.
Thom Mathews as Tommy Jarvis was a surprise for fans towards the end of the original Never Hike Alone. We’re excited he’ll be coming back for Never Hike in the Snow and your other new films. Plus, he’s being joined by fellow Friday the 13th alums Vinny Guastaferro and Douglas Tait! What are the chances fans can look forward to more surprise guests?
Having Thom, Vinny, and Doug join the team has been a dream come true for us. All are phenomenal actors who are going to play huge roles in the telling of this story. I for one am excited to bring back the Tommy vs Rick rivalry which plays a big part of the overall story. With Doug now wearing the mask, we are going to craft some really amazing Jason action for the fans. Doug has been a champion of our film from very early on and I know he is excited to show what he can do. This also allows me to focus on working with my team and crafting the action on our monitors.
As far as future alumni involvement goes, it is too early to tell. We are obviously open to it and have a few more roles to cast, so I guess we’ll see.
Based on the story you’ve worked out for these next four films, which one are you most excited to work on?
All of them really. Each chapter contains something uniquely special to each episode and I can’t wait to bring them all to life. Never Hike in the Snow has one of my favorite moments for sure and I’ve been looking forward to making this happen for a long time.
Do you have any advice for up and coming genre directors?
Never give up. There are 1,000 ways to make a movie but the only way to fail is to stop. If you film something and it comes out looking and sounding like crap, then so be it. That is your film showing you where you need to improve. Take those lessons as they come, put in the work to improve, and move forward.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Thank you to everyone and anyone who has ever taken the time to stop and watch Never Hike Alone. Our team is greatly appreciative of the support Friday the 13th Fans have given it and we hope to continue bringing more content in the near future.
Please support Never Hike in the Snow on Indiegogo and help us tell the next chapter in our story!
And there you have it! A big thanks, once again, to Vincente DiSanti for being so generous with his time and one more call out to all our Scariest Readers to spread the word about these new short films. Let’s get these things made!
Article by Robert Zilbauer