Horror News Network Interview: ‘Halloween Candy’ with Doug Plomitallo

by Rob Caprilozzi

Connecticut-based film studio Scared Stiff is taking the leap from short films into feature length projects. The first up is a creepy anthology film titled Halloween Candy. We caught up with Doug Plomitallo of Scared Stiff to learn more about the project.

Horror News Network: The film will have 7 different tales. Can you drop any hints about what we can expect in each of those seven?

Doug Plomitallo: Halloween means something different to everyone. People of all ages celebrate Halloween in their own way, and how we celebrate evolves as we get older. I wanted the different stories to feature characters from different stages of life so that everyone could find a character or circumstance in the movie that they relate to. There is a wide range of stories that we will tell. It is important that each tale has their own rules of reality. I didn’t want to creatively limit any of the individual stories, so something that could happen in one of the stories may not be realistic in the rules set in a different story. But the stories all feature a variety of Halloween staples such as haunted houses, ghosts, killers and plenty of trick-or-treating!


Horror News Network: Do each of the stories connect in some way?

Doug Plomitallo: The individual stories only connect to each other as they all take place on Halloween. There is a common thread that will weave through them all but you will need to see the movie to understand what that means.


Horror News Network: In terms of casting, you have announced that Amber Rothberg has recently been signed to appear in Halloween Candy. Do you have any more announcements that you can make in terms of casting?

Doug Plomitallo: Halloween in New England has a very distinct feel. We are so lucky to have so many talented actors here in CT and the neighboring states that all lived through a New England Halloween. Most of our actors are from here in Connecticut but a few are coming in from Massachusetts and New York. We are really excited to have Amber Rothberg in the film. She is a tremendous actress and she adds so much to the movie. On top of Amber, the cast includes extremely talented actors in Sara Lynn and Nathaniel Lee. Molly Gazay is a fantastic actress from Brooklyn who will be playing the lead. She is a talented singer/songwriter and filmmaker and loves the holiday as well so she will be a great addition to the movie. We haven’t officially announced anyone else but I will give you an exclusive! People who have watched our Scared Stiff films over the years will be happy to see familiar faces such as Joe Nemchek, Analisa Robertson, Mike Pirozzi, George Walsh in the film. They’ve all been in our movies since almost the beginning so Halloween Candy would not be complete without them. We are also happy to have some of our newer actors from Scared Stiff in the film. Amazing actresses such as Grace Quilliam, Jenna Rose, Evy McIntosh and Shino Nakamichi will also be featured in the Halloween Candy as well. Bryn Berg, who has been very instrumental in the film community here in Connecticut is onboard as the casting director. She has been absolutely incredible in bringing such amazing talent to the film.

Because of the actor’s strike I wanted to make sure I was in contact with SAG to make sure there would be no issues with us or the actors in being a part of the film. Being a fully independent production, SAG has been fully supportive in our production of “Halloween Candy”.

The promotional image for the film definitely sets the vibe in terms of what fans might expect. Can you talk about creating that image concept?

The logo was designed by Dionisios Efkarpidis, who is an incredible graphic designer. He also loves Halloween and his passion for the holiday definitely shows with the artwork that he created. He had made several different options, but the one we went with definitely fit the movie perfectly. It had the perfect balance of fun and the macabre that fits the theme of the movie. Since it is an anthology film, the bag of candy represents that you will be getting a mix of different tales in the film.


Horror News Network: Can you talk a bit about the experience of going from short format to a feature length film?

Doug Plomitallo: I’ve worked on over 80 short films for Scared Stiff over the last 15 years. Working on the films has been my own personal film school. We’ve evolved and grew so much together over the last 15 years and moving into features was always the ultimate goal. It took me a while to get the confidence to make the jump but I felt it was time. I’m usually working on several projects at once, so balancing different casts and locations has prepared me for producing this feature. As a matter of fact, I currently have four short films in post-production right now, so this definitely doesn’t mean the end of short films for Scared Stiff.


Horror News Network: When is filming slated to start on the project?

Doug Plomitallo: A lot of the movie has already been filmed. The rest of the movie will wrap by mid-August.


Horror News Network: When can we expect the first trailer for Halloween Candy?

Doug Plomitallo: Good question. We won’t have much time to edit the film before Halloween so a trailer won’t be available until closer to the release date than I would like. But, I’d like to at least get a teaser up by Labor Day.


Horror News Network: Best of luck with the project Doug! Fans can keep up to date on Halloween Candy by following the Scared Stiff Instagram page.

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