This week ECHG writer Adam Holtzapfel had a chance to chat with the Son of Celluloid himself, Nathan Hamilton about the Blue Track events that have added more to the stellar convention that is Days of the Dead.
Adam Holtzapfel – The Blue Track debuted at DOTD: Atlanta, made it’s way to Indy, and now Louisville. How has the reception been to the track so far?
Nathan Hamilton – We’ve had very positive but quite varied reactions in the cities we’ve done so far. We started off with a bang in Atlanta. The room was packed and raucous all weekend. It was everything I was hoping Blue Track could be. When we got to Indy, all of the feedback on the events themselves was overwhelmingly positive, and I actually felt like we put on an even better show, but not as many people turned out. I think that has a lot to do with Atlanta being the home of DragonCon. At mega-shows like that or SDCC, people are conditioned to expect multiple tracks of programming going on at the same time. That’s a concept that is fairly rare in the horror convention scene, so in markets that aren’t used to it, it’s going to be a building process. I’m just going to keep putting the best stuff I can out there. Hell, when we’re at standing room only capacity, people will be reminiscing about the intimacy of these early Blue Track shows.
AH – You step out of the realm of panels with the swap meet, haunters discussion, the newly added copyright law for artists, and more. Was that your goal from the start?
NH – Absolutely. We all love to hear from our favorite horror movie icons, but the world of horror is so much broader than that. Besides, some of us have heard the same stories quite a few times over by now. My vision for the Blue Track is to be a place to try out new, innovative, and more interactive ideas and touch on topics of interest to horror fans that might not otherwise get equal time. The more variety of things there is to do at DOTD, the better we serve our attendees. I look at it like a three ring circus. You have the acrobats over in the screening room, you can check out the clowns on the Black Track, or there’s lions, tigers, and bears on the Blue Track. That’s not even going into the celebrities and vendors. Whatever you’re into, we’ve got it. What’s your pleasure?
AH – For the indie panel we see some familiar faces with Bobby Easley, Brooklyn Ewing, & Nate Erdel. How hard has it been finding newer faces to add along side some DOTD veterans?
NH – One of the coolest things the Blue Track has allowed me to do is not only continue pushing the cause of indie horror, but to shine a spotlight on the local scene in every city that DOTD goes to. This comes with its own set of opportunities and challenges. In Atlanta, it was easy to bring area filmmakers, artists, and personalities in because that’s my city. I know them all already. In the other DOTD cities where I’m not as familiar with the local talent, it can indeed be a bit challenging to find out who’s out there, but that’s the rewarding part too. I want to bring as much local flavor to each city’s Blue Track offerings as possible. Not only do I get exposed to new movies and filmmakers, but I’m lucky enough to be in the position to put them onstage and help them connect with their audience. In both cities we’ve done so far, I’ve had people come up to me and say “I didn’t know people made horror movies around here. I gotta go buy a copy of that.” That’s exactly why I do this, and exactly what I want the Blue Track’s focus on indie horror to accomplish.
AH – What can fans expect for Chicago, Atlanta, & Charlotte to round out 2017 and kick off 2018?
NH – Now, now, I can’t show all my cards too early. Suffice to say that I’ve got some very interesting ideas percolating. Chicago will be the last show for the first cycle of the Blue Track, so I’ll be bringing a lot of the crowd pleasers I’ve done in Atlanta, Indy, and Louisville to round out this debut year. When we start 2018 off in Atlanta, it will be new events, new ideas, and new experiences. The Blue Track will ALWAYS feature an Independent Horror Filmmakers Panel and I plan to make the Terror Trade Swap Meet a recurring event, but other than that, there’s no telling what me and the Blue Crew will come up with.
AH – You’ve worked with James Bickert on Frankenstein Created Bikers and Richard Tanner on FrankenThug. What have those experiences been like?
NH – Hot. Damn hot. Who the hell films a biker movie, which involves a lot of denim and leather, in the middle of a sweltering Georgia summer? Those two psychos, that’s who. Seriously, though, both have been great experiences. On FCB, I got the chance to work with some incredible talents like Tristen Risk and Laurence Harvey that I was already a fan of, which was really cool. It was also my first real film set, so I learned a lot. I’m only one day into filming my scenes for Frankenthug, and working with Buck Short Productions has been a lot of fun. FCB was shot on film, so everything has to be planned out meticulously. On Frankenthug, there’s a lot more freedom to try things. We can ad lib and create on set, which is a totally different style of filmmaking. Plus, I got to share scenes with the legendary Dale Jepson!
AH – Can fans of your podcast expect to see a return of the Son of Celluloid?
NH – I cant really go into detail at the moment, but I’d say the chances are good. Ever since Brad (Slaton) and I laid Picking Brains to rest, I’ve had the podcasting itch. I have one project I’m working on with someone who will be familiar to viewers of the Son of Celluloid youtube show, and I’ve been toying around with a couple of other ideas for my own show. Keep an eye out for something to emerge in the next couple of months. Is that cryptic enough? Besides, the more podcasts I do, the more chances I have to talk about the Blue Track! #CodeBlue