Interview: Team Necro

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This week FDTC writer Adam Holtzapfel had a chance to chat with Adam Rodgers, Gina Rodgers, and Jeremy Allen of Team Necro about Cannibillies and Necro Girls.


Adam Holtzapfel - How did Team Necro come to be? 
Adam RodgersIt all started in a small kitchen with Gina Heartless, Jeremy Allen, and I. We had been shooting horror concepts for quite a while and needed an outlet to for our photos. At the time, our ideal outlet didn’t seem to exist so we decided to create one called Necro Girls. You can think of Team Necro as our little umbrella of doom. Everything we do is done under that moniker.
AHIn the early days of Necro Girls you worked with Lost or Forgotten, Brian Williams, Ellie Church, and Casie Baun. How did that come about? Are you working with more localized models?
Gina RodgersWe had a lot of mutual friends with the models and photographers involved such as Ellie and Brian.
ARCasie submitted a stunning set of photos for the first issue of Necro Girls shot by the talented John Pinkerton. We didn’t know her personally at the time but that changed soon after. She’s an awesome person! It’s a super small group of people in the independent horror world. Everyone is somehow connected. We met Brian through his work on the first Knives Out album cover. He was more focused on photography at the time. Brian and Ellie ended up submitting this super lo-fi robot set with cardboard boxes and construction tubing. It was published in our sci-fi horror issue and is still one of my favorites to date!
Jeremy AllenGeorge Peyton from Lost or Forgotten has been a supporter since day one. I don’t think there’s anybody that’s been as kind, supportive or generous. If not for him our shit wouldn’t look nearly as good most of the time. He’s opened his studio to us. He’s just a generous individual.
GRWe love George.
ARHe’s our biggest supporter, hands down. He also plays a cop in Cannibillies!
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AHDid making Cannibillies seem like a natural extension from the photo side of things?
ARWell, with Necro Girls, the majority of our sets were highly themed.
GRThere was more of a story involved.
ARThere would be times we’d have 50-100 photos and I’d have to whittle them down to around 5-10 for the publication. It was often nearly impossible. That’s where the film came into play. We collaborated with other local artists like Jeremy Borden of Psychosomatic Films. Gina and I have worked with him on some films. The only thing natural about it was setting up the stories and ideas. Going to film was a whole different thing. Setting up shots, motion, lenses, how to capture things, etc. Almost everything about it was a challenge. As far as editing goes, it was still fairly new for me. I had messed with Premiere maybe only a handful of times before diving into Cannibillies.I do have a lot of experience in the audio realm so that was a good start.It has definitely been a learning experience and always will be. Music was all done in house; the noises, compositions, everything. Kim’s not here, but she did about 75% of the make up in Cannibillies. Gina and I stepped in a little bit. Everyone pitches in, but we all have our strengths. Jeremy was the camera master and lighting master.
JA - Not when they watch Cannibillies: Prelude. Cannibillies: Prelude was like our learning experience. It was all on us. We shot in these tiny rooms. We had 2000 watts of light in one room and the air conditioner went out. The toilet backed up.
GR - It smelled like shit.
JA - I used lenses meant for photography, big learning experience.
AR - The difference is night and day. Not only was our second attempt technically better, but the equipment we had was better, thanks to George. We used two full frame cameras. There’s a chance the first incarnation might not even see the light of day unless we’re feeling nostalgic! Only time will tell.
JA - Prime lenses, fish eye, telephoto, fucking camera rigs, everything.
AH - How’d you go about casting the main roles for Cannibillies?
JA - We had a core group of people we wanted to be involved so the characters were written for them. There were a couple other characters that weren’t written with anybody in mind. When Cannibillies came back around, a lot of the same cast from Cannibillies: Prelude came back as different characters so it was all written for them. For instance, Reverend Cleavon Chancroid was written specifically for Joe Knapik with him in mind. If he didn’t take the part it would have been like shit, fortunately he did. 
GR - We also had characters that weren’t necessarily in it, who people volunteered to be in it.
ARNathan Rumler of Fangboner fame played a vital role.
GR - Nathan (Rumler) and Jeff Greene, they wanted to be in it, so Jeremy created characters for them. They are some pretty awesome characters too!
AR - The hitchhikers in Cannibillies: Prelude.
JA - We had the biggest fucking dick move with Nathan. He drove all night, got here, was like I’m going to sleep in my car wake me when the pizza comes. The pizza comes we ate all the pizza, and then he woke up, so we had to go get him McDonald’s.
GR - That was sad. Sorry, Nathan!
JA - We were fortunate enough to have a cast where we told them here’s the script, here are your lines; as long as you can get from point A to point B fuck it you can ad lib all you want. The great thing about working with such talented people is that 75% of the movie was ad libbed.
AR - I can’t survive reading a script word for word, whatever we felt was natural we went with.
JAWe told them to own their characters. The characters were them, do whatever. A bunch of talented mother fuckers, man. We are thankful to have the cast that we had. Jeremy Borden of Psychosomatic Films came in and his shit was absolutely invaluable. We were scrambling around trying to get something and he’d be like wait you need to get this and this.
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AHWith Kim's amazing skill set did you find using practical effects to be a challenge?
ARMore fun than challenging! When we approach an effect, it typically starts with all of us pitching techniques, concepts, etc. In the case of Cannibillies, Kim took the main helm most of the time with Gina and myself pitching in additional effects.
AHNow that Cannibillies has wrapped, do you have a tentative release date in mind?
ARYes! We are psyched to announce that Cannibillies will be premiering at Nightmares Film Festival in our hometown Columbus, Ohio! We couldn’t be more honored to share the event with such talented people. The festival will be taking place October 20-23 at the Gateway Film Center. You can catch Cannibillies specifically on Sunday, October 23 at 10:00 PM. Thanks to Jason Tostivin from the bottom of our black hearts! Without his support and love for independent film, this great event would not be happening. You can snag tickets here.
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AH - For folks that can’t make the fest where can they see it?
AR - An extended cut of the film will be available online shortly after the premiere. Where? I'm still not quite sure yet. Most likely free on YouTube or through our website.
AH - What can people expect to see coming from Necro Girls?
AR - We have a lot of plans on the horizon! Necro Girls has taken a back seat for quite a while now with our film work being the main focus as of late. We’ve already been in talks of ways to freshen up the format and devise a whole new approach in general. The evolution is clear and we’re planning on making it more interactive, possibly stepping back from the number of magazine issues we’ve done in the past. Physical items will soon be an option rather than a must.
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AH - Are there any film projects now that Cannibillies has been completed?
ARTeam Necro has a lot of ideas brewing so you can bet we’ll be back for more. What that more might be? You’ll just have to wait and see. Keep your bloodshot eyes peeled on our social media pages.
AH - Last but not least, favorite movie of all time?
JA - John Carpenter’s The Thing
GR - Scream
AR - I’m stuck somewhere between Escape from New York and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Keep up with Team Necro at