Some crazy MANIA questions for Director Jessica Cameron; MANIA teaser trailer releases

By Jonathan Weichsel

As you all know, I am a huge fan of the directorial work of Jessica Cameron, and loved her first feature film, Truth or Dare (review). Cameron is finishing up the final edit of Mania (Produced by Mem Ferda, Gunned Down, Pusher), her second feature as a director, and she took a few moments out of her busy schedule to answer some burning questions I had about the film. Check out the the first teaser trailer for MANIA below the interview and details.

JW: I know from watching movies with you and talking about them that you like movies with a lot of nudity and sex, and now with Mania it looks like you have directed one. What is it about nudity and sex in movies that you find appealing?

JC: HA HA HA! I can honestly say that no one has ever asked me that before. Sex is a very powerful thing, in life and on film. When it's appropriate to the film, and not just an after-thought or a marketing ploy, it can really push the characters and their passions through the scenes. I hate it when nudity and sex are just thrown in poorly and without any purpose, as a viewer and an actress. I want sex scenes to be done right and for the right reasons, and when they are it can be amazing.

JW: You also like very violent, gory movies. Truth or Dare really pushes the boundaries with its gore. With Mania, did you feel the need to push the boundaries even further?

JC : You know, I never really intended to push boundaries with Truth or Dare. It feels like a very organic story to me and it goes exactly where the characters needed it to go. So I don't think that way. Working through the script in Mania was a very similar process for me in that the violence just had to feel right for the story and the characters.

Mania is a very different film than Truth or Dare. I don't think the public will find it nearly as offensive as they found Truth or Dare to be, but then again I didn't expect anyone to really be that bothered by Truth or Dare either. With the Truth or Dare sequel on the other hand, we are trying to push it even further than the first one because the story has escalated.

JW: Mania is your second film as a director. How do you think you have grown as a director since making Truth or Dare? Did you learn anything from the process of making Truth or Dare that you directly applied to Mania?

JC: I think you naturally grow on every film you work on regardless of the capacity. I know I certainly do. There are hundreds of little things like making the crew members remove their shoes when they are walking on interior tiles so that the sound is as clean as possible. Then there are the bigger things like shooting with my preferred aspect ratio, which I honestly did not know about when filming Truth or Dare. I was like, "What do you mean you can't just throw on those black little bars?!?"

JW: Mania, Desolation, and Kill the PA had an unusual production, in that you made all three films simultaneously while traveling across country in an RV. What kind of challenges did you face due to the nature of the production?

JC : We faced so many challenges. You always face a lot on any film set, but in filming multiple films, back to back, while filming a documentary, while traveling across the country, we faced more than anyone could ever imagine. We fought more weather issues than I have on any other set, rain, snow and a full blown blizzard. We had to alter not only locations but scenes as well. We had to recast in markets that did not have large actor pools, and work with whoever we could get on short notice. The stress was almost unbearable for many, and everyone reached their breaking point.

JW: Is this an experiment that you would consider repeating?

JC: HA HA HA! I don't think I will do it again. It's just too damn difficult. At least not how we did it, maybe with a second RV filled with crew and equipment and more days. MAYBE. Although I have thought how interesting it would be to do the identical trip but with all the positions filled with people of the opposite sex, a female crew and male cast. I would be curious to see if it was easier or more difficult... Damn it. Now you have me wanting to do it again under those circumstances!

JW: Truth or Dare had a real effect on audiences. Horror fans really dug how outrageous it got, but many non-horror fans were unable to handle it because it was too intense for them, which I know is something that you are very proud of. What kind of effect do you hope that Mania has on audiences who go to see it?

JC: I just hope that I am able to entertain people for ninety minutes of their day. I do think anyone who is uptight will leave within the first seven minutes. Once you see it you will know why. I think any time you can make people FEEL SOMETHING, whatever that something is, then you have succeeded with your art.

From the Award Winning team the brought you Truth or Dare comes MANIA! British Screen Star / Producer Mem Ferda (Gunned Down, Pusher), has recently finished filming MANIA, his new collaboration with Scream Queen Director/Actress Jessica Cameron (Truth or Dare). Directed by Cameron, MANIA stars the new break-out horror star Ellie Church (Time to Kill) and Tristan Risk (American Mary). The film takes us on a journey across the United States as two lesbian lovers flee their home after a brutal murder.

Ferda teamed up with Cameron and Executive producer / writer Jonathan Scott Higgins again, after their huge success with Truth or Dare which won over 34 Awards worldwide. Ferda commented "Mania is different. Its fresh, alarming, and draws from the sexual anxieties of early Cronenberg. Jessica without a doubt, delivers. I’m thrilled to have her as my director and to be working with her again. With MANIA, we have a sexy horror, which impressively shocks without resorting to cheap scares."

MANIA is the first film of three features which are due for the festival circuit Produced by Mem Ferda and directed by Jessica Cameron.

For more information on MANIA, please visit:


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