Filmmakers' Names: Scott Vasey (Producer/Director) & Jason Gruich (Producer/1st AD)
Film Title: Home for the Holidays (Mississippi premiere)
In 50 words or less, what is your film about?
An absentee father faces a harrowing new reality after a long overdue homecoming.
What was your motivation to make this film… why this film, and why now?
Scott and I have been accomplished screenwriters for some time now and we felt getting behind the camera and producing a compelling short film was the next step. We got tired of waiting around for different projects to take off, so we were driven to make this happen. And we felt this film was the perfect fit to accomplish that while metaphorically justifying our need to make something emotionally tangible. The film forces the audience member to question their own priorities in the sense that tomorrow may never come. Take nothing for granted.
Was there anything strange, funny, interesting, sad, scary, or otherwise unusual about making this film?
Interesting: We spent about 7 hours shooting the bathroom sequence which equated to about a minute of screen time in the final cut.
Funny/Scary: We set Jeremy Palko (our lead) up in an antique bed and breakfast hotel during his stay for the shoot. After the first night of filming, we got a late night call from Jeremy apologizing that he was too freaked out and scared to stay at the B&B, saying it was just too spooky. We didn't think much of it at the time, especially after a long day of shooting, so we sprung for a different motel. On Day 2 of the shoot (the following day), Jeremy arrived on set with a plethora of videos and photos he took as proof that the bed and breakfast was indeed "too spooky." And he was right. It was a place that time forgot - completely preserved in 1800s colonialism with eerie portraits of staring faces, morbidly patched up dolls, all sorts of antique weapons laying around, an old loom, creaky candlelit wooden steps rising into the darkness above... the list went on. Needless to say, we all had a good laugh over it. That very place is now the setting of our next project - a feature-length horror.
What is your connection to Mississippi?
I (Jason) was born and raised in Biloxi, MS. I graduated from Biloxi High School in 1998 then went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Millsaps College in Jackson in 2002. My aunt has lived in Jackson most of her life (currently Byram) and the area of Jackson has been a second home of sorts, dating back to my childhood when we made frequent trips with my family.
Anything else you’d like the audience to know about your film?
We shot on a Blackmagic Cinema camera. Filming took two full 12-hour days in Lithia Springs, FL. The snake that appears in the film is aptly named "The Abomination." And he is credited accordingly.