Gene Blalock is the founder of Seraph Films and an award-winning Los Angeles-based Director. Gene is known for his touching, heart-warming films as much as his eccentric short horror vignettes. Bringing a decidedly human perspective to each of his projects, Gene’s works reflect our common humanity—as if from a mirror of compassion for us to examine and consider. Regardless of genre, Gene’s work rings true in a thought-provoking way.
We had a great conversation with Gene about his production company Seraph Films. They have a number of projects on the horizon including The Art of Murder featuring actress and most dangerous woman in Hollywood, Tonya Kay. Seven Days In Mexico is a documentary about finding something that's impossible to lose. It tells the story about musician, singer songwriter Johnny Indovina of the band Human Drama.
Keep up with Seraph Films and Gene Blalock at http://seraphfilms.net
Watch Seraph Films Short Horror Film Among The Shadows
Watch The Complete Gene Blalok Interview
How long have you been making films in Los Angeles?
It’s been about 5 years now. I came out to LA as a musician. I’m originally a musician from Chicago. My band got picked up by a label out here. The first few years I was doing music and now film.
How did you make the transition from music to film?
I went to film school in Chicago. My initial goal was doing film but sidetracked having a band and doing music and then jumped back into film about 5 years ago. It’s fulltime film making these days.
What was the first film you worked on professionally?
It was a film called Unlucky Girl, a zombie film that my friend James and I tried to make a few years ago. I was taking a break from music and decided to try and make some films. My friend James had this cool idea for a zombie film that he wanted to do. It’s almost like a music video for one of his songs. We do a lot of horror films but it’s not exclusive to what we do.
Watch Unlucky Girl – A Short Zombie Film
What was your motivation to go to film school and make movies?
I’ve always been the emotional drama kid I guess. My desire to be in front of the camera these is not something I have. I’ve always been interested in how you make films. How they come to life.
What’s the film making process like at Seraph Films?
It started out with me writing and doing everything on my own. Now I have various partners I team up with that do scripts. These days I lean towards directing more than anything else. Coming up through the indie film community you have do a little bit of everything. I’ve certainly done everything from writing to directing to cinematography.
How has the indie film industry changed over the last 5 years?
It’s never been a better time to be an independent film maker. We’ve done it all from having to funding, to crowdfunding. You get to write, create and fund it from top to bottom.
How are you distributing your indie films?
YouTube has been our single biggest outlet so far. The Nightmare Gallery is a feature we are working on that we are going to shoot in May or June. We are not sure how distribution is going to go yet. Distribber is definitely one that we are thinking about. https://www.distribber.com/
How did you connect with Tonya Kay on the Art of Murder?
When we started Horror Haiku there was this one character, The Artist that’s continued through multiple series of Horror Haiku. There was another vegan film maker that said you need to meet this person and she became The Artist through 4 seasons of Horror Haiku. Art of Murder is an idea we have for a feature length film based off Tonya Kay’s character in Horror Haiku. It hasn’t come to fruition yet but hopefully one day we’ll get to make it.
What exactly is Horror Haiku?
We had just finished a web series for a production company that hired us to do a weekly anthology series. When we wrapped production I remember thinking we should do something for YouTube and that we can make this happen for our own channel. James Boring came up with this idea to do a horror anthology and people will submit different haikus and will turn them into separate episodes. It went on hiatus for a little while because of other work but we are going to bring it back for 10 more episodes this year.
How important is social media marketing for finding your audiences?
We try to use all of the social media platforms but YouTube has been the main platform for growing audiences.
What are your top 3 horror films?
I have to go back to when I was very young. The original Nightmare on Elm Street scared the crap out of me because I wasn’t even supposed to watch it. I don’t I slept for 3 days straight because I was so young. If you go back and watch it now, it’s very dated and it doesn’t work very well. The Exorcist is another one that to do this day still bothers me for some reason.
What was the inspiration for the documentary Seven Days In Mexico?
I met Johnny Indovina while I was still living in Chicago. He’s a musician that I had a lot of respect for and was a fan of his music before I even knew who he was. When I moved to LA, he was always there just to go grab coffee or discuss relationships. He and I obviously developed a friendship. One day he said he wasn’t sure if he was going to ever write another song. Johnny thought if he’s done writing music why should he be on this planet anymore? That really struck me and two weeks Johnny said he had the money and was going to Mexico try and write new songs and find his love of music again.
How do you plan to release Seven Days In Mexico?
In Mexico distribution is all set but here in the US I’m not sure yet. We’ll probably do some film festivals and screenings here in the US.
What other work should we look out for?
We are about to begin our first narrative feature here in LA called Nightmare Gallery. Shooting will start sometime in April.