Above Pic: Getty Images from Artemis film fest with
and Heidi Moneymaker
Web promo with Adam & Will! https://youtu.be/YukfTSxbQ4k Get Exclusive on Dan's Movie Report!
valued Dan's Movie Report readers, today we take a trip behind the
camera and go inside the creative minds of Adam Davis and Will Corona
Pilgrim. These two adventurous individuals wrote and directed on the
fantastic short film 'No Touching'. 'No Touching' is a
comedy/action/horror film in which two top flight stunt ladies, (Zoë
and Heidi Moneymaker) face off against over zealous haunted house
people, intent on touching them, in places they do not want to be
touched. 'No Touching' recently had a screening at the fantastic
Artemis Film Fest, and soon will be touring the country at various
festivals. Get ready, hang on to your costumes, and your sanity, time
to take a haunted trip, with action and comedy, and much touching.
Another Dan's Movie Report exclusive interview has commenced,
Describe the writing
and conceptual process of 'No Touching' did you guys always have a
short in mind?
were working with Heidi on a feature script that she was to star in
when the whole concept came about. We found out through working with
Heidi that she was friends with Zoë so we wrote a tiny cameo for her
in the feature. When things began to stall, the two of us pitched the
idea to Heidi of a short starring her and Zoë and she said it
sounded like a great idea. A month or so later we had this haunted
house concept basically formed and pitched the two of them over
sushi. And the rest is…well, the present.
the characters that Z Bell and Heidi play always destined for them,
or did you get them involved later in the process.
hundred percent Y-E-S. The biggest thing about that was as we were
trying to come up with a concept for an action short that we both
liked, a bunch of our friends were weighing in at the time, and it
all tended to gravitate towards stories where Heidi and Zoë would
face off and kick each others ass. They were all variations of that:
assassins square off in an office and then fight each other, two
fighters square off in a ring, etc, etc. It wasn’t until a buddy
reminded us of those interactive haunted houses that our minds really
started charging. The aesthetic was something that we loved, horror
with a Halloween-inspired bent featuring all the fun costumes and
sets you'd want, but the diamond in the center was this idea of these
two friends who were attacked in the haunted house and had to protect
themselves and each other. It gave us the opportunity to showcase
Heidi and Zoë’s already natural off-screen friendship, as well as
see them joined together on the same side, which helped push it into
a much more positive female hero piece.
cool get to have Jake Busey, and Traci Thoms on set for minor roles,
were they asked by Z Bell, or were they an idea you had.
fans of both Zoë AND Tracie from their roles in Death Proof, we had
Tracie in our heads from very early on in development — we just
didn’t know it was possible to become a reality until we started
getting closer to the shoot date. Same with Jake and Doug Jones;
these are heavy hitters that you put on a casting “wish list”
which usually turns into casting someone “like” them when
all is said and done - especially when asking them to work for barely
any money. In this case however, we were spit-balling the outstanding
roles we had left to cast with Zoë and Heidi, when Zoë mentioned
knowing the same people the two of us had wish-listed on our own. And
from there, after a few friendly text messages, everything just kind
of magically fell into place.
Daniels was one of the fun additions since we had been familiar with
his work on Modern Family but it wasn’t until Zoë pitched to
include him that we jumped at the chance - he was a very easy sell
for us. He ended up ad-libbing one of our favorite lines in the
many days total for principal photography. Same question for pre-vis
for the action rehearsals etc...Discuss some of the challenges on
filming on such a tight shooting schedule.
was a rock ‘em sock ‘em three day shoot. We had two day
shoots in the interior of the haunted house for all the action and
scares and one night shoot at the exterior of the house for the
exterior dialogue. Shooting action, traditionally, takes a long time
between setups. It’s a very delicate balance since you want to get
the camera in the perfect spot to catch as much of the action as
possible, because you can realistically ask for your stunt team to do
these moves only so many times.
was all in Heidi’s court as she was coordinating here and there on
the fly when not working on her physically taxing day job of stunt
work for other shoots. She ended up doing an expanded pre-vis for
what we called the Skeleton Fight, which was our two heroes against
many foes, and then later on adapted bits from that to be
incorporated into the final fight with a possessed baddie called
Demon Nick. Since this was the incomparable 87Eleven Action Design
team performing all the stunt work, we didn’t sweat too much. These
are a team of people who know their jobs so well and are simply
spectacular when working together as a group.
were some tense moments of not knowing whether we were going to get
all we needed, for sure, but our producer Jason Rostovsky, our
Associate Producer Christy Busby, Colby Oliver (our DP), his camera
and G&E team, not to mention Jacob Johnston (Production Designer)
and Taylor Shaw (Art Director), Caitlyn Brisbin and the make-up crew
and our abundantly generous PA’s kept things pushing forward in the
hot So-Cal fall heat.
must say you guys pulled off miracles, especially given time
constraints. Merging the genres of horror, action an comedy is a
difficult task, which you guys pulled off extremely well, were some
elements of the first few drafts of the 'No Touching' script tweaked?
What was added along the way? More Humor, action, horror?
was always at it’s very core an action concept with horror
dressings. But knowing it was still a horror piece, we felt there had
to be a central theme for it to really payoff. The biggest polishes
we did were when we finally honed in on the theme of the piece.
#Gamergate was going on at the time and even working in the
comic/movie biz we were still taken aback by all the online hate and
misogyny spewing out towards women during the whole thing. It really
helped us nail down what we were trying to say: here are two women
who fight back against sexist a-holes and then the whole thing just
escalates from there.
of the biggest revelations we had was after talking with Josh Waller,
who was about to go and shoot the film "Camino" with Zoë.
He had read an early version of the script and we were all having a
dinner and chatting about what we still felt was missing from it.
Since it's a short, it needed a great hook at the very end. The draft
we were working with had a very definitive ending. He suggested that
we find a way to end on somewhat of a horror cliffhanger and that’s
when we decided to punch up the supernatural bit for the
are some of your favorite films that you have modeled 'No Touching'
after, genre and out of genre?
been known to say it’s got a lot of John Carpenter’s "Halloween"
injected into it. Ian Flux, one of the two composers of the score, is
one of the biggest fans of Carpenter’s score work so it was perfect
working with him and Chris Potts to develop the "No Touching
theme” very early on in the development process, way before we ever
got a single shot on film. How we introduce and give the characters
ample time to show us a bit of who they are before they dive into the
haunted house is also very Halloween-esque. People take for granted
how long it is until you actually come face to face with Michael
Myers in that first one, and it gives you time to get to know the
characters all of whom are about to be slain.
Rodriguez’s "From Dusk Till Dawn" has also been brought
up from time to time with the way the genre shifts mid-stream. That’s
one where for half the movie you think it's about these two bank
robbers and then WHAM! you’re thrown into a vampire-ridden horror
flick. We thought a lot about that quick shift in genre for when our
movie very suddenly turns from horror into an action and fight
being said, we really pushed hard to maintain a "Fast and the
Furious"-style of fighting action. We decided early on that it
wasn’t a slasher type of horror piece, and we wanted to see Heidi
and Zoë put down these a-holes with the stunt and fight skills we
already knew they were capable of.
Z Bell and Heidi are really physically gifted action actors, chat
about their dialogue in 'No Touching', humorous quips, was any of
that ad lib or straight from script?
A and Column B, really. When working with our actors we very much
like to keep it loose to give them the freedom to explore between
takes, and that definitely was caught on camera for this. It makes it
a little tougher in the edit bay, but we never would have caught half
of Jake’s genius as Carp if we forced him to stick to the script.
As long as the important bits were there we were satisfied.
fun thing that people don’t pick up on right away is how silly
Heidi is. Since she always plays the Black Widow-type asskicker, it
was fun to put her up on screen with Zoë, who’s always jabbing at
her off-screen, so they could let loose in a way that they are in
their real life friendship. The height joke is just one of many
improvised lines between those two.
that the film has had it's initial screening, are you planning on
more nationwide screenings at other festivals?
submitted to a large amount of festivals. Some we’ve heard back
from but can’t talk about just yet, and the others we’re just
gonna have to wait and see how it goes. But we’re certainly going
to tour it as much as possible. Ain’t nothing like hearing an
audience cheer or laugh at your work after putting this much time and
heart into it.
are some of the things you guys would have changed on 'No Touching'
if the budget was say doubled, or tripled.
Probably get another day or so of shooting. Maybe beef up on the
production design for the horror elements but most importantly, pay
everyone a little more.
about the future ideas and goals for 'No Touching' perhaps a series
or a feature film? Lessons learned from the short film process?
have definitely been talks about a feature film. It wasn’t a pitch
for a feature from the get go, but once we started pouring in our own
mythology and it started to come together as a piece, it was hard to
not imagine how we might do a feature length version of the story. A
series might be another fun way to go to really get a chance at
For us, it goes back to what so many colleagues and professionals
have told us over the years; it all begins and ends with CASTING.
Casting in front of and behind the camera. If you get the right group
of talented people in the right roles for them, everything else is
all gravy. It may have taken us longer than we had originally planned
to finally get out and shoot this thing, but it all shook out as
something that happened for a reason. We couldn’t be more pleased
with or proud of our cast and crew. And we think our Kickstarter
Backers would agree.
Thanks guys, great interview! Coming later in 2016 for Ms. Zoë
Bell interview! In the meantime, watch for 'No Touching' in a film fest near you!
more on No Touching: