BY OLIVIA CRIST
On a sunny Monday morning in downtown Denver, I sat down with the talented filmmaker Jimmy Lee Combs (Heart and Fire Productions) to talk all things film in Colorado and his upcoming feature film Terror Tales. Jimmy Lee’s film is loaded with name talent from iconic horror film stars to notable actors on network television, film and beyond. Viewers can get excited about actor Ari Lehman from Friday the 13th, Felissa Rose from Sleepaway Camp, Laurene Landon from Maniac Cop, Yan Birch from People Under the Stairs and Lynn Lowry from Shivers to name a few. If cult classic horror films are not your thing, look out for Christopher Showerman from CBS’s Supergirl and George of the Jungle Two, or Ashley Park who is Miss Asia USA (2015-2016). As one can deduce, there is an abundance of talent to look forward to in Terror Tales.
Jimmy Lee spoke with much enthusiasm about his film as well as filmmaking in general throughout Colorado. He was realistic about the challenges creative people face.
O.C.: What obstacles do you face as a filmmaker in Colorado?
J.L.C.: I think one of the obstacles you face is funding and trying to get state backing, but that happens in every state. It is really hard with the film commissioner and things like that to try and get film taken more seriously here in Colorado. However, there is a really strong film community here and a lot of the time we try and ban together to get more incentives brought here so that bigger productions will be attracted.
O.C.: What drew you to the horror genre?
J.L.C: I would have to probably give props to my older brothers growing up because they would always be watching horror films and let me watch along with them. The classics like Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th.
**Friday the 13th star Ari Lehman can be seen in Jimmy Lee’s upcoming film Terror Tales.**
I was fascinated with that. I would go to the movie store and look at the covers, the horror film movie covers were always so engaging.
O.C.: How did your upcoming feature film Terror Tales come to fruition?
J.L.C.: Going back to 2012, I was working on a vampire film that was supposed to be part of the greater horror anthology genre. I met my partner in crime Kevon Ward on that film. Kevon played a role in the film and also worked in special effects.
**Kevon and Jimmy Lee ended up making their first feature film together and had great success in distributing the film on platforms such as Amazon, Hulu, iTunes and Googleplay. Kevon Ward can also be seen on the Syfy channels show Face Off.**
Once our feature was done and got distribution, I was back to ok, what is our next project going to be? I started to come back around to the horror anthology idea and instead of use the vampire film as one of the segments, I decided to start fresh. This was how Terror Tales evolved.
O.C.: What was the casting process like for Terror Tales?
J.L.C.: I was reached out to by actress Lynn Lowry about a different feature that was in the works at the time. This feature was kind of set aside because of the pace Terror Tales was picking up at; but, I kept thinking how much I really wanted to work with Lynn. I got a little bit more familiar with her more recent work and she sent me this 10 minute video of her performing a monologue and I was really able to see the emotional range that she was able to play. So I gave her the role of Susan McKay in the segment “By Proxy.” So, that was cast and I casted everybody else locally for that segment and this was October of 2015. I had always thought it would be cool to have iconic horror stars in each part; but, it wasn’t until “By Proxy” was wrapped that I realized this could really be something for each segment. So that’s when I really started to look for more actors, some of these actors were recommended to me through twitter and some actors I would reach out to directly. A couple of actors I would go through their agents and that’s kind of how the casting went. Either I was personally a fan of their work and would reach out to them or they were recommended to me and I would remember them from their movies.
**Terror Tales is currently in post-production. Keep an eye out for a trailer and release date! Be sure to check out Jimmy Lee’s website at www.heartandfireproductions.com. **