The Ladies of Remake

Doug Phillips' 2012 independent slasher film, Remake was shot entirely in and around Minneapolis, and its cast features some very lovely ladies from the area, two of whom; Kate Cloutier and Kelly Barry-Miller, have been featured here before. Above are Kate, Donna Marie Beard, and Kelly at the film's June 2012 screening at Minneapolis' Heights Theater.

I recently contacted all of the ladies in the cast and asked each a couple of questions about their experiences working on the film. What follows are their replies and comments.

Kelly Barry-Miller as Rita, during one
of the film's intense scenes
Lead actress Kelly Barry-Miller plays Rita, a pastor's wife with a secret porn past. Having interviewed Kelly back in 2011, I knew she's a lady dedicated to her craft.

CHRIS CHARLES: How did you feel the first time you saw the film and yourself as Rita?
KELLY BARRY-MILLER: It's hard to watch in the awkward scenes. However, I'm grateful that the film has a great message about forgiving one's past, and overcoming the consequences that happen.
CHRIS: Since Rita was a former porn actress, did you do much research on the porn industry to become more savvy with what she spoke about in the film?
KELLY:  I didn't have to do much research on pornography, as we are inundated with human objectification and sexually related material on a daily basis, just in media related materials in the industry. However, I studied about some of the women who have come out of the porn industry and how their lives have been affected, whether positively or negatively since then. Many who break free from the porn industry live the rest of their lives in shame, and can't get away from the ideal that they are not worthy of real love, and tenderness, so cycles of abusive relationships and broken lives can sometimes follow. My hope is that women and men can walk away after seeing Remake, knowing that even though the road may be tough, trying to escape the darkness in their lives, that they can begin again, they can find love and forgiveness, and they are worthy to be cherished. I want them to know that darkness may try to bind them for the rest of their lives, but they can be set free to hope again, and start over. They simply have to believe.
Kelly behind the scenes, going over her script
CHRIS: Anything particularly memorable occur while shooting the film?
KELLY: I do have a bit of a funny story to share. It happened while we were filming a scene. We were filming in a downtown area of St. Paul where there was a mecca of artist lofts, in an alley between two of them. It was the scene where Rita is told by Twitch (the killer) to use the garden sheers to cut off her wedding ring finger. During the scene I screamed bloody murder, and after several takes there was a guy that came out of one of the lofts, two stories up, and basically hushed us, and told us we were scaring and ruining their quiet meditative yoga class upstairs, that needed the windows open. I can only imagine how many of the yoga gurus needed therapy after that one (laughs).

In addition to acting, Kelly is an acclaimed photographer with the Minneapolis company Phoenix Memories. You can see more of Kelly at her official website, IMDb page, and she's on Twitter. Also check out her September 2011 interview here.



Dani Palmer as Megan Slayton in
one of the film's early scenes
Dani Palmer has the second most prominent role in the film as Megan, the pastor's daughter whom the killer kidnaps primarily in order to use as leverage to get who he's really after. As most actresses have something unexpected occur while making a slasher movie (especially those who play victims), I asked Dani if anything memorable occurred while shooting the film, and how she prepared for the role she played.

CHRIS: What there anything particularly difficult about preparing for the role of Megan?
DANI: It's been quite a while since we shot that film, but I remember feeling a huge burden of responsibility to do justice to girls who have been kidnapped and forced to do things against their will. I really researched stories of kidnappings, tried to put myself in those shoes, and allow myself to feel that fear. However, there had to be a balance because my character was strong and defiant in the face of her kidnapper, trying to gain his trust and using it against him in the end.
CHRIS: What was most challenging about shooting your scenes?
DANI: The scene that I'm most proud of is the one where the kidnapper is trying to get under Megan's skin by showing her the pornographic snuff film from her step-mom's past. It was particularly difficult to evoke the same sadness and devastation in take after take, but it worked, and it played. I took my compassion for all the girl's I'd read about in researching this role and bottled it up into that moment where I knew Megan would feel compassion for her step-mom having to endure something like that, plus Megan's fear for how her own situation was going to turn out. I think it turned out really nice, and for me, I was really able to "go there," as us actors like to say, and really put myself in that painful place.
CHRIS: Anything particularly memorable happen while shooting the film?
DANI: The whole film was pretty memorable. We shot the majority of my scenes in a downstairs basement in an old St. Paul warehouse. It really helped me play the role. I was supposed to be exhausted, cold, lonely... and the place made all of that real. Kelly Barry Miller was also a joy to work with! Even though we only filmed together a short while, she is such a delight. It was easy to build an affinity for her and to look up to her almost like a mother. She has such a warm and supportive personality, and I really believed she would sacrifice herself for me. It really helped build the personal dynamics of the scenes.

As this goes to press, Dani has two films in post-production and slated for release later this year. To see more of Dani, check out her official website, IMDb listing, and she's on Twitter.



Kate as Colleen DeRidder, doing her thing
in her home basement workshop.
Kate Cloutier gives a great performance as the somewhat shady electronics wiz, Colleen DeRidder, who used to work for the FBI before going to work for the drug lords. Making enough money to retire early at the age of 38, she works out of her home basement, which is filled with a wide array of of electronic gadgets and unique devices that you won't find at your local Radio Shack.

We meet Colleen when the the film's protagonist comes to her and pays her 500 dollars to alter an industrial walkie-talkie, which is one of a matched pair locked to a specific frequency and could communicate only with the other. She add a signal-direction pointer to it, that allows the good guy to physically zero in on the killer. However, Colleen is on the killer's payroll and had probably created the matched pair in the first place and she'd already put a direction-pointer on the killer's unit. So, after she alters the good guy's unit and he leaves, she calls the killer to let him know. However, rather than paying her, he ties up his loose ends by remotely detonating a concussion grenade (probably another device that she'd created for him) hidden in her workshop.

Kate's dog Lily even has a cameo in the film. Said Kate of working on the Remake; "I love being a character actress. This was my opportunity to show the audience and other director's what I am capable of." Also a talented musician and dedicated fitness model, you can see more of Kate at her official website, IMDb page and her February 2012 interview here.



Donna Marie Beard has a "non bloody" role
as the killer's unknowing wife, Julie Booker
Donna Marie Beard played the killer's wife, who had been in the dark about his sadistic activities all along. Her main scene is when her character in brought in to get the whole, shocking truth about the man she thought she knew. Said Donna of shooting this scene:

I remember when my character had to come in to the police station and find out that her husband was a freak and was killing people. I had to be serious of course, and it was hard, because in between takes; HT and I were talking about other things and we kept on laughing about them and then had to get all serious again to play and authenticate our roles.

Donna's also the associate producer of the TV mini-series Safe Word. Her next acting role will be as the prosecuting DA in Joshua Bruening's The Devil's Hour. See more at her IMDb page



Lisa Pechmiller as Elle Mae is another lady who had
a "wish we would  have seen more of her" role.
Lisa Pechmiller plays call girl Elle Mae, who's always on the clock. I asked the October 2008 "Rogue Cinema Sleepover Girl" about the character.

CHRIS: Was the character was based on someone you knew of, or was she all your own creation?
LISA: Pretty much my own creation. I picked out the outfit from my own wardrobe and it was OK'ed by Doug (the director). After doing so many projects and gigs, my wardrobe has become quite interesting!
CHRIS: Whose house was used as Elle Mae's in the film?
LISA: We shot the scenes of Elle Mae at my current place in Northeast Minneapolis. So the scenes with me in it were actually shot at my place.

According to her IMDb page, Lisa will be appearing in the soon-to-be-released The Bitch That Cried Wolf, that stars Mindy Robinson and Sarah Franch. Also a model, you can see more (but not all) of Lisa at Model Mayhem.



Roxanne Williams as Roxy
A lady with a small, and "bloodless" role in the film, Roxanne Williams gave her reflections while shooting :

CHRIS: I know you have a relatively small part in Remake, but for you, was there anything particularly memorable about making that one?
ROXANNE: I would say what was most memorable is how organized the shoot was. Often times there is so much chaos involved in filmmaking and this was a very easy going shoot where things were done very quickly, extremely professionally and it was done all in a timely manner. I loved everyone involved in the shoot and we had a really great time. I also remembered that I actually got paid for the shoot. It's so difficult in Minnesota where actors and crew usually don't get paid because funds are so low. It is, though an example of how much we love our craft as we work in films for free because we just want the experience of doing different films and the opportunity to work.

According to her IMDb page, Roxanne has also worked behind the camera as a producer and casting director.



Isioma Udeh as Detective Diane Ripley
and Heidi Gyllen as Officer Jill Benge
Isioma Udeh and Heidi Gyllen play two of the three police offers, whom we don't see much of until the film's final scenes. Said Udeh of working with the cast and crew:

It was a great professional team (on both sides of the camera). They knew just what they wanted and they got it done. Everything went smoothly during the filming and everyone worked well together.

Heidi actually has a "blink-and-you'll-miss-her" role in this film as she's had in most of her previous films. However, her role in Todd Berntson's upcoming short The Glass of Demontrachet, should be a little more prominent. See her IMDb page for more on her.




Sarah Talcott as "Number 27," getting
ready to meet her demise
Sarah Talcott (credited in the film as Sarah Burgduff) gives a pretty powerful performance in her scenes as the doomed Number 27. (The killer refers to his victims only by the sequential number of their abduction.) Asked what was the most challenging thing about playing a character who knows she's about to get murdered, Sarah replied:

Well, let's see...I suppose the most difficult part of preparing for and shooting the scenes for Remake was trying to fully grasp the horror of what my character was going through. Having never experienced anything traumatic and terrifying in my own life, I had to reflect a lot on how those emotions would manifest themselves physically, and also the amount of courage required to maintain her convictions and dignity in the face of pure evil. This was a very strong and convicted woman!



Angela Walberg as "Number 24," before
getting dumped in the river
Angela Walberg plays Number 24. Not exactly a role that showcased her acting talents, but she did look good laying on the killer's table. Her character's body was shown being disposed of at a muddy river bank. So, when asked if there was anything particularly difficult about preparing for or shooting her scenes, not surprisingly, Angela replied:

Well, getting dumped facedown in the mud of the Mississippi River was a very challenging experience for me. That scene was actually shot in Bloomington, Minnesota on the banks of the Minnesota River (but near the confluence with the Mississippi river)! It was so nasty! I needed to be hosed down afterwards.



Theresa Stecker on the set, ready to
get her white slip very bloody
Another lady I would have liked to have seen more of in the film, is the lovely Theresa Stecker, who played Number 25. Perhaps so she's not confused with the Las Vegas MD of the same name, she's often billed as Theresa Anne Stecker, as she is in this movie.

Besides acting and occasionally modeling, Theresa is a Zumba and dance instructor at an Arthur Murry dance studio and is also a member of the Minneapolis-based Fast Track Talent Group, who can be seen at events in and around the Twin Cities area. See more at her IMDb page.











Hope Kimmel in the shot that graces the
DVD cover and poster for the film
The image of Hope Kimmel as the slain Number 26 reflected in her own blood (left), was art director Andy Winters' idea. Said Hope when asked if there was anything particularly challenging of her role, Hope replied:

Yes, it was a challenge when I tried to escape. I had to do multiple takes falling on the concrete. I actually had a few bruises the next day after filming. (Laughs) I was also sad I had to throw away my bloodied Christian Dior gown.







See more on Remake at the film's IMDb page and Facebook fan page.
Reviews of Remake: The Independent Critic and Joesph Bruce at Hub Pages
Remake is available at Amazon and Underdogs.com.

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