Actress Kristen Anne Ferraro is the lead in the new film A Deadly Legend, but she also did served as the producer of the indie project as well as serving as a sounding board (and support) to husband Eric Wolf who penned the script. The feature is obviously a family affair, and in the interview Ferraro elaborated on the ambition and scope that she and her husband brought to A Deadly Legend.
Directed by Pamela Moriarty and penned by Eric Wolf, A Deadly Legend is a horror/thriller that centers on Joan Huntar (Kristen Anne Ferraro), a real estate developer who is determined to build a housing development on the site of an old summer camp. Even though a local resident (Judd Hirsch) warns against building on the land, his pleas are in vain. Thus begins an intricate supernatural tale that is filled with its share of twists and turns (the ending is a doozy!).
Though Ferraro is an experienced actress, this is her first time producing a project and this is Wolf’s first produced script (he also has a meaty role in the film, and like Ferraro, he’s a natural actor).
The indie was shot in the Catskills where Ferraro and Wolf reside, and even with what one would assume is a limited budget, the pair decided to simply go for it with A Deadly Legend. The feature, anchored with such talented actors as Hirsch, Lori Petty, and Corbin Bernsen, has a ton of speaking roles (a lot of actors get their chance to shine in this film). I was impressed with what Ferraro and Wolf were able to pull off in the production, and Ferraro candidly spoke about the challenges and gratifying part of getting this project realized.
A Deadly Legend is now available On Demand via Gravitas Ventures.
What is the key to becoming a successful producer? It just seems to be a very high stress job.
I’m so glad you asked that question. You’re the first person to actually ask the details of what has gone into my job on this project. This is the first time I produced an independent feature. So I can’t go into my history as a producer, because guess what, I am learning as I go along.
It was researching vendors. Trying to find housing for cast and crew up here in the Catskills during the high season. Everything was booked, so that was super challenging. Working to find a Honeywagon vendor that was within our budget. Working to find the right caterer in the area. What I did before our managing producer came on sight, I started to front load all of that information for him so we could start building out all of the vendors (as well as ) all of our staff for the crew. I was also involved in the casting process.
I was closely involved with our production accountant to make sure that we were on budget. Making sure that we were in compliance with all of the rules and regulations brought forth by OSHA, SAG-AFTRA, the New York State Department of Film and Television. All of those things.
I also played the lead role in the film. As a first timer, I’ll be quite frank it was very challenging for me. But I have no regrets.
You’re the lead, but can you also talk about the challenge of doing a movie with so many speaking parts and characters?
My husband actually wrote the story and he executive produced the film. My involvement was initially as a supportive spouse who has some significant experience in the entertainment industry. It was his first project in film.
It’s now evolved into a passion project for me and I’m so glad I supported him along the way. It’s been really fun.
To answer your question about how broad the film was with the number of characters and just the multiple storylines, I really have to give a lot of credit to our incredible crew, including our director (Pamela Moriarty) and director of photography (Lars Elling Lunde) and our first AD (Ben Samuels). Those three kept everything very tight.
Amazingly we filmed this production in 25 days. That means we had to stay really tight with our time schedule and there wasn’t a lot of time to fool around and have fun. It was all just focus every single day. I give them credit for all the planning they put into it and and keeping us on track.
I’m assuming when you have Lori Petty, Corbin Bernsen, and Judd Hirsch in your ensemble, it can only elevate your project.
Thank you. We felt blessed and honored that they accepted the offer. We were absolutely thrilled to have them on set because it upped everybody’s game having celebrity talent there both for the actors and the crew. They couldn’t have been more down to earth and gracious.
They were helpful. They brought an ease that we weren’t even expecting. It was just so easy to work with them while keeping the bar high for the rest of us.
What is it like to film in the Catskills? What is that film community like?
We live up here and yes, there is a lot of filming that goes on and I would love to mention that the film community here has been very warm and welcoming and supportive to us as first time filmmakers and first time producers. So that’s something that we truly value is feeling that we are part of that community. It’s been critical on this journey for us.
With the locations – there is a lot of woods and lakes up here. It’s quite beautiful. One of the smart things my husband did before he wrote the story, he started scouting out some of the locations he could use and he built the story around those locations.
Once we knew were able to secure them, those locations stayed in the script. I won’t say what they are but there are some unique locations that I think you see that are pretty cool. Like I said, the storyline was built around some interesting spots.
Your husband is a natural actor and storyteller. Was this a dream he had ever since you’ve known him or did he grow into filmmaking?
I also loved that you asked that question because the day I met him, I looked at him and said, ‘This man just looks like an actor to me.’ He just has a look that stands out to you. Before we even started this project, people would come up to him and say ‘I know you from somewhere.’ He has this presence about him that is very unique and strong. You almost think that he’s been on the stage and screen before.
And so it’s something I think he’s always wanted to explore since he was young and he ended up going into the corporate world and living a different life. He’s at this point in his life where he feels that life is short and he needs to pursue the things that he’s always regretted not doing. And here we go, he’s done it!
You’re an experienced actress but your husband is new to filmmaking. What has been this overall journey been for both of you, and what keeps you moving forward as filmmakers?
It’s been really cool to get back to it and the unique thing – I think it’s all new for him, but the producing is new for me. I think the unique thing about it is we are learning every day and I feel that you’re not living life unless you’re learning something new. That learning process is something that I personally value every single day that I wake up.
What keeps us forward is that we’re very driven, Type-A people. We’re very tenacious. We were kind of that way in the business and we will continue to be that way in this business. I think you have to be (in order) to keep moving forward.
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Five things I learned when producing a movie: 5-You will never make everyone happy 4- Be humble. Admit your mistakes. Apologize and move on. 3-Be ready to compromise unless it involves your integrity. 2-Work hard, be a team player and stay positive. It will come back to you. 1-There is no limit on exploring your own creativity and executing upon your dreams. Being liked is not essential. Living a life of fulfillment is. ?❤️? #horrormovie #horror #horrormovies #horrorfilm #horrorfan #halloween #movie #horroraddict #horrorjunkie #horrorfilms #instahorror #film #actorslife #producerslife #adeadlylegend @adlfilm #kristenanneferraro Photo credit: #lundegaardimageforge @larsellinglunde