Fan Film, Fan Films

BloodRayne Fan Film Interview, Part 1

A few weeks ago, I featured BloodRayne: A Fan Film, a 10-minute slice-and-dice fest featuring the heroine of the popular video game series. Set in Nazi Germany, the flick follows the wisecracking titular character as she hunts down her father—a vampire—so she can kill him (imagine what holiday dinners must have been like in that family). The movie features a babe very much in control of her own destiny, and so, appropriately, the film was written and produced by its comely star, Vera VanGuard.

While she’s a consumate bloodletter in the movie, in real life, VanGuard is a self-described “actress / hand model / makeup artist / stunt girl” with an MBA. Surprisingly, she agreed to sit down with FCT for a chat, and was even willing to put away those sharp, pointy sword things while we talked—see, now that’s a class act. In fact, we talked so long that it’s gonna be a two-part interview, running today and tomorrow.

When did you make BloodRayne?

We made it in 2008, but shot most of the footage in 2007, because post production took a very long time.

While Hollywood makes a lot of movies based on video games, there aren’t really that many fan films based on them, so what inspired you to make the film?

I cosplay [dress up in costume] as Tomb Raider at comic book conventions and I’m a big, proud geek. I met a lot of other gals who dress up as Tomb Raider and I saw they were starting to make their own fan films. I know there are way too many Star Wars fan films and I wanted to do a character nobody ever did (or finished doing). I had a choice between my other costumes: Black Widow, BloodRayne and Witchblade. I chose BloodRayne because I knew the story (and played the games), and I knew I could write it in such a way that was actually doable logistically with the resources I had.

Given that then, how long did it take to write?

I wrote it in an hour and then tweeked it several times as the preproduction phase began fleshing out what was going to be possible during the shooting and the allotted time we had.

Had you made films before?

I’ve been an actress for a while, but this is the first film where I actually wrote and produced it.

So would you characterize yourself as a risk-taker?

Very much so—but in a calculated way. Making a film of any kind and putting it out there opens you up to the world. You can face rejection and harsh criticism or have fans write rave reviews, and that is the scary part. People don’t know how hard it is to make something happen on your own, and as the producer of this project, I footed the entire bill. I was fortunate that I had people volunteering their time and considerable talents. As for other risks? You mean like getting blown up in stunts? Been there, done that, walked away bruised, battered and slept on bags of ice. I like acting a lot better.

OK, you mentioned you go to conventions–were there any ulterior motives for you and your cast and crew, like moving up within fan culture or trying to get a film-related job?

Hell yeah—all of the above! I’m actually submitting it to festivals. I’d love to get out of B-movies one day. I’m so typecast as a femme fatale, so why work away from it? I did want to show that I can do more than fight scenes and kick ass or have my ass kicked—I can be funny too.

Who else worked on it with you?

My amazing crew! My amazing director Edward G. Negron, my awesome cast, and my fabulous dear friends behind the cameras, Jeff Centauri and Michael Su, whom I work with a lot on their kung fu and mixed media projects.

So your cast and crew was mainly friends then.

I know Eddie, Jeff and Michael from various projects I worked on with them and they were happy to be on board when I said I wanted to do my fan film. I have worked on their fan films, as well as projects you can find at Blockbuster. The other actors were assembled from my acting class and I got my fx makeup artist/Nazi and the General Nazi from a movie we were all working on the month before and I recruited them right on set. Eddie also did all of the post production and he works in the industry as one of the best.

How long did it take to shoot?

Actually the whole shooting time was about nine hours; we spent three hours the first day, where we shot the “horror” sequence of mom and dad running around. The gal that played my mom, Jasi Cotton Lainer, is a stunt gal as well and she made that fall look amazing. She is also a scream queen like me, and with the red hair, it was a great match. If you want inside info, look up “Jack Vegas” in Google–who else can say their fan film has two scream queens and a porn star? (laughs) The other six hours was all the time I had to shoot everything else. Our filming machine was so good that day, that we did get all the shots with Rayne in that time.

Come back tomorrow for Part II!

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4 Responses to “BloodRayne Fan Film Interview, Part 1”

  1. k.m.

    where the hell did you get your awesome blades made from? and of course how much did they cost? coz i love the game blades but the movie blades suck arse… i need a set!!! eek!! please tell me
    oh and i truely believe that you are the better real life bloodrayne… the movie chicks were cool but nowhere near the bloodrayne from the games… you totally nailed both the looks and the blades. love your work!!

  2. cliveyoung

    Where’d Vera get the blades? Good question—but you’ll have to ask it to her at her site (, ’cause I don’t think she comes here that much. Sorry!

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