The Horror Club chats with filmmaker Victoria Fratz about co-owning a production company, what interests her about the horror genre, portraying a monster in a film, her latest short film, ‘Slasher’, and much more!
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I’m a filmmaker living in Los Angeles. I’m originally from the east coast, a Towson University grad, lover of dogs and tacos.
Can you tell me about Social House Films? Where did the name come from?
Social House Films is our production company. Aaron Fradkin and I founded it on the brink of creating our first feature film together, Electric Love. The company name comes from our very first meeting space — State Social House on Sunset. I brought Aaron a short horror film script and the rest is history.
What drew you to the horror genre?
It’s just so much fun! As a viewer you’re being titillated–yes, titillated, and as a creator you’re essentially creating on-camera magic tricks.
Why do you think people enjoy horror so much?
The same reason we enjoy roller coasters or skydiving. All of the thrills without the risk.
You like to be involved in all aspects of production, from writing to acting. How do you think this helps the story and the characters in it? Does it give you more understanding since you helped write them?
I don’t think I’d know what to do on set if I didn’t have my hand in various pieces of the production. The writing absolutely informs my acting choices. As a writer, you see the finished version in your head and as an actress, I do my best to carry that vision to the finish line. Additionally, tone plays a major part in my acting choices. We experiment with different tones across our short films and that’s been a lot of fun exercising as an actress.
You like to play a variety of roles, from scream queen to the monster. What interested you in portraying the monster?
I can’t wait to be a monster again! #MonsterLife is the BEST. Portraying the monster offers so much to experiment with as a performer. From physical movement to guttural grunts, the world is your monster playground and I highly recommend dipping your claws in!
How difficult is it to create a compelling story in the film when you only have a small amount time?
The most difficult part is coming up with something new. If you have a strong hook, the runtime can be as short or long as needed. With a short runtime, you may have a harder time stretching out your tension.
You have released several short films in 2020. How did you stay motivated to create compelling stories?
Thank goodness for partners! Aaron and I lean on each other for motivation and productivity. I don’t know how I could do any of it without him!
Your latest short film, Slasher, which was released last week, deals with AR. Can you tell me more about that? Why did you incorporate AR into it?
This was an idea Aaron concepted a few months back when we bought our Oculus. The idea wasn’t fully realized yet, it needed more story so it got shelved until we could find the right inspiration. I had been wanting to do something centred around serial killers and when I thought of mashing the two ideas– an AR game that releases a ghostly serial killer into your home–the script flowed.
Online horror has become so popular recently, with many short films and web-series having huge fan bases and millions of views. Why do you think that is?
I think YouTube is still in its early stages and will be the future of new content. Creators who take their channels seriously and invest in long-term strategy will see a lot of success down the road and retain control over their creativity. The fact that horror has exploded through this medium is due to its already passionate fan base paired with the realization that horror is very shareable. So, creators who put in the work will absolutely see excited fan bases grow and all the success they want for their filmmaking careers.
What advice would you give to filmmakers and content creators who would like to get into the horror genre, but aren’t quite sure how?
The best advice — start doing it! You’ll learn everything by doing. You can watch work from other creators, learn tips online, buy all the equipment, and share your script with trusted peers; everything is primed for your success, you just need to get started!
What does 2021 have in store for you and Social House Films?
This year we’ll be releasing our horror fantasy feature film, Val. It’s a wild ride–think Beetlejuice meets creepy Disney.
Follow Social House Films on YouTube.