Scream Queen Rachel Grubb Turns Filmmaker

Published On April 4, 2010 | By admin | film, film distribution, film marketing, film production, filmmaking, Independent Film

Scream Queen/Filmmaker Rachel Grubb

Although she is perhaps best known for her roles in horror films, such as “13 Hours in a Warehouse”, there is more to Scream Queen, Rachel Grubb, than just her famous face.  In fact, she’s also an award winning screenplay writer and she has just finished directing her first feature, “Why am I in a Box?”  The film was the first project of Silent-But-Deadly Productions, which Rachel co-founded along with two close friends, Heather Amos and Brooke Lemke. Since being formed three years ago, the all female owned company has produced four movies and a webseries and has two more features in pre production.  It has also provided a number of opportunities for other women.

During a recent conversation, Rachel was kind enough to offer a few tips and insights to other filmmakers. First of all, she acknowledged that her celebrity status in the horror genre was helpful in promoting “Why Am I in a Box?”, even though it is a dark comedy and not a horror movie.  Rachel was able to contact websites and other media outlets familiar with her earlier roles and have them do interviews, reviews and articles about her new ventures.  “Being a scream queen helped.  I only started putting myself out there when I started making this movie,” she explained, adding that she felt she owed it to her actors and crew, who were working for free.

The decision to start the company came after Grubb and her partners worked together on one of her earlier films “Tales of the Dead”.  They enjoyed the experience so much that they decided to strike out on their own.  Although admittedly feeling overwhelmed, Rachel said at the time, “We are going to make mistakes, but we are going to learn from them.”

Now, “Why Am I in a Box” has inked a direct to DVD distribution deal with Brain Damaged Films.  They began by contacting approximately five companies before making a selection.  Rachel admitted that although they tried to handle distribution by themselves at first, they were stymied trying to get into Netflix, Redbox and other retail outlets.  Because of this and the fact that they found marketing to be an expensive proposition, they were happy to be offered a contract. 

Another interesting point is that the ladies contacted distributors before checking out film festivals.  “We didn’t actually know anyone who got distribution through the festival route,” Rachel explained.  “One thing we did, because we have a dark comedy, was to contact festivals ahead of time and then send the trailer after asking if we should submit,” she continued.  By doing their research first and making sure that their film fit the festivals they selected, she said they also received a lot of helpful feedback.

Having been involved with several aspects of filmmaking, Grubb admitted that acting is still her favorite. “I don’t really enjoy the writing.  It might be more creative and fulfilling, but some things are more fun,” she said and recalled how Jodie Foster once said that she found directing to be more relaxing than acting.  For Rachel, it’s the opposite. “Acting is really fun, not so stressful,” she added.

One suggestion for new filmmakers Rachel made that is often heard, is to keep cast and crew well fed during production and to try to find businesses willing to help with donations.  Grubb stressed, “Food is important.  We had places willing to donate and they can get tax write offs.  Some have a certain amount they donate every year.”

Finally, Rachel suggested finding organizations in your area to help with the financing. “We started out as a non-profit and an LLC,” she said.  Her company received a fiscal sponsorship from Springboard for the Arts, which is located in Minnesota and extends into western Wisconsin.  The organization is known for assisting artists and allowed Rachel’s company to use its’ 5013C.  “It’s not easy to become a 5013c without fiscal sponsorship,” she said.  The program also provided access to legal assistance via the telephone. “They want to help artists.  They give money to anything in the arts,” she concluded. 

More information about both Springboard and Rachel’s production company are available on their websites.  The links are posted below:

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