Do The Hardest Films To Make Turn Into The Best Movies? by Brad Sykes

Film Courage: At what point did the filmmaking stakes rise for you where you had money given to you, it became more serious and then it became more stressful because as now you’re responsible for more? How did you handle this?

Brad Sykes, Filmmaker: I think that one of the movies where that happened for me on was a movie idea called DEMON’S KISS which was the biggest budget I’d had until that point. I’d probably directed five or six movies to that point and DEMON’S KISS was a bigger budget and was shot on film. Right off the bat that puts you in another bracket economically. It was a longer schedule, was just a bigger film and it was the first film I was making for this particular company.

Also it was a script that was a concept I had pitched to the investor. Which I should point out that a lot of the films are made back then (especially horror films and exploitation films) and stuff sometimes someone would just come to you or they’d come to the producer you’re working with and say “We want to make this movie and are you in or you’re out?” They already had a title, the artwork, they’d already done pre-sales in Milan or something. And they’d say it was your choice whether you want to be involved in the movie or not.

DEMON’S KISS was something I pitched. I had the title, the concept and I pitched it and it got the green light. I was writing it and directing it so it was very important to me not only to handle the production well and come in on budget but to make a good movie that I’d be happy with, too. Because I was actually getting more resources to do it with that was one of the films I think for sure. I can’t say I had fun making that movie. I mean I’ve made movies…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


Brad Sykes got his first hi-8 camera at age fifteen, and hasn’t stopped shooting since. Growing up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Brad made eight features on video (many of which involved Karo syrup, red food coloring and stunts of dubious safety) while still in high school. He attended Boston University’s film program in 1993 and by the time he graduated cum laude in 1997, he had already worked for both Paramount Pictures and Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Productions. After moving to Los Angeles, Brad continued to work in film in various capacities both here and abroad (a stint at Castel Film, Romania) before landing his first writing-directing job in 1998. By 2000, he was writing and directing full-time, with many genre credits such as DEMON’S KISS, MAD JACK, and the well-known CAMP BLOOD. Brad has continued to make his mark in horror with more recent projects like DEATH FACTORY, GOTH, WITHIN THE WOODS and MUTATION. His films have been distributed worldwide and can be found at rental outlets like Blockbuster and Netflix. Brad’s films have received attention in many publications including Fangoria, The Dark Side, Indie Slate, Rue Morgue, Videoscope, LA Weekly, Mad Movies, and Legacy of Blood: A Comprehensive Guide to Slasher Movies. Brad lives in Los Angeles with his wife, producer Josephina Sykes, where they operate Nightfall Pictures, a full-service development and production company. 


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