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Obsidian

Updated: Aug 21, 2022


KingWolf catches up with Director Erica Summers, to talk about her film Obsidian, her passion for filmmaking and what’s next for her career-wise.








1.Tell us about your most recent movie, Obsidian. What is the plot, and what do you want the viewer to take away from it?

  • The story of Obsidian centers on a group of compensated test subjects who participate in a Phase I clinical trial to evaluate the human efficacy of a novel tissue-regeneration medication known as Obsidian (for the pills glassy black appearance). The medicine is said to heal any open wound on the body, theoretically eradicating scars, abnormalities, and even certain crippling injuries. However, the medicine has horrific side effects, and for these poor people, all hell breaks loose.


  • Regarding the movie's message, it was meant to be one of self-love and beauty. I see so many men and women who are fixated on their physical faults and lose sight of those who are in much worse circumstances. I've known folks who, as I'm sure we've all seen at some point in our lives or in school, were truly depressed because of how they looked, went through melancholy periods, or exploited other people's imperfections to tear them down.


  • We need to remember to appreciate our bodies for what they are and celebrate our scars and things that make us unique, both inside and out, according to the theme of this film, which is supposed to be somewhat uplifting in its own peculiar way.



2. What was your drive behind making films?

  • I have always been an entertainer. When I was young I always wanted to be in the spotlight or winning awards for things. I was very competitive. At one point in junior high, I decided that I was going to move out of Wyoming and become a famous actress. I started auditioning for plays and received rejection after rejection. I decided that the world would never know my acting abilities unless I created an opportunity to show them so I decided to write a horror film to showcase my acting, called The Stalker, and rounded up my siblings and one of my friends, well, probably my only friend at the time, Lindsay and grabbed my dad's handy-cam and tripod and started filming. I very quickly realized (and I mean during the first scene we shot!) that I had more power behind the camera and that as a director, everyone was finally listening to me. That moment certainly started everything. I soon realized I was a terrible actress but that I was still able to entertain people with my wild stories from behind the camera.

3. What was your first job as filmmaker?

  • That was certainly my first job. I set out to be a writer and actress and due to having no crew, I also became the director and producer. We were just kids, but I would say acting and directing where my first roles on set. Then years later, my first role on someone else's official set would be PA and then by the end of the film I moved up to grip.

4. How do you develop a story?

  • Well, I usually am thinking about my next project while I'm still filming the previous project. I get random ideas that pop up into my head and I sort of flesh them out in my mind as I am working and by the time the project is done I'm ready to sit down and start story mapping for the next big project. I've always got something in the works.

5. Are some of your favorite movies?

  • My favorite movies are horror films that really bother me. Pumpkinhead would certainly be my favorite. Even as an adult who understands how movies are made, that one still really freaks me out. I think the monster in it is second to none. I also really love strange and bizarre movies. Anything by David Cronenberg or David Lynch always excites my brain. I also really love a lot of really freaky dramas like Enter the Void by Gaspar Noe.


6. What is the best piece of advice that you have ever received in your career?

  • When I was a young girl and the internet had just been born, I reached out to Penny Marshall, knowing she was a filmmaker and she put me in touch with her son who is also a filmmaker and he told me to grab my camera and film anything and everything I can and to start looking at the world through different eyes. By that he meant experiment with angles and textures and shooting through items etc. Ever since then I have never forgotten that advice and I always try to enact it whenever possible.


7. What do you think are the most important elements for a good film?

  • That's a tough question to answer because I like a lot of movies that defy normal standards and traditional story structure. I think for horror, the element of surprise and dread are important and I think for any genre, great characters that you either love or hate are one of the most important elements that you can have. But there are a lot of films like the film Dogtooth that just really strike me as a great film that defies what I would consider a film with traditionally great elements.


8. What are the toughest aspects of making a film today?

  • I would say in the age of covid that is certainly the toughest aspect. It is hard enough making a film with all of the other hiccups and caveats but now to add a potentially deadly pandemic on top of it that very much complicates things. With my last film Obsidian, that became an issue toward the end of the film as covid became a pandemic. It made reshoots almost virtually impossible due to the infection rate and it was always tricky because you can't have actors in the scene together with masks on so you're basically asking people to risk their lives for your film. I would say before covid, scheduling and personality conflicts were the most difficult hurdles to get over because you can assemble a great cast and crew but if they start to have issues with each other for any reason, that can complicate things. My film, Mister White, was riddled with personality conflicts and promiscuity issues with actors behind the scenes that made the film much more difficult to produce.


9. If you are not a filmmaker what would you see yourself doing?

  • If I were not a filmmaker, I would have either gone to medical school to be a surgeon because I love the human body and gore and I think that I would be well suited for that. Or probably more realistically, a lawyer. I worked in a legal office for a while and really took a shine to the work. Plus, I love to argue and find loopholes and solve mysteries so I think it would have been well suited for that.

10. Is there a film director that inspires you?

  • Absolutely. I would say the number one film director that inspires me is David Cronenberg. I think he's brilliant and I love his adaptations as well as his original work and even his novel. I love that he's so bizarre and he's not afraid to make the movie that he really wants to make. I also really admire David Lynch for those exact same reasons even though I find his films less cohesive and not quite as enjoyable as Cronenberg's. I also love Gaspar Noe. His film Enter the Void made me afraid of death.

Indie film supporters, check out Erica's latest horror film OBSIDIAN. During the trial of a tissue regeneration drug called Obsidian, the patients start to experience hellish side effects proving the quest for perfection can be deadly

Attention bloggers, and podcasters, for follow up interviews with Filmmaker Erica Summers, contact Sharry Flaherty of Samera Entertainment at: SameraEntertainment@Gmail.com

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