David J. Fernandes

Interview with David J. Fernandes, Creator and Director of the New ‘Creepy Bites’ Anthology

Created and directed by David J. Fernandes (RE-WIRE, Binge) and shot entirely in Hamilton, Ontario, Creepy Bits is an anthology that explores surveillance parenting, missing people, abandoned tunnels, creepy clowns, empty schools, and gruesome murder. I recently had the opportunity to chat with David about his favorite Halloween traditions, details about this series, his favorite story, and much more!

David J. Fernandes

PopHorror – Hi David. How is 2021 treating you so far?

David J. Fernandes – It’s been a mix of frustration and fun – frustration stemming from a third lockdown here in Ontario back in April that cut the school year short and returned me to Kindergarten Teacher duties when I thought it was over… But I’ve had a lot of fun making Creepy Bits – it was great to get a project written, produced, and completed after a long period of being cooped up at home! I started writing the scripts in earnest in June and we’re now done post as of today!

PopHorror – That’s good to hear. Silver linings are the best! How did you get involved with filmmaking?

David J. Fernandes – I loved movies as a kid and although we never had a VCR or a home video camera, I had friends who did and we just started messing around for fun. We’d make silly movies with purposely bad stunts just to make ourselves laugh, and I think the fun and immediacy of those early videos planted a seed inside me to keep making more.

PopHorror – Based on your anthology new Creepy Bits, I’m assuming you love horror. Do you have a favorite horror film?

David J. Fernandes – I do love horror! And I mean it’s hard to pick one since horror has so many different sub-genres – I love different films for different reasons. But I’ve always gravitated strongly towards psychological horror and one of the first hair-raisingly terrifying films I saw as a kid was the original Alien from 1978. And to this day it still creeps the heck out of me – unlike later movies in the series which moved solidly into Action, the first movie had a pace and a vibe that I really love – a feeling that something awful is going to happen, but it takes a very long time to get to the scariest parts. It’s more about the suspense of NOT seeing the Alien.

PopHorror – Haha, it’s such a hard question, but I always have to ask. I agree Alien is one of the best! What is one of your favorite Halloween traditions?

David J. Fernandes – Cueing up a bunch of horror movies and binge-watching.

David J. Fernandes

PopHorror – Can you tell us about Creepy Bits?

David J. Fernandes – Sure! It’s a 6 episode anthology short horror series – 5/6 episodes are under 3 mins and the finale is a bit longer at 5 mins – that one is premiering on Halloween @ 9 pm EST. It was all filmed here in Hamilton Ontario, which is about 65km from Toronto. We are very fortunate here to have a number of great independent films studios with standing sets. We ended up filming 4/6 episodes on sets owned by Digital Canaries – including the interior cabin of a passenger airliner and the cockpit and fuselage of an actual Boeing 737 cargo plane. Episode 3 Special Guest was filmed in underground tunnels beneath an 1800s warehouse that is being leased by my friend Christoph Benfey, and which he is turning into a film studio called Evil Empire. I basically wrote the stories around the best locations I had access to locally. We filmed for 6 days in August – so we essentially filmed an episode a day – which was fun since we literally came to set each day with a completely different cast and story to tell. Never got boring that’s for sure. Natalie Robinson the Production Designer really nailed it. As did Natalia Pozo, who did Key makeup on all the shorts and also prosthetics on two of them.

PopHorror – That’s awesome. I can tell a lot of thought, detail, and creativity went into making this anthology. What inspired it?

David J. Fernandes – A few things. As I mentioned earlier, being cooped up doing daddy daycare and daddy kindergarten for a year and a bit gave me a giant dose of cabin fever, and since the other projects I have in development require much larger budgets and timelines, I really just wanted to take on something that I could get done quickly and without outside funding. So I scraped whatever lint and fumes I had left in my company and used it to make Creepy Bits! I’ve also never made films FOR the internet before, so I’ve been really wanting to try that out and see what happens. These stories were all designed to be watched on phones and on social media vs home or movie theatres. I found the ultra-short format to be a fun challenge – how do you create atmosphere and suspense in such a short time?

PopHorror – Yes! That’s so cool. Also, short stories are some of my favorite and some of the most challenging but brilliant stories come from them! Do you have a favorite story?

David J. Fernandes

David J. Fernandes – I’ve been asked this a few times and it’s tough to say as they are all so different and I also wrote, directed, and edited them all, so in some ways, they’ve kind of all blurred together for me. I particularly liked Special Guest and the old TV – it was a logistical pain in the butt to get that heavy old TV down a narrow flight of stairs into these underground tunnels, but I think it paid off. I love what Adrian Ellis did with the music in that one and also what Gregory Bennett did with the cinematography – and the actors – Daniella Rendon and Andrew Ravindran – were also super on point. So I think that one sticks out for me as having lots of elements that are working well together. But there’s also two more episodes left and they are both quite fun. So picking a favorite is hard.

PopHorror – What’s next for you?

David J. Fernandes – Well, I *JUST* had my first pitch of a teen supernatural TV series called Limbo that I am co-creating with a swell bunch of people including Aurora Browne (Baroness Von Sketch), Matthew MacFadzean (Hardy Boys), and Nicole Stamp (Carmilla). We’re a ways off from getting the show made but it feels good to be finally pitching it after years of development!

I am also pitching a revenge horror feature called Mara Slaughter about a robotics engineer who gets accidentally swept up in a neo-nazi plot to instigate a civil war and then takes matters into her own hands by stealing the robotic exo-suit she’s been developing and using it to inflict a pretty glorious nazi beat-down.

I’m going to take a short break after months of working on Creepy Bits and then jumping right back into pitching!

PopHorror – That all sounds amazing and I can’t wait to check it all out. Thanks again for chatting with PopHorror and good luck with all your future projects and have a fantastic spooky Season!

With Halloween just around the corner, be sure to check out this smart, sinister bite-sized horror web series. This little 6-part morsel of terror is being served up every Friday on YouTube not to mention Instagram, TikTok, FB, Vimeo – they leave no platform unturned. But for the hell-bent season 1 finale, they’re switching up the dates from Friday to Sunday, October 31, for the best Hallow’s Eve ever. You won’t want to miss it!

About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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