PopHorror Interviews Tony Ahedo, Cinematographer on ‘White Willow’

Jack of all trades Tony Ahedo has tried his hand on jobs across the board in the art of filmmaking. He’s edited, produced, written, and directed his own series Barry Baker: Aspiring Serial Killer. Most recently, he worked as the cinematographer on Ryan Swantek‘s debut short White Willow. This week, PopHorror got the chance to pick Ahedo’s brain about his favorite horror movies, who – or what – inspires him and what he has going on next.

PopHorror: When did you first realize that you wanted to be in the filmmaking business?

Tony Ahedo: The first time I walked onto a film set. Something about the energy of a group of people creatively collaborating to make something draws you in. Once you experience it, you’re hooked.

PopHorror: Tell me about your first horror movie experience.
Tony Ahedo: I was really young – maybe 4 or 5 – and had woken up from a nap at my grandparents. The TV was left on a Halloween movie. I specifically remember seeing a Michael Myers kill and he terrified me. I didn’t want to move so I watched the whole thing. After that, I was fascinated and started watching all of the classics. Michael Myers still creeps me out, though.

PopHorror: I bet he does! Tell me about Barry Baker: Aspiring Serial Killer. What inspired you to make it?
Tony Ahedo: Horror movies! As an avid fan of slasher flicks, I wanted to make a non-traditional story about a serial killer with a comedic spin. Something about our society’s fascination with serial killers really sparked it. What if we had this guy who really has no purpose in life suddenly decide, “Hey, I’ll be a serial killer and become something.” What would happen? Paul Blart tries to be Dexter. It would be a disaster, and it’s the comedic basis for BBASK.
PopHorror: How did you hear about Ryan Swantek’s short White Willow?
Tony Ahedo: Ryan and I first collaborated on my show BBASK. He told me about his love of horror movies and he wanted to direct his first horror short. I was interested instantly and he needed a DoP. Things just lined up after that.
PopHorror: It seems as though you have a lot in common with the cast and crew from White Willow. What was it like filming the short?
Tony Ahedo: The shooting day was really smooth. Since the film is essentially one scene, I lit the set and was done for the whole day, besides some minor tweaking. Everyone did an awesome job for such a small crew, and while I had previously just worked with Ryan and makeup artist Jess (Marie) on BBASK, everyone got to know each other pretty well after being crammed in a bathroom together for 10 hours. It was a really fun experience.
PopHorror: What do you do to get the creative juices flowing?

Tony Ahedo: Working or watching any type of new film. I never stop learning, and seeing what other people are creating usually inspires me to make something new of my own.

PopHorror: Who inspires you?

Tony Ahedo: My family above all. They support me and, while none of them are filmmakers, they all inspire me with their work ethic and passion.

PopHorror: If you could work with anyone in the business, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Tony Ahedo: Tough question for sure, but probably Will Forte (Saturday Night Live!). He’s so damn funny and I’d love to collaborate on something.

PopHorror: You’ve worked in different positions in the filmmaking process – directing, editing, producing, DoP and even sound department. What’s your favorite job to do? What job would you never want to do?

Tony Ahedo: Directing is my favorite, hands down. DoP as a second. I work all the time as a cinematographer and it really has helped translate to my directing style, so they kind of go hand in hand for me. I definitely think makeup or production design would probably be the two I wouldn’t want to do. Not because I don’t enjoy them, but because I’m genuinely terrible at those things.

PopHorror: What’s your favorite horror movie?
Tony Ahedo: Halloween (1978) hands down. I did recently see Get Out and it’s probably the best horror movie I’ve seen in a while. Go see it, if you haven’t yet.
PopHorror: Do you have any projects coming up that you can talk about?

Tony Ahedo: We’re currently in production for our fourth and fifth episodes of Barry Baker: Aspiring Serial Killer. We just wrapped up a little 7 day stint of shooting and will continue later this summer on it. It’s awesome because we’ve hit our stride with the show and things keep getting crazier. It’s really fun to write and direct some of these gruesome, comedic scenes. Also, I’m developing a horror short for the summer which will be a lot smaller scale than the show. It’ll be my first stint into directing an actual horror film instead of comedy-horror. I’m really excited about that.

PopHorror: What really scares you?

Tony Ahedo: Dolls and the deep ocean creep me out but also people. People are the scariest monsters you can create.

PopHorror: Last but not least, what’s your favorite Halloween candy?
Tony Ahedo: Have to go with Sour Patch Kids. I’m a sugar fiend, for sure.

Stay tuned to PopHorror for reviews of Ahedo’s show Barry Baker: Aspiring Serial Killer, which is available to stream on Amazon Prime.

About Tracy Allen

As the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of PopHorror.com, Tracy has learned a lot about independent horror films and the people who love them. Now an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes, she hopes the masses will follow her reviews back to PopHorror and learn more about the creativity and uniqueness of indie horror movies.

Check Also

P.J. Starks and Eric Huskisson’s Blood Moon Pictures’ New Feature, ‘New Fear’s Eve’ – Interview

It’s been a little while since we’ve talked with the guys behind Blood Moon Pictures, …