Diane Fraker may be new to the filmmaking business but that’s not stopping her from diving right in. She is currently the co-producer, co-writer, and co-director of the upcoming horror film, The Embalmers (2020). She’s also one half of Schwestern Sky Films. Learn more about why she got involved in this business, how Schwestern Sky Films came about, details about The Embalmers, and more.
PopHorror – It’s great to talk with you, Diane! How long have you had a love for horror films?
Diane Fraker – Since I was in elementary school. My mom would make my sister who is eight years older, babysit me. I remember her and her friend liked to scare me. Rottweilers! But that’s another story. They put on The Exorcist, and the joke was on them. I was massively scared. I loved it. It still gives me a chill when I watch it today.
PopHorror – Haha dang sisters! That’s awesome. What’s your favorite horror film?
Diane Fraker – Without hesitation, definitely Jaws. I saw it at a drive-in when I was still a kid, and it had a huge effect on me. Even at that young age, I knew it was a beautiful movie. Now I know it was the cinematography and direction. I was hooked.
PopHorror – Yessss! It’s one of the best films ever. I’m jealous you saw it at a drive-in. Who is your favorite final girl?
Diane Fraker – Tiffany Kiely in Bong of the Living Dead. Mainstream, I’ve always loved Ripley. She was smart and knew what she was doing.
PopHorror – Hell yes! You and your sister, Rebecca Rinehart, started Schwestern Sky Films last year. Tell us about how that all came about?
Diane Fraker – Schwestern Sky Films was actually created from our love of horror films. Rebecca was promoting other people’s films, and she invited me to a con to be her camerawoman. Meeting the filmmakers and watching their amazing films really ramped up my determination to work in this industry. We made a Facebook page for SSF on one of our long road trips and here we are. Oh, and Schwestern is sisters in German.
PopHorror – That’s awesome and I thought it may be. My maiden name is “Scherer” which is German as well. Your first feature film is coming up soon, The Embalmers. You had the general concept for the film for a while. Can you tell us what it’s about and where did the inspiration come from?
Diane Fraker – The Embalmers is about a trio of siblings who own and operate The Quint Family Funeral Home in a rural county. The trio, with a little help from some voodoo, can see the awful deeds of the wicked and the pure deeds of the good. They lovingly prepare the corpses for their final showing; however, those that have committed atrocities will be entombed in their rotting shells for eternity. The siblings notice things aren’t as quiet as they should be. The siblings know who is causing an upset to the balance, and are determined to stop the Hoodoo Hillbillies.
As for inspiration, honestly, the idea is a result of my crazy imagination. I was thinking of writing it in a short story. Rebecca and I kept expanding on the idea while driving to cons. After a failed attempt to write and promote another director with a different vision than ours, we decided to go for it. We wanted to tell our own stories.
PopHorror – I’m so glad you did! You will be filming your teaser soon for it, are you excited about it?
Diane Fraker – Yes! I’m extremely excited. We’ve been working so hard on this production and are thrilled how everything has come together. We’re actually filming the teaser the last weekend of February. It’s honestly a work of love.
PopHorror – Yay!!! What’s it like to step your foot into the filmmaking world? A mix of emotions?
Diane Fraker – It’s actually like living a dream. I absolutely love all those involved in filmmaking. I have met some truly brilliant people and am really excited to be part of this community. Of course there’s a bit of anxiety making a film, but we have a tremendous cast and crew. I trust them totally.
PopHorror – That’s great to hear. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned so far as a filmmaker throughout this experience?
Diane Fraker – Persistence. You have to have a true love of film. There will be obstacles along the way, but if you have a story to tell, do it! And write it down.
PopHorror – True true! What are your goals for the company and for yourself as a filmmaker?
Diane Fraker – SSF is planning on completing a film a year. Realistic? We’ll see. As a filmmaker, I want to continue to grow and gain as much experience as possible. I know I still have a lot to learn about the industry, but I’m very willing to listen and learn.
PopHorror – I have faith in you both to make it happen! Who are the women in horror that inspire you?
Diane Fraker – Brooklyn Ewing, Dixie Gers, Tiffany Kiely, Jessie Seitz, Shannon Stockin, Helene Udy, Andrea Collins and so many more I’m sure I’m missing. Also, Jonni Shandor who’s eight years old, but her excitement and energy about horror have rubbed off on me.
PopHorror – Love all those ladies! Do you have any ideas for any more upcoming projects?
Diane Fraker – Indeed, I do. I’m concentrating on The Embalmers right now, but on the side, I am writing a few scripts that will be our next few productions. I’m also writing a script to be made with a few other filmmakers. Life is good.