Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Jill Sixx Gevargizian is sending you a Call Girl

Posted By on Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 8:45 AM

click to enlarge Jill Sixx Gevargizian moves behind the camera. - BARRETT EMKE
  • Barrett Emke
  • Jill Sixx Gevargizian moves behind the camera.

Jill Sixx Gevargizian knows you like to watch.

In fact, the first-time filmmaker is banking on that compulsion. Her featurette, Call Girl, is about a man who sets out to broadcast his date night but ends up sharing something far more disturbing.

How disturbing? You'll have to wait until Gevargizian releases the film to find out. (She's aiming for a spring 2014 release, in time for that season's horror conventions.) But it must be pretty fucked-up stuff because Gevargizian was able to hire two horror stars as the movie's leads: Laurence R. Harvey (the second and third Human Centipede films) and Tristan Risk (American Mary).

This is Gevargizian's first directing turn, but she's no stranger to her chosen genre. She has lived and breathed the creepy, crawly culture since she was about 10 years old.

"I used to stay with a friend over the weekend, when I was younger, whose parents didn't give a crap what we did," Gevargizian tells The Pitch. "We'd rent, like, everything - The Exorcist, Dr. Giggles, and all this ridiculous stuff. Candyman - I still love that movie."

Her fandom eventually led her to start a quirky monthly film fest, Slaughter Movie House, and she has become a staple presence at horror conventions. She wasn't sure that she'd ever make a movie of her own, but Slaughter Movie House opened doors. "I've made some friends through those filmmakers, and they've pushed me," she says.

One such connection is Eric Havens, Call Girl's screenwriter. Like Gevargizian, he had been turning out copy for the horror website Downright Creepy. She also recruited her friend Brian Hicks, a local video editor, to be her film's cinematographer.

Gevargizian had hung out with Harvey at horror conventions. She was surprised when he agreed to act in the film, but he was ready for the call.

"Initially, Jill said, 'Can you read the script,'" Harvey tells The Pitch. "I read it and liked it, and I said I'd love to play it. At that stage, Jill wasn't really thinking about casting. I said, 'If you need me for help or advice, I can do that,' and we stayed in touch."

"I was a little intimidated at first, probably - definitely," Gevargizian says and laughs. "But once I visited him in L.A., I was like, 'I can do this - I'm not going to be a sissy.'" (The actor also put her in touch with Risk, Call Girl's other star.)

Harvey is best known for his funky, freaky work in the Human Centipede films, but he didn't set out to be an actor. "I come from a performance-art background," he says. "And I only ended up in performance art because I was a painter that wanted to be a filmmaker. Then I got to college, and I found out that I was crap at using the machinery. So I ended up doing performance cinema."

Script in hand and talent beginning to assemble, Gevargizian needed to raise money to put Call Girl into production. "It was so nerve-racking to post that and to ask for money," Gevargizian says of her Kickstarter campaign. "It's hard to know or to feel out what's too much. And so many people fund themselves that way now, and there can be sort of a Kickstarter or Indiegogo fatigue."

Supporters seemed not to be too fatigued. With donations totaling $5,647, Gevargizian was able to make her movie. After what she hopes will be a December premiere in Kansas City, she plans to start with Havens on a feature-length version of Call Girl. She's also working on a short film by John Pata, the Wisconsin director whose recent Dead Weight is making noise.

And she hopes to write her own film in the future. "I don't have anything fleshed out into a script by any means," she says. "But I have multiple notebooks titled with each idea, and pages and pages. I need to focus on one and develop it for real."


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