Dankanator had an exclusive interview with 30 Miles From Nowhere’s producer, writer and actor Seana Kofoed. The movie is a horror thriller about a group of old friends from college reuniting for the funeral of their friend Max. The house is located in the middle of the woods so naturally things took a dark turn. What’s supposed to be a pleasant reunion turns out to be a fight for survival.
Seana Kofoed, the brains behind 30 Miles From Nowhere, explains how the idea came into being.
Dankanator: How did you come up with the story behind 30 Miles From Nowhere?
Seana Kofoed: My producer and partner, Kelly Demaret, and I went to college together in Chicago, and we wanted to shoot something with friends. Because it was an indie film, we knew we had to keep the budget smaller and have a limited location out in the woods.
So, part of it was just wanting to shoot something with friends that I knew I could coax into doing the movie. Plus, I’ve also sort of been fascinated by friendships and the life span of different friendships; when they crack under pressure or don’t crack under pressure. So, we really wanted to explore that too.
D: Were there more endings which you were considering?
Seana Kofoed: We went around to a few different ones. Not to get into the way of those who haven’t seen it but we debated at what happens in the end in terms of do we keep that person alive and how much repercussion is there for that person’s actions. At the end of the day, we decided that there needs to be a certain amount of repercussion for that individual.
D: We were really excited to see that you got the Reframe stamp. Congratulations! How did you manage to do that?
Seana Kofoed: To us, to my partner Kelly and I, we feel the more diverse voices you bring to the table when you are on a creative process, the more exciting and engaging those stories will be. And as you know there’s always a paucity of gender balance existing in the industry. So, we decided before we even made a single phone call that we had to assemble a diverse and 50% female cast and crew – that’s in front of the camera and behind the camera. And we did it! This huge wealth of underutilized talent became a super exciting way to bring a team together. We hope to do it in all of our films. This way, people watching it at home are not just seeing like 15 guys and one very hot woman you know.
D: You have written, produced and acted in 30 Miles From Nowhere. Which one was your favorite role?
Seana Kofoed: Normally it would be the acting because that’s what I do first. But it was so exciting for me as a writer too because I got to write for my friends. I got to write roles and dialogue I would like them to play. It was fun and they were all amazing!
Then the producing part that I loved was finally having the decision making power. To be able to say that I want my cast and crew to be diverse and 50% women and actually do it. Kelly and I didn’t have to answer to somebody else. The power lied with us, which was pretty awesome. So all of the above I’d have to say.
D: The movie had hints of your character Elaine being gay. But it wasn’t fully highlighted in the movie. Any reason for that?
Seana Kofoed: So yes, Elaine is totally a lesbian, she is fully gay! We debated on highlighting this part of Elaine. But thing is that she’s been friends with these people for 15 years. So, in the dialogue to be more overt about it wouldn’t make sense. So, we were hoping heavy flirtation with Amber was enough to tell the audience that this is a great flawed interesting character who also happens to be a lesbian. To us that was where we wanted to go with her because that wasn’t the focal point of the movie, it’s just part of who she is.
D: We were really curious to know is there going to be a sequel.
Seana Kofoed: When we were trying to figure out our ending we toyed with the idea of a sequel. And we’re still toying with it because the people we worked with were so great that it would be a nice excuse to bring them back together. But, now we have to usher the movie to its UK release next. Then we’ll be able to get what kind of follow up there could be.
D: That one scene you did with the cockroaches, we are just curious to know what that feels like?
Seana Kofoed: When I was writing, I was like ‘Well, I could do the one in the shower or the one with the cockroaches. And I was like I’ll take the cockroaches.’ It was lesser of the two tortures. So, we have the humane society come in every time you are dealing with any kind of creature that is not human. And we had cockroach handlers come in with their boxes. They freed them on the floor but we had to put plastic wrap on the floor before it so none of the cockroaches would escape and get hurt. We couldn’t fling them off because we couldn’t injure the cockroaches. So, yeah! Cockroaches have feelings too!
D: So, none you were scared of them?
Seana Kofoed: We were not. I’ll be honest. They get put on you and they’re creepy. But then you get used to it and also they were so lazy and enormous, they didn’t do anything.
D: Do you have any other projects coming up?
Seana Kofoed: Yes, totally. Kelly and I have a few other films that we are looking at and one of them is a coming of age movie set in the woods and the mountains. Another one is a female driven heist. There are a couple of others, mostly indie films, that we are looking at. You have to raise money first, or at least some of it.
I have two acting projects coming up. I’m playing American Princess on Lifetime. That comes out June 2nd and I’m also on Claws just this season as a recurring role.
D: Are you going to go for Indie films in the future?
Seana Kofoed: Yes, because we’re a new production company and that’s where we fall budget wise. Unless someone comes in and hands us several million dollars, we’re in the indie realm. But, it’s good too since we can be scrappy and hire the people we want to hire.
D: Your production company, Film Camp Productions, how long has it started out? What are the future plans?
Seana Kofoed: We just formed to make 30 Miles From Nowhere. We will move forward from here. Basically, a production entity moving forward with that same mission: take out a script and go out to investors and hope that we get enough interest and backing to shoot that.
You can watch the movie’s trailer here.