On Saturday, October 9th, Teletoon will present the premiere of its first original live-action feature, My Babysitter's a Vampire. I had the pleasure of sitting down for a chat with the wonderful cowboy-hatted director, Bruce McDonald and the lovely Vanessa Morgan, who plays the vampired-babysitter.
As a mom of a tweenager, I was really excited to hear about this movie. It's a family-friendly film, which makes moms happy, but it's about vampires, which makes the tweens happy, since, you know, it's about vampires. Bruce McDonald agrees, "Yes. It's a good bridge."
I asked Vanessa to tell us a little bit about the movie.
"Well," she says, "My character Sarah gets turned into a vampire. Or, I should say, a fledgling, which means that she's half-human, half vampire. She has to deal with the hardships of that while having to deal with going to high school and trying to maintain a social life while dealing with the fact that she's not really alive anymore and she has to choose between humans and vampires. Also, she babysits these two characters - Ethan and Benny - and they end up going on an adventure together to try to fight some vampires. There's a battle. It's pretty cool."
I asked about what vampire rules they followed in this film.
Vanessa was quick with her answer..."Oh, we don't sparkle."
Bruce McDonald continued on to explain that "our vampire rules are fairly solid in the sense that they can be killed with a stake to the heart, they live forever, they don't age, they have to be invited in..."
Old school Vampires. No sparkling.
"It's funny," he says, "because the whole movie is a bit of a send up to the Twilight movies because the peripheral characters in the movie are sort of rabid fans of a movie called Dusk, and there's growing excitement in the movie about the new Dusk film coming out. The movie climaxes at the premiere of the movie. It sort of makes fun of the phenomena a bit. It acknowledges the popularity of vampires right now. And the two boys - Ethan and Benny - are kind of wise guys and make fun of the whole Dusk movie, and then they actually have to deal with it in real life."
Vanessa become my hero when Bruce McDonald talked about the movie being comedy and action and not too dark...but there were some scary bits, like when the boys run into an alley and discover Sarah eating a rat and it sort of freaks them out.
"A fake rat?" I asked.
"A real rat," she said. "It peed on me three times."
And then I bowed to her. And not only does she hold real rats in her hands, but she seems to be a jack-of-all trades. Her career began when she was singing at a festival in California and an agent recommended that she get into acting. She did some commercial work and then her career took off when she was in grade nine on Family's The Latest Buzz.
Bruce McDonalds face lit up. "She's a triple threat. She's an actor, a singer, and an academic. She's fantastic!"
"And we got lucky with him as a director too."
And now we are the lucky ones...because we get to see the movie.