Jean-Paul DiSciscio

My work explores metaphor and character in the genres of horror and science fiction. The limitations of being a truly independent artist have pushed me to embrace a punk rock aesthetic in my films. I have learned to be a mechanic, a carpenter, and a cobbler. My attic is a foley stage and my garage a lighting studio. 

The challenge of the filmmaking process continues to push me to sharpen my craft. I embrace the seams of independent filmmaking and enjoy the struggle because ultimately that faulty mechanical shark will lead you to a more creative solution.

Alter Films

Q & A

Name a Sci-Fi or Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?

Claude Rains as The Invisible Man in the original 1933 Universal Pictures version. I think the idea of your work driving you to the point of obsession is something that a lot of artists, especially independent filmmakers, can relate to.

Do you consider yourself part of the sci-fi or horror community?

Sure. I love horror more than any other genre. I tend to get along well with folks if they are horror nerds like myself. I'm always in search of hidden horror gems.

When you’re creating the props and sets that make a new world, where do you look for inspiration? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?

I have a large collection of Life Magazines ranging from the 1920s to the 1970s. It's more tactile to leaf through magazines for inspiration than a Google image search. I can tear out pages and stick them to my wall and surround myself with the culture of another era. I love it so much.

You’ve gotta go through some bad ideas to get to the good ones. Tell us one of your bad ideas. How do you get past the bad ones to find your spark?

The original concept for Poor Glenna was to have Glenna's son Alex slowly transform from a middle-aged man living in his parents basement into the horrible tentacle monster he has already become at the start of the final version. It was a bad idea, especially for a short film, to show this transformation taking place. It's much more direct to have him already a monster without explaining how he came to be. It puts much more emphasis on Glenna as the main character and what she has to do to keep her mutant son alive. Bad ideas need to be written out first so I can get through them.

If the world you created in your film became a reality, is that a world you would want to live in? What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?

Sure. Poor Glenna is a period film and I love late 70s/early 80s exploitation cinema, so I wouldn't mind living in that era if just for the sake of seeing great films in a theater. I'm okay with mutants and monsters living in basements if that's the case.

Who would be in your ultimate sci-fi or horror villain squad?

Freddy Krueger for sure. He can kill you in your dreams, which is absolutely terrifying. I think Hannibal Lecter might be able to take him down with his supreme intellect. I'm not sure Freddy could crack Hannibal's mind. Now I kind of want to see that film.

Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?

Freddy! H.P. Lovecraft any day. C'mon, practical, practical, practical. I'm going with Post Apocalypse if it's going to happen anyways. Let's get those Mad Max rat rods on the road.

And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’

The original Texas Chain Saw Massacre.