Sydney Clara Brafman

Sydney Clara Brafman is an award winning writer and filmmaker living in Brooklyn, NY.  Her focus drives her to study the human condition, the irony of circumstance, the tragedy of humor and the environments they inhabit with a wicked sense of humor and style. When she’s not making movies, she’s passionately hating cocoa, removing stage blood stains from her clothing, and enjoying cats on the street.

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Alter Films


Q & A

Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Horror spirit animal?

I think I try to relate a little to everyone, it’s just a force of habit. In most cases, I try to put myself in the ‘villian’s’ shoes. Why are they like this? Would I do the same thing? There’s a reason for everything, and if those choices make sense, who am I to judge. I mean, what’s the different between a butcher and a florist? They’re both cutting up dead things? There’s not really an underground botanical black market, though.

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?

I don’t think any ideas are bad ideas, necessarily. Doing something awfully bad is the first step at doing something almost great! It’s that practice that helps you grow and develop as an artist. That being said, it was probably a practical miscalculation on my part to sneak into Prospect Park at night with two actors and a camera, a shovel, and a pile of trash bags.

Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?

I think the better question is, does the community think I’m a part of it?! Horror is one of the only real genres of media with such a dedicated and loyal fanbase. Across comics, music, tv and film, Horror is lovingly watched/listened to/absorbed by devotees, who are also their harshest critics! I find myself judging horror as honestly as the next fan, and I always hope my viewers will do the same for me. Did you enjoy what you watched? Would you watch it again? Tell your friends? Those are my standards!

When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?

Inspiration is truly everywhere, in the most cliche way! I listen to so many conversations on the street, stare at so many people in coffee shops, and lose my shit at quirky pieces of furniture. When I’m developing a script, even in its early stages, I love to browse through Tumblr and make mood boards based on color, texture, vibe, all to oversaturate my creativity while writing! But, you never know where you’ll find the best kind of spark, so you always have to be looking. The tagline for Ranch comes straight off of a Ranch Dressing bottle!

What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?

I would be fairly concerned, to be honest! I’m not very forgiving when it comes to my characters, and most people suffer the worst kind of existential crises before ultimately meeting an extremely coincidental and ironic demise. I would probably stay inside, too afraid to leave my house, but then end up being electrocuted while trying to check instagram in the bathtub.

Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?

Sadako, Kayako, Mitsuko and I are all going to do facemasks.

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

Freddy, Lovecraft, Practical, and Post!

How do you go about creating the props and sets for your film? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?

I try to keep everything just inches away from the relatable world we all know. Things are weird, but not weird enough to be unbelievable. Set design and dressing are the loudest characters in your film, (or the quietest!), so make sure you know exactly what they’re saying.

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

Favorite is hard! I like something new every day. The most recent film I adored, however, was the Spanish LUZ!