An Interview with JimmyO Burril – By Nic Brown

JimmyO Burril wanted to promote his fun, horror movie musical by creating a "hot horror hostess" in the vein of Elvira, to promote it. But when he gave his wife April Burril a chainsaw and the new moniker: Chainsaw Sally. He created an internet sensation that lead to an indy hit film and an upcoming webisode series: The Chainsaw Sally Show. Now get ready to find out you go from children’s musical theater to buckets of blood and chainsaws when Nic Brown talks with the man behind Chainsaw Sally, JimmyO Burril.

*   *   *

 Nic – JimmyO, you and your wife April Burril created the Chainsaw Sally character. What gave you guys the idea for her?

JimmyO – April and I were working on a live show I had written called Silver Scream.  But, since the show was a musical it was very hard to get the right audience into the seats.  We thought it would be helpful to have a Hot Horror Hostess, kinda like our own Elvira.  So, we mixed a little Elvira, Tank Girl, Hannibal Lecter,  and just a tad of Freddy humor, and wrap it up in one 5’3" package of power tool wielding fury. and thus, Sally was born.  What we didn’t expect, is for Sally to so greatly surpass the shows she was promoting.

Nic – CHAINSAW SALLY is an impressive character. Will we see her again in film?

JimmyO – Well we have the Chainsaw Sally Show coming up in the Fall, which will be a 12 episode web cast show. It’s written like a sitcom.  So think of something like the Partridge Family, except at the end, when they would normally do a song, Someone will die a gruesome death.
 
Nic – You mentioned a lot of the elements that went into creating Sally. One thing that begs to be asked though is when you guys created Chainsaw Sally was it always your plan to have April play the part, or did she just fit the character you guys created?

JimmyO – It was always April.  Sally was built to fit April like a glove.  As a matter of fact, Sally is very much a part of her, just with the volume turned way up.
 
Nic – So Chainsaw Sally’s next incarnation will be on the web. Where will fans be able to see the series?

JimmyO – Oh yes. The fans can see it for free at www.chainsawsallyshow.com.  The site goes live in Oct 08 and the show will start running Oct 31-08.  Until then, they can follow what’s going on at www.forbiddenpictures.net.

 Nic – What was the biggest challenge you faced in bringing CHAINSAW SALLY the film to life?

JimmyO – Same as everyone, finding the funding, and then finding distribution. Making movies can be hard work, but it’s fun hard work.  It’s the business end of show business that sucks. 

Nic – Legendary master of horror and gore Herschell Gordon Lewis appears in the film. What was it like to work with him?

JimmyO – Herschell is a good friend and a charming gentleman, and wonderful mentor.  I expect you would be hard pressed to find ANYONE who could say anything negative about HGL.  How many people do you know of, especially in this business, who you can say that about.
 
Nic – I understand that you and your wife are currently working on a new film project. Can you tell us what that project is and a little about it?

JimmyO – We are in post production for a new film starring April & Debbie Rochon called the Good Sisters.  It’s a very different style of movie than Sally.  More of a thriller than a campy slasher flick.  There is blood, but it’s more of a mental movie than a visceral one.  Debbie is very excited about it, and hopefully really got to stretch her acting legs during our shoot.  This was not the standard cameo, but a leading role with April.  They were fantastic together. They fed off of each other, the learned from each other.  There were times when they were acting that I got the chills from the huge explosion of emotion coming from the set.  a dynamic duo, those two.

Nic – THE GOOD SISTERS sounds exciting. Can you tell us a little about the plot? I’m guessing that, despite the name, April and Debbie aren’t "good girls" in this film.

JimmyO – No, they are not very good… but they are good at it.   Kindra and Breanne Good (April & Debbie) are descendants of Sara Good who was killed as a witch in Salem.  They believe she was a witch.  A great witch.  They are simply carrying on family tradition. 
 
 Nic – Any idea when THE GOOD SISTERS will be out of post and ready for audiences?

JimmyO – I hope to have the Sisters ready to roll in the fall.  We will hit some cons and festivals… and hope to get distribution quickly.

Nic – As both a writer and director what do you think is the most challenging: creating the feature in the screenplay or bringing that screenplay to life in front of the camera?

JimmyO – My favorite part of movie making is the writing of the story and the creation of the characters.  My second favorite part is the development of the characters with the actors.  I HATE the financial and technical end of the film.  I simply try to surround myself with specialists, so they can really do their thing and take those parts off of me.  Of course, the final decisions still fall to you, but at least you have good choices being presented.  All that aside, business is the worst part of show business. I truly HATE that part.

Nic – When you get a chance to sit down and just watch a film yourself, what are some of the movies you like to watch?

JimmyO – My favorite films.. and I have to rate that by number of times they spin in the DVD player would be: Herschell Gordon Lewis flicks, Blazing Saddles,  John Waters films, Snatch, The Universal Monster movies… I guess most of the films we love have some humor to them somewhere.  We also really like Dexter and FireFly… and we never miss the Venture Brothers.

Nic – JimmyO, you’ve made good use of the web to promote your work and now your next big venture is an online webisode series. How do you think the internet has changed the entertainment industry and where do you think it’s going?

JimmyO – The web has taken Hollywood and brought it to the public.  In other words, it’s not as exclusive a fraternity as it once was. We can create, promote, distribute and sell all by ourselves. Without someone in a tie changing our ideas, putting in his two cents and then taking most of the money.
 
Nic – There have been a lot of interesting trends in horror over the last few years including the influx of Asian horror as well as the idea of torture as horror with films like HOSTEL. What are your thoughts on these trends and where do you think the genre is heading?

JimmyO – The only trend I’m not fond of is the tit-milking remakes.  As for all the other stuff like torture, etc… If there’s an audience, which there seems to be
then someone is going to make it.  It’s Supply and Demand.  People stop watching, the trend will end.  Same deal with remakes.  They will not stop as long as we keep paying them to make em!
 
Nic – If you had the opportunity to make your "dream project" what would that be?

JimmyO – Simply the Chainsaw Sally franchise.  That’s my thing.  Tuff girls with weapons.  Been that way since I saw Faster Pussycat when I was WAAAAY too young. hahahahahaha! Nothing hotter than a big breasted beautiful bomb-shell, taking names and kicking ass.  God Bless Russ Meyers!

*   *   *