Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of HorrorFuel.com. She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th.
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Earlier this year I visited the set of ‘Stan Against Evil’ where they were filming their second season. I had the pleasure of meeting Mick Ignis, a talented actor who plays many of the demons and witches on the hit show. Last night, I was able to catch up with Ignis about his roles in the supernatural series which premieres on November 1st.
Horror Fuel: “I absolutely loved the first season of ‘Stan Against Evil’. Can you tell us a little about your roles in season one?”
Ignis: “I’m so happy to hear that! ‘Stan Against Evil’ is an absolute blast to shoot and it was such a pleasure to drop in for the first two episodes last season. I got to introduce audiences to our first monster, a vindictive witch named Stella Stanas, who’s the first to take advantage of the town demon-hunters death by killing her husband Sheriff Stan Miller…fortunately the only thing she ends up killing is his reputation. From there, the battle against the 172 demons takes off as Stan and new Sheriff Evie are plagued with the Willards Mill curse. Stella was an exciting and fun character to play, especially as we found the meshing of horror and comedy that this show so excels at. And to then switch off every other day of shooting to play the hellish Baphomet beast for episode 2 really pushed me to develop and differentiate the characters. Every character I get to play on the show is a new game and a new monstrous persona to play with!”
Horror Fuel: “You looked amazing as Baphomet. How long did it take you to be transformed into the demon, makeup-wise?”
Ignis: “Baphomet and Stella both took about 3 hours in the makeup chair before I arrived on set, but that number kept going down as my amazing group of artists got more comfortable with each application. I’m truly lucky to have this makeup team (lead by Autonomous FX and my on-set artist Dave Snyder) to make me look that gruesome each day.”
Horror Fuel: “Will we get to see you in season 2 of ‘Stan Against Evil?”
Ignis: “You absolutely will! You can actually spot two of my new characters in the trailers for the upcoming season. Without spoiling anything, I both got to share a character with a brilliant guest starring cinema veteran (who my sister and I were huge fans of as kids) and bring back a familiar face for a massive, action-packed finale. I’m pretty happy with my kill count this round and there’s a particular death scene in the seasons closer that may be one of my favorites of my career!”
Mick and I also discussed his role in Stan Lee’s The Sandman, premiering on Syfy on October, 14th. The Sandman, co-starring Tobin Bell (the Saw franchise), Shaun Sipos (Texas Chainsaw 3D), Amanda Wyss (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Rick Ross (Aliens), and Haylie Duff (Napolean Dynamite), was written and directed by Peter Sullivan. Stan Lee serves as executive producer alongside Gill Champion, Barry Barnholtz (Leprechaun), and Jeffery Schenck (The Crooked Man).
In the film, “a clandestine government agency is closing in on the young girl, Claire and Madison will have to work together to find a way to stop the Sandman (Mick Ignis) before he claims his next victim. Factor in the sinister ‘Valentine’ (Tobin Bell) who leads a cadre of bureaucrats who do not mean well and soon, strange things start happening whenever Madison is around. Things move around by themselves. Cabinet doors open and close. Almost as if there’s some kind of supernatural entity in the house. It’s a journey you’ll have to fully experience to understand.”
Horror Fuel: “You have another project which is about to be released, a film titled ‘The Sandman’. The trailer is fantastic. Is there anything you can tell us about the film that the trailer doesn’t reveal (without giving spoilers of course)?”
Ignis: “I can tell you that the trailer is only the briefest glimpse of the evil the Sandman unleashes. When I first got ahold of the script, I had the biggest grin on my face as I read through all of these terrifying scenes that were planned. This is such a unique unfurling of a new horror creature and the action and suspense will hopefully keep viewers at the edge of their seats and follow them straight into their nightmares.”
Horror Fuel: It sounds great!
Horror Fuel: “How did the other actors react when they first saw you in full makeup? Did it freak anyone out? I mean, let’s be honest, you look pretty scary.”
Ignis: “As is usually the case with me on projects like these, I can’t help but lurk around set and try to scare unsuspecting crew members once I’m fully suited up. Seriously, don’t let me know you’re afraid of me or I’m TOTALLY gunning for you between shots. I got a great response from my castmates when they saw me fully done up, which made keeping the fear natural during shooting easy. As terrifying as I look on screen is about as terrifying as I looked on set. Funny enough, the one every was most concerned about being afraid of me the first time was our young actress Shae Smolik. When she DID catch her first glimpse of me as Sandman, she thought it was awesome and was beyond excited to summon me forth!”
Horror Fuel: “That sounds like a lot of fun actually. Shae sounds like a cool kid.”
Horror Fuel: “Who was the FX team behind ‘The Sandman’?”
Ignis: “I had the immense pleasure of working with my friends George Troester and Cig Neutron, who started a lab called TroTron FX after appearing on the show ‘Face Off’ together. The two of them, along with an incredible team of fx artists, created the custom fit suit and mask I wear throughout the film as well as orchestrating the grisly murders The Sandman commits. I love the filmmaking process, especially when I get to spend each day working with friends, and it’s been amazing watching what these guys pull together and how they continue to grow as artists.”
Horror Fuel: “I remember Cig from ‘Face Off’. They did an amazing job with your look.”
Horror Fuel: “I’ve seen you play several roles in heavy make-up and prosthetics. You have a very non-human stance in several of them. Does it take a toll on you physically?”
Ignis: “It definitely can. For all the characters I portray, I try to develop movement that’s well outside my normal everyday human range. I don’t want to physically give the impression that it’s just a normal person underneath all the makeup, so I try out different walks, poses, contortions, neutral positions, rate of motions, etc for the characters to go through. This can definitely be taxing on the body, especially when combined with the massive amount of time it sometimes takes for application and removal. These roles can also be very stunt heavy and I do ALL of my own stunt work. Stunts and fight choreography wasn’t something I was ever initially taught but, thankfully, over the years I’ve had some excellent teams that have put me through “trial by fires” and I’ve learned a great deal. Any pain is well worth it knowing how amazing the end result will be. As long as I can keep shooting the next day, I’ll take the hit.”
Horror Fuel: “Wow, that’s dedication!”
Horror Fuel: “How did you get in the mindset of being the Sandman? Did you do any special preparations?”
Ignis: “As with any character I play, human or monster, the more I know about them the better. Thankfully, our amazing director Peter Sullivan is also the writer of the film so he has extensive knowledge about who and what the Sandman is and what drives him forward. Very few horror creatures do what they do for the sake of being “evil” and, in the Sandman’s mind, he’s not the villain at all. He’s a protector of this young girl Madison whenever she feels threatened or afraid. Unfortunately, he’s a vicious dog without a leash and is uncontrollable once he arrives seeking vengeance.”
Horror Fuel: “I love characters that are more than just monsters. Don’t get me wrong, dumb monsters are great, but there is something about a character with a story and a drive.”
Horror Fuel: “What was your favorite part of the role?”
Ignis: “This character has room to breath on film, rather than being a quick flash pop-out scare, which was very refreshing to step in to. There was this energy to him that echoed Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees stalking their victims while offering something completely new to play with. Having these longer shots to stay in really helped me develop the characters personality further and create a terrifying atmospheric presence. This film was also one of the most action-heavy movies I’ve done and I had a great time working with the stunt team on some of these insane fight sequences.”
Horror Fuel: “I look forward to seeing you in action for a longer length of time.”
Horror Fuel: “Have you always wanted to play characters like the Sandman and Baphomet or did you have a different dream when you were young?
Ignis: “It’s been an interesting journey leading up to this path. My career in entertainment actually began as a stop-motion animator, working on Adult Swim shows like ‘Robot Chicken’ and ‘Moral Orel’. As an animator, I studied movement and motion a great deal, which later carried over into my acting work. While I love the animation world, it wasn’t the thing I saw myself doing for the rest of my life. So I went back to school and studied both makeup artistry and acting. While I didn’t specifically think of playing creatures when I began acting, my hope was to bring to life memorable and eccentric characters that would leave a huge impression on audiences. Being involved in the tightly knit fx community already, and having a good sense of physicality, it was inevitable that I’d find myself playing these otherworldly roles under heavy makeup and prosthetics. I could work in the horror, fantasy, and sci-fi genre my entire life but am always looking to challenge and push myself as an actor. My hope is to continue to bring a diverse array of human and creature characters to life.”
Horror Fuel: “I’m a fan of ‘Robot Chicken’. It’s great that you went and studied makeup and acting. You’re a very talented actor and you do “creepy” very well. I look forward to following your career.
Horror Fuel: “Will you be heading to any events or Conventions soon?”
Ignis: “I hope so! I usually hit several comic and horror conventions every year but, with all the projects that will be releasing this season, I’d love to expand the number of shows I do and make my way to areas of the country I’ve yet to spend time in. I love meeting with fans so, hopefully, I’ll find a way to guest at some conventions in the near future!”
Horror Fuel: “I will be keeping an eye out for you!”
Horror Fuel: “So, tell us, what is your favorite scary movie?”
Ignis: “I grew up with the classic Universal Monster films. ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’ is still one of my all-time favorite movies. But, if we’re talking about films that terrified me the most, I was traumatized by ‘Pet Sematary’ when I saw that as a small child, giving me my first recurring nightmares. I’m a huge fan of other classics like ‘The Thing’ and ‘Aliens’ as well as some more recent films like ‘The Conjuring’, ‘Lights Out’, and the recent ‘IT’. I also have a lot of love for the ‘SAW’ franchise, which made me all the more excited when I found out Tobin Bell signed on to play Valentine in ‘Sandman’. I try my best to keep up with whatever new terrors the horror genre is cooking up!”
Horror Fuel: “Great choices. As for ‘Pet Sematary’ traumatized a lot of us.”
Be sure to check out Mick Ignis in season one of ‘Stan Against Evil’, now on Hulu, and season two that premieres on November 1, 2017, and The Sandman premiering on October 14th.
Follow Ignis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for regular updates on his projects and more. You can also see Ignis in the films Shortwave and Harbinger Down, and Severus Snape and The Marauders.
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