Kommerina DeYoung is a talented actress who brings a razor-sharp sense of comedy timing to her role as Creeporia in John Semper's The Crypt of Creeporia. In his entertaining online series, Semper combines live-action, puppetry and digital animation for a spooky spoof. To see the earlier episodes, go here.
Best known as the producer and story editor of the animated Spider-Man series, Semper did the English-language dialogue for Miyazaki's Laputa and Kiki's Delivery Service, and his writing for the Static Shock series brought him a 2004 Emmy nomination. His live-action credits include co-scripting the Kid 'n' Play comedy movie Class Act. His Walter Lantz documentary, Walter, Woody and the World of Animation (1982) recently resurfaced on disc one of The Woody Woodpecker and Friends: Classic Cartoon Collection (2007) DVD.
I asked him for some background on the creation of Creeporia, and he responded:
Creeporia is shot in the living room of my townhouse here in Toluca Lake. I shoot it, record the sound and light it. To shoot it, I use a cheap, $200 Canon DV home-video camera whose greatest attribute is that it allows me to record sound using an external microphone. Creeporia wears a small, black, clip-on, wired microphone. We run the wire down through her dress, and it comes out the bottom and runs to the camera. For our relatively few long shots, where we can't hide the wire, I use a shotgun mike instead.
On the days we shoot, it's usually just me and her - with a brief appearance in the morning by the pro makeup artist, Rachel, who gets Creeporia into the full regalia and then leaves. We did one day where we were joined by Hans (Eric Von Mayhem) who shot all of his scenes for both his episodes in about two hours. When the shooting is over, I edit the rough cut and later record my voices and do all the animation and post-production myself on my computer. I mostly try to keep it all fun, so if I'm not in the mood to work on the series, I don't. It takes a loooong time and I frequently burn-out, but eventually it gets done.
For me, this is the fulfillment of the dream I've been chasing ever since I was fooling around back in the old days with Super 8. Simply put, I want to create movies involving as few people as possible who can get in the way and muck up my creative vision. Now, thanks to all this digital technology, most of which isn't even all that "cutting edge," I can finally do it everything myself - from beginning to end.