The synopsis is simple: Gavin, a filmmaker, finds an abandoned student film project that involved two students who are searching for an urban legend known as Peeping Tom. Gavin wants to prove the film is real while he’s being followed by his own film crew. Butterfly Kisses stars Rachel Armiger, Gavin York, and Reed DeLisle. Erik Kristopher Myers directed from his own screenplay and also co-stars.
If you’re worried that Butterly Kisses is just another Blair Witch ripoff, you’re in for a pleasant surprise! I recently had the opportunity to chat with star Rachel Armiger about the film. Armiger stars as Sophia, one of the student filmmakers. Read on for the interesting interview, but be warned: spoilers ahead!
“If you’re worried that Butterly Kisses is just another Blair Witch ripoff, you’re in for a pleasant surprise!”
Rachel Armiger: Solid question! And funny because I think sometimes, when people may see that the film fits into the “found footage” subgenre, they sort of roll their eyes like oh we’ve seen that, next! But Erik the writer/director really did a great job in putting a fresh spin on the genre. It’s interesting, when I first auditioned and even went to the first day of filming, really didn’t know what exactly I was getting into. It may seem crazy, but Erik kept the audition process vague and improvisational, (we had to look for the “Big Foot of Baltimore”!) and it wasn’t until we got to the first day of filming that he let on more about the film. More interesting is the first day of filming initially was just a meeting to offer the roles, but surprise! We jumped right in. And while we (the other actor, Reed DeLisle and myself) opted to go method and not read the entire script, Erik explained enough about the project that I thought it was a fresh take on the genre.
RA: The legend is super creepy, isn’t it?! Feel like the creepiest part was when we went to the tunnel at night- let’s just say I didn’t venture far from the rest of the cast and crew when we were there! There wasn’t anything insanely creepy that occurred, but during the scene where Sophia and Feldman take the staring contest champion, Miles, to stare down the tunnel to conjure Peeping Tom, you almost wondered if he would appear! Glad he didn’t!
RA: Interesting- Never really considered the film from a political standpoint but socially, in a world where someone can put something on the internet, get thousands or millions of views, and some people just buy into it, I think the film is incredibly relevant. I feel it’s important to question what we see and hear, and that’s what’s fun about the film- while some characters buy into the found footage there’s others that are asking the questions and aren’t so quick to believe what they see. That’s what I think is real- you get people from all over the spectrum. It’s really up to the audience to determine what is real and what’s not for themselves.
“I feel it’s important to question what we see and hear, and that’s what’s fun about the film…”
RA: What was interesting was the way that Reed (the actor playing Feldman) and I chose to tackle the film, with Erik’s guidance as director. Like I mentioned before we chose to go “method” with the roles, and never read a completed script. Thinking back that’s kind of crazy not knowing what we were getting into; we knew the overall picture but not all the fine details of the story like when and how. Erik would email us a couple days before filming with the script pages and some questions like how we felt our characters would react, etc. For the more intense, emotional scenes, I would just take a step away from the hustle and bustle of set and just retreat within myself, thinking about what was at stake for my character, Sophia, and sort of let my mind wander to the darker places. Fun times!
RA: I sure hope so, since this was such a fun project, but who knows what Erik has up his sleeve, he likes to keep us all on the edge of our seats!!
“[Director Erik Kristopher] would email us a couple days before filming with the script pages and some questions like how we felt our characters would react”