The WOMEN OF DRACULA have Returned


(Sean having a conversation with himself.)

Where did the idea come from?

Strangely enough, one of my favorite YouTubers - Maven of the Eventide - did a video all about the character of Lucy from the book, Dracula. What really struck me was her insight that we never really got to see Lucy interacting with Dracula, or even what she was like as a vampire, except through the lens of the men who slew her. Maven also wondered what it would be like to see Lucy and Mina reconnect after the events of Dracula and see what they’d be like once all the boys were gone.

That idea captivated me. It rolled around in my head for a couple months. Then, the company I work for - THE THIRD FLOOR - accepted me into their Director’s Masterclass. In that class, I had to develop a story and shoot a short film from it. The whole “catching up to Lucy and Mina” idea stepped forward as the most interesting one to me, and nine months later, I handed in a rough cut for the class screening!

And then I slept for a week. :)

So this is a sequel to Dracula?

It is definitely a sequel to Dracula. I mean, it’s a sequel that takes place 125 years later, but we’re catching up to the same two ladies who suffered Dracula’s rampage across London. They’ve both been through a lot in the intervening century. Mina has lived alongside 6 generations of her own descendants. It was probably pretty weird for everyone involved, having great great great Grandma Mina at holiday dinners, still looking like she’s 23, and knowing that she spends her nights out hunting the undead. I mean, I guess every family’s got some secrets. But Mina took her career as a Vampire Slayer seriously, even after Van Helsing and the other guys died. Since then, she’s built up a nation-wide vampire hunter organization called Black Ambient.

Lucy, on the other hand, has been a vampire for 125 years. She’s become a master, and is awfully powerful once the sun goes down. Not only that, but spending over a century evading hunters has made her clever and dangerous. Also, she seems to have picked up samurai sword-fighting somewhere along the way. But being a direct fledgling of Dracula means that she has the blood of one of the greatest vampires in her veins. That makes her both a celebrity among the undead, as well as garnering her some enemies.

Wasn’t Lucy slain by Van Helsing in the book?

Why yes, she was! In the book, Lucy died from Dracula’s nightime visits, then rose again as a vampire. She commenced feeding on young boys around London, becoming something of an urban legend. Van Helsing and the other hunters, including Lucy’s fiancé, tracked her back to her tomb, drove a stake through her heart, cut off her head, filled her mouth with garlic, and sealed her back in her coffin. In Lucy X Mina, we discover how she managed to survive and rise again.

So Mina’s some kind of immortal Daywalker now?

Yes, she is. When Dracula was killed in the book, Mina’s transformation into a vampire was halted, and she reverted back to a normal human woman. In this short film, we discover that something about Dracula’s bite stopped her from aging. She doesn’t drink blood, she can go out in the daylight and has no special powers, but she’s lived for over 125 years, now.

What was the budget?

Believe it or not, we shot and posted the whole thing for about $5000. I mean, like any short film, if you calibrate for favors from your professional friends, it’s probably about a $20,000 project by equivalent. But really, the most expensive part was renting the coffin! And then the u-haul to bring it over to the set. And then another u-haul to take it back when the weekend was over.

How long was the shoot?

Four days total! It was three days of Principle photography, and then a day of re-shoots and inserts about a month later. Because you know…you get that rough cut together and are like “Well, that doesn’t work…!” So a day of reshoots was invaluable!

Where was it shot?

In Los Angeles, mostly in the office I work at. The Third Floor is a company that does visualization for big Hollywood movies and streaming shows, so we have a motion-capture stage that’s just a big empty room. When you turn all the lights off, it looks like a creepy industrial place where a vampire might choose to hide during the day. We also have a cool balcony overlooking the Miracle Mile, so better believe I was gonna put a scene out there! Otherwise, we did what every low budget project does…shoot stuff at a friend’s apartment!

Any stats for the techies?


We shot principle photography on a Canon 7D. For our big day with the full cast, we had two of them rolling at once. We shot pickups on a Black Magic. Some inserts were done on my iPhone.

Everything was edited in Final Cut Pro X. I use Avid and Premiere for my day job, but I’d always wanted to learn FCPX, so this was my excuse! (Love it, by the way.)

How did you find Gabriella and Megan to play Mina and Lucy?

I do a panel at Comic Con every year called Comic Con Film School. About 5 years ago, Megan and her husband took the class. She came up afterward and said, “Hey, I’m an actor. Do you need any more actors on your panel for tomorrow’s class?” And I said, “Do you have any horror stories about acting?” And she was like, “Oh yeah.” So I said, “Great. You’re up tomorrow!” So over those last several years I’ve seen a lot of the projects Megan has starred in, and was like, “This girl really has some skills. I need to put her in something.”

I met Gabriella when she married my good friend Jourdan, (who is a very talented film maker, himself.) Obviously, she was cool and fun to hang out with, but Jourdan started putting her in his own projects, and I was like, “Oh wait…this girl can really act. I need to put her in something.”

So believe it or not, I had planned to shoot something with Gabriella and Megan whenever I came up with something that seemed right. When the idea for Lucy X Mina slapped me in the face, I was like, “OMG, those two ladies are PERFECT for these characters!” And no surprise, they crushed it every minute of the shoot.