Before we get this Campfire going, A NOTE TO ALL FANS WHO BOUGHT THE SCREAM FACTORY "SLEEPAWAY CAMP BLU RAY/DVD COMBO". This combo pack comes with both a BLU RAY DISC and a DVD. It has come to our attention that the version of "JUDY" starring Karen Fields that appears on the BLU RAY was accidentally encoded incorrectly by the Blu Ray producers at Scream's Authoring Center. This causes the Blu Ray version of the movie to have artifacting and ghosting effects on movement. FORTUNATELY, the version of "JUDY" that is found on the DVD is the CORRECT Presentation with no artifacting or ghosting. So if you're in the mood to spend 15 minutes with JUDY 30 years later, please watch the DVD version. Thanks for your attention!
It all begins with a phone call from Director, Robert Hiltzik. After months of negotiations, he tells me "we're going with Scream Factory."
I was a bit surprised at first because we had been talking with Synapse Films and they wanted to do the disc. Don May Jr. has a great reputation for being the best in the business when it comes to restoring older films. I was greatly enticed by that. Their film restoration is top notch. Synapse had even sent over a contract for Robert and wanted to get going on the project. In typical attorney fashion, Robert sat on it for a while, mulling it over before getting a call from Scream Factory. Something transpired between Robert and Scream Factory and the decision was made. And of course, as many of you know, Scream is also a fantastic company when it comes to putting out Blu Ray's for horror fans.
Coinciding with Robert's negotiations with Scream Factory, Blu Ray Producer Justin Beahm invited me to be his guest at the Rock N Shock horror convention (October 2013) which is located in Worcester, MA, right in my neck of the woods. I went to the show and met up with Justin. After a couple minutes of conversation, I instantly recognized that he was as big a horror movie fan as I am. After discussions about legends like director John Carpenter and films like HALLOWEEN, we began talking about that movie that is somehow intertwined with my existenece: SLEEPAWAY CAMP. It turns out that Justin was going to produce some of the Bonus Features on the Scream Factory disc and he wanted me on board right away to start making things happen. I got hired to organize, arrange, and shoot 6 interviews for the new documentary during a weekend in February. And so it began...
February 2014, My wife Cheryl and I began my latest SLEEPAWAY journey by taking a long drive out to New Jersey to meet up with my good friend, Paul DeAngelo at his home. Paul would be the first interview that I recorded for the Blu Ray Documentary "AT THE WATERFRONT AFTER THE SOCIAL: THE LEGACY OF SLEEPAWAY CAMP" and Ronnie's Shack turned out to be full of Sleepaway Goodies from years past...
And a special treat for all you super campers, We go on a tour at Ronnie's Shack and see a bunch of AWESOME Memorabilia that Paul has saved from the set of the camp classic!
The next day was even busier as we were lined up to do 3 interviews back to back and then an interview with Robert Hiltzik at his office. It had been over 4 years since I had seen my friends Desiree "Aunt Martha" Gould and Frank "Gene-o" Saladino in person. We had spent a weekend together in 2009 at the Monster Mania Convention in Cherry Hill, NJ. It was quite a treat to see these great folks again, and we had such a great time with them as we shot the new interviews for the Blu Ray. Take a "trip" behind the scenes with Aunt Martha right here.
We've also got another fun video from behind the scenes as everyone gives a "shout out" to the loyal fans of SLEEPAWAY CAMP. And it was very heartfelt when Desiree and Frank also gave Cheryl and I a special nod for keeping the campfire lit with continued trips to NY and for arranging and doing the new interviews for the Blu Ray release. Oh that Aunt Martha is Such A Dear!!! Check her out below:
Unfortunately, our 3rd interview had to make a last minute cancellation due to a cold that had gotten worse than he expected. Frank Sorrentino, who played "Peter" in the movie was this 3rd guest. He is currently at work on the TV show "The Sorrentino's".
That evening we took a trip to Robert Hiltzik's office and shot a nice long interview with the creator/writer/director of this movie that never dies! No doubt, this was the longest interview Robert had ever given about Sleepaway Camp and he opened up more than ever to answer some questions about his mysterious cult film...
Early Sunday afternoon we took a trip to meet up with Joan Esposito. Joan is Felissa Rose's mom and she spent a great deal of time with Felissa and many of the other children working on the film. She refers to herself as "the den mother" of the movie. Joan is a lovely woman and she enjoyed discussing many fond memories she had with her "Sleepaway Camp" experiences.
It wasn't over yet! A couple weeks later I had to return to NY City to record a new audio commentary with Robert Hiltzik for the new release. I knew that this time I wanted to ask Robert some of the tougher questions and get some real cerebral insights for the fans! Just where exactly does a character like "Artie the Chef" come from? Was he someone from Robert's past? How did Robert feel about SLEEPAWAY unfairly being considered a "Friday The 13th knockoff" back in the day because of the camp setting? After all, Robert went to that camp as a child and that's where his ideas began to formulate...and this was long before 1980 when "Friday The 13th" came out. And who exactly was that man at the end wearing a plaster mask of Felissa Rose's face? I think I may have figured it out. Ha! Tune in to the new commentary for a trivia filled trip back to camp.
And last but NOT least, here's the New JUDY trailer for the Blu Ray/DVD release! and DON'T FORGET - Watch it on the DVD, not the Blu Ray (as the DVD is the correct properly encoded version of the movie)!
The new 2k transfer is the sharpest you've ever seen Sleepaway Camp. Lots of fun extras featuring the brand new documentary that I worked on which features interviews with Robert Hiltzik, Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, Ed French, Paul DeAngelo, Desiree Gould, Frank Trent Saladino, Jeff Hayes, and Joan Esposito (Felissa's mom).
Get your copy TODAY! If you dont have Blu Ray yet...you're in luck, because the combo pack also comes with a DVD version!!!