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Clint Carney Discusses His New Horror Movie Dry Blood

December 21, 2019 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Dry Blood

The 411 Interview: Clint Carney


Clint Carney is an actor, writer, director, producer, musician, and fine artist based in Los Angeles. He has appeared in multiple short films that he also directed, including I’m Funnier with my Nose and The Nightmare Clock, performed all over the globe with his electro-industrial/futurepop band System Syn (they have released seven albums to date), and worked as a prop maker and artist in Hollywood for almost a decade. Carney’s first feature film as both writer and star is the new horror flick Dry Blood, directed by Kelton Jones and now available on DVD and Blu-ray (you can also watch it via Amazon Prime Video or on Tubi TV. You can also check out the movie’s website for more viewing options). In this interview, Carney talks with this writer about making Dry Blood, his career in Hollywood, and more.



Bryan Kristopowitz: Why did you want Dry Blood to be your feature film debut as an actor/writer?

Clint Carney: Dry Blood was the fifth script that I’d written, and just happened to be the one that we were able to raise the funds to make. The scripts that I had written prior to that were too big in scope to make a film that would hold up to the level of quality that director Kelton Jones and I wanted with the amount of money that we were able to raise at the time. Dry Blood was right in that sweet spot where the locations and cast were small enough that we were able to still produce something of quality for our modest budget.

BK: How did you get involved with Dry Blood director Kelton Jones?

CC: Kelton and I met in a screenwriting group. I had brought a punk rock crime drama to the group for review. He really enjoyed that script, and he expressed an interest in making a film with me. After a year of trying to get that project off the ground, we still hadn’t been able to get it fully funded. I showed Kelton the script for Dry Blood, and luckily he loved it. Once we switched focus to that, things came together a lot faster and we were in pre-preproduction soon thereafter. I’m still trying to get that punk film rolling though, as it’s one of my favorite scripts that I’ve written.

BK: Did you always intend to star in Dry Blood or did it just sort of work out that way?

CC: I had no intention of starring in it. We were looking at other actors initially, and then Kelton suggested that I try jumping into the role, since I was so familiar with the character, having written the script. I was pretty reluctant at first, but ultimately he talked me into it. So, for revenge, I talked him into playing the cop in the film. I think he did a brilliant job in that role.

BK: How did you approach your character Brian Barnes?

CC: I had already done all the research for the character in the writing process, so after I was cast in the role, I already had a firm grasp on who Brian was. Kelton, Jaymie Valentine (who plays Anna), and I worked through the key moments in rehearsal, and then we just dove in and did it. I found it very easy to slip into the character’s headspace – which was a pretty dark place to be. Luckily, I was able to snap right out of it when the camera stopped rolling. I was only able to sleep about three to four hours each night while we were filming, so the sleep deprivation helped with Brian’s mania, too.

BK: Where was Dry Blood filmed?

CC: Most of the film was shot in Running Springs and Green Valley Lake, California. The only exceptions were the opening and closing scenes which were shot in North Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. The main cabin location is actually my brother Travis’s house. He was kind enough to let us take it over for a few weeks, and he was extremely cool about us getting blood everywhere. There are still a few stains left over today.

BK: How long did it take to make Dry Blood, from completing the script to finishing post-production?

CC: I started outlining the story in October of 2014, and was tweaking the script right up till July of 2015 when we started filming. We wrapped that up by June, and then spent close to nine months on post-production. Although it’s invisible in the film, there are visual effects on just about every shot. I had to do a lot of things like removing cars from the background to make the town feel more isolated, and so forth, hence the lengthy post process. Then we took the film out to many festivals and it was finally released by Dread and Epic Pictures in January of 2019.

BK: What was the hardest part of making Dry Blood for you? The easiest?

CC: The hardest part was definitely getting the money together for the film. We basically had to ask everyone we knew for money, which can be a little embarrassing. Luckily, we had some very kind and generous friends and family members who believed in us and chipped in to make it all happen. And then through the whole post process, I pretty much had to run up my credit card debt while I finished it. The easiest part was the actual filming, because we made this movie with our friends and families. So every day on set, though not without challenges, was still a really fun time.

BK: You’ve directed a number of short films. Is directing a full length feature film something you want to do in the future?

CC: Definitely. With the experience I gained producing Dry Blood, and the directing experience I have making shorts and music videos, I feel more than ready to tackle my feature length directorial debut, which I hope to happen in 2020.

BK: What’s the difference between making a short film and making a feature film like Dry Blood?

CC: A feature is a bigger commitment of time and resources. Not just for you, but for many of the other people involved in the process. So, you have to find the right people that believe in what you’re doing, and you have to have the determination to see it through to the end, no matter what obstacles might come. Then, once the film is completed, you have an obligation to your investors and fellow filmmakers to find the best possible means of distribution so that the film can succeed.

BK: You’re involved in various artistic endeavors (music, fine art, movies). How do you balance yourself creatively? Do you find yourself working on multiple things at the same time or do you sort of tend to focus on one discipline at a time?

CC: It’s often hard to find the balance, because I always want to work on everything at once. But, in order to actually complete something, I have to focus on one task. The key for me has been setting my own deadlines and not letting myself miss them, no matter what. Because there’s so much I want to do, and, really, so little time, I have to make hard choices about how I spend my days in order to meet those goals.

BK: How did you get involved in prop making?

CC: I met my friend Skip Crank through a great dark art gallery in Burbank called Hyaena Gallery. Skip and I were both showing our art there, and we hit it off right away. Skip works in props in the industry, and when he needed some artwork for the background of Wes Craven’s Scream 4, he called upon me and several of the other Hyaena artists to contribute. After that, he pulled me into a Cameron Crowe film called We Bought a Zoo. I was initially just creating art for the film, but ended up doing a lot more prop work, and found that I really enjoyed it. I met a lot of other great people on that film, and as they all moved on to their next projects, they were kind enough to hire me, and things just snowballed from there. Before I knew it, making props and art for movies became a full time thing.

BK: What’s the coolest prop you’ve ever made for a movie or TV show?

CC: It’s hard to pick a favorite. One film that I really enjoyed working on was David Fincher’s Gone Girl. In the movie, Ben Affleck’s character gets some antique wooden rod puppets as an anniversary gift, which end up playing a pivotal role in the story. So, I got to make those puppets. I hand carved them out of wood, and made all the mechanisms to get them to work. My sister Carleen made the costumes for them, so it was really nice to get to work with her on that. Another memorable screen creation that I made was a little spider-like creature called Mr. Ball Legs, for the second season of the Netflix show, Santa Clarita Diet. What you see on screen is actually a digital creature but it’s based on my design and original sculpture.

BK: You’ve worked on a number of big budget movies, like Star Trek Into Darkness, and smaller budget movies like Art of the Dead. What’s the difference between making props for a big budget movie and making them for a smaller movie? What’s it like making props for a TV show?

CC: Every project is different. With the bigger budget films, you often have more time and money to work with, but you rarely get to work directly with the director. With a lower budget film, most of the time the directors get personally involved with my process, so it’s nice to get feedback without it being filtered through several layers of people. Honestly though, it’s all fun, no matter the size of the film or TV show.

BK: Any artistic heroes (movies, music, art)?

CC: I have many artistic heroes; way too many to make a comprehensive list. It takes a lot to put yourself out there to be judged by the public at large, and I have a lot of respect for those who are willing to approach their art with honesty and total commitment.

BK: Any upcoming projects you can tell us about?

CC: There will be a new album for my band System Syn out in 2020. And I’m currently finishing up the script for what I hope will be my feature length directorial debut. I can’t give any details on that just yet though, but I think that fans of Dry Blood will dig it.

BK: What do you hope audiences get out of Dry Blood?

CC: I hope they are entertained for an hour and a half, and I hope that the story sticks with them long after. There is a lot to unravel in that film, so I’m always happy to hear when people take the time to really analyze it and try to find the truth in the story.

BK: Is Dry Blood 2 a possibility?

CC: I wrote an outline for a follow-up film shortly after we finished Dry Blood. It’s even crazier than the first one. Honestly though, I doubt that it will get made. I think Dry Blood might work best as a stand-alone film, but, we’ll see if there is a demand for it over time. The film is out there now, so it’s up to the support of the film-buying audience to decide whether or not they want more.

BK: Do you still have those paintings you made for Art of the Dead? Has anyone asked you if they could buy one?

CC: I do still have all the originals of the Seven Deadly Sins paintings from Art of the Dead. I’ve had some interest in various ones, but I don’t want to break up the set, so it’s pretty much all of them or none of them… and they aren’t cheap (ha ha). I did recently auction off a screen-used print of the Lion painting at the Shockfest Film Festival in Vegas. The proceeds from the auction went to the ASPCA. There is also a lot more of my artwork in the background and credit sequence of that film and several of those pieces are currently still available.



A very special thanks to Clint Carney for agreeing to participate in this interview and to david j. moore for setting it up.

Check out Dry Blood on DVD and Blu-ray, or watch it via Amazon Prime Video or on Tubi TV. You can also check out the movie’s website for more viewing options.

Check out the Dry Blood Facebook page here

Check out Clint Carney’s official website here, and his imdb page here.

Check out my review of Dry Blood here.

All images courtesy of Clint Carney.