Exclusive Interview With Lito Velasco

Exclusive Interview With Lito Velasco


1428 Films

Air date (US): April 6th 2011, 8pm ET

Running time: 120 minutes

Director: Daniel Farrands & Thommy Hutson

Cast: Wes Craven, Neve Campbell, Matthew Lillard, David Arquette, Jamie Kennedy, Rose McGowan


BIO Channel

Someone has taken their love of documentaries one step too far, and the ultimate look back is going to be murder!

After last year’s award-winning, critically-acclaimed Nightmare on Elm Street retrospective, Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, the team at 1428 Films are back with a new documentary, taking audiences behind the scenes of a suspense-thriller that changed the face of fear forever!

Scream: The Inside Story

Scream: The Inside Story reunites directors Daniel Farrands and Thommy Hutson with Lito Velasco (Associate Producer), Michael Benni Pierce (Editor), Andrew Kasch (Assistant Editor), and Buz “Danger” Wallick (Director of Photography) to explore everything that made Wes Craven’s postmodern shocker the definitive horror blockbuster of the 1990s.

The 2 hour documentary will air on April 6th on the BIO Channel and features rare archival materials and exclusive new interviews with cast and crew members including Wes Craven, Neve Campbell, Matthew Lillard, David Arquette, Jamie Kennedy and Rose McGowan.

Associate Producer and Music Supervisor, Lito Velasco, was happy to answer a few questions about Scream: The Inside Story, the franchise and of course, Scream 4.

STATIC MASS: How did the idea for Scream: The Inside Story first come about?

LITO: Well, after BIO aired our last venture, Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, Daniel Farrands- the director and producer of both films –reached an agreement with the network to produce another Inside Story. And given that Scream 4 was in production at the time, that franchise seemed like the next best logical choice. So, Dan and Thommy Hutson – writer and producer of both films – reassembled most of the 1428 Films team that created Elm Street Legacy and we got to work.

Scream: The Inside Story

STATIC MASS: The Elm Street Legacy was so incredibly in depth, going above and beyond what Nightmare fans expected for a documentary on their favourite horror franchise, so what can Scream fans and horror fans in general expect from Inside Story?

LITO: Those are very kind words, thank you. Honestly, fans can expect to see a film that gives the same in-depth, analytical, fun, entertaining, fast-moving approach to Scream.

Just to be clear: this film focuses on the first film in the series. Of course, we touch briefly on the sequels, including the highly anticipated Scream 4, but…only very briefly. Hopefully we’ll get the same kind of reception and response that we did on our last documentary!

STATIC MASS: What was the task like of assembling the cast and crew from the past films?

LITO: The task was daunting [laughs]. Seriously, it was sort of difficult because every one of the major players from the cast of the first film has gone on to such great success in the entertainment industry. Add to that fact that Scream 4 was in production at the same time that we were set to begin filming interviews, and you’ve got a tangled mess to deal with [laughs].

Scream: The Inside Story

STATIC MASS: Was there anyone who was hard to track down?

LITO: No one was necessarily tough to track down…but it was hard getting everyone scheduled for interviews given their busy schedules.

STATIC MASS: What kind of documentaries and documentary filmmakers have inspired or had an impact on you?

LITO: Most of the time, I enjoy docs that are socially or politically themed, a la Michael Moore. Did I just lose half of my audience [laughs]?

But really…I enjoy watching a highly regarded, acclaimed documentary as much as I do watching not well known or “low budget” ones. It doesn’t matter to me the budget, exposure, or crew behind the film: if it’s a subject I’m interested in, I’ll give it a watch. And obviously I can’t get enough of documentaries about all of my favourite films: The Shark Is Still Working, special features on any BluRay or DVD, The Psycho Legacy…it’s all good!

Scream: The Inside Story

STATIC MASS: What’s been the highlight so far during the making of Inside Story for you?

LITO: As clichéd and cheesy as this answer sounds: every single day of interviews was truly a highlight. I mean…we had people like Wes Craven, Rose McGowan, Lisa Beach, Marianne Maddalena, Marco Beltrami, Matthew Lillard, Jamie Kennedy, Patrick Lussier, and Eli Roth coming in to interview, just to name a few.

Not to mention the fact that we got to go to a hotel in Beverly Hills and interview Bob Weinstein. Bob Weinstein! Like I said…every day was a pleasure.

But the highlight was probably the few moments I got to spend talking to Wes Craven one-on-one. I’d spent time working with him during Elm Street Legacy, but I never spent any time talking alone with him. The few moments I was lucky to do so on Scream were probably the happiest moments on that soundstage for me.

STATIC MASS: As music supervisor, have you been working with Marco Beltrami to create a new score based on the original themes?

Scream: The Inside Story

LITO: Actually, no. On this documentary, I worked with an extremely talented composer named Sean Schafer Hennessy. Remember that name, because the guy is overflowing with skill and talent…and I’m convinced he’s destined for very big things.

Because of my years of musical training at some of the nation’s top arts institutions (I studied composition and performance at Interlochen Arts Academy High School, The Juilliard School, and Indiana University) and my lifelong addiction and devotion to the art of film scoring and the many legendary composers in the field, Dan and Thommy agreed that I should serve as music supervisor on the film.

Scream: The Inside Story

Following notes and direction from director Dan Farrands, Sean and I worked closely to try and craft a score that is both a tribute in some ways to Beltrami’s amazing score to the first film and the memorable themes he created, but also very much an original creation from the mind of Sean.

But I can’t take too much credit on that front: I merely provided advice, direction, and occasional specific musical suggestions. Sean did all the hard work…and his score is absolutely brilliant.

STATIC MASS: This is the second documentary now where you’ve worked with Wes Craven, what’s the most surprising thing about him as a person and filmmaker?

Scream: The Inside Story

LITO: At risk of sounding repetitive in regards to everything people have ever read or heard about him…the most surprising thing about Wes Craven is “his nature”.

As incredibly successful as he is, with all the twisted and horrific films he’s created over the years, given the fact that he’s regarded as a Master of his genre…the man is absolutely one of the nicest, most humble and generous, and gracious people you will ever meet.

When I spent a few minutes alone with him, he was so very polite, soft-spoken, and genuinely grateful for the kind words I spoke to him…and that completely blew me away.


To be frank, I’ve seen first-hand what I consider to be some absolutely appalling behaviour on the part of certain “big names” in the industry, so for someone of Wes’ stature to be as benevolent and kind as he was to me was truly refreshing and appreciated.

STATIC MASS: I’m sure you’ve already had a sneak peak at Scream 4 already, but without giving any details away, will fans be proud to call themselves “Screamers” when they finally see it?

LITO: Seen it already? I wish [laughs]! Working on a project like this has its perks…but that isn’t one of them! But, a few of us who worked on the documentary are eagerly anticipating the film, for sure: my wife and I have been counting down the days until the film’s release via a dry-erase board “Countdown to SCRE4M” on our refrigerator. And I know Thommy Hutson- writer and producer of the doc –is just as excited as we are!

Scream: The Inside Story

STATIC MASS: When and where can people get Inside Story?

LITO: Well, right now the film is scheduled to make its premiere on the BIO Channel on Wednesday, April 6th at 8pmEST/5pmPST. As far as International release…let’s just say something is “in the works”!

STATIC MASS: One of the remarkable things about The Elm Street Legacy was that it came with bonus disc that featured another 4 hours of material; will this also be the case for Inside Story?

LITO: A DVD release is something that’s not in our plans…for now. But, who knows what the future will bring. For all the latest news on the project and its various forms of release, along with exclusive behind-the-scenes and sneak peek pics, check out our Facebook page.

People can check out previews and exclusive content from the show via the BIO Channel website.

Scream: The Inside Story

STATIC MASS: Are there any plans yet for another groundbreaking franchise-focusing documentary?

LITO: After going from one project to the next without much of a break for the past year, right now my plans are for resting, sleeping, reading, catching up on sports and movies, and playing a lot of xBox360! (laughs) I don’t know about any more documentaries for now…but, again…I can’t predict the future. Being a huge fan of Harrison Ford and Indiana Jones, I’d absolutely love to do the definitive show on that franchise, but I think George Lucas pretty much does all of those sorts of things “in house”.

STATIC MASS: And finally, what’s your favourite scary movie?

Scream: The Inside Story

LITO: John Carpenter’s Halloween, for several reasons. First, despite its very minor flaws and gaffes, it really is a superbly crafted film. Second, having grown up in the Midwest suburbs, I easily related to the setting and thus the horror. Lastly, it imprinted on me at a very young age: my babysitter let my sister and I watch it. I’ll never forget seeing it for the first time and thinking, “Those kids and babysitter are in the Midwest in October…watching horror movies…the Bogeyman is right outside their door and they don’t even know it. Wait…that could be us!”

Again, I was young and couldn’t quite distinguish the line between reality and fiction. From that day on, I was hooked on horror for life. And if Psycho is the Grandfather of modern stalk-and-slash films, then Halloween is the Father, and how could I not absolutely and unconditionally love the seminal film that started the horror craze that inundated my childhood and teen years? But, I’m also a die-hard horror and genre aficionado, so I have a lot of “favourites”: A Nightmare on Elm Street, Phantasm, The Shining, etc. I could go on and on.

Scream: The Inside Story

Of course, Scream has a place on that list of favourites as well. The film really does mean a great deal to me personally. It was released in theatres during a somewhat difficult period in my life and I was thrilled by the fact that it was great escapist fare as well as that it featured a person I could so closely relate to in the character of Randy Meeks. In my life, I WAS that character: a cinema and horror “geek”, somewhat aloof, always the loner pining for the dream girl. So, this film that showcased a character that was so much like myself absolutely enchanted me.

Not to mention the film was the first in a long time to actually scare me. When my two cousins and I went to see the film on opening weekend, we were the only people in the theatre. When the Casey Becker scene ended, we all slowly and simultaneously looked behind us to make sure no one was sneaking up and we were still the only ones in the theatre. To a point: we were terrified.

Halloween 2010 - Perhaps Lito and his wife take their love of SCREAM too far?

That opening scene is so iconic and effective…whenever I think of Scream I think of that opening scene first and the indelible images from that sequence. And I think MOST people have the same almost instantaneous association when they see Ghostface.

In fact, last Halloween, when my wife and I were trying to come up with a good costume, we always go “all out” for the holiday, because I was working on this project, my beautiful wife, Jennifer asked, “Hey…why not Scream? It’s perfect: you can be Ghostface, and I’ll be Casey Becker!” And when we arrived at the Halloween party we attended, EVERYONE knew immediately who she was.

Of course, it helped that she was carrying a cordless phone and had fake intestines oozing out of her belly…[laughs]…but I honestly think that’s a scene that is forever burned into the minds of anyone who’s seen the film because of its raw brutality and emotional power and the sheer terror it instils in the viewer.

Scream is the only other film besides Halloween that has actually made me feel unsafe and insecure while watching it. And for a horror aficionado like me to write that, I think that really says something about a film and its power. So it was an absolute pleasure, honour, and thrill to be asked to play even a small part in what I consider to be the definitive tribute and love-letter to one of my favourite horror films of all-time.


About Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is a composer and music producer with a philosophy degree. Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and World Cinema, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.