You may have heard that PEELERS has won a few awards for its Special Effects (at least 8 and counting). Well, that wouldn’t have been possible without the savage skills of the uber-talented and self-taught (yeah, that’s right) Makeup and Special Effects Artist, Deb Graf. Born in Terrace, BC, Deb was raised on a farm where slaughtering pigs and chickens as well as hunting moose and bear were part of her upbringing. It served the future artist well as she got an intimate look at the inner workings of each animal. Something they just can’t teach at any Special Effects school and therefore served as a much more valuable education.
But before the thought of building squirting pee machines and severed entrails even entered Deb’s mind, she worked as a tattoo artist for 15 years. As a hobby, she started making costumes for attending theme parties such as Halloween, Tim Burton and the Circus and discovered she had a knack for it. But Deb’s interest in special effects makeup only started in 2008 when she saw her first Zombie Walk. It was love at first sight. Honing her craft, Deb never once set foot in a formal classroom to learn how to do her amazing special effects makeup creations. She simply worked at developing her skill, learning constantly from her biggest influences such as Clive Barker, Tom Savini and Greg Nicotero as well as studying hundreds of horror movies of course. Since then Deb has gone on to work on music videos as well as many award-winning short films and features. Rest assured that most of the “I can’t believe that just happened” moments in PEELERS are thanks in large part to Deb! IMDb LINK HERE
Though you only see the back of his head in the shot, Andrea Rosolia has one of the most memorable scenes in PEELERS. Ask him about it and he’ll be able to tell you in explicit detail the distinct smell that accompanied the scene in question while he was on his knees praying to the porcelain god (and still having a blast the whole time, or so he says). Born and raised in Catania, Sicily, this Italian heartthrob caught the acting bug when he moved to Vancouver in 2012. Acting wasn’t really on Andrea’s mind when he decided to check out the Western hemisphere, but a Vancouver Craigslist ad changed all that when he came across a notice from a background agent who was looking for new clients. Despite not even knowing what “background” work was, Andrea was intrigued and decided to apply. This led to being sponsored by a casting studio and eventually an audition for the part of Panuche in PEELERS.
As for working on PEELERS, Andrea compares the family atmosphere on set to his Italian roots. Between the close relationships he formed with the other actors to Mama Chef ensuring he was well fed, Andrea considers the entire filmmaking experience “the most fun project I’ve ever been in.” And that’s saying a lot, seeing as his face was accidentally stepped on by one of his fellow actors during an intense scene of filming. Face-footprint notwithstanding, Andrea left for England soon after PEELERS wrapped in order to further study his newfound craft. After a year of education in the performing arts, Andrea was able to procure another work visa for Canada and so he now resides in Vancouver, BC where he hopes to audition for more roles in film and television. IMDb LINK HERE
Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. Oh what a relief it is…while not the work of PEELERS’ master musician, Vince Mai has indeed composed music for other like-minded jingles and commercials over the past 20 years. It all started when Vince was just a kid, working on his scales and arpeggios on the piano, which led to playing trumpet in school. Unlike most teenagers, Vince kept up his trumpet playing, adding bass to the mix and played in various bands. On the side he started dabbling in a new hobby for fun that also revolved around music, which just so happened to be composing. As his new interest flourished, Vince discovered that he had a knack for underscoring drama with music.
Twenty years later and Vince’s honed talent can now be found (or heard, rather) in scores of feature films, TV shows and video games. And he never left that trumpet behind. In fact, Vince is a jazz trumpeter with numerous CD releases under his belt. A studio musician, his credits aren’t limited to his own solo artist recordings. He’s worked with many well-known artists, the latest one being Sarah McLaughlin for her most recent Christmas CD. Vince is also a film instructor at Douglas College where he teaches advanced film scoring. In between living and breathing music, Vince still finds the time to feed his passion as a touring musician. Many of his influences are collected throughout his travels around the globe and find their way into his music and his composing. PEELERS is Vince’s first horror film. IMDb LINK HERE
Known in the audition room as the “Latino Superman,” Rafael Mateo may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but his projectile vomiting abilities make up for it in spades (once you finally see PEELERS, you’ll get the reference). With his striking features and 6 foot 4 inch stature, Rafael is perfectly cast as Pablo, the leader and foreman of a mining crew that plays a special part in the film. His intimidating presence made him an easy pick for the role, which is also what led him into the entertainment industry.
Rather than seek out acting as a career, Rafael stumbled into it by being discovered. While at a bar one night watching a UFC fight, a man approached Rafael and asked him what he did for a living and if he was interested in acting. According to the approachable stranger, Rafael possessed a natural look for portraying either a prisoner or a drug dealer (and it’s becoming clearer why this guy was at the bar alone…). Although his real life character portrayal couldn’t have been further from this observation (Rafael is an avid yogi), he decided to take a chance and pursue the acting avenue as he had just finished writing a yoga memoir and figured the acting would serve as a great tool for learning how to promote himself and his work. As luck would have it, the man at the bar just so happened to be married to a Vancouver talent agent, who in turn became Rafael’s agent. Since being “picked up” at the bar, Rafael has appeared in several commercials, TV pilots and shows including Untold Stories of the ER as well as the reality series First Dates Canada. He’s also dabbled in print modeling and was cast as a very memorable Darth Vader in a Subway commercial. These days Rafael is living in Dubai where he teaches at a reform school/vocational training centre for young adults while studying Vedic Astrology and practicing yoga intensely. Like a good son, he’s fluent in Spanish and German (his mom is German) and unfortunately ladies, sadly, Rafael is married. And he’s loving married life. Oh well, I guess we can call that a happy ending. Unlike PEELERS… IMDb LINK HERE
As PEELERS makes the rounds on the festival circuit, we get to hear lots of great feedback from audience members; and one of the biggest compliments we receive has to do with the overall look of the film. Well, that has everything to do with the lady behind the lens, Lindsay George. Our multi-talented Director of Photography had a front row seat on all the action during PEELERS production, which is why Lindsay was often seen wearing garbage-bag attire (for “Splash Zone” protection). But all that blood and black ooze didn’t stop her from getting all the great shots she needed to make PEELERS stand out.
Lindsay is an award-winning cinematographer whose work focuses on fictional films, documentaries and music videos. After a career as a professional modern dancer, Lindsay completed a degree in film production at UBC and shortly after graduation, she received a Leo Award for her work on the short film, The Porcelain Man and began her career as a professional cinematographer. She has since been recognized as one of “10 to Watch in Canadian Film” by Playback Magazine, and has received the Kodak Image Award for her work in cinematography. Her films have been official selections at a multitude of film festivals, including TIFF, SXSW, VIFF, Whistler Film Festival, Fantasia, Telefilm’s Not Short on Talent at Cannes Court Mertage, and Austin Film Festival. Her Bravofactual funded short We Were Hunters, in which Lindsay acted as producer and cinematographer, will be released in 2017. Lindsay’s favorite movies are Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Raging Bull, and Biutiful. And most importantly, Lindsay loves chocolate so there better be lots on set! IMDb LINK HERE
Foul-mouthed and fiery, "Farmer John" is the Head Chef you don’t want to mess with. His role may be small, but his boisterous presence on screen is anything but. Played by the loveable and kind-hearted Jason Asuncion, Farmer John is a complete departure from the man who embodies the character. Despite being the most grateful and polite actor to ever audition for a role, Jason Asuncion nailed the part of Farmer John and booked the gig for PEELERS right then and there (though he’d find out later).
Born in the Philippines, Jason started his acting career in Manila, working on several TV Shows and commercials while running his event security company APS Bouncers, which is still one, if not the biggest, event security company in the country today. After migrating to Canada in late 2009, Jason continued his acting career while staying in touch with his bad-ass roots working as a bouncer throughout Vancouver, BC. The strongman was voted top five best doormen three years straight by the Vancouver Nightlife Awards as one of the head doormen of Vancouver's most popular sports bar, The Pint. Known as the actor who set a record (of sorts) for filming for 86 weeks straight on various film projects, Jason has rubbed acting elbows with some of Hollywood’s finest including Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), Alexa Davalos (The Man in the High Castle), Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver (The Assignment) and even a Baldwin Brother (the one from Backdraft)! IMDb LINK HERE
Kirsty plays the role of “Licorice” in the upcoming full length feature film PEELERS. As her name implies, she has a sweet tooth and loves to eat junk food. Perhaps an adverse affect of all the sugar she eats, she is super sweet and caring to those around her; her friends are her family. But enough about Licorice…you’ll learn more about her once you see PEELERS; so let’s find out a bit more about Kirsty Peters, the lady behind the licorice…
Born and raised in New Zealand, Kirsty has been acting since she was a wee little five year-old tot. Having worked in theatre most of her young life, she eventually ventured into film and hasn’t looked back. From TV commercials to music videos to cable shows, Kirsty has done it all. Not only is Kirsty a graduate of Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School, she is an avid traveler and has had success working as an actor in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the UK where she currently resides. Kirsty has also expanded her repertoire to include writing, directing and producing short horror films on top of her acting talents. And speaking of horror…it just so happens to be a passion of hers, and we’re not making it up when we mention that PEELERS was Kirsty’s favorite production to work on ever (her words, we swear)! IMDb LINK HERE