It is pleasure and honor to introduce Pulp Metal Magazine readers to a true inspiration child of the imagination. She is a producer, scriptwriter, and actress, but most of all she is a storyteller. Ladies and gentlemen, vixens and wolves, meet Yelena Sabel.
Her short film P—Word Pizza was recently formally selected and showcased at the international Film Festival in Manhattan New York, and she is busy filming her first movie Sex, Blood and Fairy Tales.
You can discover more at http://sexbloodandfairytales.com/
JM: Hey Yelena, thanks for joining me on behalf of Pulp Metal Magazine today. Let’s start light before we dive deep. What is the source of your super hero powers while writing? Whiskey & coke? Café latte mochochino ala crème with triple shots?
YS:My beverage depends on what I’m writing. Yesterday while writing I was drinking hot cocoa with milk and eating pancakes that swam in maple syrup, I was writing a heartbreaking monologue and I needed to chase it with comfort food. Then the next scene was a nasty fight so I really need a shot of whiskey! And then the Sun rose, I had a double-shot of espresso to get myself together and went to bed. Yup, I can sleep after drinking espresso!
Food and drink spice up my emotions. Sometimes I don’t eat on purpose, my blood sugar drops and I have headaches and feel I’m going to faint. That is when I have an inspiration for my specialty scenes!
JM: The Lady or the Tiger. Which is behind the door?
YS: I think the writer is trying to make us feel like it’s a paradox but there is none, just my impression and I read it twice. For God’s sake woman doesn’t make sense when she’s jealous, she doesn’t follow logic. We might think even though she was jealous, why would she still want the person she loved to die? Her persona was described clearly: she was controlling and she went against her own father who was the King! What does it tell us? Just because she was capable of loving him BEFORE doesn’t mean her heart would melt and her agonizing jealousy disappear when she has to give him a sign for the “good door”! Maybe if it was you or me, we would save the guy, but don’t overlook her upbringing . Why was she even there? The author in too many words hinted that had she not been a semi-barbarian daughter of a fucked-up King, she wouldn’t even be there! Apple from the tree. It is very important what your upbringing is, you cannot overlook that fact. Your personality can differ from your parents’ but one day in the right moment it’ll comes out. It’s in your BLOOD. It would be extremely hard witnessing your lover to be devoured by the tiger, but it will…pass. It will be a horrible picture but it will only take a few minutes before he dies and then the bloody mess will be cleaned up. But it would be much harder to witness her lover being married with another beautiful woman and… live happily ever after?? So where is the question? Is the question who came out of that door? Please, it is clear as sunny day. THE TIGER. And I, yes, I understand that the writer wants us to break our heads deciding on this paradox but there is NO paradox. It is clear as a sunny day.
I like psychology, there are many studies and tests on human behavior patterns and how decisions are made and based on what. A person like her has no business of saving him. Of course, we always have to have Faith in people. We have to. But most of the time it is the tiger, the fucking tiger who comes out of that door, darling. Poor dude, I’m in tears!
JM: So, you’d feed him to the tiger. Kay.
***Interviewer’s note: Fair warning to all future potential romantic interests: Rawr***
Which leads me to my next question. So, you say Frank Stockton hints to throw us off track, but the pattern of humanity (oh, the semi barbaric spirits!) definitely gives the story a clear answer. On your website, you say “What drives us and do we really know ourselves until we’re forced into the circumstance?” I love this. And the psychology you just described in the previous question shows us that this is true. What drives you, Yelena? Is there a particular circumstance that you felt forced into that you felt you had to introspect and rethink, reset your life path? And also, do you feel the story of Sex, Blood & Fairy Tales reflects this?
(YS: Jodi, when u put this interview together pls don’t make me look like a serial killa please, I still plan to date someone some day again!!! LMAO !!!!! P.S. ( you can post this too for humorous purposes Hahahahaha )
(JM: This “plan on dating someone someday unserial killa” knows how to aim, shoot and fire. Just sayin. )
YS: What drives me.
I watched countless movies and only few left an epic mark in my heart. I remember how I felt watching those movies. I was in love with the visuals and my mind was so intensely focused on devouring those that I wasn’t able to follow the story. That made me come back to watch it again, and this time for the sake of the story. The story was so intense it made me come back to watch the movie again and this time to absorb it as a whole. Each time I was back it opened up new things to explore that I haven’t seen there before. This feeling reminds me of Love, when you want to come back to the same person and each time you the experience will be different. Watching those films I was experiencing a rainbow of the most intense emotions and movies that carried subliminal messages and had such a powerful effect on me, it helped me to change into a better person. My biggest dream is to create something as intense and powerful to not just entertain people but rather take them on a journey they will never forget and will always want to come back to!
JM: Is there a particular circumstance that you felt forced into that you felt you had to introspect and rethink, reset your life path?
Yes, there was. Growing up I watched my parents being in love and overcoming obstacles life was throwing on them, together. They were best friends, had same interests, same jobs and they were unbreakable, and I always wanted to get married to have the same thing. But that was a “Fairy Tale”. Love like that happens to you only if you’re blessed. I got married when I was 17 years old to a very abusive man who was an alcoholic and beat a crap out of me when I was pregnant on a third semester. Since that age I’ve always had a chain of unfortunate events happening to me that never allowed me to pursue my dream. So now I’m focused on my purpose in life which I believe that it is to change people’s lives through my vision. And because I’m in my 30’s now this makes me even hungrier and work harder to make my dreams come true, so I take no prisoners and I have no time for failures.
JM: And also, do you feel the story of Sex, Blood & Fairy Tales reflects this?
The story of “Sex, Blood and Fairy tales” reflects A LOT of things and many of them are based on true events but I’m not ready to go into them just yet…Some day we will come back to this question and I will be happy to answer them for you…J
JM: What can I say to that kind of passion and honesty? Wow. And of course, we respect your boundaries. I love your “I take no prisoners and have no time for failures”. If we could each bring that attitude to our work, we’d all be well… a kick ass Yelena Sabel. Can you share which “epic” movies that you mention above that have made such an impression on you?
YS:These are a few movies that left EPIC impression on me:
1. Santa Sangre
2. Pulp Fiction
4. Amores Perros
5. 4 Minutes
7. Y Tu Mama Tambien
8. Tokyo Sonata
9. Slumdog Millionaire
10. Requiem for a Dream
JM: In your world, would you say the storyteller, the actress, and the producer wear the same shoes, or do you view the art differently from each role? Which are you first: storyteller, producer, or actress?
YS:I’m always a storyteller. When I act – I tell the story, I don’t even need lines – I tell it through my eyes and body. You don’t have to say much to tell the story, you ARE the story if you know how to tell it, and I know how to take you on a journey.
When I produce, I meet many different people who want to be intrigued and impressed, NOT interested. This industry is so jaded that no one is ‘interested’ in ‘interesting’ anymore, people want BANGING effect for their money, and they treat ‘interesting’ as ‘boring as hell’. They want to be shocked; they want their jaws to be dropped for their money.
Nobody, once again, give a shit about ‘interesting’, we have plenty of that in the world already.
So yeah, I am a Storyteller first and foremost.
JM: I am endlessly fascinated by how a scriptwriter or a producer sees a story and then brings that vision from their mind through the actors’ minds to the audience . The writer’s vision must be so strong that the actors are able to capture the very juice and steel of the story. It must be like bringing a dream to life. How do you as a writer and producer make that happen?
YS:It starts with the writer’s vision, and it stops there if you don’t have a great casting director who gets that vision and will cast you right actors who will bring that vision to life. You also need a director who understands that same vision as well, cause if one of them is on a different page and they’re still in the game – your movie is DEAD.
Since I’ve been doing my own producing, casting, directing, and writing I had no one to blame but myself if something goes wrong, but so far I’ve been happy how my vision were interpreted by my actors. Sometimes (and I love when it happens) when an actor delivers much more then he’s asked, when he feels like the character was written for him and he spices it up with his own persona so beautifully, I go ahead and adjust the scene to fit his full potential. It is VERY important that the material is written in a way that actor understands it and feels it.
If the script is shitty, if scenes don’t make sense, actors will realize it. They are not stupid, and if they are serious about their career they will not want to be a part of it.
JM: How do you feel when you see your own story on film such “Sex, Blood and Fairytales” or your recent short “P-Word Pizza?” Do you feel differently about a movie you star in verses a movie you wrote and produced? Which is more exciting/fulfilling?
YS:“…My own story”… Jodi, you’re giving away all my secrets! I wrote and produced both movies but of course, “Sex, Blood and Fairy Tales” is different. “P-Word Pizza” was a warm-up, and now that it’s completed, I’m ready to dive into the ocean of fantasy, action and animation of “Sex, Blood and Fairy Tales”(yes, some parts of the movie will be animated). It is also very fulfilling because I’m a self-taught filmmaker. I went to school for acting and scriptwriting, but cinematography, directing and editing I taught myself. In filmmaking schools they teach you a technical stuff, but they do not teach you the vision and the taste. The only way you’re actually going to learn how to make a movie is to MAKE a movie. You’re going to make mistakes and people are going to tell you that you suck, but never let that stop you from what you’re doing, keep on moving forward and keep on learning. If you have a half a brain and a good taste, you’ll realize what and when you’re doing it wrong or if it looks like shit and will learn how to fix it, otherwise you will generously give a world another piece of shit movie, and that is what I’m afraid of more than I’m afraid of death, and that is what I’m not going to let happen. I always wanted to go to school but I didn’t have the money, and today I’m actually happy I didn’t, because it wouldn’t do me any good as I’ve never done well in class, but surprisingly so I’ve always done great on tests in exams so go figure.
JM: How soon can we expect to see “Sex, Blood and Fairy Tales” released? What do you have lined up for your next project?
YS: I will give “Sex, Blood and Fairy Tales” a year to complete everything. I already started marketing the film, as it’s the best strategy to start doing the marketing before you even begin filming. The way the story goes, the way the characters are, the way they look – this film will serve a large range of audience, a huge one. I know what people like and I’m going to give it to them. In fact, I constantly research on various topics to keep myself up-to-date on what’s hot and what’s not, so there is no way this movie will not knock people off their feet.
You asked me when it’ll be released. This will depend on the distribution deal I get, I know I have big ambitions but I also know how good this project is going to be and I’m going to do the best I can to distribute it into good hands.
For my next project I have 3 feature films written by me lined up.
But when I get to that point I might want to have a partner, a co-producer. I want someone in the game with me, I’m just a tiny fragile woman for God’s sake, I don’t want to do it all alone anymore all the time.
JM:I’m sure there are more than a few authors and readers at PMM wondering if are you looking or keeping an eye out for short stories to turn into feature films?
YS: Why not? I love short stories! But first things first – I have to complete my “Sex, Blood and Fairy Tales”, but while I’m at it I’ll be looking out for a great read, please keep me posted on what’s hot at PMM! If I come across something juicy and scandalous, hey you never know!!
JM: Wonderful. Thank you for sharing your heart and time with Pulp Metal Magazine, Yelena.
Blood, Sex & Fairy Tales – A Synopsis
What would you do if you had to choose between ten years in prison and selling your soul to the Devil?
Vera lives a sheltered life in Russia and her biggest desire is to become a housewife and have children. Her dreams get interrupted when on Engagement night her fiance confesses that he has been unfaithful to her.
Vera gets upset and…he dies.
Luckily or unfortunately her brother happens to be a homicide lawyer who offers her a way to escape conviction. He introduces Vera to a rich Russian businessman Michael whose beautiful wife Nadia is 30 years younger than him. Nadia has two major passions in life: shopping and reading Fairy Tales.
And once upon a time, during her reading journey, Nadia finds out that a certain Mythical Treasure which was portrayed in one of the Fairy Tales actually exists and is located in the United States.The location of Nadia’s special request happens to be a money laundering entertainment joint that has a variety of Girls and Drugs for sale for high-end clientele and is run by the Yakuza Mafia, where Vera would have to go in return to ecsape 10 years of prison.
* Jodi’s blog is here- http://www.jodimacarthur.blogspot.com/