Interview with Hanelle Culpepper – Director of Within (W/Audio)

Posted by at 2:14 pm on July 30, 2010

You can venture into the realms of the unseen by tuning in this Saturday evening, July 31st, at 9 PM EDT/PDT to watch “Within on the Liftime Network.   A thriller like “Within” is not the type of film that Lifetime fans are used to seeing, but take a view of the trailer and you can see Lifetime is getting more edgy.

Within is a supernatural thriller set in an otherwise unsuspecting town, the story of Rachel, a young girl who realizes she can see evil spirits. Rachel becomes witness to the disturbing death of her mother and though she and her father retreat to small town USA for a fresh start, she is not able to escape the visions of that dreadful day.

In her new town, Rachel befriends classmate Michelle Lowe.   When Michelle’s penchant for schoolyard pranks turns from goodnatured fun to potentially deadly, Rachel suspects that her friend may be less than friendly. Rachel’s visions could be the key to stopping a series of violent attacks against the town’s children and unlocking the puzzle behind a decade-old disappearance.

Hanelle Culpepper on the Set of Within

Within’s director Hanelle M. Culpepper is an award-winning writer/director based in Los Angeles.   She is a graduate of Lake Forest College in suburban Chicago and earned a Master’s Degree at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication   She began her film career in 1997 when her first script earned her entry into Bill and Camille Cosby’s prestigious screenwriting program for African-American writers.

Her directorial debut was The Wedding Dress, a romantic comedy short about a carefree bachelor who finds a wedding dress in his girlfriend’s closet.   It premiered at the 2002  Pan American Film  Festival and has won awards at multiple festivals. She directed the short film “Six and the  City”  in 2003 and the documentary “How to Stand In Line for Star Wars” in 2005.    She  has also directed episodic television with a one-hour episode of Discovery Channel’s scripted crime anthology series Guilty or Innocent in 2005.

ToT chatted with Ms. Culpepper about Within, making the film, what went on behind the scenes, why it is showing on Lifetime, her feelings about horror movies, her feelings about being a director, working as an African America in the Hollywood system, and why it was really okay to work with kids.  Oh yes, you can find out if she is Mac or PC, Final Cut or Avid.

Click play to hear Hanelle Culpepper speaks with us about “Within” and next her next horror movie which will be in 3D.

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Run Time 16:07
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Within stars: Mia Ford, Sammi Hanratty, Lori Heuring, Sam Jaeger, Brent Sexton and Stacey Haiduk.   “Within” debuts on Lifetime on Saturday, July 31 at 9 PM.

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