Interview with Director/Writer of “Barry Baker: Aspiring Serial Killer” Tony Ahedo

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“Barry Baker: Aspiring Serial Killer” is a new comedy-horror series following our “hero,” Barry Baker, who desires to be a serial killer–but isn’t very good at it. Playing off of classic horror tropes, the ‘Barry Baker’ series finds itself riding the line of cringe-worthy and hilarious. The 24 minute pilot episode has been completed and an official selection screening at film festivals. Fresh off the release of episode 1, we got an opportunity to talk with the director and writer of the series, Tony Ahedo, about Barry, and what horror fans should expect from the series…

PH: How did you come up with the idea behind the series come from?

Tony: Well the idea stemmed from something like a buzzfeed quiz. I had an assignment for screenwriting class back in college and needed some funny log lines for potential stories Those quizzes online are always like “Find out if you are in the right career path… or What is your spirit animal?” So I thought, what if we had this guy, who was really gullible and depressed, get told he should be a serial killer from an online personality quiz, and he blindly followed it. He’s no way in form a serial killer, but if something is telling him to be, it’d be really funny to watch him try to do this horrific thing since he feels he has to do it. So the idea stirred and eventually evolved into him having this grand destiny and looking to make a change to his sad life. The quiz aspect changed to a fortune cookie, but it does still make an appearance in the first episode.

PH: Barry is far from your typical serial killer. What were some of the important characteristics that you wanted Barry to have to be the perfect non-serial killer type?

Tony: It was important to develop this guy that was in no way, shape, or form a threat. He needed to be gullible, superstitious, and have a sense of good in his heart. With any character, you have to have the audience sympathize with them, so that is the most important thing when making a character do these horrible things. Barry is a giant goofball, and that’s a lot of where the humor stems from. Barry being the person he is, trying to kill something.

PH: Whenever someone thinks of serial killers these days Dexter’s name seems to come up. Barry is far from being Dexter, but is Dexter’s character an inspiration for Barry’s character? Are there other characters or movies that came to mind when you put the series together?

Tony: Dexter is fantastic, and when you think of serial killer show, you think of that. I think Dexter was an inspiration for Barry in terms of, he is everything Barry wants to be. Dexter is a professional, Barry is an amateur. The biggest influence is Norman Bates from Psycho though. Norman was always such a fascinating character because of the split between him and his alter ego. In future episodes we explore Barry’s mental stability as he goes deeper down the rabbit hole, and without spoiling anything, we definitely will see a little Norman Bates in him.

PH: Peter Konowicz plays the role of Barry. What was it about him in casting that made you say, “that is my Barry Baker?”

Tony: Peter is a fantastic actor. I saw a short film “Sophie Hates Me” where he played a depressed man in a controlling relationship, and his facial expressions in that were hilarious. I’ve never seen someone look so miserable. So of course that was a definite fit for Barry at the start of the series. But Barry also needed that look of innocence to contrast his goals, which Peter has. That was the most important factor, to have a guy that doesn’t look like he could be a serial killer at all, so he doesn’t feel like an actual murderer. I think Peter has some impeccable comedic timing due to some of his theater training and it was also a deciding factor.

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PH: Barry isn’t the only interesting character, as he has someone unique characters around him. Talk a little about the characters around Barry like the pizza man, and how they will play a role in Barry’s journey.

Tony: Every character has a role to play in the BBASK saga. Giving each of them their own quirks and voices, was really important to me. I wanted to create this exaggerated world, and the characters were the first things I wanted to make exaggerated. Mark, the delivery driver, is Barry’s closest thing to a friend, since they see each other every other day. Then there is everyone he works with, who are the only people in Barry’s life. When Barry embarks on his journey, these people will be in his path, in the form of witnesses, victims, or accomplices. Having these unique characters lets me as a writer have fun when I put them in these different situations with Barry. These characters will get even more developed as the show goes on, and we still haven’t met the full roster. Some of the best characters are still to come.

PH: Why did you decide to do a series as opposed to a film?

Tony: For some reason the idea always spoke to me as a series. I’ve never done a series before, and traditionally stick to movies, so it was a first for me as a writer and director. The story of Barry Baker is longer than one movie. I like the idea of coming back for more seasons possibly also. We have an endgame, but it could always be reopened. TV series are the future now, and where cinema is going. You’ll hear someone talking about a TV show more often than a movie now.

PH: Has it been challenging balancing the comedy and horror aspects of the series?

Tony: At times it can be challenging. I like to think of the show as a comedy in a horror setting. It’s proved to be a little challenging later in the series when things get more serious with Barry. But never-less it hasn’t been too tough. When referencing horror movies and classics, sometimes I’ll look at a scene and say how could I make this funny? And usually it comes right that instant. I think horror and comedy go hand in hand, and thats why the show works. You’re laughing and then all of the sudden someone is getting stabbed to death.. So there is a mix for sure but we are for sure a comedy through in and through out.

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PH: You’re only one episode in, but what can you tell us about what’s to come, and when we should be expecting new episodes?

Tony: More blood, more comedy, and the best of all, more vomit. We’ve shot a lot of the first season already and it gets bigger and better. We’ve already breezed through the setup of all the characters in the first episode, and I think we really hit our stride with episode 2. Barry will explore tons of different aspects of being serial killer that we didn’t touch on in Episode 1. We’ll get to see a little more into the mind of Barry Baker, and meet some hilarious and terrifying people along the way.

PH: Besides this series, do you have any other projects in the works that you would like to mention?

Tony: Completing the full first season is still the nearest thing on the horizon. I’m writing a feature now, and also producing a short this January about a world where Tetherball is everything. So a couple of things in the works, but Barry Baker is my focus for now.

We would like to thank Tony for taking the time to answer our questions. We hope you learned a little more about the series. If you haven’t seen it yet, or are looking for more details, visit our promotion of the series at:

http://promotehorror.com/2016/10/26/barry-baker-aspiring-serial-killer/

And click HERE for our review of episode 1

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