Despite a long resumé as a producer, director, and actor, Larry Fessenden isn’t exactly a household name, outside of diehard horror circles. Fessenden, however, always has the larger world in mind. His mostly low-budget movies all incorporate larger themes alongside the scares. Fessenden acts in and produces Like Me, in which a young woman named Kiya (Addison Timlin) causes a firestorm of controversy via line-crossing prank videos. It’s the first feature from writer/director Robert Mockler, and Fessenden took on the project via his company, Glass Eye Pix. We spoke with Fessenden about bringing new filmmakers under his wing, the role social media plays in our lives, and how this year’s Academy Awards is part of a changing perception of horror movies on a whole.
Given your history working with up-and-coming filmmakers, how did Like Me first cross your path?
Well, I’ve grown up with a lot of movies with first- and second-time filmmakers, and I have a producing partner named Jenn Wexler who became aware of the project. It was sort of looking for a way to get made, and that’s something that we like to try to do. We had a much bigger budget at first, and as time went on, it seemed harder and harder to raise the kind of money we thought we needed. It was more of a road movie at the time, but our motto is to do it at all costs, and so we dropped the budget and reduced the footprint of the story to more like the Rockaways, and we made it for a lower budget.
It was a great experience working with Rob Mockler and [producer] Jessalyn Abbott, they’ve been with the project for many years, and to finally put it on screen was a great triumph because so many movies can die in this process of trying to achieve a bigger budget. If you alter the vision, you can do it efficiently with a great crew, and that’s how we did it.