Dracula’s Daughters vs. the Space Brains makes its premiere at CIFF

Last year, L.A.-based filmmaker and make-up artist Frank Ippolito came into town to hustle up recruits to attend the screening of his two shorts, Teller 1 and Teller 2, which showed at the Cleveland International Film Festival. This year, the Cleveland native is at is again, this time to promote Dracula’s Daughters vs. the Space Brains, a six-minute film that stars Neil Patrick Harris as a space-alien victim who has a run-in with a pair of vampire sisters (Aprella and Erica Taylor). “The title doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination,” says Ippolito, who just flew in this week to attend the film festival. “Just by the title, you know what you’re getting into.” Shot over three days, the film took two months prep time (once you see the special effects, you’ll understand why). Ippolito says he was first drawn to the world of make-up when he was 10 and saw a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video. He made a mask in his basement, and things snowballed from there. He made up actors at Geauga Lake's Halloween events for five seasons before moving to L.A. in 2000 to be a mold maker at a toy company. That company went under, but he landed a gig on the 2002 fantasy flick Reign of Fire, and that led to jobs on Scary Movie 2, Pirates of the Caribbean and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Casting Patrick Harris, whom he knew through the magician Teller (the subject of the Teller shorts) wasn’t difficult. “He likes quirky things,” Ippolito says of Patrick Harris. “Most of the stuff I see him do is a little weird so he thought it was cool. It wasn’t a struggle to get him to say yes.” You can see Dracula’s Daughters at 11:30 p.m. Friday, March 19 during the midnight shorts program at Tower City Cinemas. And Ippolitp will be on hand. “It’s always neat coming home and being able to wold premiere this at a hometown festival,” he says. “When we made it, the first thing I did was check to see what the deadlines were for Cleveland. We just finished it acouple of weeks ago.” Find more info about his films at ddvsb.com.

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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