Before all the hullabaloo began about BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER moving to UPN, and the subsequent furor over the titular character’s apparent demise (yeah, right) the Internet was alight with discussion over Amber Benson’s new independent film, CHANCE. More to the point, fans were abuzz about the fact that she was funding it out of pocket, with a little help from her fans. Little Willow, who runs the Amber Benson fan site THE ESSENCE OF AMBER soon after began promoting the movie before it was even filmed which fed fan interest even further. Shortly after the film finished shooting, Ms. Benson spared a few minutes to talk to the Independent Review Site about it.
Victor Infante: I guess it’s best to get the Buffy stuff out of the way. Is it true you’re going to be a series regular on the show next season, with your name in the credits and everything? How do you feel about that?
Amber Benson: At this point, I’m still a recurring character in the Buffyverse, but someday I hope to ascend to the opening credits stratosphere. I just hope they’d use the kiss from the body in my opening stuff. Hehe.
VI: Tell me a little bit about CHANCE. What possessed you to write, direct, produce and star in your own independent movie?
AB: I am completely and utterly insane. That’s all I can come up with. Or at least I was when I decided to do all this. Yipes, I didn’t realize how much work was involved. I just have had this amazing love affair with the cinema since I was a little kid. I remember sitting in the air-conditioned darkness watching THE MAN WITH ONE RED SHOE The or ET or just anything I could get into the theater for. Movies always have and will hopefully always continue to rock my world. And the story for Chance really comes from my own sense of trying to figure out who I am and what I want to do in this life. It’s sort of a twenty-something girlie coming of age.
VI: Where did the fundraising idea come from? Has it gotten much support?
AB: My mother and my good friends Jen and Beth actually came up with the idea. And thank God they did ’cause we wouldn’t have been able to do this thing without the love and support of the Internet community. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such warm feeling from the Buffy fanbase. They’re SO amazing.
VI: Does it ever feel like you’ve taken on a bit too much?
AB: You know what? These last few weeks have been some of the happiest of my whole life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Even though the agony is tough, man, it’s all about the ecstasy of a dream fulfilled.
VI: What’s been the best part of taking on this project? How about the worst? Have you learned anything in the process?
AB: I’ve learned that you HAVE to trust your gut. It will always steer you to safe waters. The best part of the whole shoot was being surrounded by a huge group of people I love dearly who’s one goal was to make sure that I got out of this whole thing intact. I am so lucky to have such good friends. The worst part was lack of sleep.