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Tony E. Valenzuela is the creator of BlackBoxTV, the #1 most-subscribed and watched sci-fi/horror channel on YouTube, including “BlackBoxTV Presents,” an anthology series (in the vein of the “Twilight Zone”) being the longest-running scripted drama online. In 2012, Tony partnered with Anthony E. Zuiker (creator of C.S.I.) for two BlackBoxTV series, “Silverwood” and “AZP.” Tony recently completed his first feature, “Villisca”(which we’ll discuss below), and the wildly successful YouTube zombie survival game “Fight of the Living Dead.” He has collaborated with Jon Turtletaub, CBS, Fox Studios and Guillermo del Toro amongst others. His scripted adventure series, “The Fourth Door”, recently debuted on Verizon’s Go90 streaming platform and was produced by Ron Howard & Brian Grazer‘s New Form Digital. Let’s talk with Tony E. Valenzuela.
The film itself is loosely based on a night I spent at the Villisca Axe Murder House (with Joey Anderton and Jessica Lee Rose) in December of 2010. That night provided the true inspiration for Axe Murders of Villisca. You can watch a mini-doc (or below) from that night on BlackBoxTV. In 2012, producer Cindy Cowan suggested I make a movie about my overnight stay at the house I disagreed as I was still trying to process what had happened to me in Villisca. I felt unsure that there was a story I wanted to tell. In the fall of 2012, producer Michael Wormser introduced me to Kevin Abrams who suggested that I reach back into my past and look for narrative inspiration. It was this process that created Jess (a small nod to Jessica Lee Rose) Caleb and Denny, a mash up of my friends from high school. Telling their fictional story made the going easier. After that, things began to narratively fall in place. When Jarrett Sleeper, the actor who plays Denny told me that I was the true inspiration for his character, I couldn’t disagree, the truth always finds it’s way to the surface.
As far as how the murders are reenacted in the film (from Lena letting in Kelly, to Mrs. Moore appearing “stuck” in her bed) after researching the Villisca axe murders from 2010-2013 I believe the film to be my best guess at what truly happened that night.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today.