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Trunktober: Goosebumps 2

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This October we’re focused on one thing and one thing only… watching as much horror-related programming as possible to prime the pop culture pump in celebration of Halloween. Our consuming will be taking place nightly, and while there’s no rhyme or reason to how we’re going about choosing our scary screenings, we’ll do our best to tell you how we did it so that you can watch them as well.

Title: Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

Directed By: Ari Sandel

Starring: Jeremy Ray Taylor, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Caleel Harris, Ken Jeong, Chris Parnell

We Watched On: The big screen, aka, in theaters!

Trunktober Approved Because: There are not many horror-related projects that we can enjoy with our kids, mostly because genre storytelling isn’t meant for young, impressionable, nightmare-producing brains. Thankfully, the Goosebumps brand has been bucking that trend for nearly three decades, and the latest film in the ever-expanding franchise, “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween,” gives us some frightful fare that we can watch alongside of our little monsters.

Biggest Scare: What both the first film and this one do so well is really nail the creature designs and perfectly blend the SFX with traditional make-up and prosthetics, giving this new school storytelling and old school feel in the vain of “The Monster Squad.”

Bonus: Check out our interview with Jeremy Ray Taylor here!

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Wingman Wednesday

Jeremy Ray Taylor

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Culver City, CA – October 7, 2018: Jeremy Ray Taylor attends a special screening of Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN on the Sony Pictures Studio Lot.

As the star of the hit horror film “It” and the new “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween,” Jeremy Ray Taylor is striking franchise gold, and he’s doing it in monster-sized fashion with plenty of monsters in tow. Next up, he will be getting his sequel on in “It: Chapter Two,” due September 2019.

We recently sat down with the young actor to discuss the “A Ben to a Beverly” effect, why it required more imagination working on “Goosebumps 2,” and the reason he’s about to become a warlock.

TrunkSpace: You crushed it (no pun intended) in “It.” We related to you. We felt for you. We rooted for you. How much has that project changed your life and career?
Jeremy Ray Taylor: Thank you! I am definitely glad to hear you were pulling for me! Ben Hanscom is one of those guys that everyone can relate to for sure! My dad said that every boy in high school was a “Ben to a Beverly” at some point.

This film has changed my life in more ways than I can count! My career is moving ahead full speed and meeting fans is amazing. It is because of the fans that the movie has done so well!

TrunkSpace: From “It” to another huge franchise, you’re starring in “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween,” which opened on Friday. We would imagine a project like this is going to open you up to an entirely new audience because now a younger generation is going to get to see your work. Our kids couldn’t see “It,” but they are clamoring to see “Goosebumps 2.” Is that exciting, getting to connect with new viewers project-to-project?
Jeremy Ray Taylor: It is so exciting to be able to go see this movie with my friends! I wasn’t able to promote “It” to kids my age. (Laughter) I am most excited about a film the whole family can watch together.

TrunkSpace: There’s a ton of SFX involved in a movie like “Goosebumps 2.” Did that require you to take a different approach to your acting, when you’re having to imagine a monster that isn’t actually there?
Jeremy Ray Taylor: It is harder to act to something invisible, that’s for sure. Punching stuff that isn’t there and running from nothing takes imagination! What was really exciting about this movie is that a LOT of the monsters are actually real and in wardrobe! They are really cool and you are going to love them.

TrunkSpace: What did you enjoy most about getting to play Sonny? Was there an aspect of his personality that you have yet to tackle on-screen before?
Jeremy Ray Taylor: Sonny is a fun, lighthearted character. He was similar to Ben Hanscom in that he was nerdy and bullied. (Laughter) There was a lot more “playing to things that weren’t there” in this movie. It took some getting used to.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the work you did in the film?
Jeremy Ray Taylor: I am proud of the relationships I made with the cast and crew as well as the long hours and hard work we put into the movie. Those are the things I can take with me throughout my life. As an actor, I am still learning and growing and I am really proud of the way the movie turned out.

TrunkSpace: Ventriloquist dummies are creepy. They just are. Did Slappy ever make you feel uneasy, because we’ll be honest, he makes us uneasy and we don’t even have to be in the same room with him!
Jeremy Ray Taylor: Oh boy, did he creep me out! There is one scene in the movie where I am holding him and he “comes to life.” Before the scene started, I was talking to the director and Slappy reached up and touched my face and scared me to death! We never knew if he was going to move or start talking at any time. And believe me, the puppeteers enjoyed joking around.

TrunkSpace: What’s been the most exciting thing to happen to you in your career thus far – the moment or experience that you still need to pinch yourself in order to believe?
Jeremy Ray Taylor: Meeting and working with Harrison Ford on the set of “42” was unbelievable. I also met Chadwick Boseman that day. So cool!

TrunkSpace: “Goosebumps 2” takes place on Halloween. Are you a fan of the holiday yourself, and if so, do you have big costume plans for this year?
Jeremy Ray Taylor: I LOVE Halloween! We always carve pumpkins and dress up every year. Last year, my brother and I dressed up as Russell and the old man from “Up.” This year, I would like to dress up like a really cool warlock. I haven’t completely solidified my plan yet.

TrunkSpace: Next up you’re back in the “It” universe for the sequel. We know you can’t say much, but what can you tell us about the scare factors going into the follow-up installment? Do we need to prepare ourselves now for more creepy visuals and disturbing clown-related horrors?
Jeremy Ray Taylor: As the director Andy Muschietti put it, you need to bring your adult diapers! I’m pretty sure everyone should heed his warnings. (Laughter)

It will have flashbacks of the losers as kids, but mainly focus on the adults encountering Pennywise in new and disturbing ways.

TrunkSpace: Finally, Jeremy, you’ve faced two formidable foes in your cinematic career thus far, but what if they went head to head? Who would win a battle between Pennywise and Slappy?
Jeremy Ray Taylor: Oh my… that’s a really good question. Maybe they will have to make a movie about that! “Slappy vs Pennywise!”

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” is in theaters now!

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Trunk Bubbles

Chris Fenoglio

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Website:
www.chrisfenoglio.com
Instagram: @Chrisfenoglio
Twitter: @Chrisfenoglio

Favorite Comic Book Character Growing Up: Toss-up between Spider-Man and Daredevil

Favorite Comic Book Character Now: No idea… there’s a lot of great ones.

Latest Work: (Title/Publisher/Release Date) “Goosebumps” for IDW. Issue 2 was released January 3, 2018!

TrunkSpace: How would you describe your art style?
Fenoglio: Personally, I think I’m kind of a mix of Jeff Smith and Chris Samnee… if both of them hit their head really hard and forgot how to draw.

TrunkSpace: How important were comic books in your life growing up and is that where you discovered your love and inspiration for drawing?
Fenoglio: Comics were my everything when I was a kid. I knew I wanted to draw comics when I was six-years-old. I drew even before that… so to be honest, I’m not sure why I started drawing, but my mom says it was the only activity I did that kept me quiet.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular artist or title from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Fenoglio: There were… a lot. Jeff Smith, Alex Ross, Jim Lee, Scott Morse, Humberto Ramos, Joe Madureira… and a ton more I can’t think of at the moment.

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career in comics? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Fenoglio: God, I wish I was that smart. A lot of it was luck and persistence. I just kept going, even when it probably was in my better interest to quit. I wouldn’t recommend taking that route, but it eventually worked. For anyone trying to get into the business, make a plan, yes, but persistence will get you everywhere. It’s a rough industry, and even if you’re good, chances are you won’t “break in” on your first go.

TrunkSpace: What was your biggest break in terms of a job that opened more doors for you?
Fenoglio: Doing colors for “Orphan Black” for IDW. That got my foot in the door and showed that I can be a professional and make good work on a deadline. It also gave me the ear of an editor who would look at artwork I submitted with more than a passing glance.

TrunkSpace: A lot of people say that breaking into comics is the hardest part of working in comics. How long did it take you before you started to see your comic book dreams become a reality?
Fenoglio: It took me a long time to break in. I studied art in college and still didn’t have the chops, so after four years of working odd jobs after college, I went back to school to get a master’s degree in illustration. Only then was I in a place where I could start getting even meager amounts of work. I’ve wanted to draw comics since I was six, and I didn’t get my first real paid gig until I was almost 30, which is a long time.

TrunkSpace: Is there a particular character or universe you always find yourself returning to when you’re sketching or doing warm-ups?
Fenoglio: Spider-Man and Batman. They’re just really fun to doodle. I also like sketching people from life.

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific title or character that you’d like to work on in the future and why?
Fenoglio: There’s a lot of them, but probably the Ninja Turtles. My first exposure to comics was through Archie’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures” comics, so it’d be amazing if I could do some work with those character. Close the loop, y’know?

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your career in comics? Where would you like your path to lead?
Fenoglio: It’d be great to do some of my own at some point — write and draw a full graphic novel. Or start making money from my web comic.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength as an artist?
Fenoglio: When I was breaking in, I’d show my work around to artists and editors at conventions. Some pros told me to focus on one area, like penciling or inking, and get really good at that one thing. I don’t really think that’s great advice — at least not in today’s comic industry. The thing that got me work was my diversity in skills — I can make a comic from the floor up and do every job between writing and printing the book. Having that range of skills got my foot in the door with small jobs which eventually lead to bigger jobs. I couldn’t get a job as an artist, so I took a small lettering job. That led to a small coloring job. That led to a bigger coloring job. That lead to a drawing gig. If I wasn’t able to tackle every aspect of making a comic then I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today.

TrunkSpace: How has technology changed your process of putting ideas/script to page? Do you still use the classic paper/pencil approach at all anymore?
Fenoglio: It makes things faster for me, and, again, allows me to do multiple jobs which makes me more employable. Editors don’t just want a penciler anymore. They want you to be able to ink your work too — and color it if at all possible. Technology has made those jobs so much quicker that one person can do most or all of them in the time it used to take a whole team.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring artist who is considering a career in the comic industry?
Fenoglio: Run away as fast as you can!!! I’m kidding… well, sort of. It’s a really hard industry and the pay is not great unless you’re top, top, TOP tier talent — and even then a lot of those guys could probably be making more money in animation or some other illustration industry. But if you’re adamant, my advice is to make something and bring it to completion — be it a printed comic, a web comic, etc. You’ll learn a lot by doing it, but more importantly to get a job you have to show editors that you can make a professional looking, finished product. Don’t sit on your hands and wait for someone to notice you. Put something out into the ether.

TrunkSpace: Making appearances at conventions: Love it, leave it, or a combination of both?
Fenoglio: I like cons, but I’ve never been invited to appear at one, so I can’t really say whether I enjoy making appearances or not. I tabled at a convention once and between getting the table and buying product to sell, I spent about $700 to only sell about $80 worth of stuff. Needless to say, that soured me a bit on tabling.

TrunkSpace: What is the craziest/oddest thing you’ve ever been asked to draw as a commission?
Fenoglio: Someone once asked me to draw the human lower intestines. It was for a science, education comic thing.

TrunkSpace: What else can fans of your work look forward to in 2018?
Fenoglio: More “Goosebumps” out early this year and more of my web comic, “Chris and Christina!”

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