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Photographer and filmmaker DANA BOLOUS follows her cinematic debut CAMGIRL with psycho-erotic thriller short CRIMSON ROSE – an homage to the innocence and seduction of 80s & 90s cinema. Recently premiering in Los Angeles to a selective audience, Dana divulges the root of her inspiration, her joy of film, and the burning issue that, infuriatingly, still plagues the film industry.

Tell us a little about the making of Crimson Rose?
Jesy Odio and I came up with the story about a year ago. Jesy wrote out the screenplay and I worked on creating a visual treatment, which got the attention of Milk Studios.

How did you come to cast Kate Bowman?

I had scouted online about two years ago. I’ve always been so inspired by her and wanted to work with her right when I met her in IRL.

What inspired the story?

I got inspired by the woman such as Isabelle Adjani in Possession (1981) and Drew Barrymore in Posion Ivy (1992). That powerful look that left your mind feeling hypnotized.

Give us an insight into the plot:

After a young seductress’ dream of attending a prestigious university is foiled by her paramour’s betrayal, she schemes her way into the life of a handsome young man, and vengeance and murder are her only convictions.

What did you enjoy most about making this film?

I enjoyed creating everything from the movie poster to the zine and working on an original score made by Calvin Markus. I was lucky to have complete and total creative freedom with Crimson Rose that Milk Studios and Milk Makeup supported.

What did you find most challenging?

The most challenging set experience was definitely day 2 when I got to UCLA (which is where we filmed the school scenes) and realized we weren’t allowed to film in most of the planned locations, so I had to re-do the shot list on the spot within 30 min before filming.

What do you hope the audience will be thinking after watching?

I hope everyone will get inspired about film making after seeing the film. I definitely broke a lot of cinema rules but I think it translates well when you watch it on the big screen.

How did it feel to premier Crimson Rose in front of an audience?

Definitely a bit nerve-wracking when you have legendary people in the audience such as Brad Elterman watching your film, but then everyone started clapping.

What encouraged you to start up your production company, Cherry Runaway Films?

I first read this magazine article two years ago, stating how there aren’t enough women working in film. I took it as a sign and enrolled that night into cinematography at my local college from then on I decided that I wanted to start up a production company that believed in specializing in a unique and diverse range of projects that included fashion, advertising, music videos and independent film features. My mission is to help encourage more women, young and old, to pursue different roles in the film industry. We need more women in film!

What projects are you planning on doing next? You can buy the zine and poster here

I’m going to be working on a few film projects, which hopefully involves some traveling. I also just got signed on to be the creative director of a series called “HOOKUPS”, written by Jesy Odio. 

You can buy the zine and poster here

Crimson Rose
Directed by @danaboulos
Written by @jesyodio
Produced by @milk