Revolutionizing the Industry With the First Snapchat Movie Sickhouse
by Abby Bekele
Andrea Russett has mainly made waves with her millions of followers on YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Twitter and other social platforms. Now she is part of a revolutionary new experiment – Sickhouse – the first movie made specifically for social media.
Russett is originally from Indiana where she worked as a radio DJ. When she was 17, she moved to California, where she pursued her career as a YouTuber and actress. Russett has become something of a social media superstar, with 2.5M subscriptions and 183M views on YouTube.
This is bearing more fruit as the acting world is opening up for her. She has been in movies such as Expelled (with fellow YouTube star Cameron Dallas) and the short “Lovesick.” Now Russett has been a big part of creating the new movie Sickhouse, a wild experimental horror film completely filmed via Snapchat.
You’ve gained a huge following on social media and YouTube. What’s the best part of it all?
It’s like having millions of friends online that are always there for you at any given time. For example, if I am having an off day, or I am feeling upset, I can just go on Twitter and tweet about it. I get immediate responses trying to cheer me up, or people are just trying to make me smile, which it really cool. I am really blessed to have all these people genuinely caring about me.
You went to Africa not too long ago in partner with the Thirst Project, a charity to get safe drinking water to people who do not have access to it. What was that experience like?
It was honestly the best experience of my entire life. I did a lot of fundraising two months prior to the trip. I actually ended up going to Swaziland with the Thirst Project, as part of a team. It was really cool, because we were in a village and we really got to see firsthand how this issue was really affecting people. The drought was doing all this damage. It was life changing to see it all and be there helping out.
Where did you guys get the idea to film Sickhouse in Snapchat? And what was it like to be filming the whole time from that point of view?
Indigenous Media brought the idea to me and asked if I would be interested. I was immediately so intrigued and interested, just the concept of putting a movie on a platform like Snapchat really interested me. It was very different from any other thing that I have ever done, because you only have 10 seconds at a time. It goes up right away and its happening in the moment. There were a lot of struggles that went along with it, but it was also a great learning experience. I was constantly learning as we were shooting. It was really cool!
What was it like working Laine Neil, Sean O’Donnell and Lukas Gage?
Oh my gosh, it was constant laughter. They are the best group of people ever. I am really thankful we got to do the movie together and we got along so well. I had known Sean for about four years now. It was really cool working with everyone, especially in between takes because we would scare each other and just freak each other out. It was fun being around friends. It was just like we were going on a normal camping trip just hanging out as a group. It was really cool!
What was it like being one of the producers?
It was incredible. It was really awesome working and collaborating with Hannah who was awesome to work with, I had a lot of input with what should be in the film and what shouldn’t be there and my opinions were valued as well which was really great, the crew was perfect to work with and it was all super collaborative and everyone was excited to hear my ideas and we all worked really well together.
In the movie you guys look terrified, but from having done it and everything looking back, was it as scary as it was in the moment?
Oh it was def terrifying, they told us the house was actually haunted and I believed it, it was super freaky and there were a lot of freaky things that were going on while we were shooting in the house and just being in the woods at night in the dark is just creepy in general, like you hear one thing and your mind thinks so many things and like you think you hear an animal and your mind thinks someone in the woods trying to murder us all, we definitely didn’t have to pretend that we were sacred it was pretty scary!
What is the story behind Sickhouse?
It’s the story about these four social media obsessed teens that decide to take a trip into the woods and find this place called Sickhouse and along the way, the theme of social media being this virus is present and everyone’s phones are left behind expect for mine and Taylor is snap-chatting the whole thing and we can see where she is snap-chatting too much and there are conflicts that come with that and when we end up at Sickhouse things go wrong as usual, but my favorite part of the whole movie is the last five minutes it’s just insane everything just hits the wall and its crazy.
Did you enjoy the acting portion of the film and would you like to do more of that?
Definitely wane stick to YouTube. I will never get off YouTube. It’s like home-base for me, but I do want to continue acting. It’s so much fun to take on a role and be someone else and its super different from YouTube because on YouTube I am myself and when I am acting I am a different person so I really enjoying acting and I will be continuing acting in the future.
What were the best and worst part about being there?
My favorite part was the night we filmed the bonfire scene because we actually got to set up camp and we had a bonfire and s’mores and tents and it really felt like we were camping as friends, we were all scaring each other and freaking each other out, it was a lot of fun. The worse part was probably all the bugs. I really, really hate bugs and there were huge spiders everywhere I looked, so that was pretty awful.
Would you ever go back to the place where the movie was filmed?
I don’t know if would go back to the woods like that. We were literally in the middle of the woods, which is terrifying. It was terrifying being there, but I would go camping again for sure.
Do you think you would do a movie on Snapchat again?
Absolutely, it’s a whole new platform. There is so much to be explored with it and so many opportunities just waiting to be taken so I for sure would so another movie on Snapchat.
If you could describe the movie in three words to someone who hasn’t seen it yet, what words would you choose?
Raw – because a lot of it was real life and we totally forgot we were filming at times. Super raw, intriguing and unique.
Copyright ©2016 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: June 16, 2016.
Photos ©2016 Courtesy of Indigenous Media. All rights reserved.