Kansas Bowling is an American filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. She is known for writing and directing Troma’s B.C. Butcher, a full-length prehistoric slasher film, when she was 17 years old. Now 19, she has directed various music videos on 16mm and 8mm for bands such as Alyeska (Lyle Lovett’s opening band) and CTZNSHP (indie Montreal group)
Tell us a little about your work.
I am a 19-year-old filmmaker from Hollywood, CA. I directed my first feature when I was 17 and it’s being released by Troma Entertainment!
How would you describe your style?
I like films that have little focus on plot and more about creating an atmosphere. I try to do that a lot with music videos and plan on doing more of that with my future movies as well!
What have you been working on lately?
I just directed a music video for the Death Valley Girls, the song “Disco” for Burger Records which will be premiering at Tromadance Film Festival! I’ve also been developing a few feature films and making a lot of music videos with a new musician, Tilli, which are turning out really cool! “B.C. Butcher” is my feature film I wrote when I was in high school and directed once I’d graduated. It’s the world’s first prehistoric slasher film. It’s starring Kato Kaelin and I shot it on 16mm!
How did you end up collaborating with Lloyd/ Troma on the project, and what has that been like?
I’d always been such an admirer of Troma and once I finished shooting “B.C. Butcher”, I thought I’d reach out to Lloyd Kaufman. We ended up meeting and he saw potential in the project and ended up becoming an executive producer and Troma eventually picked it up for distribution! Working with Lloyd and Troma has been an absolute dream come true! It’s been such a wonderful experience to work alongside someone you look up to and I couldn’t be happier with how everything has been going.
Can you give us a general overview of the gear you typically use?
I shoot Super 8 and 16mm. We shot “B.C. Butcher” on an Arriflex SR2 which was really great to use – the picture was very clear and gave the film a look similar to 35mm. I also really love shooting on Bolexs because of the in-camera effects you can do. I just finished two music videos on a Russian Bolex, both all double exposure that have a crazy psychedelic look that would be hard to achieve on a different camera. I also shoot a lot with my Bell and Howell Super 8 camera which shoots beautiful footage!
What is your most-used piece of gear?
Probably my Super 8 camera. I usually recommend we shoot with it when I’m doing music videos because it’s so simple to operate – I can focus on directing and shooting without it being too difficult. Otherwise, I’d have to hire a DP, which is what I usually do when I’m shooting 16mm. It’s so little and simple, but creates magic!!
Can you talk a little about what inspires you?
I am very inspired by filmmakers who are able to make brilliant movies on small budgets. You don’t get the same feeling watching a blockbuster as you do watching an independent film. You always exit the latter wanting to make something.
What’s the best piece of advice you got when starting out?
Don’t listen to people. Do what you want.
What advice would you offer to other folks just starting out?
If you want to create something but feel hesitant for whatever reason, please know that it is always worth it!