Allisyn Snyder is getting candid about her transition from Disney Channel star to filmmaker. Plus, all about the new horror film, “Howdy, Neighbor!”
Allisyn Snyder can do it all!
The talented upcoming filmmaker, producer, writer, and director is sitting down to chat with HOLR about the horror film, “Howdy Neighbor!” which features some of Disney’s most beloved personalities- such as Debby Ryan– reunited on screen. This film was brought to life through the directorial vision of Allisyn and was based on a dynamic script from Matthew Scott Montgomery. From Disney Channel star to filmmaker, Allisyn is breaking down everything- from how she got her start in the industry, the creative process behind “Howdy, Neighbor!” and what we can expect when tuning in.
Check out our full conversation, below!
Tell us all about how you got your start in the industry.
I was discovered in a local acting class by my manager, Lynne Marks, at the age of 4. I appeared in commercials, shows, and films throughout my childhood. My entire life changed at age 11 when I landed a series regular position on a new Disney sitcom. I met many of my closest friends during my time with the channel, as well as my husband, Dylan Snyder, who was Milton on Disney XD’s karate show, Kickin’ It.
From Disney Channel to filmmaking, talk to us about this shift and what inspired you to pivot.
I spent many of my weekends shooting home movies I wrote, recruiting friends and family as cast. Dylan also shared an interest in working behind the camera, spending many days shadowing crew members on Kickin’ It. When we began dating, I immediately roped him and his camera into my weekly web series, Astrid Clover, and we began producing short films together. Our first feature is my directorial debut, a campy, queer, horror Christmas film titled Howdy, Neighbor! inspired by 90s slasher films told in the style of screen life, with the story unfolding through phone and computer interfaces.
Who are some of Disney’s most beloved personalities that will be reunited in your newest film, Howdy, Neighbor!?
The film is written by my So Random! castmate, Matthew Scott Montgomery, who many recognize from his iconic catchphrases, one of which we snuck into the dialogue. Not only is Matthew Scott an insanely talented actor, but he is an award-winning playwright. Coming to his shows in LA was often a big Disney reunion attended by cast and crew members from the shows of our era. When Matthew Scott and I talked about making a film together based on shared experiences with stalkers, we thought it would be cool to get another former child actor or two in the cast. We were overwhelmed with how many fellow alums wanted to join the project. In Howdy, Neighbor!, you’ll see Debby Ryan (Jessie, The Suite Life on Deck), Alyson Stoner (Camp Rock, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Phineas and Ferb), Shayne Topp (So Random!), Damien Haas (So Random!), Kevin Chamberlin (Jessie), and Nina Millin (Bunk’d, Raven’s Home).
What can you tell us about the creative process behind the film, and what can we expect when tuning in?
I love storytelling through the screen life format and knew it would be the perfect way to tell a modern story about toxic fandoms. Matthew Scott plays Ben, an actor famous for his leading role in a children’s sitcom titled Howdy, Neighbor!. The audience gets to watch from Ben’s perspective as he reads texts, interacts with fans online, and chats over video calls with his best friend Harley (Ryan) whose mutual new neighbor is Ben’s biggest fan. The actors in this film performed the video call scenes with a dialogue track as their scene partners. Despite not being able to see each other, Matthew Scott and Debby’s scenes feel so real and intimate due to their close friendship.
What’s next for you?
Matthew Scott and I already know what we want our next collaboration to be, and plan on creating together ’til death do us part. In addition, I wrote a psychological time-bending thriller that will be Dylan’s directorial debut. The two of us are producing as Watch The Footage alongside Bob Morrison, Charles Barsamian (Exit Strategy), and Jason Tamasco (Traction).
Published by HOLR Magazine.