An Interview With Dominic Brunt by Dean Sills

db5An Interview With Dominic Brunt by Dean Sills

Dominic Brunt is best known for playing Paddy Kirk in ITV’s soap-opera Emmerdale but any true Horror fan will know him as a first-class horror filmmaker. We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dominic at UKHS and here is his awesome interview.

UKHS – Hi Dominic, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us at UKHS. OK, let’s talk a little about your new movie ‘The Taking’. What inspired you to make a female revenge thriller instead of your usual horror and can you tell us a little about the story and the challenges you faced during the shoot?

DB – I love my horror but the older I get, the more I realise that more often than not, real life is much more horrific than fiction and humans can be far more cruel and terrifying in their behaviour than any monster.

I was very interested to see how far we could push someone’s selfish side to the point of sociopathy without conscience.

If you accept there is no such thing as “evil” or the physical devil then we have to face reality. And that is, as a human race, we produce some nasty animals that live among us. They are a part of us as a society and we may be responsible for producing them to some degree.

db1UKHS – You are probably best known as Paddy in the ever-popular ITV soap ‘Emmerdale’ but thanks to films like ‘Before Dawn’ you have now established yourself as a filmmaker within the Horror genre. When did you first discover your passion for filmmaking and how easy was it to develop your own unique style as a Director within the Independent film industry?

DB – I only became an actor because of my obsession with film and so making films is just an extension of what was already in me.

My favourite genre is and has always been horror but I’ll watch anything that draws me in with a good story.

I’d been making unwatchable, certainly unbroadcastable (in terms of production value) shorts for some time and just kept going and kept experimenting.

UKHS – Congratulations on ‘Before Dawn’ getting released in Australia. I did enjoy ‘Before Dawn’ and love the fact it’s much more than a Zombie flick. You take us on an emotional ride focusing more on the troubled relationship between Alex and Meg, which is depressing and so believable that it draws you right in from the very start. In the film you and your wife Joanne Mitchell play the unhappily married couple Alex and Meg. How did you both mentally prepare for those dramatic scenes and did you find it emotionally draining during the shoot considering it was also your first feature as a Director?

DB – We had the fact that we live together on our side so we could plan and rehearse until we dropped. I never felt tired during the shoot as I was running on pure adrenalin for the most part and really excited to be in the position of making a feature. I was also smack bang in the middle of a storyline at Emmerdale. I’ve been very careful not to let the films get in the way of, or impact what I do at Emmerdale. That must come first and everything else has to wait.

db7UKHS – I also enjoyed your memorable performance as Podge in ‘Inbred’. How did you get a cameo in the film and how much fun did you have with the chainsaw?

DB – I just absolutely love Alex Chandon’s films. I’m very lucky to be able to call him a dear friend. I never knew him before Inbred and I know he was sceptical about having me on board but we met in a pub in Manchester and I took my VHS copy of Cradle of Fear with me for him to sign and it all went from there.

Alex has been a huge support and a very honest critic (gold dust) of anything I do and it comes from a good place. He has the best bullshit detector of any man I know.

I loved every second of playing Podge.

UKHS – If a Zombie apocalypse were to happen in ‘Emmerdale’ which character would survive the longest and why?

DB – I think you could throw any type of apocalypse at Edna and she’d pop up scowling in her hat.

db8UKHS – The last question comes from Andy Deen (The Editor of UKHS) he actually interviewed you last November at Grimmfest. Sadly he never wrote up the interview due to technical difficulties on his recorder (it kept cutting out). Anyway here is his question for you.

You seem to have an unhealthy interest in Zombies, from starring in and directing ‘Before Dawn’ (2012) to running and hosting the annual Leeds Zombie Film Festival . So here is a double edged question. What is it that so intrigues you about the undead and secondly what are you top 5 zombie films? 

DB – Zombie films represent guilt free, almost slapstick horror. You can kill as many humans in any manner of imaginative ways but it’s ok, they will get up again as zombies. Then you can kill them again and it’s ok because they are now monsters and they deserve it.

I like special effects and you get so much scope to use them or see them in zombie films. I also like the fact that almost all zombie films are a million miles away from the spiteful horror films which I don’t like at all.

I don’t like violence for the sake of it or without having consequence for the perpetrator.

Top 5 Zombie Films

Dawn of the Dead (original)

Night of the living Dead

Rec

Nightmare City

Re-Animator

UKHS – A huge thank you for your time, Dominic and keep up the great work!

An Interview with Richard Gladman by Dean Sills

rgladman1An Interview with Richard Gladman

UKHS – Welcome to UK Horror Scene. Can you please tell us a little about yourself and when did you first discover your love for Horror and Sci-fi?

RG -I was born in London but my family moved to a small town called Bletchley (now part of the city of Milton Keynes) when I was very young. It was a small town with a small-minded attitude but I always strived to be different, particularly in the way I dressed as a teenager and beyond; of course, part of that theatricality has stayed with me through the years and I find it fun to sometimes dress up a little when hosting or attending horror events! I guess I discovered horror and sci-fi through television and cinema; I was an avid movie-goer from a young age and was always intrigued by the dark side of Disney movies. I was also a total telly addict and loved watching Scooby Doo, The Tomorrow People, Children of the Stones…anything involving monsters, ghosts, aliens and the like – the scarier the better!

UKHS – You are the founder of ‘The Classic Horror Campaign’ & ‘Frighten Brighton’. Can you please tell us a little about each one and what was the inspiration behind them?

RG – The Classic Horror Campaign came about due to my love of the BBC2 Horror Double Bills as a kid; they introduced me to the wonders of Universal monsters and Hammer’s “Kensington Gore” (Google it! *laughs*). I realised that despite the number of TV channels we now have, choice has become more limited than ever with hardly any classic horror or black and white sci-fi movies on free-to-air television so I started a campaign and a petition to get the BBC to bring back the horror double bill seasons. Despite getting thousands of signatures, appearing on BBC One’s Points of View show and having a lot of celebrity support, the BBC didn’t respond. However, the campaign was also about raising awareness of classic horror and old movies and introducing young people to the pleasure of vintage films so in some ways it has been very successful. The Horror Channel began screening a lot more old movies (including tons of Hammer) in primetime and even the other channels (including the BBC) seemed to have more horror programming since the campaign began; Mark Gatiss’ A History of Horror documentaries being a prime example.

Frighten Brighton stemmed from the Classic Horror Double Bill screenings I programmed and hosted in London and Manchester. I was amazed that a city like Brighton didn’t have its own horror festival so I created the Frighten Brighton brand and began a series of classic horror film screenings at various venues that continue to this day. The most successful event was the Frighten Brighton Classic Horror Film Festival held at the Komedia entertainment venue in 2012 co-hosted by scream queen Emily Booth…a whole day of horror films from the ‘30s thru the ‘70s! This year Frighten Brighton has been asked to be part of the Scalarama cult film festival so I’m running a free event at the Caroline of Brunswick pub – it’ll be great fun for sure!

rgladman2UKHS – Last year you launched your own Classic Horror/Sci-fi magazine called ‘Space Monsters’. Congratulations Richard, you are doing such a brilliant job with the magazine, well done! What actually inspired you to produce such a fantastic magazine like this?

RG – I’d always wanted to publish my own genre magazine and finally, after a few aborted attempts, Space Monsters was born! I was inspired by publisher Dez Skinn’s magazines of the seventies which I read as a kid; Monster Mag, House of Hammer and Starburst in particular. Other influences were Famous Monsters (of course!), Castle of Frankenstein and The Monster Times. I just wanted to publish a magazine that I would buy…the focus on sci-fi came about because there are already so many excellent classic horror magazines on the market like We Belong Dead and Monster Bash but none that really covered classic sci-fi movies and TV.

UKHS -Thank you for the Clint Eastwood feature I did for you in Issue 5. Are you still looking for new writers and if so what Classic Horror/Sci-fi films and TV shows would you like them to cover?

RG – I already have a fantastic team of writers but if anyone comes up with a really unique angle on an old film or TV show then I’m interested. Many of the films and TV shows have been covered elsewhere over the years so I always look for a different angle or a different viewpoint. For example, in our Doctor Who special I interviewed an actress called Barbara Ward (Terror of the Vervoids) and writer Paul Magrs…not the sort of people you’d find in the more mainstream magazines. Next issue we have an interview with a guy called David Connellan who has made an excellent Space:1999 fan film which is being screened at a big Space:1999 convention later this month.

As for articles I want for future issues….Star Maidens (TV show) would be great fun to feature, Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman, Forbidden Planet…oh there’s so many cool sci-fi films and telly!

rgladman3UKHS – What would you consider to be the three main ingredients that you need to make a classic Horror flick?

RG – I guess they would be atmosphere, script and acting. I know that technology and make-up effects have advanced so much but there’s something about the old movies, even the so-called “bad movies” that just can’t be matched in terms of imagination and ingenuity particularly in terms of special effects. In some ways, with horror films, atmosphere and lighting are even more important than the storyline and the acting but of course when you get all three right, you come up with a true classic like “The Haunting”.

UKHS – Do you have a guilty pleasure Horror/Sci-fi film?

RG – No, I never feel guilty about the things I enjoy…and that includes films!

UKHS – If you could have dinner with three guests (living or dead), who would you choose and why?

RG – Great question! There are so many interesting people (dead or alive) that it’s almost impossible to answer. And I know so many awesome people that I would quite happily have dinner with all of them, otherwise they wouldn’t be my friends! But if I were to choose three people I’ve never had dinner with….hmmmm…I absolutely adore Kim Wilde! She comes across in interviews and on TV as the nicest person and she’s so beautiful…I would choose Kim definitely. And Allan Carr, the chat show host because he is hilarious and actually seems very sweet…but also has a very naughty sense of humour! My final choice would be Elisabeth Sladen because I’ve always admired her and think she was the best Doctor Who assistant of all time; I just wish she hadn’t been taken from us so soon.

rgladman4UKHS – Finally,are you currently working on any other projects which you can tell UKHS about?

RG – Oh gosh! Yes…lots and lots of different projects! I’m currently producing a television show called Fragments of Fear which is like Jackanory meets Tales From the Crypt! It’s also a multiplatform interactive project as we want viewers to create their own episodes, stories, soundscapes and so forth so that they can be featured on our website and possibly on TV as well. We’ve already filmed episodes with Caroline Munro and Dani Thompson and have Francoise Pascal and Billy Chainsaw lined up as guest narrators. We’ll be promoting the series at this years WynterCon sci-fi, horror and comics convention in Eastbourne over the Halloween weekend.

Next up is a comic book called Titan Defender Pushka who is a kind of cyberpunk character on a mining planet many thousands of years in the future. It’s based on a cosplay character created by Leo Dyke, who dresses up as Pushka at various events and conventions…his costume is totally awesome and the back-story of the comic is very cool…if we can make a success of this then as the story progresses it becomes a real “out there” space opera but hopefully with an emphasis on character and relationships not just mindless action.

In pre-production at the moment is a feature film called GirlForce. The pitch is basically Charlie’s Angels meets The Spice Girls meets Power Rangers…it’s totally insane and a lot of fun! We’ve already got Dani Thompson, Lucy Clements, Francoise Pascal, Alex Reid and Guy Barnes attached and are in talks with some rather special guest stars…but I can’t say any more at the moment!

As well as all that there’s the Space Monsters poster magazine and Space Monsters Annual in the works, my continuing involvement with Dez Skinn’s Monster Mag revival and a very special project that’s almost ready to be launched featuring one of the world’s most loved horror stars!

Oh, and there’s my regular column for Haunted: After Dark magazine and I’m on the panel of judges for this year’s British Horror Film Festival.

As you can see, I’m pretty busy at the moment…I hardly have any time to watch horror films these days!

rgladman5UKHS – Wow! Good luck with all those. Thank you for your time and keep up the great work!

www.fragmentsoffear.com

http://www.classichorrorcampaign.com/space-monsters-magazine/

http://cyberschizoidmultimedia.wordpress.com/

New UK Film ‘Awaiting’ – On Set Interviews by Dean Sills

awaitingposterNew UK Film ‘Awaiting’- On Set Interviews by Dean Sills

Thanks to Mara Lubieniecki, the Head of Publicity for Mark Murphy’s upcoming film, ‘Awaiting’ I was invited to Green Screen Studios in Yorkshire to interview Mark and the cast of his new outstanding film. I also got a tour of the studios, saw Rupert Hill give a superb performance, after watching Rupert act on a couple of monitors. Wow! This was truly amazing! Mara, a lovely young lady, greeted UKHS with a warm smile on a warm day and went out of her way to make sure my day was perfect. All the cast and crew were a real joy and this is a true credit to the director for having such an awesome team involved in this gem of a project.

‘Awaiting’ is a Green Screen Productions in co-production with Solar Productions. This British Independent film maybe a psychological thriller but I have a gut feeling UK Horror Scene fans will bloody love this and from what I saw it’s definitely going to be one hell of a film that will appeal to many international audiences. The film is due for released next year.

Cast – Awaiting

Tony Curran ( The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Underworld: Evolution,Doctor Who, Defiance. )

Diana Vickers ( The Perfect Wave. )

Rupert Hill ( Coronation Street, Entity. )

Sophie Lovell Anderson ( Stag Night of The Dead, The Crypt. )

Synopsis

Morris, (Tony Curran), a recluse with psychotic tendencies, whose life changes when his innocent daughter (Diana Vickers) rescues one of his victims and befriends him. Jake (Rupert Hill) an ordinary businessman soon realises that he is stranded and his presence in the house gradually reveals unexpected and dark mysteries from the past.

OK, now you all know a little about the movie it’s time for the interviews.

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Director Mark Murphy with Rupert Hill and Tony Curran

Mark Murphy Interview

UKHS – Along with directing you also wrote the story. When do story ideas usually hit you and what was the inspiration behind this one?

Mark – Story ideas usually come from the inspiration of what you see on TV, in the papers or on the news or it can be just something like a quirky idea that just hits you and it starts growing. You think well that’s an interesting idea and you wonder if that could happen? Then suddenly you start formulating characters and have a plot built around them. The idea for Awaiting, happened when I first started writing it, it was probably about 5 years ago. It was inspired by things that were just happening around, bizarre things like Josef Fritzl and all those things and thinking wow, this stuff really happened? It’s not just in the land of film that you hear and see these weird characters, it’s people who walk down the street, people we know.
I love films like ‘Seven’, ‘ The Silence of the Lambs’ and ‘Misery’ and all those sort of films and I thought this would be a novel approach to have it more of a family and the guy being caught in between a slightly unstable father and a slightly besotted daughter. I also threw in a kind of romantic element to it, even though it’s not a love story by any means but for the daughter this is the first guy she has had any full on interaction with, so of course she becomes besotted by him. I was interested in the unique characters and how they behave and react in this kind of situation, trying to humanize what is a typical kind of film story about two protagonists going up against each other.

UKHS – You have such a talented cast in this film, well done! Which character was the most difficult to cast and why?

Mark – Thank you! I think Lauren was probably the toughest one because she is the youngest in the cast. We needed someone young enough to portray the young character but mature enough in herself to carry off quite a complex character, I mean it’s someone who’s been isolated from the world and how do you play that and how do you portray that innocence on a subtle level? That for me was always going to be the tricky one.

awaitingdianabasement

Diana Vickers

We were so lucky with Diana, I didn’t know she was a singer before and during the audition I thought she was fantastic and afterwards I thought wow! she is absolutely quite established and she nailed it. She’s 22, I think? So she’s definitely at the age with her life experience so far. She had that maturity and that level of performance and had performed in front of large crowds, she had that weight of experience already behind her, not necessarily in films, she has done one film before but she is very natural, like a duck to water and all three are just incredible actors. Each one brings something unique to the story, so it’s a real nice kind of triangular.

UKHS – As a director, how does this film compare to your last feature ‘The Crypt’ and which one was more of a challenge to direct?

Mark – I don’t want to do a disservice to Crypt but this film is going to be much, much better. We have got the right arsenal to make this work with some incredible actors on this and the actors on Crypt were wonderful too . This time we’ve got a proper shooting schedule, more facilities and so on. I had a lot of fun making Crypt and I think maybe that was the problem. I think with this It’s not that I am having fun making this but I am working so hard, to me it’s a great sign to what we are getting, what we need and we’re getting so much coverage. This film has been a tricky one to do but I love it, I absolutely loved it!

UKHS – Finally, when did you first discover your passion for filmmaking and do you have a favourite director?

Mark – The first film I saw that made me want to do this was Batman back in 1989. I saw that and thought wow! I want to do that , I want to tell stories and make people excited and drawn in, the way I was for that film. I was about 12 at the time and thinking that’s what I want to do but maybe it was too much of a pipe dream. When I was doing my A-levels, I applied to this place when it use to be a film school and I came here. John Sichel, the founder, who very sadly died in 2005 was really the heart and soul of this place, so when he passed away they closed down but Alan Latham, the producer bought it and funnily enough I knew Alan but he didn’t know I had come here and when he came here and saw a photo of me on the wall, he thought what’s Mark doing here?

Ha! I got accepted to this place so by the age of 17, 18, I thought I am going for this, I am going for my dream. My favourite directors are Steven Spielberg, who is wonderful but I would say David Fincher is my favourite by far, he is a complete genius and performance wise with his actors he is just incredible, I take my hat off to him every time. So him and Spielberg. I also like Michael Mann. Some of his early work like ‘Heat’ and ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ were some of my favourite films, so those three are some great directors.

awaitingsophie

Sophie Lovell Anderson and Peter Woodward

Sophie Lovell Anderson Interview

UKHS – Can you please tell us about your character in the film?

Sophie – I play Nicola, she is Jake’s girlfriend, we start off in a fun loving relationship, we have been together for awhile and she is sort of looking to get married to him. That’s all I can really say without giving too much away!

UKHS – You worked with the director Mark on his last film. What do you enjoy the most about working with Mark and do you feel he brings out the best in you as an actress?

Sophie – Yes, he definitely does! I have know Mark actually since I was 19. I not only did his last film but I did a costume drama with him back in the day. 2005, I think it was? which was ‘Casanova’s Love Letters’. So it’s actually really lovely to work with a director who has seen me at the beginning of my career and catching up doing projects here and there. He definitely brings out the best in me because he knows how I work, we’ve got that Quentin Tarantino, Uma Thurman, haha! ( I’ll put that out there to the Universe) relationship going on! Haha! He’s really fun and has always got a good idea of what he wants before he gets it. He’s on it but he’s also very kind of fun.

UKHS – What were your first thoughts after reading the script?

Sophie – I sort of worried about Mark’s mental state, ha! No, I really liked the originality of this script. I really liked the characters, it’s actually a very wordy, talky script, a lot for the characters to do, that’s where the more psychological thriller thing comes into it. I have never done a film like this before so I was really excited.

awaitinghouseatnight

Awaiting Shooting at Night

UKHS – Sorry, wordy as in dialogue or in actions?

Sophie – Yes, It was very dialogue driven I think having read the script. It was really dialogue driven from what I first thought and there’s some really interesting moments, so I was really excited to do it!

UKHS – You have starred in a couple of horror films now including ‘Stag Night of The Dead’. What would you consider to be the three ingredients that you need to make a classic horror flick?

Sophie – Aside from putting me in it! Haha! I think you need to make a classic horror, this is a tricky one, isn’t it?
I think you need some kind of original weapon of mass destruction that perhaps someone hasn’t come up with yet, I mean we are a psychological thriller so we are not quite horror. The horror thing is going quite crazy now. So I think you have to be quite original of where you are going with it because a lot’s be done already. So I think originality is one. Make the story a little bit different to the usual gore fest. I think a good leading man because it’s always the man who needs to carry that one through , I think someone like Ryan Gosling and you need, good special effects. That was a tricky one, a good one!

awaitingrupert

Rupert Hill

Rupert Hill Interview

UKHS – Can you please tell us about the film and the character you play in it?

Rupert – The film is ‘Awaiting’, written and directed by Mark Murphy. It follows my character Jake, who is a fairly successful lawyer, he is very much in love with his girlfriend. He just sets off for a business trip and on the way has an accident. He is then picked up and rescued by this guy called Morris. He’s knocked out in this car accident and wakes up in this house where Morris lives and he doesn’t know where he is, it’s in the middle of nowhere in this isolated house amongst these trees. He wakes up and meets this young girl, who is Lauren (played by Diana Vickers) this beautiful young girl, who seems a little bit strange and she is instantly smitten with him.

Jake is very confused, he doesn’t know where he is and why he’s not in the hospital. Then Morris returns, played by the wonderful Tony Curran. Then the sort of mind games and things start happening and Jake is constantly trying to get back to his business meeting and every attempt to leave the house fails and skeletons come out of the closet. He realises they might be more to Morris than meets the eye. He’s also got Lauren trying to seduce him. It just becomes a sort of hell on earth and other characters start coming in to it. It escalates into a bloody finale and there’s quite gruesome things that happen. So yes, it’s a psychological thriller really more than a horror film so it’s a bit more in the spirit of ‘Misery’, something like that. That’s pretty much all I can give away!

UKHS – Right, thank you! How did you get involved with the film and what were your first thoughts after reading the script?

Rupert – Well, I was quite late in being cast. I got the audition and I read the script, it struck me as a character driven piece rather than a gore or action driven piece because that’s quite rare in horror and thrillers, sometimes the characters are secondary importance to the gore and the action. So that was intriguing and I thought they were three great characters at the centre of the piece and when I found out it was Tony and Diana I was very excited. I thought yes I can see that working! When we got into rehearsals it was quite clear it was really working. Hopefully we have got a good dynamic between the three of us and a lot of the film will play out like a drama, like a gritty drama, hopefully, which is quite rare in this genre.

awaitingjaketortured

Rupert (as Jake) being tortured

UKHS – What have you enjoyed the most about working with such a talented director, cast and crew?

Rupert – It’s a very serious piece of work and the talent on this job has been extraordinary on both sides of the camera and Mark is a very giving director, he was great to work with and on such an intense serious piece, everyone kept spirits up and it was very light when the camera wasn’t running. It’s been a really good laugh. I think I have enjoyed that, I think I have made some new friends and we have just been having a real ball doing it. We have one day left and I think we’re all a bit gutted because it’s going to end, we have had such a good time. The work has been exhausting and intense but the sort of playtime around it has been enjoyable. So it’s just been a real happy marriage.

UKHS – You are famous for ‘Coronation Street’ and your background in Television. How do films compare to Television and which one do you find most rewarding?

Rupert – I have also do a bit of theatre now and the thing I like about theatre and what I like about film too is that your character has a journey, a beginning, a middle and an end and an ‘arc’ to your performance and I find that extremely rewarding. The problem with TV, in particular Soap (because that’s what I know most about in terms of television) your character has endless stories. It’s great fun and really wonderful to do but what I really like is that ‘arc’, you can dissect your own character and where you need to be and where you need to get to, you invest a lot more of yourself into that sort of ‘arc’, so that really appeals to me. I had a ball doing ‘Coronation Street’ and the other tv bits I have done, I had a great time, met some great people, met my wife but I think with my experience in tv and my experience in film and theatre. All of them are very enjoyable but it’s that ‘arc’ I get hungry for.

awaitinglaurenmirror

Diana Vickers as Lauren

Diana Vickers Interview

UKHS – Can you please tell us about your role and the relationships between the characters?

Diana – Lauren is a young girl, who lives with her father in the middle of nowhere, no friends, no contact with the outside world, three channels on the telly. Her and Morris, her father have a very sweet love between them, he absolutely adores her even though he’s got a very dark side to him and Lauren doesn’t see any of that.She is oblivious to everything and really trusts him. To start off with, it’s a very sweet relationship then Lauren meets Jake. Jake comes into her life and Jake seems to bring out this kind of sexy side to her. It’s really interesting. It’s very character driven, the way the characters are with each other, it’s great. I really hope it come across.

UKHS – What were your first thoughts after reading the script?

Diana – I was reading it all from Lauren’s perspective and I was really upset, it’s such an emotional rollercoaster, it’s not just like a horror film with lots of blood. It really is emotional and psychological. I was really, really impressed. I went to the audition thinking I am not going to get this and this would be a great film and amazing if I got it. The director Mark is such a fun chap but in my audition he was really straight, it was a really great piece but yes I did feel quite emotional.

UKHS – What’s the atmosphere been like on the set?

Diana – It’s up and down , Me, Tony and Rupert we have just laughed and laughed during takes and just before some takes. Then others scenes which are really emotional and dark scenes you have to put yourself in this headspace which we go into and go to our green rooms and put on our music. During one take, I couldn’t stop crying in between takes because it was that emotional!

awaitingdiana

Diana Vickers

UKHS – Sorry, do you ever listen to your own music or just other artists?

Diana – I don’t really listen to me, I listen to other artists, sometimes I put my own songs on and have a dance but very rarely.

UKHS – Right, thank you. Over the years many singers have gone from the stage to the big screen. Have you found this more of a challenge than singing and acting in the West End?

Diana – It’s very different, I am learning constantly and Tony, Rupert and Mark, they are really helpful. I guess it is difficult but I take things in my stride and try to take as much advice as I can get.

UKHS – Do you find it easy to perform to the camera?

Diana – Yes, I love being in front of the camera, it’s weird seeing yourself back at first, going back in the edit, the way you move your face, your hands and you think oh my god! When you are on stage you are just there and it’s happening now, you don’t have to analyse anything but when you are watching yourself back and back again you do. I think I have taken to it quite well and one of the really nice things Mark was saying is I have to be quite big on stage with all the movements which are big, your voice and the expressions but on camera you have to really minimise your performance and Mark said to me I have done that naturally. So that was my biggest concern being over the top but apparently I’m not!

 

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Tony Curran as Morris

Tony Curran Interview

UKHS – Can you please tell us about your character Morris and what challenges have you faced playing a character like this?

Tony – Morris, lives in the countryside, he lives in the woods in a house with his daughter, Lauren. She is his only family. He drives a pickup truck and he helps people in the area when they breakdown and so on. He’s extremely possessive of his daughter. She is the only thing in his life that he loves and without saying too much, there’s a very dark side to Morris. Things have happened to him in the past and because of those things  the unfortunate outcome is things are going to happen to people in the future, whether that’s good or bad? that’s yet to be seen. He’s a very volatile individual at times, besotted by his little girl and he’s very territorial over her. That’s Morris, he has a lot of layers, things that happened in his childhood have definitely influenced who he is now.

UKHS – Diana Vickers plays your daughter in the film, what have you enjoyed the most about working with Diana?

Tony – It was really fun to meet Diana, she hasn’t done many films, she’s done a lot of stage work obviously, singing and stuff like that! She is obviously fantastic but this is a new sort of avenue for her and definitely for this role because this is definitely not a musical, haha! It’s definitely a dark edgy, psychological thriller. It’s a very different avenue for her to go down. I think she was very well cast (I mean as a film actres, working with her she is extremely professional and very subtle, the subtle qualities of innocence. Diana looks very innocent, she has that quality and with this character she is a young girl becoming a young woman living in this house with her protective father, she wants to bloom.

She is like 20 years old, she is a sponge, she wants to learn things and meet people but her father has not allowed her to do that. What Diana has been doing that’s been so impressive is suppressing that sort of urge to get out and go places and pleasing daddy. When the character of Jake arrives on the door step, she is quite taken by him. The sweeter girl disappearing somewhat, and a stronger independent young woman who wants to make a choice to maybe be with someone and get out of this house she’s been kept in. I think Diana performance has got a great range to it, very subtle but it also changes. Working with her has been a real joy. I think a lot of people are not going to expect her performance in this film but it’s going to be very powerful.

awaitingtonydianarobert

l-r Tony Curran, Diana Vickers & Rupert Hill

UKHS – What have you enjoyed about working with Rupert?

Tony – It’s been a real joy to work with him, he’s been nothing but a totally gentleman and the character he plays is arguably the most challenging of all the characters in this. Jake goes through hell and back in this film. Rupert is very giving as an actor and I guess the challenges that he faced, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, definitely in this film it’s been the case with Rupert and I think Rupert has put in an amazing performance with regards to Morris. I think I turned to Mark one day and I said that scene I just shot was quite disturbing, quite emotional, I think I said that was arguably the most disturbing, depressing scene I have ever shot and he said “Oh really? Can you tweet that please?” Haha!

UKHS – How do you feel the audience will react to this film and your character?

Tony – Hopefully they won’t walk out, haha! I feel the audience may sympathize with Morris. Morris has got a dark side that’s been created by the way people have treated him. I mean I don’t know people who were bullied at school, I was certainly bullied at school a little but nothing to the extreme of where I would take vengeance on people but definitely how I can relate to this, maybe not all of us have had vengeful thoughts against people but thinking and acting out those thoughts are two different things!

Thankfully, I am not a vengeful  individual but Morris very possibly could be. For me that was a challenge to get into his head, he is quite a disturbed abused individual. I guess I related to things that happened to me at school or things that happened to me in the past that would emotionally have a factor in my life and you would factor that in from Tony to Morris. So that was tough because some days you would go to some dark places to find the emotion, the intensity you require to do it in the scene because some of these scenes are extremely intense and highly volatile.

UKHS – Thank you, Tony.

awaitingdeanandtony

UKHS writer Dean Sills (left) on set with Tony Curran

After this interview Tony had to go off to shoot another scene but he did have another chat with me later in the day. We talked about some of his other work and his favourite roles including projects like ‘Nightlife’ and ‘Underworld: Evolution’. He told me about the many hours he spent in prosthetics during the shooting of ‘Underworld: Evolution’. I am a big fan of his work so it’s was a real pleasure for me when Tony went into the character of Rodney Skinner from ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ and he did the voice, wow! This was absolutely fantastic and very exciting to witness in person.

I finally asked Tony how he could switch off from the character of Morris to do press interview? He leaned forward in his chair, looked me in the eyes, displaying a very serious face and said, “that’s because I am Morris.” I was totally blown away and fell for it, not knowing if he was being serious or totally joking with me! This is how great an actor he really is. He then sat back in his chair laughing.

Tony also told me about when he got the role of Morris and from his home in L.A. he phoned Mark up and went into the character of Morris. Mark didn’t have a clue who was actually speaking to him on the phone and Tony kept saying to Mark, “It’s me, it’s Morris” Haha!

Meeting all these wonderful actors, along with the fantastic crew and seeing the film being made was a great experience which I truly enjoyed. I even got to chat to Sophie about Zombies and ask Rupert a little about his directing. Thanks again to all the cast and crew for their great hospitality and a big thank you to Andy Deen, the Editor of UK Horror Scene.

awaitingposterTo find out much more about the film please click on the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/awaitingmovie

https://twitter.com/awaitingmovie

http://www.solarproductions.co.uk/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3815430/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_1

UKHS will also keep you up to date when the trailer is released. I know you may all be waiting but you won’t be ‘Awaiting’ long before this awesome film hits the big screen!

An Interview with Jessica Felice by Dean Sills

jf2An Interview with Jessica Felice by Dean Sills

UKHS – Jessica, thank you for your time and welcome to UK Horror Scene. How did you get into acting and modeling and what is it about the horror genre that you enjoy so much?

JF – I got into Acting at an early age. I was probably 5 years old and at camp ..Ha! But I was highly influenced by my father (who sadly passed away in an accident during my time in College. He never got to see my film work) who also studied Acting/Broadcasting in College and we shared a love of the craft. Honestly I can’t remember ever not wanting to be an actress. I did community theatre and plays as a child which lead me to study acting and diction outside of school from the age of 13-18 as well as in HS where I also was in an improv troupe that worked on teen issues to help other teens. And of course did lots of theatre in HS and after. After that I took a few months off and toured with a professional Children’s theatre company across the states, did some dinner theatre and summer stock, and came back to College where I studied at UMBC where I received my BA degree in Acting (Theatre).

After which I did more professional theatre local as well as touring again, summer stock etc. I decided to try my hand at film acting after a few years doing theatre. While experimenting with this new playground, I discovered that, while I really enjoyed the live aspect (as well as linear aspect) of the stage, I also really, really found I loved the intimacy of what the camera could bring. I found film work to be very organic and real for me. So I started doing more extra work, commercials, TV, Indie films, student films, short films, whatever I could get myself involved in. In the last few years, I also have been doing some voice-over work as well (another fun medium) where I’ve enjoyed recording some commercials, a video game, advertisements for businesses as well as some industrial work, and even plan on doing a villain in an animated feature! I just love to act and perform. It’s kind of who I am. It’s a part of me.

jf5I certainly do not view myself as a hobbyist by any means. I was also drawn to the craft of acting because I was painfully shy growing up and it sort of brought me out of that shell so to speak. I felt safe in that environment and still do. It’s so freeing to be able to explore these amazing women I get to portray. Sometimes I didn’t even realize I could but it’s like being on a playground for me, where I can express myself without limitations in a very safe kind of environment.

And honestly its also a bit of a high to be able to share that kind of intimate energy with other actors. I love this art so much. It’s the one place I feel at home, even if it potentially may get uncomfortable as some stories do. It’s about giving life to that character. It’s a beautiful feeling to be able to tell a good story with a very real and layered character who has something to say and more to give. I got into Modeling by chance, honestly I modeled once at the age of 13 and didn’t again until a few years ago after I did a show in Las Vegas (I worked in stage magic for several years). I did it primarily to again get out of my shell more. I find that if you are more comfortable in your own skin you will have fewer limitations. The more fearless a person is as an actress, a model, or in life in general I feel the happier they will become. Think about it if you have fewer obstacles that hold you back.

The more successful we can become. I think the more fears, doubts, and self loathing we have the harder it is to manifest into whatever positive people we may strive to be. I’m always trying to change that caterpillar into whatever colourful butterfly I’m supposed to become. I associate myself greatly with the Phoenix from myths. I’ve had many personal hardships and am constantly picking myself up out of the ashes and pushing myself to try to fly. Modeling for me was no different. It was a way for me to discover what was and is sometimes holding me back. We all have flaws but it’s also about embracing what others might see that we might not. So I started modeling sexy crazy some risqué pictures to get me out of the shy girl mode, and into whatever I need to be to make it in this industry as well as in life.

I see it as a very positive experience. I’ve modeled now for some alternative pages, a couture magazine, and now I just recently was seen in The Official Scream Queen’s Magazine (an online and physical magazine) which focuses on Horror and the Actresses in the genre being I’m starting to gain a bit of attention in that community they asked me to be their first pictorial and actress interviewed. I am very honoured. I do still consider myself to be more of an actress than a model but I find I have a respect for both arts. What I enjoy so much about the horror genre is that I have always been attracted to dark and mysterious things. Horror allows me to open a doorway to express the darkness within.

 

jf4UKHS – Before we talk about your acting career can I just say congratulations on breaking two of Houdini’s most difficult escape challenges. Can you please tell us a little about your work as an amazing Escape Artist and how did you get into Magic?

JF – Thank you so much! I’m very proud of it! I forget how long it was but I don’t know if I could do it that quickly again, lots and lots of practice! Yes I worked touring in Stage Magic across the states, and worked doing some Escape Art like above’s mentioned Houdini Mailbag Escape and Straight Jacket Escape (trained by Shawn Anthony who was an established Magician before he became a director) as well as Assisting, I even performed a few small close up bits of magic in several shows (cabaret style).

I loved magic as a child and went to see David Copperfield when I was a kid. I thought he was the most alluring and magical person I’d ever seen. So I collected magic sets at a young age but then kind of stopped in High School. It wasn’t until much later when I became friends with a magician that he said you should try assisting. With your background in acting and your petite form you’d probably be great. So I tried it for a year or two, and started unfortunately to get a little bored and felt like something was missing…so he said let me teach you some of what I do…. So I started studying escape and small close up pieces and found I rather enjoyed it.

There is something very alluring about a woman doing what is commonly seen as a man’s performance art. I wanted to free myself (pun intended) of the binds of that stereotype and show a woman could be just as quick and as good, and the symbolism for that freedom was great escaping the ties that bind in more words or less. I worked in Vegas at the Royal Resort (in 2010) with Shawn Anthony and Christian Diamond as well as several mentalists and other magicians. The small theatre space was on the edge of the strip and so, I started doing escapes in there. It lasted for me for a couple of years touring to small and large houses, but then I started heavily getting back into acting and honestly that’s my first love but I always will have a respect for the craft of magic as well since so much does go into that art.

As in both forms of art practice is key. You have to always be your best and give 110%. I feel working in that environment helped me too (as well as working on stage before it) to be as disciplined as I can be. In 2009 I took a class in-between for acting for the camera and it was just kind of life changing for me. Though at the time I was still doing stage magic, my love of acting was sparked again and I honestly haven’t looked back but I am proud of my time in the industry.

I also had the opportunity to perform at the World Magic Seminar. I did enjoy assisting in the The Grande Illusions (Copperfield-like) and I got to do Metamorphosis there which is basically a beautiful illusion with a large chest where the Magician and the assistant change places after one is locked inside. It was very exciting and again a lot of work was involved. I feel this work has definitely influenced me.

 

jf1UKHS – In ‘Manifestation’ you play the challenging role of Anna. The movie is about the death of the couple’s only child. How did you prep for a role like this and what were the main challenges that you faced during the shoot?

JF – I am prepping now for the challenging role of Anna. We haven’t filmed yet. It’s slated to film this September. This year, I watched a couple of films I was told highly inspired this film such as Antichrist and Possession. Both films are very bizarre and psychologically driven. I loved Antichrist it’s so disturbing the acting was so good and raw that I was drawn into it emotionally.

My character (in Manifestation) is scarred for life by the horrible event where her child disappears and is said to be dead. She suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and massive anxiety and leaves her husband to forget her troubles. Unfortunately he finds her and through these horrible events both she and her husband have manifested this horrific creature out of their pain and guilt and fear, or have they?

Anna struggles within her grief, trying to find peace but has gone off the deep end. I hope to make her as real as possible so that audiences don’t know whether to feel sorry for her, like her, hate her, or be drawn to her. I don’t want this to be a typical horror or be cheesy. Hopefully she will be relatable to an extreme. When someone goes through grief that intense something is going to crack and she is broken. Like I said I’m still researching and developing this amazing role that I have been privileged to take on. I hope to bring her justice. I feel my main challenge is keeping her as real and organic as I possible, without falling into the trap of a “B” style movie.

While it is a Horror film it also is a drama and there should be a happy medium. This script does have some really bizarrely scary moments though so hopefully people will enjoy it who love the Horror Genre. Personally, I also tend to go for the misunderstood characters and I relate to them for whatever reason. I also love to tackle the Anti heroes who turn out to be different than how we see them from the start, so the perspective may change gradually. I’m very excited about playing her however and look forward to it. She will be one of the most challenging roles for me to date.

 

jf7UKHS – What other current projects are you working on that you can tell us about?

JF – Currently, I’m filming a short film called, The Price. I play Elizabeth, who  of sorts who is trying to help out a girl (Stacy) who is going through a difficult time. However with my brand of help brings a price and it must be paid…I don’t wish to give it away! I’m also scheduled to film this fall, The Haunted, which is a ghost story. It’s kind of a love story cloaked in horror again I do not wish to give it away but this will also be equally challenging to Anna in Manifestation. In this film I will play a dual role- Shannon who runs an old manor-Blackwood Manor, and Katherine an evil vengeful spirit, should be interesting to say the least.

I’m Really looking forward to this one too!! I love the challenge. Also, I’m in talks currently for a web series, and several other shorts (both horror and sci fi, one offhand is called Poison and am waiting to finish it), and I was recently cast in a TV pilot (serial/drama) set in Philly, but I am waiting to hear back as well as another feature film (Horror). I can’t give more info until I am allowed to. And of course I recently was working on a shoot/interview for the above magazine and I am waiting on working on an animated project (as said) called Ultima Force where I play Madam Witch who is the secondary villain.

I can’t freaking wait!! I’ve always wanted to do an animation. I have multiple projects in the mix. I just love to be working! I’m happiest when I’m busy. I also have my first mainstream project lined up but am on an NDA so I can’t discuss that one just yet ! But keep an eye out in the next year or two …

 

jf6UKHS – You have done a number of movies for HellFire Club Studio Pictures, working with the director and producer,Shawn Anthony on 4 movies including the upcoming film ‘The Haunted’. What do you enjoy most about working with Shawn and which movie have you enjoyed working on the most?

JF – I enjoy working with Shawn Anthony quite a bit. He’s very professional and a very hard working Director. He wears multiple hats (of which I have a great deal of respect for) and I’m so proud to have been part of some of his projects. He gets better and better. Honestly I’m very excited about filming The Haunted. he wrote the screenplay, and the 3 other projects I was working on, as well as Poison, and The Price. He’s a very giving person on set and loves subtle acting (which I love as well). Shawn has this magical way of getting a performance from an actor, that perhaps they didn’t even know existed in themselves. It’s wonderful working with him. I think my favourite film to date with him thus far has been Soulmate:True Evil Never Dies.

It was his first film as a writer and director, and it was my very first Lead in an Independent feature film. I played psychic Kate Stephans who was connected psychically to Jack the Ripper who has come back from the dead and started his killing spree again it’s very intelligently written, even though it was Shawn’s first film. I felt the script was just brilliant. I had my first ever love scene in that film. It was a lot of firsts for me. So I hold a special place in my heart for it. Also I was honoured (as well as other actors) on winning 2 awards for this film at 2 separate festivals in DC. One at the World Music and independent Film Festival and also at The Hot Media International Film Festival.

I just felt so blessed to be a part of it. Shawn was the first Director to ever really give me a chance as a strong female lead, and truthfully that’s something that I’ll never forget. I was very humbled by this experience for numerous reasons. I also pushed myself harder than I had before for any film project previous to it. The film went on to winning multiple awards for Shawn, Actors, and other. I’m super proud of it. I also had the honour of being nominated twice for Scarlett in Vampires Rise of the Fallen which was an action/horror film. That was an interesting experience for sure. I enjoyed that film for the fact that I did a lot of character work in it as well, I am also proud of that role.

jf10The other was for The American Werewolf Project where I played Victoria a grad student searching for answers, which was much more of a typical “B” movie horror and kind of poked fun at that stereotype. I did however do some behind the scenes work (left over from Vampires) and assisted on an FX mask for the Wolf character. That was very fun to do. Working with clay and such. I have done a lot of my own street/painted make-up on these independent films which stems from theatre I feel. I’ve always loved painted and crazy make-up and almost went that route career wise, but just love acting more. It’s been a side love of mine for years! So that was just a fun project to do. Just scary all American fun.

UKHS – What would you consider to be the three main ingredients that you need to make a classic horror flick?

JF – Oh wow that’s a tough question! I feel the most important main 3 ingredients needed to make a classic horror flick are being 1) Fearless (must take risks expect to get bloody, intense emotional, or have to step outside the comfort zone of every day life), 2) Professionally disciplined (Show up on time, do the work, study the project and research as much as you can), and of course remember to  3) Have Fun! You have to love what you are doing or it will show on camera.

UKHS – If you were stranded on a desert island, which three items would you want to have with you?

JF – Haha! hmmm I think if I was on a desert Island I’d want a survival pocket knife,has things on it like knife, flashlight in mini form with batteries etc .. Water jug and a first aid kit mini. Haha! I’m such a girl  Maybe food and a second person? Haha!

 

jf8UKHS – Finally, what are your greatest strengths as an actress and what would be your dream role?

JF – I feel my greatest strengths as an actress are that I try my best to be very giving on a set I love to listen to other actors and observe while sharing that energy. I can get emotional very easy but can also keep it subtle, and I consider myself to be fearless and constantly testing myself to overcome those limitation that hold me back. I think I’m easygoing and fun to work with too. I do the work. I give 110% in EVERYTHING I do. And, I’m a believer in discipline and rehearsals as well as preparation. It’s very important to me, as is a job well done. Respect and love of this craft go hand in hand for me. That’s really about it.

My dream role? Wow I’d love to be an iconic character but I really don’t know who. I think I’d love play a fairy tale role or sci fi fantasy role in something epic like Lord of the Rings or Wizard of Oz or something from classical literature where the perspective is flipped upside down. I’d love to work with Directors such as Tim Burton, Joss Whedon, Steven Spielberg or even do something like American Horror Story, Penny Dreadful, or Grimm.

I really look to actresses like Helena Bonham-Carter, Jessica Lange, and Ava Green for inspiration. I want to be that kind of fearless actress that will leap off a cliff for a role figuratively speaking of course, and go whatever distance it takes to tell a great story. As said, I also love playing the Anti Hero and misunderstood but strong spirited women who have gone through something but persevered or are trying to. Whatever I tackle I feel I have to learn from and grow from it or it’s not worth it. My dream is to create and explore as many characters as possible that challenge me as much as possible. I’d love to inspire others to fulfil their dreams no matter how hard the path gets and how many obstacles are in the way. Life is short. it’s all about the exploration and the journey. Thank you so much for this interview! It’s a pleasure to meet you and talk with you.

 

UKHS – You are welcome, Jessica, it’s been a true pleasure talking to you. Keep up the great work and thanks again for your time.

JF -Thank you also to everyone who has supported me along the way. Here are some links to check out my work from.

Recent trailer for a film short I’m still working on (from a couple weeks ago) called Poison.

[vimeo=96450925]

 

My IMDB – CLICK HERE

Extended Reel -new one coming soon

[youtube=http://youtu.be/_PxEZ5C9U-c]

Soulmate Trailer this film is coming out this month! I will let you know when it does 🙂 (I won for 2 Festivals WMIFF in 2012 and HMIFF in 2013 for Best Actress) My favourite role to date.

[vimeo=63940699]

Vampires: Rise of the Fallen (Feature)-I was nominated for best Actress at 2 festivals (WMIFF and HMIFF)for this also and the film won several awards.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/41Amk7LxA6g]

 

My website, it needs an update, but you will get an idea.  CLICK HERE

Jessica’s FACEBOOK PAGE – CLICK HERE

 

An Interview with Michelle Shields by Dean Sills

ms1An Interview with Michelle Shields by Dean Sills

UKHS – Michelle, thank you for your time and welcome to UK Horror Scene.

How did you get into acting and what is it about the horror genre that you enjoy so much?

MS – Well I’ve been acting all my life. I was in all the school productions from kindergarten to college getting lead roles in high school and college. At age 15, I auditioned for a film and was cast as a 80s college punk rocker. I’ve always loved the horror genre watching horror films since I could crawl. I like the psychology behind the characters and their back stories that made the characters who they are.

 

ms6UKHS – You played Elizabeth in ‘Frankenstein: Day of The Beast’. Looking at the trailer you look too cute and innocent to play a character like this but I understand you do get tough in the movie. How did you get the part and what was it like playing a character that is both vulnerable and strong?

MS – I was contacted and offered a supporting role in the film but when I read the script I was drawn to the Elizabeth character. I notified the director that I wanted to audition for that role. After about 3 weeks of auditions I beat out about twenty five other women and was offered the lead role, Elizabeth.

It was great becoming the re-envisioned Elizabeth character. I liked the challenge and range of the character, who when circumstances demands, can take control of what is thrown at her.

 

ms10UKHS – Can you tell us a little about your role in ‘Post Mortem America, 2021’ and did you enjoy working with the great Horror Scream Queen Linnea Quigley?

MS – My character in the film is Hit Woman Suzy who is from the UK. She is a ruthless and psychotic killer. I am also proud of the fact that for this character I created the wardrobe and made the wig.

Of course I enjoyed working with Linnea. I grew up being a big fan of Linnea. On the set she is a true pro and off the set she is a wonderful person. We became good friends during the filming of “Post Mortem America 2021”.

 

ms3UKHS – How did you become a vampire named Sapphire in the comic book ‘Fangs’?

MS – Fangs is a comic book created by Comic Book Divas. I am actually an original core member of the company. Comic Book Divas offered to feature me in this and several other comics they have and are producing. Last year they decided to use my image to be the “Face Of Comic Book Divas”.

 

UKHS – I know you love Batman. How cool was it to actually work on the ‘The Dark Knight’ and how did this compare to working on other Hollywood movies like ‘Fred Claus’ and ‘Public Enemies’ ?

MS – Working on those films were great but the complete opposite of working on indie films. Indie films you may shoot a scene once or twice, maybe three times if you’re lucky because of budget restraints. These big budget films would take 12 hours to shoot the same scenes over and over again. One of the best parts of being in The Dark Knight was meeting Heath Ledger.

 

ms4UKHS – What projects are you currently working on this year?

MS – I have slowed things down a bit so I can finish my education. I have committed to three new films and will be doing a few personal appearances including being a Scream Queen Judge at this years Misty Moon Film Festival.

 

UKHS – What’s your favorite horror movie?

MS – It’s too difficult to pick, there are so many. I do like humour with horror so from ‘Return Of The Living Dead ‘and ‘Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein’ to ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘House of a Thousand Corpses’ with too many others to list 🙂

 

ms9UKHS – What would you consider to be the three main ingredients that you need to make a classic horror flick?

MS – A good script, a talented cast & crew, and dedication.

 

UKHS – If you were stranded on a desert island, which three items would you want to have with you? 

MS – Video games, comic books, and my boyfriend 🙂

 

UKHS – Finally, where do you see yourself in five years from now?

MS – Still doing what I love and working with clients as a therapist. You can keep up with me using the following links:

TheMichelleShields.com

www.facebook.com/MichelleShieldsActress

www.youtube.com/theMichelleShields

www.imdb.com/name/nm2512598/

UKHS – Thank you for your time, Michelle. Good luck for the future.

An Interview with Suelen Romani by Dean Sills

sr1An Interview with Suelen Romani by Dean Sills

First of all, let me just start by saying a huge thank you Suelen for chatting with us at UK Horror Scene. We really appreciate it, thanks!

UKHS – Suelen, you are a very beautiful, gifted Brazilian film, television, stage and commercial actress. Can you tell us a little about your early life in Brazil and how you got into acting?

SR – Thank you UK Horror Scene for this great opportunity and for your interest in my career, I am very happy to do this. I was born in a small town in the South of Brazil, my family are Italian descendants and I remember that growing up I didn’t have a lot of contact with the world outside the bucolic life of the countryside. However, my parents were quite young, I had a lot of freedom and I was a very creative child. I am the oldest of three. My parents always worked really hard, times were hard but they found their way to give me the best they could. I was a shy child and my mum enrolled me in a dancing school before I learned to read and write and soon after I was in the theater, I was probably around six years old.

That’s when I discovered my love for performing arts. I did many plays as a kid and nowadays I see the importance that the ludic had in my life. Despite of all our difficulties I was a happy kid. My passion for horror also started when I was young. When I was around eight years old I guess I played a “Mummy”. It was a lot of fun and I remember that there was another girl playing my Siamese mummy sister too. We had to roll ourselves from top to bottom in fabric stripes and spend the whole time stuck together because we had one of our arms wrapped together.

 

sr6UKHS – I am very impressed with all your training as an actress and stage work and would just like to said “congratulations” for receiving an award for Best Actor in a Comedy Play for ‘Laughing All the Way’ which you performed in 2009 at the Short Play Comedy Festival Kick It. I know theatre is probably harder to do as you have to get it right first time and looking at video clips of your stage work you gave an outstanding performance. Do you prefer acting on stage or screen?

SR – Thank you so much, that is very kind of you to say. You know, as an actor to accept, create and perform a character is already an honor. It is a type of work that requires so much, not only training, technique and research but also to know about oneself as a whole experience of being human and that’s quite a job. The theater is always a magical place, it is raw and present in the moment. There is no takes, it is astounding. The stage is a great challenge for an actor as well as it is the screen I think. There is a subtleness about the work with camera that is demanding to me and I absolutely love. Everything you do, every thought you have, every little muscle you move tells the story and shows who you are and that really fascinates me, you can’t really pay attention to that kind of detail on stage. It is a different experience and it is powerful. Did I answer your question?

 

sr3UKHS – Yes, thank you! It’s clear you have a passion for both and this is great. OK, moving onto your screen work, I would like to ask you about your film projects including ‘Friends of Friends’. Did you enjoy filming in Rio de Janeiro and what challenges did you and the film crew face filming in Brazil?

SR – I would love to work more and more in films. I have done some great little projects where I have collaborated with some really nice and talented people. I had a rich experience in Rio it is a beautiful place, geographically speaking and this movie had challenges as most of all the productions have because to make movies is not easy.

It was a low budget production and one of my scenes was shot in the cemetery. It was a short scene which we had a little trouble shooting, but in the end we got what we needed and we were all thrilled. The preparation in making a movie is as important as the commitment to the work.

It is a great responsibility when you work with a crew and with limitations such as time, money and location. It is a lot of pressure, you depend on one another, people get tired, things get challenging but no matter what we are working together to tell a story and that’s what really matters.

 

sr2UKHS – You play Beatrice in the thriller, ‘Then There Was’. Can you tell us a little about the film and the character you play in it?

SR – “Then There Was” is an independent feature which was shot in a beautiful location in Connecticut NY and tells the story about a global blackout that forces different kind of people to face the struggle to survive a society that is falling apart . It is a very interesting theme and Beatrice is one of the camper leaders who is there to help other people. She holds herself together trying to assist as many people as possible until things get really ugly and she needs to confront her limits of desperation. The world around her starts to crash, people start losing their minds and she has to affront her need to help with her own survival.

 

sr7UKHS – You played a Zombie in the short horror film, ‘Panacea’. Can you please tell us a little about your Zombie experience and would you love to do more horror in the future?

SR – I love zombies, I love horror and to be honest I loved horror before I even knew about movies. I grew up close to a graveyard and I was a very curious kid, so one thing that used to excite me was to escape at night and walk around the tombs to be scared and this is something I have never told anybody. I got to watch really great horror classics at a very young age like The Amityville Horror (1979), Ghosthouse (1988), IT (1990), Suspiria (1976), Poltergeist (1982),The Exorcist (1973) and Friday the 13th (1980). So you can imagine that to play a Zombie to me was an absolute blast and YES I would love to do more horror, I was always a big fan of Japanese horror as well.

They are gory, psychologically disturbing and in my opinion one of the most scary movies I have ever seen was Ringu from director Hideo Nakata.

To be honest, I think horror is a particularly difficult genre to find good stories because they can easily fall into comedy or simply not have the structure to support the tension to give the audience what they look for: fear and terror. As a horror fan, I know the loyalty I have to the genre. I hope for a good story to land in my career. Yes.

 

sr4UKHS – I love how you watched Italian horror films and not just ones from the USA. What would you consider to be the three main ingredients that you need to make a classic horror flick?

SR – This is a really good question. I think a great horror flick must have an element, a force, an evil that comes from beyond what we already know, something that gives us the feeling of impotence, neither explained by science nor physics, nothing predictable and far away from boring common logic, it needs a suspended disbelief that is clever and intriguing. We watch horror movies because they cause us fear, what we fear is not necessary something rational.

A good horror movie takes common fear of death, the dark and the unknown, for example, it exploits and acts upon them. And of course someone has to die in a classic horror, it doesn’t necessary need to be gore, maybe someone’s hanging upside down with guts spilling out? But it is important that death is explicit at some point or we will subconsciously hang on the hope that the character will be alive somewhere.

 

UKHS – If you were stranded on a desert island, which three items would you want to have with you?

SR – Oh Gosh. I would want to have fresh water, a Swiss Army Knife and a friend. How’s that sound? This was not so easy to answer.

 

sr8UKHS – Do you have a guilty pleasure horror film?

SR – Haha! Yes. Hostel from director Eli Roth. There is a lot of gore and torture, I watched it more than once.

 

UKHS – I know you love football, how proud are you as a Brazilian to be hosting the world cup in your native country and can Brazil win the world cup?

SR – You know part of me is proud and another part thinks that Brazil is not quite ready to be hosting the World Cup. Despite of all the problems faced in the country as well as the polemic caused by the World Cup works expenses, I do think Brazilians are great hosts. We are part of the history of the sport, you can’t know about football without knowing Pelé, Garrincha and Ronaldo. And football has the power to bring joy to this country like anything else. I wish we were internally more prepared for it, I hope that people won’t let hatred and anger to overcome this opportunity to show to the world our true spirit, our contagious happiness. I hope if there will be protests that they can be made with the heart and civility and not with violence and vandalism. People are rebelling against the government and some institutions with more intensity now.

The country is facing a lot of issues, some are old others not so much. I like that people are asking for changes. We are in the year of presidential election there are a lot going on but it shouldn’t be taken out in the World Cup which is supposed to be a reason to celebrate, specially if we win… . And can Brazil win the world cup? I think yes. Brazil has a great team and Felipão is an awesome coach. I have faith in them and I hope not to be disappointed.

 

sr5UKHS – Finally, What is the hardest role that you have had to play and do you go to extreme lengths to prep for your parts and stay in character?
SR – Every role is a new universe. Life is complex and to build a character is to build a life. I once played a young mother, widowed, addicted to crack that every day after I performed I used to collapse. One time I got home and the next thing I knew it was the next day and I had fallen asleep on my sofa fully dressed as I got home. When I get a role I do whatever it takes to prepare, whatever I need, everything that my instincts ask to have that life under my skin. I take every opportunity to dive in, create and live that person. It changes with every role and I do like to stay in character, to breath and to sense as the character, even if that requires me to stay private for some time. I think the most important prep to me is to connect with my heart.

UKHS – Suelen, thank you. It was a pleasure talking to you . Thank you for your time and keep up the great work as an actress. We wish you all the best for the future.

Suelen Romani’s IMDB page is HERE

You can also follow Suelen on Twitter HERE

The UKHS Ecstasy & Agony Showcase #11 – The Thing (1982) by Dean Sills

The UKHS Ecstasy & Agony Showcase #11:
The Ecstasy of THE THING (1982)

ThingPosterUKHS’ very own Parkinson, Sir. Dean of Sills, takes to the podium today, letting loose with a love-strewn appraisal of the Carpenter classic. It’s a Thing of beauty. See what we did there?

The horror film I love the most is John Carpenter’s The Thing. It’s far in front of the others, just like Lewis Hamilton in his F1 Mercedes. It’s Carpenter’s dark masterpiece; a real classic. So why do I love it so much? And what does it mean to me as a movie lover?

The Thing is unique in so many ways, from Kurt Russell’s outstanding performance as MacReady, a wisecracking helicopter pilot who is part of a twelve man research team stationed at a remote Antarctic research station; to the sheer, palpable sense of paranoia that grips the camp as they try to work out just who hasn’t been inhabited by the intergalactic shapeshifter. Entering the station in the form of a dog, we, the audience, know from the start it’s not of this world – Carpenter shows us as much during the opening credits – but MacReady and the rest of the team don’t have a clue!

The thing that gets me most excited about, er, The Thing is the way that we are totally unaware of who is still human and who is now alien. Once we get to see the alien for the first time it’s a half-formed monstrosity that scares the crap out of us, but at the same time are eyes are glued to the screen wanting to see much more and know how far the Thing will go to survive. The special effects may have dated a little from the first time I saw this but it’s still outstanding to watch; the creature-effects artists Rob Bottin and Stan Winston have created are really cool and gut-wrenchingly horrifying. And they’re still better than most current CGI effects.

The film is a remake of Howard Hawks’ 1951 science fiction classic The Thing from Another World which remains faithful to the short story upon which both are based, John Campbell’s Who Goes There?.

thing2I love the characters and each actor is superb in their roles. It’s a great cast, with the likes of Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Donald Moffat,David Clennon, Richard Masur and T.K. Carter. The atmosphere and setting is fantastic. My two favourite scenes from the movie are when Cooper attempts to revive Norris with a defibrillator. Norris is now The Thing and his chest opens up and becomes a pair of jaws ripping Cooper’s arms off. MacReady blasts the Thing with his flamethrower but the head of Norris detaches itself from his body and turns into a strange looking spider, which is oddly hilarious especially when the spider tries to escape and David Clennon as Palmer (with a bewildered look on his face) delivers the best line in the film, “You gotta be fuckin’ kidding.” The dialogue throughout the film is bloody awesome.

The other scene that gives me a real buzz is the blood testing scene with MacReady taking blood samples from all the surviving researchers in separate Petrie dishes and burning each one with a hot wire just to see who is still human and who is not! Another cracking line in the film comes from Gary (Donald Moffat) in this scene, he is tied up and tested last due to MacReady thinking he is the Thing but Gary turns out to still be human, shouting out while still tied up on his own, “I know you gentlemen have been through a lot, but when you find the time, I’d rather not spend the rest of this winter tied to this fucking couch!”

The Thing means so much to me as a movie lover because I am a huge Elvis Presley and Clint Eastwood fan. I know, wait a minute, you are all probably thinking what the hell does The Thing have to do with those two? Well, the film connects these two legends in so many ways, basically thanks to Elvis and Clint it’s the reason I first discovered this awesome film. Kurt Russell was the kid whom Elvis pays to kick him in the shins in It Happened at the World’s Fair. Kurt would later go on to play Elvis in Elvis. This 1979 tv movie which was directed by John Carpenter. In The Thing, Kurt Russell’s character is a loner, displaying the mannerisms of Eastwood.

thingselfieI once read that on the set of Escape From New York, the presence of Lee Van Cleef inspired Kurt Russell to talk in a raspy voice just like Clint Eastwood in the Man With No Name trilogy. The soundtrack for the Man With No Name trilogy was done by Ennio Morricone who also did the haunting score for The Thing. So thanks to Elvis and Clint I became a fan of Kurt Russell and John Carpenter.

When I first watched The Thing with my Dad I remember it freaking me out a little, with it’s jaw-dropping frightening special effects. I was even looking at our pet dog, Sheba, a little different wondering if she was one of those things! Viewing the film today, it’s clear to see this is a well acted, horror, sci-fi action flick that has stood the test of time and become one of the best horror movies ever created that gets a big thumbs up from me!

*****

Read all the previous Ecstasy & Agony pieces by clicking them:

#1 Dead & Buried (1981) by Duane Hicks 

#2 The Happening (2008) by James Pemberton 

#3 Sleepstalker (1995) by Matty Budrewicz

#4 A Serbian Film (2010) by Oli Ryder

#5 A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Dead (1985) by Dave Wain

#6 Cabin In The Woods (2012) by Joey Keogh

#7 Battle Royale (2000) by Mark Pidgeon 

#8 Avia Vampire Hunter (2005) by Andy Deen

#9 La Jetee (1962) by Stuart Anderson

#10 The Shining (1980) by Stuart Smith

An Interview with Ghostline Director Dean Whitney by Dean Sills

dwhit1An Interview with Ghostline Director Dean Whitney by Dean Sills

UKHS Dean, thank you for your time and welcome to UK Horror Scene. You were in the music business for thirty years, how did you get into Indie filmmaking and set up your own production company Undaunted Films?

DW – With the music biz basically winding down for me, I was forced to make some hard decisions on what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. The word “retire” isn’t part of my vocabulary. Sticking with my creative side, I wrote & self-published a baseball novel entitled “Pinch Hitter” in 2008. While working on a second novel a year later, I decided that the story might work better as a screenplay and began doing research on writing scripts and eventually hired a veteran Los Angeles writer to show me the ropes. Three or four screenplays later, I landed a Beverly Hills manager (also a script consultant) and wrote under her tutelage for two years.

After seeing how difficult it was for unknown screenwriters to sell scripts, I figured the only way I was ever going to see any of my scripts produced in my lifetime was to do it myself. I spoke with my manager about producing a feature film in 2011. Then I read a filmmaker magazine story listing five reasons to produce a short before tackling a feature and decided to go in that direction. At that point, I had no interest in becoming a director. However, at the urging of my manager and my wife, Judy, I decided to give it a shot. More research ensued and then I wrote and directed “The Body Bag”, a 17-minute horror short that was awarded “Best California Short Film 2012” by the California Film Awards. Having produced “The Body Bag” under D & J Films, we wanted a stronger name under which to produce our first feature. Borrowing the title of one of my earlier screenplays, “Undaunted”, we decided on Undaunted Films.

Side note: Judy is a former child actress who appeared in several notable films, including “The Birds”, “Marnie”, “The Errand Boy”, and “Spartacus”, and a host of TV shows, including “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and “Hazel”.

 

dwhit2UKHS – What is the main attraction of the horror genre and do you find them challenging as a writer and director?

DW – Behavioral researchers have been trying to figure that out for decades. I guess it varies from person to person. I grew up on the horror films of the 50’s and 60’s, which seemed to focus more on suspense and were quite tame compared to what we’ve seen in the past 20 years or so. Many of the modern horror films contain extreme gore and violence and seem to focus more on the suffering of the victims. As a writer/producer, the main attraction is the reality that it’s the only genre in which you can find success without the benefit of “big name” actors. (There are exceptions, of course, but not many). To date, I’ve written approximately 24 screenplays and only a few are in the horror genre.

In writing “Ghostline”, the challenge was concocting a story based on an original idea that moviegoers would find “scary” or “creepy”. And, being that our intent was to produce it on a relatively small budget, it had to be created with limited characters and locations. As a director, my challenge was to make it look and sound more expensive than it actually was. To accomplish that, we shot it on a Red (4K) camera, hired two of the best sound mixers and boom operators around, and spent a tremendous amount of time on the lighting.

 

dwhit3UKHS – Can you tell us about your supernatural-horror movie ‘Ghostline’ and where did you get the inspiration from to write a screenplay based around an unknown caller?

DW – I can’t give too much away, but the story revolves around Tyler and Chelsea, a charismatic young couple who move into a house that Tyler inherited from a deceased relative. Upon learning that cell phone service is basically non-existent in their area, they install a recycled landline. On the very first night they begin to receive “unknown caller” phone calls from a seemingly unstable young woman named “Ellen”, who insists that Tyler’s her ex-boyfriend, Eric. Turning to the phone company, they learn that the calls are coming from a ghostline which is an untraceable phone line from which one can make calls without having a specific number.

Given a new number, they believe their troubles are over. But the calls continue. That’s when they call upon a detective who eventually concocts a plan to draw Ellen out. However, she detects the deception and issues a threat: “I’m going to find you, Eric. And when I do, I;ll make you pay for what you did to me!” That’s when things really start to get crazy.

My inspiration for “Ghostline” came from a 1964 Twilight Zone episode entitled “Night Call”. It’s about an elderly woman who begins to receive phone calls from a man buried in a local cemetery after a phone line which was knocked down by a storm and lands directly on top of his grave. For some reason, that story remained etched in my mind all these years. Also, I once lived in a duplex that had a ghostline. I could call out, but no one could call in.

I should also point out that “Ghostline” was written as a trilogy and the sequel has already been written. We hope to get started on it sometime in 2015.

 

dwhit4UKHS – I did enjoy the trailer and your two main actors Rachel Alig and Zack Gold look great together on screen. Who did you cast first and did you have any concerns about finding the right cast for a supernatural-horror movie?

DW – Thank you. While mega-budget films have the luxury of working with casting directors who can bring in “A” list actors, we low-budget indie producers must rely on ourselves to find the best available talent for our projects. And that was a huge concern. Although there are many talented actors in San Diego where the film was shot, we
couldn’t find any in the 26 – 28 range with the qualities we were seeking for the lead roles. Fortunately for us, there are many fine LA-based actors & actresses champing at the bit to work on indie projects such as ours.

Whether it was a “gut feeling” or just plain dumb luck, Rachel and Zack were my first choices for Chelsea & Tyler even before we auditioned anyone. Out of over 1600 female and 1200 male submissions for the two roles, I seem to recall that we auditioned about 30 women and 20 men. While Rachel’s audition was as smooth as silk, Zack’s was not. However, when we later paired them together at the callback, their chemistry was obvious. We hired them a few days later. As it turned out, four of our cast members came from LA and the rest were local.

 

dwhit5UKHS – How long did ‘Ghostline’ take to make and did you encounter any problems during the shoot?

DW – Altogether it took about four weeks to get everything we needed. Thanks to a solid cast and crew and good planning and organization on our part, we didn’t have any major problems to speak of. Seems there are always minor issues that arise on film sets, such as equipment failure or people not showing up when they’re supposed to. Fortunately for us, we didn’t have any of those issues. We shot most of the film at a rented house, which was very convenient for us being that three of our crew members lived outside San Diego and needed a place to stay.

 

dwhit6UKHS – Do you believe in the supernatural?

DW – While I’ve always had a keen interest in the supernatural, I didn’t become a believer until fairly recently. To date, I’ve participated in six “ghost hunts” at various locations with The San Diego Ghost Hunters (ghost consultants on our film). Without going into any great detail, I had experiences on a few of them that were powerful enough to convince me that there’s something to the “other side”. In one instance, I was touched…twice! In another one, I made contact with the spirit of a deceased relative through the use of divining rods.
The last one (May 3rd) took place at an American Legion building (where we shot the bar scenes). At around 1:30AM, there was an incident involving me, a female board member of the American Legion, and the leader of the SD Ghost Hunters. While sitting at a table in the ballroom (where it had to be over 80 degrees) the board member suddenly felt a gush of cold air on her. Seconds later, we all heard a deep breath which was followed by both ladies feeling and reacting as if they were being attacked by an unknown entity. I immediately got up and walked around to where the board member was sitting and felt the cold air around her. There’s much more to the story, but suffice it say that we got out of there in a hurry.

 

dwhit7UKHS – What’s the scariest movie you’ve ever seen?

DW – I’d have to say “The Exorcist”. Really freaked me out. To make matters worse, I went home to an empty house that night forgetting that I had left all the windows open. And it was windy. Once inside, I probably looked like Tarzan swinging from one light switch to another in an effort to turn on all the lights. Looking into the bedroom from the doorway, I could swear that I saw Linda Blair tied to the bed. Definitely turned me off pea soup for many years.

The other one that had an impact of me was the original “Night of the Living Dead”, which I saw at a drive-in in Long Beach, California. Going in, I knew nothing about the film, including the fact that it was in black & white. Really held my attention. Funny moment: At one point, my peripheral vision caught a glimpse of someone standing next to my open window. Scared the living hell out of me! It was some guy who had gotten lost on his way back from the concession stand.

 

UKHS – Finally, are you working on any other projects in 2014 which you can tell UKHS about?

DW – Time permitting, we’d like to produce another supernatural thriller entitled “Kill Me Once” later this year. The script is ready and we’ve already started to look at a few actors. However, since my priority in 2014 is promoting “Ghostline”, it may get pushed into 2015. I’m also writing a novel entitled “Beast”, which is a drama based on one of my screenplays about a man born with beastly facial features.

 

UKHS – Good luck with ‘Ghostline’,’Kill Me Once’ and ‘Beast’. Thanks again for your time and keep up the great work!

Images courtesy:Dean Whitney and Ghostline.

http://www.ghostline-the-movie.com/

https://www.facebook.com/GhostlineMovie

 

An Interview with the Zombies from The Eschatrilogy: Book of the Dead by Dean Sills

An Interview with the Zombies from The Eschatrilogy: Book of the Dead by Dean Sills

escds7

Our own Dean as a zombie

This interview is extra special in so many ways. First of all it’s my 50th interview at UKHS, it’s also actually two years this weekend since I first worked on a feature film. This honour goes to the stunning Zombie flick,
‘The Eschatrilogy: Book of the Dead’, the film is out on DVD in the USA next week . I am delighted to bring 12 of the zombies to UKHS for a chat. Please welcome Louise Beaumont, David Alexander, Michael Boyce, Kelly Buckley, Tony Cartwright, Tony Crookes, Beverley Jacques, Paul Sutton, Andy Troth,Victoria Vardy,Sarah Tatkat Wilson and Jayne Wylie.

UKHS – Louise, before we begin I just want to say a huge thank you because you are the person who first contacted me from Safehouse Pictures UK regarding the work as a Zombie extra. I was truly bitten by the acting bug working on this thanks to Damian Morter, Nicola Morter and all the cast and crew.

I love the scene where you are eating the cat. I know you are a cat owner and animal lover so how difficult was it filming this scene and did you use any visualization techniques to make it look so realistic?

Louise – I found it a little strange as I had a cat at home but the actual cat’s body was made from a hairy cushion that belonged to me which was dyed black for effect. I am also a vegetarian but I really enjoyed doing the scene, acting it out came surprisingly easy, my thought process was, I have no feelings, I’m hungry and tried not to have any emotion in my face. The director gave me a few pointers with the arm banging on the fence but the rest of it came from my own initiative. Absolutely loved the experience.

escds1UKHS – David, the next question goes to you. Damian Morter brings to the screen his stunning storytelling and makes the movie come alive with his unique filmmaking. What makes Damian so special as a superb filmmaker and storyteller and how proud are you to have worked on this film?

David – It’s got to be that he is driven by the image and the story in his head and will not let anything get in the way of that image, not money, weather, dickheads or the police. On top of all that he’s a cool guy, he’s got the time of day for people, no ego. It was an absolute privilege and an honour to get to play out a childhood fantasy, as I’ve been a horror fan all the way back to the days of the Hammer House of Horror and a big Romero fan and I like how Damian has stayed true to the genre but put in his own special twist.

UKHS – Michael,what’s your best memory of working on The Eschatrilogy: Book of the Dead?

Michael – This was my first experience being an extra in a film, the film crew became like an extended family. I met some amazing people along the way, from all walks of life, we had to amuse ourselves between filming to keep warm, we even gave the well know ‘Thriller’ dance a shot. Pamela Clare, the makeup artist was our choreographer, she did it so slow we couldn’t stop laughing at her. We all call Pamela, ‘PC’ but we nicknamed her ‘More Blood’ because she enjoyed making us drink blood for the shoot, this was stage blood not real blood , she covered us with it and then she came back with more blood.

escds2UKHS – Kelly, you became great friends with Paul Sutton during the filming. I love working with Paul, he makes every shoot so much fun.What was the funniest moment you had on set with him and all the other Zombies?

Kelly – The best part of being involved in ‘The Eschatrilogy’ was definitely the people I met, including my partner Tim. There were so many laughs and good times on set, making up zombie songs and parodies or doing daft dances to keep warm between shots. I think my favourite memory is of the poor dog walker who was so terrified at the site of 50 odd zombies she practically crawled through the boot of her car to escape us. I’m hoping she wasn’t too traumatised after, although she did get her picture taken with us all once she’d calmed down.

UKHS – OK, next question goes to Tony Cartwright. You were probably the most scariest Zombie on set. How long did it take you to get into character and which scene did you enjoy working on the most?

Tony Cartwright – Really!! Me, the most scariest haha! I like it, I would say, when I first joined the set, the year before completion, I was so nervous and it probably came out as looking scary. It was the first film set I had been on, everyone was so friendly, cast and crew, that I couldn’t wait for the next shoot. The awesome makeup artists helped me get into character with latex etc. I loved the scene where we had to chase the car, it took a few takes and me almost getting run down, when he reverse the car. But we had a great laugh that day with great people and the excitement/adrenaline rush running after the car, lots of blood and gore and a great director, Damian Morter. This film gave me the buzz to do more extra work.

escds5UKHS – Next question goes to Tony Crookes. Tony, I love that fact a few of us from ‘The Eschatrilogy’ have gone on to work on a number of other projects. What do you enjoy most about acting and how much fun did you have playing a Zombie in The Eschatrilogy: Book of the Dead?

Tony Crookes – Yeah! It was awesome and I loved every Minute filming ‘The Eschatrilogy’ and meeting all the friends from the set. Well, the most I enjoy is seeing how different everyone is and how passionate people get . As an actor you can be crazy and be someone your not and no one will judge you . As a crazy guy I am, it’s so for me as every job, every director and every set is different. I was on set 3 full days of ‘ The Eschatrilogy’ and out of the films and TV I have done it has to be the one I remembered the most. How Damian, the director got everyone involved and he made you feel like you were a real zombie.The other people I met on set some are good friends as we are a zombie family now.The most fun I had was getting blood and mud thrown all over me and trying to catch someone to bite. It was awesome and I’m so honoured to be involved in the film.

UKHS – Beverley, you played a Zombie and a call handler at the Police station in the film. Which role did you enjoy playing the most and why?

Beverley – This is a difficult one Dean….I love being made up with all the blood & gore as a Zombie & on this occasion felt that I would miss out on the fun. However we had such fun doing the call handling awaiting being
eaten by hungry Zombies.This was mainly due to the great team I worked with. I must admit as we awaited the Zombies climbing the stairs I did get more & more scared. Damien did say when they burst through make sure the scream can be heard. Well, all I can say is that my mate Jayne could hear me in the basement & I was on the top floor.In fact they had to calm me down after I was that scared, haha! Very happy memories working with a very talented team.

escds4UKHS – Paul, ‘The Eschatrilogy’ was the first feature film you worked on. What made it so special and inspired you to do more zombie and acting work and go from being an extra to a supporting actor on a number of different projects?

Paul – The atmosphere on set and the people I met that day without a doubt. All these people who live within a 10 mile radius of me, and I’d have never met them without this film. Several are now close friends and some (including yourself Dean!) I’ve been fortunate enough to act with on other films. I also give complete credit to Damian and Nicola Morter for their friendly, fun attitude on set – had we gone onto the set of the film and it’d been a crap atmosphere, with a shouty, miserable director and a serious crew I wouldn’t have caught the bug to be in more films. Even in miserable conditions they kept us happy, entertained and the camaraderie on the set made us all a family. I’ve always loved acting and did 4 years of youth theatre. This film reawakened my love of acting and I’m blessed that I’m now getting to show people what I can do and am getting featured and lead roles in some very good films. Damian created a monster!

UKHS – Andy, I believe you worked on most of the segments in the film. Which scene did you enjoy the most and what was it like working for a superb company like Safehouse Pictures UK?

Andy – I enjoyed the ‘police station’ scene best, as there were fewer Zombie extras involved and therefore the makeup artists could spend longer on each person’s ‘look’. I felt that everyone at Safehouse Pictures was extremely dedicated to the project, hardworking and above all, eager to ensure that the film lived up to its full potential.

escds8UKHS – Victoria, on a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate ‘The Eschatrilogy: Book of the Dead ‘ alongside other Zombie films and did you enjoy playing a Zombie.

Victoria – I would rate the film as an 8. It’s definitely up there with the rest and that’s not just because I’m in it, haha! I like the storyline and the fact its 3 stories from 3 different perspectives which all come together at the end. I do, it’s opened up a whole new world of scare acting for me plus we have the Zombie for hire group called Zee team events.

UKHS – Sarah, Can you tell us a little about the zombie makeup process and what was it like getting covered in fake blood and mud each day?

Sarah – At first it was a strange feeling but everyone was so nice and friendly I soon forgot what I looked like and just got on with doing the best job I could. I really enjoyed the process and learned a lot from the MUA. I found it really exciting to be there and get covered in blood and mud by professionals.

UKHS – The last question goes to Jayne.The first time you saw the film what was your immediate reaction and do you have a favourite scene?

Jayne – I felt really proud and happy to have been given the opportunity to take part in an amazing film! It’s odd seeing yourself on the big screen and I must admit the first time I saw it I spent most of the time looking for myself and friends and remembering where the scenes took place and what fun we had filming it! I think one of my favourite scenes (cos there are a few!) is the scene in the police station where Clay is coming down the stairs and sees the Zombies for the first time, his face is a picture!!

escds3UKHS – Zombies, thank you for your time.I truly wish we could all get together much more often because you guys rock! Apologizes to all the other Zombies from ‘The Eschatrilogy’ who I could not include in this interview.

The DVD (Region 1) will be released on 20th May and is available to pre-order at Amazon.com HERE

Image courtesy: The Zombies.Makeup artists: Pamela Clare and Anne Derbyshire.

www.safehousepicturesuk.com

 

 

 

[youtube=http://youtu.be/9Wx3iyHbE0M]

An Interview with Blaze of Gory writer Blaize-Alix Szanto by Dean Sills

An Interview with Blaze of Gory writer Blaize-Alix Szanto by Dean Sills

bog3UKHS – Hello Blaize. First of all, let me start by saying a huge thank you for chatting with us at UK Horror Scene. Can you tell us a little about yourself and when did your first start writing gory horror stories?

Blaize – Well, I’m 17 soon to be 18 and I’m super excited about it! I’m quite an outgoing person once you get to know me but other than that I like to keep myself to myself although the bright hair doesn’t really allow for that! I got into writing from a really young age (8/9) from writing in school etc. But I got into the horror scene during secondary school, there wasn’t really any reason behind it I just really enjoy being able to sicken people with something that isn’t real!

 

UKHS – I believe it was your mum who put you in touch with the film’s producer, David V G Davies after you wrote the first story. How excited are you that David decided to turn your stories into a movie?

Blaize – I am totally overwhelmed that this has happened all from a few stories that I wrote! I think what makes it even more amazing for me is the fact that I enjoy writing and I didn’t write my stories for anyone else so when Dave asked for them I was really dubious about it. Even now, when the project has been going for nearly 2 years I’m still overwhelmed by it all.

 

bog1UKHS – Which story did you enjoy writing the most and did you base any of the characters on real life people?

Blaize – I have to say that I can’t choose a favourite story if I’m honest, the one I enjoyed writing the most was If You Were Here because it was the story I got most engrossed in. None of the characters are based on real life people, it’s all made up.

UKHS – Congratulations on directing one of the segments ‘Beer Cellar’. Was it a nerve-racking experience directing one of your own stories or did you feel relaxed and totally at home?

Blaize – Being as I had never directed before, I was nervous at first but all the cast and crew were amazing and they made me feel so at home that I lost the nerves soon after we started filming. Dave was a massive help and he guided me through everything which made it all a little easier. As well as that I am so grateful to have been able to direct the segment as I made some life long friends and experiences that will stay with me forever.

 

bog5UKHS – What’s your favourite Horror movie and why?

Blaize – I couldn’t chose a favourite! There’s far too many that I enjoy. Although a film that I could watch over and over without getting bored is the French film Martyrs, its an amazing film and will always be an all time favourite. I don’t really scare much at films and I’m not squeamish but A Serbian Film made me physically throw up!

 

UKHS – What advice would you give aspiring writers?

Blaize – The only advice I feel is best is that what you write will never be good to anyone else unless you believe in it yourself. Write for yourself, not for others and don’t write for the sake of it, you need to really enjoy it to produce good work.

 

bog2UKHS – If you were stranded on a desert island which three items would you want to have with you?

Blaize – I have conversations about this with my friends all the time! Its quite a hard one, but it goes without saying that I’d have a pen and paper, none of these computers, I like the good old fashioned way. That counts as two things though! Damn! I would also choose to have myiPod because I literally can’t write without music, it helps me concentrate.

 

UKHS – Finally, do you have any plans to continue writing and if so will it be something that isn’t horror-oriented or do you enjoy the gore too much?

Blaize – I will always write because its something that I love to do, it’s a good way to vent and chill out. I think I will always write horror/thriller type stuff because I love how descriptive you can be etc. I aspire to write a book and have it published before I die!

 

bog6UKHS – Blaize, thank you for your time and all the best for the future.

https://www.facebook.com/goryblaze?fref=ts

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2267578/

https://twitter.com/BlazeofGoryfilm

Images courtesy: C Matthews