By James Whittington, Wednesday 25th October 2006 The Zone Horror CUT! 2006 competition was a huge success with an eclectic range of entries which ranged from the surreal to the down right gore drenched pieces of celluloid. The overall winner was Alyosha Saari of London (who picked up a rather nice cheque for £5000!) was so we thought, seeing as though his piece will be shown on Halloween night) it was time to discover how Kasting came about.
ZH: Tell us a little about yourself
AS: I’m 23 years old, I’ve studied philosophy and film in Paris for the past five years, I was born in the US but raised in Ecuador, South America, and I am now living and studying in London.
ZH: What's your background in film - have you trained anywhere? Have you worked on many other projects?
AS: I’m attending the London Film Academy from which I’ll be graduating soon. Besides working on the other student films on the course, I directed one of the four 5 minute films we develop during the course. I also did one or two amateur films and a student music video for a French rock band back in Paris.
ZH: Tell us about Kasting. How did you develop the concept?
AS: Well it’s hard to say, the script was written very quickly, maybe as a result of doing many castings on the course and realising how competitive the industry is, and how far people are willing to go to make it in there. I also heard some pretty extreme stories about castings. It’s all about this twisted relationship between the industry and the actor, and the fascination of being able to control someone to the point of driving that person to suicide.
ZH: How long did it take to make? What was your budget? Was it a smooth shoot?
AS: We shot everything in a day, and came with a first cut in the next few days. The film cost next to nothing, only around a hundred pounds for set design and food. The shoot was very intense because it involved the tricky rope stunt at the end which made some people nervous, but it all worked fine when we got it, and the last shots of all the other “victims” at the end of the day were fun to do.
ZH: The actress and creepy casting director give terrifically assured performances. Tell us about them.
AS: Monica Bertei is a fantastic young actress who’s been working in short films and commercials lately, I met her on another shoot, so when I came up with Kasting, I knew she was right for the part. Toor Mian graduated from the London Film Academy in 2004, and is mainly a writer/director and he gives a terrific performance each time he appears in a short film. Being a director himself he was quite right for the part as well.
ZH: Is this the first time you've got blood on your hands as a filmmaker?
AS: This is the first horror film I do, but in my first amateur short film the main character gets shot in the back, so maybe that was the first time I got blood in my hands (a mixture of ketchup, red paint and raspberry jam).
ZH: What did you learn making Kasting?
AS: I learned how much a film relies on the cast and how important it is to stick to your original idea to the very end.
ZH: Any interesting anecdotes you'd like to share from the shoot?
AS: I had to do the jump with the rope around my own neck to prove to Monica that it was safe (obviously the rope wasn’t tied to the ceiling), ironically seeing me jump with the rope made her even more frightened.
ZH: How did you hear about CUT!? What do you think of the opportunities it gives to budding horror directors?
AS: I saw a flyer at the London Film Academy and went straight to the web page. It’s a fantastic competition because it’s quite challenging to make a good two minute horror film (you have less time to build a mood and scare the audience!), so it’s very rewarding when you get it right. The competition gives a great opportunity to any horror director to prove himself.
ZH: Legendary horror maverick Lloyd Kaufman said your film was a: "great metaphor regarding the entertainment industry. Very dark with excellent acting." What is it like having your work judged by experts such as Kaufman, Rob Tapert and Alan Jones, all of whom have such a fine horror pedigree?
AS: It’s more than an honour. It’s such a great opportunity to be able to show a short film to the creator of the Toxic avenger, the producer of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy and the master of horror film journalism and get such positive feedback…It’s just amazing!
ZH: Are you working on anything new?
AS: Yes, I have written two short scripts, one of them is a modern adaptation of a tale by Edgar Alan Poe and the other is a peculiar western. During the course I also wrote a 10 minute dark comedy about the publishing industry. I have also considered making a longer film based on the concept of Kasting, as well as starting to develop a feature script that is also related to the entertainment industry.
ZH: Alyosha Saari, thank you very much
Posted in Booth's Blog, Wednesday 16th August 2017
The term 'Folk Horror' has become widely used in Horror academia to describe usually British films that dabble in all things pagan and witchy. With a strong connection to our pagan routes, 'Folk Horror' was popularised by countless Hammer Horror and Tigon films in the '60s and '70s with The Witches (1966), Witchfinder General (1968), and The Blood on Satan's Claw (1971), although arguably the most iconic of the sub-genre is The Wicker Man made in 1973, which is now a beacon of worship in its own right!
With the death of hippie culture there was a hiatus within the subgenre in the '80s and '90s, however there has since seen a resurgence, specifically with the critically acclaimed The Witch in 2015; a ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with legendary actress Barbara Crampton
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Tuesday 15th August 2017
Ahead of her eagerly awaited presence at Horror Channel FrightFest 2017, genre icon, actress and producer Barbara Crampton talks exclusively about her latest film Replace, battling chronic fatigue syndrome and her passion for supporting new talent.
Q: Replace raises questions about beauty, body image and growing older, issues that many feel plague the Hollywood movie industry. What is your view on this subject?
BC: The best movies reflect our inner world, our hopes, our good intentions, trials and our demons. Growing old and the fear of death is endemic to all, not just the movie industry. Just when you begin to figure it out your back aches, your skin starts to wrinkle and you gain weight...SHARE: READ MORE Exclusive: Brand new poster for superb thriller Freehold
Posted in Frightfest, Tuesday 15th August 2017
The feature debut from director Dom Bridges and written by Rae Brunton (the Outpost franchise), Freehold is a dark urban morality tale with an underlying streak of jet black comedy.
Hussein, a wide-boy estate agent, doesn't realise he's sharing his apartment with a forgotten stranger, a master of concealment... until his malicious campaign of deranged sweet revenge starts to really hit home. A roof above our heads is a basic human need so why are we all fighting each other over it?
The movies is a genre riff on home invasion chillers and doubles as a searing comment on the cut-throat housing market.
Freehold stars Mim Shaikh, Javier Botet, Mandeep Dhillon, Kola Bokinniand Mic...SHARE: READ MORE Booth's Blog: FrightFest season is here!
Posted in Booth's Blog, Monday 14th August 2017
It's that time again!
I cannot believe it is nearly a year since I was presenting at FrightFest which moved to Shepherds Bush temporarily, but is now back at its true 'Dark Heart' the Cineworld and Prince Charles in Leicester Square and I am so excited to read about this years line up and returning FrightFest favourite guests Joe Lynch and Adam Green (cheeky boys those two!).
For starters the festival organisers have decided to open the 5 day event with a real crowd-pleaser as everyone's favourite pott--mouthed demonic doll is back in Cult Of Chucky. This time the one and only star Jennifer Tilly is in attendance too alongside director Don Mancini and Fiona Douri...SHARE: READ MORE 10 FrightFest flicks for 2017
Posted in Frightfest, Monday 14th August 2017
Heading to Horror Channel FrightFest 2017? Horror Channel Manager Stewart Bridle lists some of the fearful flicks to catch.
Horror Channel FrightFest returns to London this August and has its usual abundance of riches for the genre film fan. Choosing what to watch can be a hard and painful process every year and I often want to clone myself just so I can enjoy it all. With such a fantastic line-up for 2017 the task seems even harder but for what it's worth here's ten of the films that I recommend you treat your eyeballs to.
CULT OF CHUCKY
Everyone's favourite "friend to the end" returns to play at FrightFest once again and this time to do the honours of opening the festival itself. It's ...
Posted in News, Saturday 12th August 2017
88 Films will unleash Lucio Fulci's most macabre and underrated blood-operas, Touch Of Death (1988) on August 7th, the latest addition to their now legendary Italian Collection.
Making its British bow in full HD, with a stunning new restoration for Blu-ray, Touch Of Death has been tragically underseen even though it rates right up there with Fulci's most fiendish splatter epics.
Starring the iconic B-movie maverick Brett Halsey (Return Of The Fly) and Euro-schlock veteran Al Cliver (The Devil Hunter), this fast-paced, plasma-drenched sickie tells of a cannibalistic killer who seems to be surrounded by an increasingly large amount of bizarre personalities.
Of course, this factor doe...SHARE: READ MORE Coming to vinyl for the first time, The Hilarious House of Frightenstein.
Posted in News, Saturday 12th August 2017
Groove Vinyl Records has announced that they are to release (for the first time on vinyl) the classic original television show, The Hilarious House of Frightenstein.
This cult classic of a series was originally broadcast in Canada on channel CHCH-TV way back in 1971 and starred Billy Van with guest appearances from the one and only Vincent Price and a collection of regular monsters!
Containing gags, songs and even a bit of education, the show had a cult following and will be released onto vinyl coming in four different colours and covers thanks to Groove Vinyl Records who are working alongside the Vincent Price Estate on this title.
The details first two versions, Igor in "Yes Mas...SHARE: READ MORE Graham Humphreys' stunning artwork for Horror Channel FrightFest 2017
Posted in Frightfest, Tuesday 8th August 2017
Horror Channel FrightFest is delighted to present Graham Humphreys' stunning artwork for this year's annual Bank Holiday event, the UK's largest celebration of genre cinema, taking place at Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema between Thursday August 24th and Monday August 28th.
Celebrating a return to one of FrightFest's former homes (The Empire) and the revival of some familiar characters to the festival line up, such as Chucky, Victor Crowley and Leatherface. were inspirations behind the concept.Graham reveals: "My image is an attempt to amalgamate the Gothic roots of horror with the 70s Monster revival that saturated the US and UK, inspiring g... SHARE: READ MORE Creepshow 2 soundtrack is coming to vinyl.
Posted in News, Tuesday 8th August 2017 Waxwork Records is thrilled to announce the debut soundtrack release of Creepshow 2. The 1987 anthology horror film is a sequel to 1982's Creepshow, which was directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King. The film is once again based upon stories by Stephen King, and features three horror-segments, Old Chief Woodenhead, The Raft, and The Hitchhiker, with an animated-horror wrap around story.
The score, co-composed and performed by Les Reed and Rick Wakeman, features a mix of both classic, orchestral compositions and electronic, synth cues. Waxwork's Creepshow 2 deluxe, double LP soundtrack release marks the very first time that the music from the film has been released in any format. After a leng...SHARE: READ MORE PICK OF THE WEEK
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