Alex Chandon is a writer and director of numerous award winning short movies, and SFX wizard and director of cult titles Pervirella and Cradle Of Fear.
His latest movie, Inbred is the centerpiece to the very first Horror Channel Horror Club event which is happening on May 3rd.
Here Alex chats about his career, Inbred, and being chosen for the first Horror Club.
HC: We recently showed your movie Cradle Of Fear on the channel, what do you recall of the production of that movie?
AC: Quite a lot considering we filmed it in the year 2000. How time flies. It was a mental shoot for lots of reasons... it was crazily ambitious for its low budget and had so many make-up/gore FX scenes. It's an anthology movie with 5 stories which basically means 5 times the locations and five times the lead actors for each segment. And we had to work around the schedule of Cradle Of Filth, the metal band who were huge at the time. What were we thinking?? It was organised madness that was a fine line between being in control and complete insanity.
HC: Would you like to make a belated sequel?
AC: Not unless there was a LOT of money involved! But I do like anthology movies, and would happily get involved in another un-connected anthology. But I would like to go back to Cradle Of Fear and do a re-cut (trim 30 minutes... make it tighter), improve some FX shots (now that I can do After Effects), get a composed spooky score (the soundtrack was cobbled together from random music from my pals), up-res it to HD and do a long 'making of' including never before scenes of all the carnage. Oh...and maybe add more nudity and blood for good measure! I had to wait till all the rights returned to me, which they did in 2010... then Inbred happened... but hopefully we might have a window to do this 'redux' this year.
HC: At FrightFest 2011 the whole cast of Inbred seemed to be at the Empire Cinema, that was quite a moment that few will forget. They really did enter into the spirit of things didn’t they?
AC: That was a great evening. We hadn't had a cast and crew screening of Inbred as we literally finished the version we screened at Frightfest two days before the screening. Even I hadn't watched the entire film with credits on the day. That is why so many cast and crew came along, and yes, made it very memorable. My belated apologies to those punters who expected a bit of quiet and found themselves sat next to two rows of laughing, cheering Inbred's!
HC: The audience really "got" the movie, were you nervous before it was shown?
AC: Terrified... not so much for whether they 'got' the film... as we'd deliberately included so many scenes I knew horror fans would lap up... but more about the technical aspects due to our uber-late delivery. I was nervous about the sound mostly... it was an area that was compromised a tad for this first screening (it's been improved since) due a key crew member abandoning his post at the 11th hour and leaving us in the shit. Luckily we knew some amazing sound people who rallied to our assistance when they heard we needed help. Thanks Thomas Lawes and Michael Nowacki! I was also nervous about all our cast and crew arriving as they were travelling from all over the country. Luckily everything worked... well... worked enough so no-one noticed a few issues. We had to adjust the sound manually three times during the screening from the projection booth!! Thanks to the Frightfest guys and the folks at the Empire, Leicester Square for being so understanding and accomodating. They took a slight risk in accepting Inbred based on a rough cut and my promise we'd be finished on time, and I am forever grateful.
HC: The cameo from Emily Booth is quite something, did that take long to shoot?
AC: Emily is superb in her role. We shot her opening scene in a day... well half a day as we lost the morning due to rain and had to shift the whole shoot to an interior... initially it was to be filmed outside next to the most amazing poppy field. We filmed the scene in June 2011... 8 months after we wrapped the main shoot. The reason for this is we wanted the opening scene to be warm and summer-y... so its ironic it p****d down and ended up being shot inside. Emily was 5 months pregnant at the time, which meant we couldn't chuck her around as much as I'd wanted! She was a total dream, as usual... we told she could go easy on her screams but she screamed like a trooper and then re-assured her 'lump' that 'mummy is OK'. It was sweet watching her comfort her unborn while we covered her in blood!
HC: Inbred is the first movie to shown at a Horror Channel Horror Club event, that's quite something isn't it?
AC: It was great to be asked, and it's an honour to be the first of what I hope becomes a regular event as it sounds like a great way for true horror fans to get an opportunity to see advance releases... for us its a great opportunity to keep up the interest for Inbred while we await our UK release later on this year.
HC: Will it be the same version shown at FrightFest or have you made changes to it since then?
AC: It will be the same picture edit, but the sound has had a lot of smoothing and levelling and a few shots have been re-graded. The Empire screening at Frighfest proved to be a great test screening. The changed version, our final version, premiered at Sitges Film Festival in October 2011 and went down a complete storm. It looks and sounds ace. I am very happy. As a finished film its closer to how I imagined it than any of my previous movies.
HC: You'll be doing a Q&A session, do these sort of things make you nervous?
AC: Not at all... quite the opposite actually... I really want lots of good, interesting questions. The worst Q &As are the ones where no-one wants to ask anything... luckily that hasn't happened for Inbred yet! It seems to be the kind of film that raises questions. My favourites questions so far are: "How long did it take you to train the horse to walk over that guy." and "Is Jacob (Mat Fraser) done by CGI?". Priceless.
HC: Inbred is coming to DVD later in the year, what extras can we expect on that release?
AC: I don't know exactly. We've made a few featurettes so far and have more planned, so I guess it depends on how much room on the disc and what the distributor decides on. We have some very funny 'making-ofs' so far, as we had a few crew members, myself included, armed with camcorders, in the thick of the action. I really want to do some VFX breakdowns, explaining some of our FX shots, so I hope they make it on there too. And a commentary. I've not done one before... should be fun!
HC: In five words can you sum up Inbred the movie?
AC: Dark, Twisted, Gory, Funny, Ferret.
HC: So what's next for you?
AC: Believe it or not I'm still involved in some Inbred duties... the bonus films are ongoing as we speak... so I haven't really had a good chance to think about exactly what is next. I have some solid scripts, some low and some bigger budgets, and some new treatments from recent inspirations and I want to get into another feature ASAP and so I will be looking for the quickest way to achieve that. I don't want to have a long gap between filming features... I have so many ideas I want to film and I'm not getting any younger and indie films take 1-2 years to do (if you are lucky!). I hope that I can announce my next film at Frightfest this year... that would be cool.
HC: Alex Chandon, thank you very much.
AC: Thank you. And good luck with the Horror Club.
For more on Inbred check the Website and Facebook Group.