FrightFest: Interview With Jeremy Wooding Director Of Blood Moon
By James Whittington, Monday 25th August 2014

jeremy_woodingMore creature feature horror today at FrightFest with the world premiere of Jeremy Wooding's Blood Moon.

We chatted to this talented guy about this fright flick and what else he has planned.

HC: You made your name directing many of today’s most popular TV shows, how did these prepare you for Blood Moon?

JW: I think in terms of my TV work the highest profile programmes have been Peep Show and Derren Brown, both of which I helped create. They were risky, innovative and stylish shows. Childrens’ TV was really an extension of my TV comedy work. Blood Moon has an arch sense of humour and having done both slapstick and black comedy on TV (and in my football feature The Magnificent Eleven) I think I’ve learnt to pitch the tone of comedy. That said, you just hope you’ve got it right!

HC: How did you come to direct Blood Moon?

JW: The original script was sent to me by the writer Alan Wightman about two years ago. Along with my fellow producer Michael Vine I developed the script with Alan over about twelve months, for me to direct.

HC: Did you have a cast in mind when you read it?

JW: Ideas for cast came later during the development period. First off, after reading the script, I invited a group of actors, who I knew, to a table read to road test the script. Three of those actors actually appear in the film: Shaun Dooley, Raffaello Degruttola and Tom Cotcher.

HC: How did they research their accents?

JW: I told them it was set in Colorado, but that the nature of immigration at the time would mean there was scope for other regional/international accents. I told the actors to check out the TV series Deadwood. The rest they worked on themselves, often with voice coaches.

HC: Did you have much of a budget to play with and did the era in which it was set cause many problems?

JW: The budget was tiny for an ambitious period piece, with a creature, prosthetics and stunts... I couldn’t have achieved what we did without having Heads of Department who I had worked with before and who knew how to magic something out of nothing. And the location was key. I found this fantastic Wild West town built in the middle of the Kent countryside. It’s run by an historical recreation group and they really helped to make the whole thing possible.

HC: It’s a slow burner, with tension building ever so slowly in a claustrophobic atmosphere, was this difficult to create?

JW: The film is a bit like The Thing meets Stagecoach, so I was aiming for the same kind of claustrophobia you find in those films. I think if you can put the audience in a situation with characters who are ‘surrounded’ or ‘isolated’ mentally and physically, then you can create that atmosphere. But it needs time for the audience to get to know the characters and invest in their stories. Plus the oppressive character of the location helped. Originally Blood Moon was set in the desert, but once I found the Wild West town I got Alan to re-write the script for the environment there. And suddenly the whole thing became more gothic.

HC: What difficulties do you encounter when making a creature feature?

JW: The closest I had got to filming creatures was doing a childrens’ puppet show. And the challenges of lighting, camera angles and credibility are pretty much the same – and, of course, getting the biggest bang for your bucks. With creature features I think you inevitably get to the same place as Jaws or Alien. That is if you show too much of the creature you run the risk of over-exposing the threat. The general thinking here is ‘less is more’. But how much ‘less’ or ‘more’ will the audience accept. In the end I think that if the story is good enough the audience will buy into your creature whatever the budget. And can you ever get it right? Look at the new Godzilla film, as soon as the fans saw it they immediately thought the creature was too fat. It didn’t stop people enjoying the film though.

HC: The epic score adds much to the atmosphere with plenty of nods to traditional Western soundtracks. How did you choose the composer?

JW: I had worked with the composer, Toby Pitman, before on a comedy pilot. And he’s a mate. So I knew we would be on the same page creatively. I would normally put a temporary soundtrack (taken from other similar genre films) onto the film in the edit stage. But with Blood Moon nothing worked. So we just sat down together and worked our way through the film talking about the action and mood etc. In fact, as we did that, Toby would try ideas out to picture. It was magical, almost like a pianist playing to a silent movie. Its Toby’s first fully-fledged feature score, and he wrote it in two weeks!

HC: So what are you working on next?

JW: Blood Moon 2 is being written, but I think the next one will be a supernatural slasher film with a stylish twist. I’ve got the taste for blood now! Ha ha.

HC: Jeremy Wooding, thank you very much.

Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil - FrightFest review
Posted on Tuesday 6th March 2018

Ever wished that Terry Gilliam made more movies? The man who gave us Jabberwocky, The Fisher King and Brazil gave the world a new perspective and encouraged budding movie makers around the world to make their own visions and to stick by what they wanted to create.

Step forward Paul Urkijo whose demonic movie Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil just had its UK premiere at Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow. This film is the closest thing to anything Gilliam has made in the past but at the same time feels so original and fresh that it deserves multiple views just to appreciate the detail and love in every single frame.

Ten years after Civil War in Spain 1833, orphan Usue (Uma Bracaglia) seeks es...

Book of Monsters - Exclusive look at new poster
Posted on Monday 5th March 2018

Those of you lucky enough to make it through the snow to Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow at the weekend were treated to a quick look at Book of Monsters.

From the team that brought us The Creature Below a couple of years back, this female lead, action-packed monster movie draws inspiration from the cult horror cinema of the 80s and 90s including such classics as Scream, Gremlins and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. With sick, gory practical creature effects and a dark comedic edge, the film promises to be a fun, bloody and sexy trip back to a time when making it through high school was truly life or death.

The film was successfully funded through Kickstarter in August 2017, raising 45,000 and became one...

Pyewacket - Frightfest Review
Posted on Monday 5th March 2018

You know the feeling you get when you see a film that you know nothing about, not even the title gives anything away and you view with an open mind and then it blows your proverbial socks off? Well this is exactly what happened to me with Pyewacket.

Confused and infuriated for being forced to move away from friends after the death of her father, Leah (Nicole Munoz) performs a blood incantation calling on an evil entity to punish her grieving mother (Laurie Holden). Immediately regretful, she realises she can't reverse the ritual curse and an unholy presence now stalks them both in their rural home.


Where do I start with such a movie? Well, let's begin with the sc...

Attack of the Bat Monsters - FrightFest Review
Posted on Saturday 3rd March 2018

For a movie that's had a longer gestation period than any project I've known of, Attack of the Bat Monsters looks as if it could have been made yesterday, or the 1950s where its set! More on this later, here's what the film is about:

The movie follows schlock impresario Francis Gordon as he and his intrepid crew attempt to shoot an impromptu monster movie in the three days left over from the film they've just wrapped. This is the 1950s Z-Grade movie industry as its never been seen before.

From the Saul Bass opening title homage (which is worth seeing by itself) the movie perfectly encapsulates the era of post-World War II guerrilla film-making. Attack of the Bat Monsters ha...

Interview with Paul Urkijo, director of Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil
Posted on Thursday 1st March 2018

One thing that Horror Channel FrightFest prides itself in is by championing new talent. This year's Glasgow event is no different with a whole host of newbies bringing their first features. A real highlight is Paul Urkijo's Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil which is a sumptuous piece that Terry Gilliam would be proud of. Here he chats to us about this stunning movie.

HC: Where did the idea for Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil come from?

PU: I was inspired by the Basque story "Patxi Errementaria". He was registered by JM Barandiaran, an anthropologist priest who dedicated his life to recording stories and legends of the Basque Country. It is a legend about a blacksmith who was so ev...

Interview with Adam MacDonald, writer and director of Pyewacket.
Posted on Wednesday 28th February 2018

There have been a number of occult and demonic movies over the last few years but none have come close to the tension and terror of Adam MacDonald's Pyewacket. The superb piece of cinema is showing at Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow this week so I had a quick chat with Adam about this superior shocker.

HC: Have you always been a horror fan?

AM: It really started when I was about 7 years old when my older brother showed me Evil Dead. I couldn't believe what I was watching, it truly rocked me. The card scene in the film did not leave my mind for days. That film is stained on my brain. I was terrified. But then I had a realisation that I loved that feeling. It was primal. Then I watched The Shinin...

Interview with Kelly Greene, writer and director of Attack of the Bat Monsters
Posted on Tuesday 27th February 2018

Making movies can be a tough business but to have to wait almost two decades to release your work takes true dedication. At Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow this weekend Kelly Greene's Attack of the Bat Monsters is finally unleashed. Here he tells us the story behind this celebration of 1950s creature features.

HC: You were inspired to write Attack of the Bat Monsters when you were researching 50s movies, did it take long to write?

KG: It took quite a while because I was working 50 to 60 hours a week at a video production facility while raising a 2-year old and 8-year old, along with my wife, who was also working. I would write at night between 9 and 11pm, and maybe a little more ...

Interview with Patrick Magee, writer and director of Primal Rage
Posted on Monday 26th February 2018

There's been a spate of "bigfoot-style, beast in the woods" types of movies recently but none have come anywhere near Primal Rage. This superior creature feature from Patrick Magee will be having its European Premiere at Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow this Friday so I decided to have a chat with this very talented and creative person.

HC: Did you know from a young age you wanted to work in the film industry?

PM: Since a very young age I was always into, even obsessed, with movies. Specifically horror movies, monster movies really. As a hobby, I got really into special make-up effects and drawing. It got to the point where I was so obsessed with it, I decided when I was a teen that I ha...

Interview with Gabriela Amaral, writer and director of Friendly Beast
Posted on Sunday 25th February 2018

As we get ready for the trip to Scotland for this year's Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow I've been lucky enough to chat to Gabriela Amaral about her powerful movie Friendly Beast which is getting its UK Premiere at the event.

HC: Was there a certain piece of work or person that inspired you to work in the industry?

GA: Yes, there was. I am a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock and I decided to study cinema because of him. In the beginning, I didn't know what would I do with movies. Would I be an academic? A film critic? A director? I just knew I had to live doing something that had to do with movies. I graduated in Communication Studies in Brazil where I studied horror movies and literature (specific...

Horror Channel FrightFest announces Glasgow Film Festival 2018 line-up
Posted on Thursday 11th January 2018

Be prepared to feast on a chilling cornucopia of savage shocks, unsettling surprises and devilish delights as the UK's favourite horror fantasy event returns to the Glasgow Film Festival for its 13th year, from Thursday 1 March to Saturday 3 March 2018.

This year's bold line-up, once again housed at the iconic Glasgow Film Theatre, embraces the latest horror, fantasy and sci-fi discoveries from ten countries, spanning four continents, reflecting the world-wide popularity of the genre.

Ghost Stories remains one of the scariest stage shows ever seen and on Thursday night FrightFest kicks off with a special screening of Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson's smash hit phenomenon. Starring Martin Freedman, ...

Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson join judges panel for FrightFest and Glasgow Film Festival's 90 Second Film Challenge
Posted on Tuesday 9th January 2018

Ghost Stories writer and director team Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson will join Hex Studio's Lawrie Brewster, FrightFest's Paul McEvoy and Glasgow Film Festival head honcho Allison Gardner on the judge's panel for the FrightFest Glasgow 90 Second Challenge.

Aspiring filmmakers living in Scotland are invited to create an entertaining Horror, Sci-Fi or Fantasy film within just 90 seconds.

Films must be shot in Scotland by Scottish residents and entries must not currently be available online. All submissions are free and must be received by Tuesday 13th February 2018. Filmmakers of entries selected to be screened will be notified by 23rd February 2018.

Here's where to apply and read terms and condi...

FrightFest and Glasgow Film Festival send out challenge to aspiring Scottish filmmakers
Posted on Wednesday 20th December 2017

FrightFest, in association with Glasgow Film Festival, are delighted to announce an exciting new initiative to discover the next wave of emerging Scottish talent. FrightFest has always championed new film-makers since its inception in 2000. Now, for the very first time they are encouraging talent to rise to the challenge of creating an entertaining film within just 90 seconds.

The winning shorts will be screened both at the Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow Film Festival event, held at the Glasgow Film Theatre on the 2nd/3rd March 2018 and FrightFest's London event in August 2018.

The rules for submission are that films should be no longer than 90 seconds and be in the Horror, Thriller, Scie...

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