FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS | BOOTH'S BLOG
FrightFest: Interview With Jeremy Wooding Director Of Blood Moon
By James Whittington, Monday 25th August 2014
More 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.
MORE FRIGHTFEST Interview with Damien Leone director of Terrifier
Posted on Saturday 28th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film Terrifier at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event today, director Damien Leone talks about the 'Art' of extreme clowning, his debt to Tom Savini and a terrifying Halloween experience...
Art, The Clown initially appeared in your 2008 short The 9th Circle, then the 2011 award-winning short Terrifier and in your first feature All Hallow's Eve. What made you decide to give him a fourth outing?
DL: Up until this point I never felt like I fully showcased Art's potential. I believe between the short films and All Hallows' Eve, there only exists about 20 minutes of Art the Clown screen time. For a character who's done so little, he seems to really resonate with horr...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Mathieu Turi director of Hostile
Posted on Wednesday 25th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his debut feature Hostile at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Mathieu Turi shares his admiration for Tarantino, describes the challenges of filming in three continents and reveals his 'magic hour'.
You were born in Cannes so you grew up with film all around? When did you know for sure you wanted to direct?
MT: I think it's always been there. As a child, I used to steal my dad's VHS camera to make mini-movies. They were basically all about my Jurassic Park toys eating my dog or invading the garden. Later, I did more elaborate short films with friends, instead of studying. Then, I remember watching Braveheart and the making of the ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Marko Makilaakso director of It Came From The Desert
Posted on Tuesday 17th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film It Came From The Desert at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Marko Makilaakso shares his admiration for Roger Corman, love of B-Movies, spoofing and overcoming homeland obstacles.
It Came From The Desert is inspired by Cinemaware's cult 1980s video game, which in turn was motivated by the giant creature feature craze infesting 1950s Hollywood. What was the main inspiration for you?
MM: There's so many movies and makers which inspired ICFTD, but the main inspiration was exactly that; creature feature infested 1950s Hollywood films, and the legendary Cinemaware Desert games and creature features and action comedies I grew up with in the 19...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Can Evrenol director of Housewife
Posted on Thursday 12th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film Housewife at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Can Evrenol tells us why film is a 'pervert's art' shares his feelings for Fulci and reveals his contribution to Horror anthology, The Field Guide To Evil.
Was it important to make your follow-up film to Baskin in the English language?
CE: I wanted to make the film available for a wider audience and to test myself with a different language movie. I thought it was a fun thing to do.
How do you describe Housewife? What would be your perfect pitch line?
CE: Man, I had this crazy f****d-up dream last night! Do you want to see it?
Like Baskin, Housewife shares man...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel FrightFest announces line-up for Halloween 2017 event
Posted on Thursday 28th September 2017
Horror Channel FrightFest Halloween 2017 unleashes seven choice shockers for the 7th annual West End Halloween chillorama - a wits-end wallow in all things gruesome, gory and glorious.
This year, the all-day shocktoberfest is at the Empire Haymarket on Sat Oct 28, 2017 and embraces one world, one European and five UK premieres, spanning three continents.
From the emotional making of a low-budget slasher to zombie nightmares, Gothic horrors, an outrageously strange mind cult, a sci-fi alien action extravaganza, a comic strip creature feature and the last word in Killer Clowns, this year-s line-up is an eclectic mix of the quirky, unusual and extreme.
Alan Jones, FrightFest co-director sai...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Damien Power, director of Killing Ground
Posted on Monday 25th September 2017
One of the best from Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 was a superior thriller, Killing Ground. This tension packed movie looked incredible on the big screen so we decided to chat to its director, Damien Power.
HC: Did Killing Ground take a long time to write and did it change as you progressed?
DP: It took eleven years from the germ of the idea to stepping onto location to start shooting. Luckily I wasn't working on it full time! Once we had a draft we were happy with, it took five years to put the financing jigsaw together. It's a long journey! The biggest change was that for a number of years it didn't really have a third act. It ended very abruptly at the moment of maximum jeopardy. Fort...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest Day 5: Organs, pumpkins and emojis!
Posted on Tuesday 29th August 2017
The final day of Horror Channel FrightFest is usually the most anticipated especially towards the final movie of the event, more on that later. There was so much going on with what possibly be the strongest line up of the whole festival.
Anyone with even just the passing interest in cinema couldn't have failed to have been impressed by Lowlife, the superb thriller from Ryan Prows. When a simple organ-harvesting caper goes awry, a twist of fate unites three of society's forgotten and ignored: El Monstruo, a disgraced Mexican Wrestler working as hired muscle for the local crime boss; Crystal, a recovering addict desperate enough to arrange a black-market kidney transplant to save her husband's life; and Randy, a t...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Michael Boucherie writer and director of Where the Skin Lies
Posted on Monday 28th August 2017
More new talent seemed to be around at Horror Channel FrightFest this year and one of the stand out movies for me was Where The Skin Lies from Michael Boucherie. Here he chats about this emotional movie.
HC: Did you know from a young age you wanted to be in the film-making business?
MB: Going to the movies with my family is a favourite childhood memory. There was no cinema in our home town, so it always involved a bit of a car trip. Afterwards we'd recount and quote our favourite scenes, for some movies up to this day. My mother also filmed and edited our home movies on Super 8, and she involved me in that. So, on some level I grew up with it. It didn't dawn on me that this was a v...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest Day 4: No more camping holidays for me!
Posted on Monday 28th August 2017
Sunday is traditionally a more quiet day at Horror Channel FrightFest as the attendees gear up for a fourth day of cutting edge horror cinema.
This wasn't the case as the event packed as much violence, blood, gore, tension, skin-crawling and gory programme of movies yet!
Killing Ground, an Australian bushland nerve shredder is an exceptionally tight piece of work that tells a story retrospectively and then brings everything up to date in one, nail-biting conclusion. It's strange to find a movie set in the open claustrophobic but this truly is. It's also incredibly heartfelt and honest, no one is safe in this movie believe me.
We were back in Blightly for the next premiere which was the v...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest Day 3: It's time for a change
Posted on Sunday 27th August 2017
A day of premieres waited for us on day 3 of Horror Channel FrightFest. It was also the day of two incredibly inventive and most talked about movies of the whole event, Dominic Brunt's Attack of the Adult Babies and Adam Green's Victor Crowley.
Over in the Discovery Screens attendees had the chance to watch a gripping, psychological thriller, Diane. This complex, emotional and satisfying piece concerns one man's descent into a forgotten hell. The two leads, Carlee Avers and Jason Alan Smith bring a real life emotional depth (they are married in real life) to their characters. Played totally straight, the movie touches on areas few movies do and delivers a soulful and emotional conclusion. Another Frig...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Sally Dexter, star of Attack of the Adult Babies
Posted on Saturday 26th August 2017
Sally Dexter is one of the UK's most respected actresses. Her performances on stage and screen have lead to acclaimed and awards over the last few decades. Now, Sally is the star of Dominic Brunt's incredible film, Attack of the Adult Babies, so we chatted to her about this unique movie.
HC: You've had an incredible career gaining huge acclaimed across both sides of the Atlantic, how did you get your first acting break?
SD: I guess it was at drama school- I went to LAMDA and we did a musical 'Babes in Arms' for our final show- I guess it suited my voice or something 'cos I got offers from 13 agents!!! I was flabbergasted!!!
HC: Are you a fan of the horror genre?
SD: I'...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest Day 2: Witness the birth of a legend
Posted on Saturday 26th August 2017
Day two of Horror Channel FrightFest delivered some incredible pieces of cinema and even at times, it was educational!
Freehold is an atmospheric and emotional piece of film. Its begins traditionally enough as a home invasion movie, but it transforms into something far more sensitive. Javier Botet is superb as the stranger in the home of a once happy couple. His bizarre chats to two pigeons (its original title) at first seems odd but you discover the full story behind his reason for being there. I won't spoil it too much but it's a real highlight so far of the festival.
Over in the Prince Charles Cinema (where we'll be broadcasting Facebook Live tonight at around 7pm) we were treated to...SHARE: READ MORE PICK OF THE WEEK
Friday 22nd December
Friday 22nd December
Saturday 23rd December