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.

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...

Interview with Ruth Platt, director of The Lesson
Posted on Wednesday 6th December 2017

On the eve of Horror Channel's network premiere screening of The Lesson, director Ruth Platt talks about the decision to quit RADA, why her film isn't 'torture porn' and what the future holds.

The Lesson received its World Premiere at FrightFest. How did you react when it was chosen? And what was the experience like?

RP: I was really excited when I found out we'd been picked - we got a call from the team, and they were passionate about the film, and they are such a knowledgable and experienced small team, Greg, Paul, Alan and Ian, and it meant so much. Especially when the making of it had been such an arduous and difficult process! I had no idea how people would react to the film - it was su...

Interview with John Shackleton director of Panic Button
Posted on Wednesday 15th November 2017

As social media horror feature Panic Button gets a remastered DVD and Download release, writer and producer John Shackleton reflects on the film's inspirational journey.

To start at the beginning, what was the genesis or the seed of the idea for Panic Button?

JS: The model of how to make a film actually came before the concept. I'd made a short film with a group of trainees using a bunch of self-imposed restrictions for practicalities sake, to make sure we completed and delivered within the three-week timeframe of the training scheme, who were my employers. The rules were quite simple - no more than five minutes' walk from the office (we couldn't afford a van), no dialogue (we did...

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...

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 ...

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...

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...

Interview with Dominic Bridges, director of Freehold
Posted on Wednesday 4th October 2017

One of the stand out movies from Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 was the psychological chiller, Freehold. Dark and at times truly unnerving, the film caused quite a stir and will be released onto DVD on October 9th. Here the film's director Dominic Bridges talking about this superb debut.

HC: Where did the idea for Freehold come from?

DB: Based on personal experience my wife and I suffered a miscarriage whilst trying to buy a house in London whilst the Estate Agents had us bidding against ourselves... I reacted badly which was embarrassing to my wife and myself it all felt like too much fighting for a roof over our heads just tainted the whole of London for us and we moved also the realisation...

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Day Of The Dead
Wednesday 28th March
8.00 PM
Dead Silence
Sunday 18th March
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The Strangers
Friday 23rd March
10.55 PM