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Interview With Abner Pastoll Director Of Road Games
By James Whittington, Friday 26th August 2016
A hit with the FrightFest 2015 audience, Abner Pastol's Road Games is a nerve shredding thriller that keep you on edge. Pastol is delivering a live commentary on the movie at FrightFest today so we had a quick chat beforehand about this killer of a thriller.
HC: It's been a year since Road Games played at FrightFest, what can you recall of that experience?
AP: Not much, it's all a blur. I'm kidding of course. It was a blast. I love FrightFest - the festival and the guys behind it. They are the best. It was a brilliant and unforgettable experience.
HC: Road Games has played across the globe since then, what's the reaction been and do you still get nervous before it plays?
AP: I've been overwhelmed by the wonderful response to the movie. It's amazing when you create something you dreamed up in your head that people can connect with. It's very fulfilling. I'm not nervous before the film plays anymore. You're always going to be a bit nervous when you show a new work for the first time, but the feeling subsides eventually. I've actually enjoyed watching the film with different audiences and seeing how differently they can react - the places they laugh or gasp. It's very interesting to me.
HC: What does it feel like returning to do a live commentary?
AP: Very exciting. It's such an honour to be back at FrightFest, and surreal that it's with the same film only one year later. I'd never have expected that. It's such a fun idea to do this interactive screening with live commentary and questions from the audience. I'm sure I'll have some interesting anecdotes to share. I feel in safe hands doing the event with Alan Jones. We'll keep it sexy and make sure the heating is turned up.
HC: What did you learn the most whilst directing Road Games?
AP: I learned a lot about myself as a filmmaker, what types of films I want to be making and the people I want to be making them with. I mean, I already knew to a degree, but I just got a stronger sense of it, if that makes sense. The next few films I'm setting up are really interesting choices. You can be so easily defined and I want to make sure my style has a through-line but I don't want to be repetitive.
You learn so much from every project. Road Games was an incredibly difficult film to get made but with great persistence, determination and the best producers, we got through it and brought it to fruition, despite all the obstacles in financing, prep and even during shooting and post. I was constantly on my toes. I had some of the most eye-opening experiences of my life behind the scenes on this production but the most important thing is that we actually got the movie made and out there into the world.
HC: If you were to make that movie now what would you change about?
AP: Oh, I'd change a lot! That's not to say I'm not proud of what we created, not at all. I'm very happy with the film. But if you were given a second chance at anything you'd never make the exact same choices, would you? I'd focus on fixing some minor details: Things that were out of my control due to budget or time restrictions, things like that. At the same time, the film's done and I've moved on. I'd never get any sleep if I kept thinking about how I could or should have done something differently. I'd rather make something new.
HC: Would you like to work with the same cast on a different project?
SP: Absolutely. They're like my family now and I love them all. They're wonderful people and brilliant actors.
HC: So, what are you working on at the moment?
A kick-ass action-thriller set in the desert, about a teenage girl with a very unique set of skills. It's an idea I've been working on for a while. Before that I'm directing a crime-thriller by a phenomenal writer. I'm ecstatic because we just cast our lead actress and she's brilliant. Those are the two immediate projects and I couldn't be more excited about them. More info on both will be revealed very soon. I have some other stuff in the works as well but it's too early to talk about them.
HC: Abner Pastoll, thank you very much.
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