LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS
Interview With Ben Loyd-Holmes Writer, Producer And Star of Extinction
By James Whittington, Sunday 24th August 2014
There aren’t many found footage movies at FrightFest this year, one that is showing is the creature feature Extinction. Here its star and director Ben Loyd-Holmes chats about this creature feature.
HC: What inspired you to write Extinction?
BLH: All around the world there are these elements of nature that are still unexplored and unaffected by modern society and I love the idea that there could be something still hiding out there. Of course it may not be dinosaurs, but the idea that undiscovered creatures or differently evolved creatures exist is one that is commonly held. Having that as a starting point is really exciting and of course there’s a lot we can utilise and play on, the superstitions of locals, the affects of logging and deforestation driving wildlife out of their habitats.
HC: Are you a fan of found footage movies?
BLH: I’m not sure I would say I either was or wasn’t. I’m a fan of good films, of well made films. Found Footage can be really good, but it can also be really bad. The biggest problem it has is that a lot of projects have been made in the Found Footage style but made without much care, because they feel it’s an easy option. The truth is, to make Found Footage well is actually quite hard, because there’s no cutting away to the other angle and fixing it in the edit. I do love some found footage films, but I also love a lot more ‘traditional’ cinematic films. If the style works for the project and it’s done well, I think it can be awesome and I really hope that’s how people feel about Extinction.
HC: What was the shoot like and how did you find those impressive locations?
BLH: Shooting on location is always great, the elements provide you with so much extra production value, even though they are challenging. Shooting in them was tricky but the team were very prepared. Everyone was put through a boot camp, which prepared them for the environment and taught them how to move in it, ropes were set up for the trickier terrain, so we made it safe and workable. Rich was a great DOP for the project, he has some experience in that type of terrain, so is comfortable in it, which makes a big difference. I spent a lot of time looking for them, I think all filmmakers are a bit obsessed with finding the magic canvas to tell their story on, for me ours were perfect.
HC: Did you have a decent sized budget and did you keep this in mind when you were writing it?
BLH: Budget is always a tricky thing, you want to push as hard as you can and make the film as good as possible, but everything has a cost. When I was writing the film I did pay a lot of attention to a multitude of factors, including the budget. I think you have to if you are going to make a film work commercially. It’s gotta have all the elements and be achievable within budget.
HC: What challenges does working on a movie like this present to an actor?
BLH: In a film like this the challenges are also what makes it so exciting. Portraying a truthful, ‘real’ character whilst also being confronted by Dinosaurs, it’s conflicting, it’s fun, it’s exciting. But it’s also easy to get wrong. In a film like this there’s fluctuations,, deviations, improvised moments and mistakes and in those there is opportunity. Sometimes that opportunity can create something really great. Sometimes it’s just rubbish! Now these fluctuations and mistakes are maybe a line goes wrong or the cameraman trips and stumbles into an actor or tree or whatever, but you can either be unprepared and the take is ruined or be prepared, be in the moment and maybe get something awesome in the can.
HC: What’s the hardest job; writing, acting or producing?
BLH: What a tough question. If you are doing them right they are all hard! If you’re not pushing the boundary and yourself, it’s easy to get sloppy. No one wants that. Writing is hard going, takes discipline and relentless re-examining of the same work and of course respect and understanding of structure and the knowledge of why it’s important. Acting is a wonderful thing, but you of course, it’s something that, no matter how much you love it, it’s something you have to do in a way that fits the project and character. Again there’s a lot of discipline needed, it’s about being ready, knowing it all inside out and also still being ‘present’ so you can play and adapt and still be in the moment, trusting yourself to do it right, whilst still keeping the pressure on yourself. It’s a balancing act. Producing, that’s largely a thankless task. If you have a strong team behind you, it can take off a lot of pressure, but the truth of being a good producer, is no one cares as much about the project as you, no matter what they say they don’t. Because most people are on it for much shorter a period, they can love it for a few weeks or months and then off they go and because anyone else can walk off the project, if they get tired, unwell, stressed, whatever, they can take a break, you can’t. No matter what happens, you have taken money from an individual or a corporation and you have committed to returning it, you are also responsible for people’s jobs and for the money they have earned. There’s a lot of responsibility for a long time and the buck stops with you. For that reason, I think Producing takes the ‘hardest’ biscuit.
HC: Do you believe that there are monsters lurking hidden in jungles around the globe?
BLH: Yea why not, Madagascar has many animals that are evolved entirely uniquely because of their environmental factors after the island split from Africa. Life is more exciting with the boogey man, with something lurking in the shadows. Be it in the deep depths, or the dense jungles, there’s something yet to be discovered and a lot that needs to be protected.
HC: Are you nervous that it’s getting its world premiere at FrightFest?
BLH: Yes and no. I know the film, it’s one we are very pleased with and one that a lot of people have really got behind. But I know the Fright Fest audience are a tough bunch! I also know a lot of people have their reservations about Found Footage, I just hope they enjoy all the work that went into creating something different and hopefully exciting and immersive.
HC: So what are you working on at the moment?
BLH: I’m lucky to be in a position where there’s a lot of interest in what I’m doing next from distribution partners so hopefully it won’t be too long till we are giving everyone a new and equally exciting, ambitious story. Keep an eye out for Kill Time and Dark Water, I think they will be the first two. There’s another two coming too, but I think they’ll be the first.
HC: Ben Loyd-Holmes, thank you very much.
BLH: Thank you.
MORE FRIGHTFEST Interview with Paul Hyett director of Peripheral
Posted on Friday 2nd November 2018 Paul Hyett is a firm FrightFest favourite. His work jumps from genre you genre with ease but still retains that "Hyett" feeling in each piece. His latest work, Peripheral is having its UK Premiere at the FrightFest Halloween 2018 event so we decided to chat to Paul about this and his view on technology.
HC: How did the project of Peripheral come together?
PH: Peripheral was bought to me by the original producer, he thought I'd be a good fit. Originally he had pitched me a one woman in a room, contained location about bad technology theme. It didn't feel appealing as after Howl, which was a big film in terms of cast, VFX, stunts etc and I was looking for a more challenging film logisticall...SHARE: READ MORE Slay bells ring in Secret Santa!
Posted on Sunday 21st October 2018
Christmas dinner turns bloody in Secret Santa, the ferocious, gore-soaked horror comedy from the creators of Jason Goes To Hell and Texas Chainsaw 3D.
A Christmas Eve gathering takes an unexpected turn after a family guest spikes the punch with a military grade version of truth serum sodium pentothal. The already dysfunctional group comes unstuck in a blizzard of drug-induced, painfully candid outbursts, and upset soon turns to carnage after the head of the family runs amok with a fork, triggering festering loathings and savage reprisals.
The second film to be released under the FrightFest Presents label, the new venture from leading independent distributor Signature Enter...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest announces line-up for Halloween 2018 event
Posted on Thursday 4th October 2018
FrightFest unleashes an intoxicating six-pack of horror, sci-fi and fantasy for their popular Halloween all-day event, now at the Cineworld Leicester Square on Saturday 3rd November. The 12-hour monstrous marathon embraces four continents and includes two world premieres and four UK premieres.
The day kicks off with Julian Richards' latest chiller Reborn, a Carrie for the Z Generation, starring the First Lady of FrightFest, Barbara Crampton, and featuring a stunning performance from rising newcomer Kayleigh Gilbert. Richards, famous for The Last Horror Movie, will be at this World Premiere screening.
Next up is the UK premiere of Parallel, direct...SHARE: READ MORE First film to be released under the FrightFest Presents label - The Dark.
Posted on Tuesday 18th September 2018
The first film to be released under the FrightFest Presents label, the new venture from leading independent distributor Signature Entertainment and leading genre festival FrightFest, The Dark received its UK premiere at this year's prestigious FrightFest in London, and is perfect for genre fans who love nothing more than a backwoods shocker featuring ghouls, gore and flesh eating, but one done with panache and poignancy.
An undead young woman, Mina, stalks the 'Devil's Den' woods where she was killed. If anyone enters the woods, she kills them and feasts on the body. But when she stumbles upon a young blind boy named Alex in the back of a car, who shows signs of horrifying abuse, she can't bring herself to kill...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano, the creative forces behind Crystal Eyes
Posted on Saturday 15th September 2018
FrightFest 2018 exposed attendees to horror from all over the world and one that made an incredibly stylish and retro impact was the superb giallo inspired shocker, Crystal Eyes. Here the co-writers and co-directors Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano tell us all about this affectionate love letter to the classics of the 80s.
Where did the idea for Crystal Eyes come from?
Crystal Eyes was supposed to be the third episode of our web-series called No Podras Dormir Esta Noche (You Won't Sleep Tonight) which paid homage to different horror sub genres in each episode, and eventually it turned into a feature film. We love Giallo si...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Tom de Ville, director of Corvidae
Posted on Wednesday 5th September 2018
HC: This is your first short as a director, what inspired you to write this script?
TdV: I read a really interesting article about how smart crows are, in particular how they can hold grudges. Apparently a group of scientists had gone out and harassed a murder of crows whilst wearing masks. If they went back wearing the masks, the crows would remember them and fight back. If they didn't wear the masks, the crows would leave them alone. This made me start thinking about what would happen if someone tried to save a crow from a bunch of kids who were trying to kill it. Would the other crows from its murder remember this? And what would they do to help her?...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Stewart Sparke, director of Book of Monsters
Posted on Wednesday 5th September 2018
HC: Your last movie, The Creature Below was two years ago, what's life been back since then?
SS: Since The Creature Below premiered at Frightfest in 2016 things haven't really stopped for myself and my collaborator Paul Butler. We were lucky enough to have the film released on DVD and VOD in over eight countries under various names. I think my favourite has to be Japan's Leviathan X: From the Deep! The film even had a theatrical release in Taiwan which was quite surreal as it was playing opposite Thor Ragnarok over there so overall, we've been completely blown away by everything that's happened. Paul and I are always coming up wit...SHARE: READ MORE Less dialogue, more sound. Sennheiser presents 3D audio thriller, Final Stop
Posted on Friday 31st August 2018
The rustle of a newspaper, the sound of the bus engine far away, the steps of the stalker in the pitch-black night: The hairs on the back of every neck will stand up, thanks to the incredibly realistic 3D sound in Sennheiser's short film Final Stop. Writer and director Roxanne Benjamin uses the soundscape to create a thrilling atmosphere, with stunning audio recorded using Sennheiser's Ambeo Smart Headset. The result is a gripping 3D audio thriller which was shown at FrightFest 2018 to a very appreciative crowd and which you can view here.
In Final Stop, the protagonist played by Australian actress Phoebe Tonkin is on her way home from the city on a night bus. She soon notices a m...SHARE: READ MORE Fancy a western themed slasher? Lasso will be for you!
Posted on Friday 31st August 2018
Epic Pictures' horror label Dread Central has unleashed the trailer for their latest picture, Lasso, Evan Cecil's Western-themed slasher which premiered at FrightFest last week.
From Dragonfly Films, Lasso, produced by Elaine Gibson, Todd Myers and Evan Cecil, stars Sean Patrick Flanery (The Boondock Saints), Lindsey Morgan (The 100), Karen Grassle (Little House on the Prairie) and Andrew Jacobs (Paranormal Activity).
The horror flick centers around Kit (Morgan) and Simon (Jacobs), two young leaders of an Active Senior Tour group, out on an adventure to a small-town Rodeo festival located deep in the woods. It's a great experience for the group... until they try to leave. Simon and Kit must save themselves...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Ferdinando D'Urbano actor, writer, producer of The Laplace's Demon
Posted on Tuesday 28th August 2018
A stand-out movie from FrightFest 2018 tested the brain power of those who saw it. The Laplace's Demon is an incredibly powerful piece so we chatted to one of the creatives behind it, Ferdinando D'Urbano.
HC: I'd never heard of Laplace's Demon theory before, can you give us a quick explanation of what it is?
FDU: The Laplace's Demon is a philosophical theory of the early 1800s. Pierre Simon Laplace was a French mathematician who in his work "Essai philosophique sur les probabilites" (A philosophical essay on probabilities), theorized that if there were an intellect capable of knowing al...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Andre Gower director of Wolfman's Got Nards
Posted on Monday 27th August 2018
HC: You had already starred in a lot of stuff before The Monster Squad came along, did you think that this was just "another" acting job?
AG: At the time, it was just that. The next audition, the next project. However, once on set and seeing what you were a part of, we realized quickly that this was something bigger and more unique than anything we had done before or may even get to do in the future.
HC: Were you a fan of the Universal monsters at that time?
AG: I always had an appreciation for the classics even as a kid. As you mature, you keep that appreciation and learn more about it and how it affects the present and realize these were very important...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest Day 5 - FrightFest comes to a Climax
Posted on Monday 27th August 2018
All good things come to an end and FrightFest 2018 is entering its final day. But there should be no tears, no sadness, as the event has been one of the very best of its 19 years.
But let's not dwell on it too much as there's another action-packed day of film fear for all attendees to enjoy starting with the world premiere of the brutal movie, Open 24 Hours from Padraig Reynolds.
Then its time to view a genre favourite of mine, the multi-story kind as The Field guide to Evil delivers a delicious amount of tales ranging from Greek goblins to possession in the German mountains. A love story with a ghastly and unique twist is next on the schedule as an undead flesh-eating ghoul form an unlike...SHARE: READ MORE Frightfest Archive: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 PICK OF THE WEEK
Friday 30th November
Sunday 25th November
Monday 26th November