LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Interview With Ben Loyd-Holmes Writer, Producer And Star of Extinction
By James W, 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 INTERVIEWS Interview with Hattie Smith, star of The Axiom
Posted on Sunday 24th June 2018
The Axiom is a tense and disturbing chiller from director Nicholas Woods. The film concerns a woman who travels into a National forest, in search for her missing sister. Once in the wilderness, they discover they have entered a multi-dimensional world full of monsters. The film is an adrenaline infused experience with some cool effects and a smart story. We chatted to lead actress Hattie Smith about The Axiom.
HC: How did you become involved with The Axiom?
HS: I went to school with Nicholas, the director. We both graduated from Chapman University, and I was a year or so behind him in the film school. At some point, I was recommended to him as an actress for the 48 Hr Film Festiv...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Jessica McLeod, star of The Hollow Child
Posted on Friday 8th June 2018
If you like your horror movies to have a strong paranormal theme to them you'll need to look out for The Hollow Child when it gets released later this year. It stars the incredibly talented Jessica McLeod so we decided to have a chat about this and her career to date.
HC: Was there a certain person you saw who inspired you to become an actor?
JM: I don't think I had seen a movie by the time I had wanted to be an actor. But Reese Witherspoon continues to inspire me, although my career has been entirely different from hers at my age.
HC: Can you recall what it was like to be on a movie set for the first time?
JM: I believe I got to wear a prin...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Steeve Leonard co-director of Radius
Posted on Monday 21st May 2018
In the chilling movie, Radius, a man wakes from a car crash with amnesia and what's more anyone who comes into contact with him instantly dies. This FrightFest favourite is receiving its UK TV premiere on Friday 25th of May so we chatted to its co-director and co-writer Steeve Leonard about this celebrated and cerebral movie.
HC: How long did Radius take to write?
SL: Radius took about 4 years to write, on and off. We had the radius of death idea first but we didn't know what to do with it, and so we shelved it for a while. Later we came up with the more interpersonal twist we have now and we weaved it together with the radius idea.
HC: Was it written with a cast in mind?
SL: No....SHARE: READ MORE Exclusive: Director Johannes Roberts talks 'The Strangers: Prey at Night'
Posted on Tuesday 1st May 2018
This weekend sees the release of a long-awaited sequel to one of 2008's most beloved slasher films. Yes, nine whole years after The Strangers premiered, UK cinema-goers will be met once again by Dollface, the Man in Mask and Pin-Up Girl in The Strangers: Prey at Night.
Starring Mad Men's Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, Martin Henderson, and Lewis Pullman, son of the late Bill, the film sees a family of four being stalked and tormented shortly after arriving on what was supposed to be a quiet family trip to a remote mobile home. The family must decide whether to take on the dreaded strangers hell-bent on wreaking havoc, or to run for their lives.
We had a chat with the film's direct...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Andy Nyman, co-writer, co-director and star of Ghost Stories
Posted on Monday 9th April 2018
I've met Andy Nyman on many occasions over the last decade or so, and over that time I've watched his career constantly go from strength to strength. To call him multi-talented would be an understatement and along with Jeremy Dyson has created the must-see horror movie of 2018, Ghost Stories. Here he chats about the stage play, Ghost Stories as well as how it changed on its way to the big screen.
HC: When did you first meet co-writer and co-director Jeremy Dyson?
AN: Jeremy and I met at a Jewish Summer Camp in 1981, and you just get thrown together in dorms of four people and Jeremy is from Leeds and all my family are from Leeds so I used to spend most of my weekends up in Leeds so we instantly ha...SHARE: READ MORE John Krasinski talks directing and starring in 'A Quiet Place'
Posted on Friday 6th April 2018
In case you hadn't heard, A Quiet Place has opened in cinemas nationwide.
The film, starring real-life couple, John Krasinski (US adaptation of The Office and 13 Hours) and Emily Blunt (Sicario, Wind Chill and The Devil Wears Prada) takes place in a post-apocalyptic(-ish) environment, in which strange wild creatures that hunt by sound have destroyed a significant amount of the population.
Krasinski and Blunt's characters, husband and wife Lee and Evelyn try to lead a life with their family as quietly (and by that we mean literally) as possible, in able to ensure their survival.
We sat down with the director and one half of Krasinski-Blunt to talk about the film, what scares him the most, and which...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with David Howard Thornton, star of Terrifier
Posted on Monday 26th March 2018
If you're a fan of slasher movies then you'll have to check out the bood-splattered shocker Terrifier. The movie is a full-blown, hair-raising homage to grindhouse slashers that introduces a new murderous icon in the form of Art the Clown. Art id surely destined to become a true horror anti-hero and here David Howard Thornton, the guy who plays art, chats about this brilliantly brutal movie and what he's up to at the moment.
HC: What movie or person inspired you to want to work in the film industry?
DT: I would say that would be the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit film wise. I was obsessed with that film when it first came out, and still watch it at least once a year when I need some inspiration. It meshe...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Richard Elliot, Managing Director of 88 Films
Posted on Saturday 17th March 2018
Recently I've been lucky enough to review some rather tasty Blu-rays from 88 Films. This company has been behind amazing releases of titles such as A Cat in the Brain, Anthropophagous and Don't Go in the Woods...Alone. So I decided to chat to managing director Richard Elliot about 88 Films and how they survive in a cut-throat market.
HC: How did 88 Films start?
RE: 88 Films started after James and I met working for another label and it was the usual "we think we can do it better than the boss" scenario. So we slowly developed an idea of what we wanted to do after work down the pub and after lots of head scratching and pork scratchings and some setbacks BE Movies was born... which quickly became 88 Films...SHARE: READ MORE 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...SHARE: READ MORE 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...SHARE: READ MORE 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 ...SHARE: READ 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...SHARE: READ MORE Interviews Archive: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Tuesday 24th July
Friday 20th July
Friday 27th July