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Interview with Casey Dillard writer and star of Driven
By James Whittington, Sunday 25th August 2019

FrightFest 2019 contains some of the most inventive and rewarding movies that are out there waiting to be discovered. One in particular, Driven is causing a bit of a stir so we chatted to Casey Dillard, writer and star of this smart shocker.

HC: How did the idea for Driven come to you?

CD: Glenn wanted to try to make an "easy" movie that took place entirely in a car, so the concept was his. I came up with the idea of a ride-share driver and passenger. Once I had solid reasons for them to stay within this space the story came easily enough. I enjoy a good curse as long as it isn't put on me.

HC: Did it take long to write?

CD: If you count the time that I actually sat in front of the computer and wrote, rather than all the time I spent getting distracted or going down a YouTube tunnel, probably not all that long. I think it was a couple of months start to finish. My cat Trippy was my unofficial writing partner since he'd get in my lap and keep me in place for longer periods of time.

HC: Was your script/vision constricted by budget?

CD: Not especially. Maybe it's because I come from a theatre background, but I generally find myself drawn to smaller stories, or at least big stories told within a small space. I think the budget showed up to bite me more when I started doing some of the producing work.

HC: A lot of the movie takes place in Emerson's cab, what was that like from an actor's point of view?

CD: I'd get a little stir-crazy a couple of times a night, but for the most part I was grateful not to be in the open air since we filmed during an insanely badly timed cold front. It got to be a pain when I'd be wanting to engage with a scene partner by looking at them but was driving (or pretending to drive) so I had to keep my eyes on the road.

HC: How hard was is it shooting at night?

CD: Those particular nights? Pretty hard (see above: awful weather), but otherwise OK. Once you get married to the idea of being exhausted for a few months and lean into it it isn't so bad.

HC: What's the most memorable moment you had during the making of the movie?

CD: Gosh. I guess Rich smashing his head on his first night of shooting was pretty memorable. I think there was a ghost in the interior space we filmed in and it really wanted us gone one night. A cat came and watched us film for so long it was unnerving once. I guess a good one was when Rich and I had to do one of the heavier scenes in the movie and after one take I saw a crew member (Zach, our sound man) smile and nod to himself and give Glenn a thumbs up. It's possible, even probable, that he just really nailed the sound on that take, but I like to think we did a good job and he enjoyed watching.

HC: Just got to ask, where did the "turdspoon" concept come from?

CD: Life. Years ago, thankfully.

HC: Are you nervous that the movie is showing at FrightFest and have you ever been before?

CD: Oh, yes. Quite nervous. We've had good audience responses so far, but humour is so subjective that comedy is always a gamble. I'm thrilled to be going, but a little nervous about it. I've not been before, first time in London, too, so if anybody has any activity suggestions, I'm all ears.

HC: You're a multi-talented person, do you have one job that you prefer above all others?

CD: Well, thanks! Performing is definitely my number one pursuit. I like writing, love it sometimes, but I mainly got into screenwriting so that I could write the kinds of roles that I want to watch and play. I could walk away from anything except performance. And I've tried.

HC: So, what are you up to at the moment?

CD: Planning for my improv team's 10th anniversary show, practicing rope dart, working on a couple of features, and waiting to see what's next.

HC: Casey Dillard, thank you very much.


Related show tags: FRIGHTFEST
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Interview with Cameron Macgowan, director of Red Letter Day
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FrightFest 2019 exposed a lot of new talent in the movie industry and one of the stand-out pieces was Red Letter Day from Cameron Macgowan.

HC: Where did the idea for Red Letter Day come from and did it take long to write?

CM: I have long been a fan of the 'Humans Hunting Humans' subgenre of film (Battle Royale, The Running Man, Hard Target, etc.) and was inspired to set one of these films in what many people consider the 'safe' location of the suburbs. Suburban communities feel like the perfect setting for a horror film as you can walk for miles without seeing a single soul all while knowing that you are surrounded by many people. This mixed with a desire to satirise the current socio-political climate ...

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Interview with Carlo Mirabella-Davis, director of Swallow
Posted on Wednesday 30th October 2019

Ahead of the UK premiere of Swallow at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween, director Carlo Mirabella-Davis reflects on the personal inspiration behind his feature debut, healing psychological wounds and his empathy for the genre.

HC: Swallow is your directorial debut. How difficult was it to get the project off the ground?

CMD: Getting a film made is a fascinating process. My late, great teacher at NYU, Bill Reilly, would always say "script is coin of the realm". The early stages involved perfecting the screenplay as much as I could, writing and rewriting until I felt confident sending it out. The sacred bond between the producer and the director is the catalyst that brings a film into being. I ...

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Interview with Paul Davis, director of Uncanny Annie
Posted on Wednesday 16th October 2019

Ahead of the International premiere of Uncanny Annie at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween 2019, director Paul Davis reflects on working for Blumhouse, bemoans attitudes to British genre film funding and reveals the movies that inspire him the most...

HC: Tell us how Uncanny Annie came about?

PD: Uncanny Annie is my second movie for Blumhouse as part of Hulu's Into The Dark movie series. I had the opportunity to actually kick off last October with a feature adaptation of my short film The Body (which had its world premiere at FF in 2013). The concept was to release a movie a month, for twelve months, with each revolving around a holiday or particular day for the month of its released. With The Bod...

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Arrow Video FrightFest announces line-up for Halloween 2019 event
Posted on Thursday 3rd October 2019
FF19-Halloween logoArrow Video FrightFest continues on its highly acclaimed and hugely successful Twenty Bloody Year rampage with a fear-packed journey through Halloween traditions, religious deviance, unstoppable maniacs, warped fairy tales, terrifying board games and the very rules of horror themselves.

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Posted on Thursday 26th September 2019
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Interview with Evan Daves star of Porno
Posted on Friday 30th August 2019

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HC: How did the role of Abe in Porno come about?

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HC: Did you always want to be an actress when you were growing up?

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Interview with Fernando Alle, writer and director of Mutant Blast
Posted on Thursday 29th August 2019

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HC: Regular FrightFest goers will know you from your pieces Banana Motherf**ker and Papa Wrestling, why has it been so long for Mutant Blast to come along?

FA: I started making this film in 2012, and it has indeed been far too long. I figured that making a feature film would be 10 times harder than making a short film, but in fact it is at least 100 times harder. I am glad I was naive, because otherwise I would have cut a lot of stuff from the script and the film would not have turned out ...

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Posted on Wednesday 28th August 2019
Chad Archibald

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...

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Posted on Tuesday 27th August 2019

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Posted on Tuesday 27th August 2019

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AP: Making this new film! And trying to stay alive.

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