Interview With Chris Scheuerman Writer And Director Of Lost Solace
By James Whittington, Monday 29th August 2016

Chris-Scheuerman-writer-and-director-of-Lost-Solace-281x300One of the more surreal and deep films of FrightFest 2016 has been the rather stunning picture from Chris Scheuerman, Lost Solace. Here he chats about this very original movie.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in the film industry?

CS: I was 4 years old when I told my mom I was going to make movies. She was a librarian, and raised us on all kinds of stories, whether it was books, movies, or music. I had a very hyperactive imagination (which remains a blessing and curse!!). I was always writing or creating. I lived in my own worlds. I had a few teachers who expressed concern to my parents about that. We got the first family video camera when I was 11, and looking through that eye piece felt so right. That passion was very real. I only graduated from High School because my principal and my communications technology teacher let me make short films for school credit, otherwise I would have flunked. I don't know where the hell I'd be if it wasn't for them.

HC: Where did the idea for Lost Solace come from?

CS: My best bud Andrew Jenkins (the lead actor and co-producer) came in from auditioning as a psychopath. He told me how much he loved playing that character. We joked about how fun it would be to feel no remorse, and the freedoms in that. And how being a psychopath would make it so much easier in our society. We're a couple of nerds. Eventually we talked about making a film about it that I could Direct, and he could play the lead role. This was all happening at the same time I was fighting my way out of a panic disorder from Hell. Like, I was completely down the rabbit hole. I felt like I was just f******g losing my grip on reality man, and undergoing a ton of therapy. In the midst of it all, I remember noticing how much I was changing. Literally becoming a different person. More mindful, using meditation to abort fears and let go of things out of my control. That whole experience introduced me to how your brain is plastic, and how people can change. I remember pitching the idea to Andrew about this happening to the psychopath, where he gets really messed up, feeling these crazy f****d emotions for the first time. We both loved it. We began developing an idea, and then I got to writing.

HC: The movie is a smart, complex mix of psychological horror and extreme family tension, did you have to do much research for the script?

CS: Yes, there was a ton of research done. The psychological horror was inspired by my panic disorder, which was very cathartic. I tore a strip off my heart, and it got dirty, digging into my past, family dysfunction. Making it very personal, and truthful. I ended up doing a lot of healing with it. I had this whole rising from the ashes feeling. The science was thought out with the involvement of a neuropsychologist and a radiologist. We got it as close to plausible science as we could, without being in a creatively abusive relationship with it. We were making a fantasy, not a research paper.

HC: Did the script change much over the time you spent writing it?

CS: It took four years until there was a screenplay I was happy to move forward with. Andrew was privy to the entire journey. If you ask him, he would tell you how little there was to recognize from the first draft to the final.

HC: What category would you place the movie in as it's pretty original?

CS: For me, I always felt I was making a psychological thriller. We did recognize part way through that it was an original idea. We couldn't find any movies like it. Which was exciting! But I didn't feel I was trying to make it original. And if it is, then it's a byproduct of making it personal and taking time with it. Letting the story distill and find its way to the surface. I love Stephen King's analogy of uncovering the story like uncovering a fossil. It was a slow process of discovery.

HC: The story deals with some heavy subjects, what was the atmosphere like on set?

CS: The irony is that we worked hard with our producers Lori Triolo and David Angelski to make our set very comfortable and relaxed. Everyone involved was there because they believed in the script, believed in the project. Out of that comes a sort of passion to serve the story. It meant a lot to hear from our key crew members and cast that it was one of their favorite shows to work on. That being said, the subject matter was very intense. Lori looked to me on day three and asked "Did you even consider what this script would be like to shoot?" It was a very challenging show creatively. By the end, we were all emotionally drained.

HC: How did the cast prepare for such deep roles?

CS: I worked with each actor individually before the shoot to ensure they were coming from the right place, which for me is always a place of truthfulness. I'd been studying Meisner for a few years under Lori Triolo. We were fortunate to have her come on board. She's a respected force in the film community here, and her expertise and influence in the work is very inspiring. She also functioned as our casting director. We worked hard to find actors in Vancouver who not only wanted to, but were capable of doing the work we wanted to capture. After I'd had some time with them, the actors sank into their individual processes. I know that Andrew spent about six weeks before production spending a lot of time alone, exploring Spence's psychopathy, and also his metamorphosis. Watching the results of his work is f*****g awesome. His performance in the film is evidence of that. I gotta say, that for both of us, being best buds and having the short hand we did was great. It's an experience I'll hold onto dearly. And for both of us, the film literally changed our lives.

HC: It effortlessly moves between states of mind with some subtle yet effective scenes such as the painted sky moments, how hard were these to realise?

CS: My DP Thomas Billingsley and I brainstormed for about two months before we found a way to shoot to take us 'inside' Spence's experience. We were stubborn to realize the vision with practical in-camera techniques, which most of it is. My brother Matthew co-edited the film with me, and he seemed to find a way to utilize jump cuts and frenetic editing to accentuate how we had shot the episodes Spence was having. The sky became a character and a metaphor for Spence's transformation during script development. Our production designer Moe Curtin and visual effects maestro Geoff Hunt executed the effects brilliantly. As you can see, it all came down to having a great team. And I mean GREAT!

HC: The film is getting its European premiere at FrightFest, are you nervous at all?

CS: We are thrilled by the invite to Frightfest I'm so excited to visit London for the first time. Naturally, the nerves will probably kick in moments before the show... and perhaps after I introduce myself to the audience, I'll pop out for a quick drink to quell the nerves. For me, it's always hard to sit through the film with a new audience.

HC: So, what are you working on at the moment?

CS: I have several screenplays at the ready. I am currently moving forward on one of them as we speak. It's a throwback to where I grew up in the raging oil fields of southern Alberta, Canada. It's a terrifying script because it's so unflinchingly personal. But what the Hell, you live once.

HC: Chris Scheuerman, thank you very much.

Friendly Beast - FrightFest review
Posted on Sunday 18th March 2018

Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow was a true showcase for world cinema. One of the stand out pieces came from Gabriela Amaral Almeida who wrote and directed Friendly Beast, a film so visceral yet beautiful at the same time, it left an indelible mark on this reviewer's mind.

It's nearly closing time at a struggling restaurant. Staff want to go home while the boss struggles with money troubles and a desire for more power in his life. Enter two robbers, the catalyst for a violent situation, which the boss is initially able to contain and gain the upper hand. Suddenly, the already dangerous and explosive situation turns deadly; sides are taken, and people turn to the most abhorrent behaviour in an instant.


Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil - FrightFest review
Posted on Tuesday 6th March 2018

Ever wished that Terry Gilliam made more movies? The man who gave us Jabberwocky, The Fisher King and Brazil gave the world a new perspective and encouraged budding movie makers around the world to make their own visions and to stick by what they wanted to create.

Step forward Paul Urkijo whose demonic movie Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil just had its UK premiere at Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow. This film is the closest thing to anything Gilliam has made in the past but at the same time feels so original and fresh that it deserves multiple views just to appreciate the detail and love in every single frame.

Ten years after Civil War in Spain 1833, orphan Usue (Uma Bracaglia) seeks es...

Book of Monsters - Exclusive look at new poster
Posted on Monday 5th March 2018

Those of you lucky enough to make it through the snow to Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow at the weekend were treated to a quick look at Book of Monsters.

From the team that brought us The Creature Below a couple of years back, this female lead, action-packed monster movie draws inspiration from the cult horror cinema of the 80s and 90s including such classics as Scream, Gremlins and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. With sick, gory practical creature effects and a dark comedic edge, the film promises to be a fun, bloody and sexy trip back to a time when making it through high school was truly life or death.

The film was successfully funded through Kickstarter in August 2017, raising 45,000 and became one...

Pyewacket - Frightfest Review
Posted on Monday 5th March 2018

You know the feeling you get when you see a film that you know nothing about, not even the title gives anything away and you view with an open mind and then it blows your proverbial socks off? Well this is exactly what happened to me with Pyewacket.

Confused and infuriated for being forced to move away from friends after the death of her father, Leah (Nicole Munoz) performs a blood incantation calling on an evil entity to punish her grieving mother (Laurie Holden). Immediately regretful, she realises she can't reverse the ritual curse and an unholy presence now stalks them both in their rural home.


Where do I start with such a movie? Well, let's begin with the sc...

Attack of the Bat Monsters - FrightFest Review
Posted on Saturday 3rd March 2018

For a movie that's had a longer gestation period than any project I've known of, Attack of the Bat Monsters looks as if it could have been made yesterday, or the 1950s where its set! More on this later, here's what the film is about:

The movie follows schlock impresario Francis Gordon as he and his intrepid crew attempt to shoot an impromptu monster movie in the three days left over from the film they've just wrapped. This is the 1950s Z-Grade movie industry as its never been seen before.

From the Saul Bass opening title homage (which is worth seeing by itself) the movie perfectly encapsulates the era of post-World War II guerrilla film-making. Attack of the Bat Monsters ha...

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...

Horror Channel FrightFest announces Glasgow Film Festival 2018 line-up
Posted on Thursday 11th January 2018

Be prepared to feast on a chilling cornucopia of savage shocks, unsettling surprises and devilish delights as the UK's favourite horror fantasy event returns to the Glasgow Film Festival for its 13th year, from Thursday 1 March to Saturday 3 March 2018.

This year's bold line-up, once again housed at the iconic Glasgow Film Theatre, embraces the latest horror, fantasy and sci-fi discoveries from ten countries, spanning four continents, reflecting the world-wide popularity of the genre.

Ghost Stories remains one of the scariest stage shows ever seen and on Thursday night FrightFest kicks off with a special screening of Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson's smash hit phenomenon. Starring Martin Freedman, ...

Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson join judges panel for FrightFest and Glasgow Film Festival's 90 Second Film Challenge
Posted on Tuesday 9th January 2018

Ghost Stories writer and director team Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson will join Hex Studio's Lawrie Brewster, FrightFest's Paul McEvoy and Glasgow Film Festival head honcho Allison Gardner on the judge's panel for the FrightFest Glasgow 90 Second Challenge.

Aspiring filmmakers living in Scotland are invited to create an entertaining Horror, Sci-Fi or Fantasy film within just 90 seconds.

Films must be shot in Scotland by Scottish residents and entries must not currently be available online. All submissions are free and must be received by Tuesday 13th February 2018. Filmmakers of entries selected to be screened will be notified by 23rd February 2018.

Here's where to apply and read terms and condi...

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