FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS | BOOTH'S BLOG
Interview With Oliver Frampton Director Of The Forgotten
By James Whittington, Friday 22nd August 2014
Starring Shaun Dingwall and Clem Tibber, The Forgotten is showing today on Discovery Screen 1 at FrightFest.
This superb and eerie film contains a slow burning narrative that builds into a gripping pay off. We've been lucky enough to chat to the film's co-writer and director Oliver Frampton about this cracking film and his plans for the future.
HC: What inspired you to write The Forgotten?
OF: I co-wrote The Forgotten with James Hall. In a nutshell it’s like Fish Tank meets The Shining. Gritty, character-based social realism meets supernatural horror. So influences were on one hand Ken Loach and Andrea Arnold and on the other hand Hideo Nakata and Stanley Kubrick. James and I are both huge horror fans and have both been to FrightFest a number of times. We really wanted to make a slow build, classically structured, terrifying ghost story which foregrounded character (rather than just situation and event). Those are the kinds of stories we love. We had worked together on TV projects and one of those was The Bill (the old ITV show). We used to film in these abandoned estates in central London. Only we’d populate them with extras and cars and so on, so they felt alive. But these estates were acres of yawning grey, big blocks, long walkways, all empty. And then you’d see this one little light on in one of the blocks and you thought – what kind of family hangs on like that? Why are they here? So that’s what got us thinking.
HC: It’s your first movie as a director, what did you learn from the making of it?
OF: Dangerously, that I love it! And that I plan to do it all over again as soon as possible! I think the whole process from conceiving, to writing, to prepping to production and into post is a learning process. And you learn every time you repeat it. My professional background is editorial and in scripts, so that was perhaps the area where I was most comfortable. But The Forgotten is really a performance piece, it’s so character based, so what I enjoyed most (and what was the biggest challenge) was learning how to really craft an arc on-screen. I also learned it’s always colder outside that it looks. And to wear comfy trainers. I might be stealing that last answer from Spielberg. But if you’re gonna steal…
HC: How did you choose the young cast?
OF: We managed to entice a great casting director Daniel Edwards to work with us. Casting Tommy was the hardest. Daniel brought in groups of young lads – ten at a time - and he kind of work-shopped them in front of us to see if anyone had the touch of ‘Tommy’ about them. We did this three or four times. And we just couldn’t find the right lad. Then Daniel went further afield and managed to bring me a tape of Clem Tibber just talking. We knew it was him right away. As for the character Carmen, we saw loads of very exciting possible actors. But I remember Elarica Gallacher came in and said she’d rather read a different scene than we’d selected, one that she’d enjoyed more. And she just blew us away – her reading was just so truthful. You had goosebumps. When we put her and Clem together the chemistry was just what we were after.
HC: Shaun Dingwall and Clem Tibber as father and son, bring a real honesty to their roles, was this something they had to work on or did they “bond” quickly?
OF: Thank you. Shaun was brilliant with Clem. We all got on so well during the shoot, there was a very trusting atmosphere, which really helps. But Shaun would definitely help ‘direct’ Clem with his own performance. Give him things to react to. Throw him the energy to do something with. I think Clem’s such a great ‘reactor’ to the things that happen to him on-screen; never overblown, always grounded and emotionally truthful. But Shaun, aside from being outstanding himself, really helped bring out the best for the film as a whole.
HC: What sort of a budget did you have?
OF: Funny story, the film was actually kick started by money from mine and my (very understanding) wife’s wedding! We said on our invites – we’re making a film, please donate. So I won’t have anyone say this wasn’t a film made with love! That gave us the incentive to continue and when the script came together, we were able to budget properly and get other investors onboard. Obviously I can’t give specifics but we’re in the micro-budget bracket. And it was tight. You use the urban landscape and all its bleakness to great effect, how did you choose the locations? Again, ask an expert. We spoke to a locations manager I’d worked with in television called Jim Chambers. He gave us a list of potential estates. We looked around. What I loved about the flats in Durand Close, where we filmed, is that you enter them at first floor level and then go DOWN to the bedrooms. Story wise that was perfect for us because the bedrooms were the scary place. So this meant everytime you go down those stairs by lamplight, you’re thinking “oh god, what’s going to happen now”, like going down into hell.
HC: What was the shoot like?
OF: Wonderful, challenging, emotional, incredibly fast but overwhelmingly positive. We all genuinely bonded and seemed intent on achieving something special. Our shoot was a swift fifteen days – so we had to work at quite a pace. I had to have a very clear vision of the film in my head so I could communicate quickly and clearly with the whole team. And we could move fast because of the amazing crew Jennifer Handorf (Producer) assembled, and because our brilliant Director of Photography Eben Bolter shot almost entirely handheld, lighting predominantly with practical lights (i.e. lamps and props that you see on screen). Quite daring but it looks really great.
HC: The score is subtle and at times quite beautiful; did you have much say in the style?
OF: Yes, it’s beautiful isn’t it. I’m really pleased with what Paul Frith did with the score. The truth is that unless you’re John Carpenter and write your own synth tracks, like so many facets of making a film someone else pours their soul into it. So while Paul and I talked a lot, discussed the direction, agreed the cues, and knew the kind of sounds and timbre we were after – the music is his, it’s from his heart. I’m lucky enough to be a musical person, so we could communicate effectively about material he presented me. But Paul just brought it such warmth and mystery. When we were editing the film, the temp music I used was a bit all over the place. The emotional music was stuff like Max Richter (used in Perfect Sense) – sugary string pieces – while the scary stuff was much more abstract like Krzysztof Penderecki (The Shining). I think Paul found the beating heart in the middle.
HC: The film has a lot to say about the lost youth culture of today, was this intentional?
OF: In a word. Yes. The Forgotten – when you stand back – works as a big metaphor for the eternal question; is it possible to escape the fate that you’re born into? We really wanted to say something about London and about the ‘forgotten’ elements of society. And to do something that felt truthful yet redemptive. I’m really proud of the light-touch way we invite the audience to think about these issues, while obviously weaving it through something tense and entertaining. I think more than anything we wanted to make something emotional (moving) as well as scary.
HC: Are you nervous that the film is showing at FrightFest?
OF: I suppose in some ways I am. This was always designed to be a supernatural horror film; a touch of J-horror, a touch of urban nightmare but in The Forgotten that’s balanced with gritty urban drama. So it might feel a bit different. Having said that, the people we’ve tested the film with (including lots of horror fans) have responded incredibly positively. The way the FrightFest team programme the festival is fantastic as it always provides variety.
HC: So, what projects are you working on at the moment?
OF: James Hall (my co-writer) and I never stopped writing after The Forgotten, so we’ve got a number of follow-up feature scripts in development, and a fair amount of interest in getting the next project off the ground, including one that I’m particularly passionate about; which is supernatural horror film but about a homosexual relationship in a high category prison. An exploration of identity amidst terrifying ghostly happenings. And the idea of people literally being locked into a space that’s haunted is really appealing. And of course more television drama. I’ve been working on some big, really exciting projects, which will be hitting screens later in the year. The Great Fire will air on ITV in October. Keep your eyes peeled.
HC: Oliver Frampton, thank you very much.
MORE FRIGHTFEST 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, ...SHARE: READ MORE 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...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest and Glasgow Film Festival send out challenge to aspiring Scottish filmmakers
Posted on Wednesday 20th December 2017
FrightFest, in association with Glasgow Film Festival, are delighted to announce an exciting new initiative to discover the next wave of emerging Scottish talent. FrightFest has always championed new film-makers since its inception in 2000. Now, for the very first time they are encouraging talent to rise to the challenge of creating an entertaining film within just 90 seconds.
The winning shorts will be screened both at the Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow Film Festival event, held at the Glasgow Film Theatre on the 2nd/3rd March 2018 and FrightFest's London event in August 2018.
The rules for submission are that films should be no longer than 90 seconds and be in the Horror, Thriller, Scie...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Damien Leone director of Terrifier
Posted on Saturday 28th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film Terrifier at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event today, director Damien Leone talks about the 'Art' of extreme clowning, his debt to Tom Savini and a terrifying Halloween experience...
Art, The Clown initially appeared in your 2008 short The 9th Circle, then the 2011 award-winning short Terrifier and in your first feature All Hallow's Eve. What made you decide to give him a fourth outing?
DL: Up until this point I never felt like I fully showcased Art's potential. I believe between the short films and All Hallows' Eve, there only exists about 20 minutes of Art the Clown screen time. For a character who's done so little, he seems to really resonate with horr...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Mathieu Turi director of Hostile
Posted on Wednesday 25th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his debut feature Hostile at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Mathieu Turi shares his admiration for Tarantino, describes the challenges of filming in three continents and reveals his 'magic hour'.
You were born in Cannes so you grew up with film all around? When did you know for sure you wanted to direct?
MT: I think it's always been there. As a child, I used to steal my dad's VHS camera to make mini-movies. They were basically all about my Jurassic Park toys eating my dog or invading the garden. Later, I did more elaborate short films with friends, instead of studying. Then, I remember watching Braveheart and the making of the ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Marko Makilaakso director of It Came From The Desert
Posted on Tuesday 17th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film It Came From The Desert at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Marko Makilaakso shares his admiration for Roger Corman, love of B-Movies, spoofing and overcoming homeland obstacles.
It Came From The Desert is inspired by Cinemaware's cult 1980s video game, which in turn was motivated by the giant creature feature craze infesting 1950s Hollywood. What was the main inspiration for you?
MM: There's so many movies and makers which inspired ICFTD, but the main inspiration was exactly that; creature feature infested 1950s Hollywood films, and the legendary Cinemaware Desert games and creature features and action comedies I grew up with in the 19...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Can Evrenol director of Housewife
Posted on Thursday 12th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film Housewife at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Can Evrenol tells us why film is a 'pervert's art' shares his feelings for Fulci and reveals his contribution to Horror anthology, The Field Guide To Evil.
Was it important to make your follow-up film to Baskin in the English language?
CE: I wanted to make the film available for a wider audience and to test myself with a different language movie. I thought it was a fun thing to do.
How do you describe Housewife? What would be your perfect pitch line?
CE: Man, I had this crazy f****d-up dream last night! Do you want to see it?
Like Baskin, Housewife shares man...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel FrightFest announces line-up for Halloween 2017 event
Posted on Thursday 28th September 2017
Horror Channel FrightFest Halloween 2017 unleashes seven choice shockers for the 7th annual West End Halloween chillorama - a wits-end wallow in all things gruesome, gory and glorious.
This year, the all-day shocktoberfest is at the Empire Haymarket on Sat Oct 28, 2017 and embraces one world, one European and five UK premieres, spanning three continents.
From the emotional making of a low-budget slasher to zombie nightmares, Gothic horrors, an outrageously strange mind cult, a sci-fi alien action extravaganza, a comic strip creature feature and the last word in Killer Clowns, this year-s line-up is an eclectic mix of the quirky, unusual and extreme.
Alan Jones, FrightFest co-director sai...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Damien Power, director of Killing Ground
Posted on Monday 25th September 2017
One of the best from Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 was a superior thriller, Killing Ground. This tension packed movie looked incredible on the big screen so we decided to chat to its director, Damien Power.
HC: Did Killing Ground take a long time to write and did it change as you progressed?
DP: It took eleven years from the germ of the idea to stepping onto location to start shooting. Luckily I wasn't working on it full time! Once we had a draft we were happy with, it took five years to put the financing jigsaw together. It's a long journey! The biggest change was that for a number of years it didn't really have a third act. It ended very abruptly at the moment of maximum jeopardy. Fort...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest Day 5: Organs, pumpkins and emojis!
Posted on Tuesday 29th August 2017
The final day of Horror Channel FrightFest is usually the most anticipated especially towards the final movie of the event, more on that later. There was so much going on with what possibly be the strongest line up of the whole festival.
Anyone with even just the passing interest in cinema couldn't have failed to have been impressed by Lowlife, the superb thriller from Ryan Prows. When a simple organ-harvesting caper goes awry, a twist of fate unites three of society's forgotten and ignored: El Monstruo, a disgraced Mexican Wrestler working as hired muscle for the local crime boss; Crystal, a recovering addict desperate enough to arrange a black-market kidney transplant to save her husband's life; and Randy, a t...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Michael Boucherie writer and director of Where the Skin Lies
Posted on Monday 28th August 2017
More new talent seemed to be around at Horror Channel FrightFest this year and one of the stand out movies for me was Where The Skin Lies from Michael Boucherie. Here he chats about this emotional movie.
HC: Did you know from a young age you wanted to be in the film-making business?
MB: Going to the movies with my family is a favourite childhood memory. There was no cinema in our home town, so it always involved a bit of a car trip. Afterwards we'd recount and quote our favourite scenes, for some movies up to this day. My mother also filmed and edited our home movies on Super 8, and she involved me in that. So, on some level I grew up with it. It didn't dawn on me that this was a v...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest Day 4: No more camping holidays for me!
Posted on Monday 28th August 2017
Sunday is traditionally a more quiet day at Horror Channel FrightFest as the attendees gear up for a fourth day of cutting edge horror cinema.
This wasn't the case as the event packed as much violence, blood, gore, tension, skin-crawling and gory programme of movies yet!
Killing Ground, an Australian bushland nerve shredder is an exceptionally tight piece of work that tells a story retrospectively and then brings everything up to date in one, nail-biting conclusion. It's strange to find a movie set in the open claustrophobic but this truly is. It's also incredibly heartfelt and honest, no one is safe in this movie believe me.
We were back in Blightly for the next premiere which was the v...SHARE: READ MORE Frightfest Archive: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 PICK OF THE WEEK
Saturday 3rd March
Thursday 22nd February
Sunday 25th February