LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS 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 INTERVIEWS Interview with Bill Watterson director of Dave Made a Maze
Posted on Sunday 4th November 2018
At Grimmfest 2017 we had the chance to view one of the most original pieces of cinema we'd seen in a long time, Dave Made a Maze. Directed by Bill Watterson it's an intelligent, thought-provoking film that deserves to reach a global audience and will be released here early 2019. We chatted to Bill about this incredible movie.
HC: Where did this concept come from?
WW: Three places: Steven was underway on a script called 'Operation: Death Maze,' or something cool like that. Portions of it were re-purposed after he jibed with a story I told about my mom coming home and seeing an incredible fort that I'd build in my bedroom, and concluding that I'd gotten lost within it when I d...SHARE: READ MORE 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 Interview with Julian Richards, director of Reborn
Posted on Wednesday 17th October 2018
Ahead of the World premiere screening of Reborn at FrightFest Halloween, Julian Richards discusses the torturous challenges of Daddy's Girl, why he wishes every actress was like Barbara Crampton and future plans, including directing the English language remake of Rabies.
HC: After six years away from directing, you have two films, Reborn and Daddy's Girl poised for distribution. Why these two very different films now?
JR: My previous film Shiver was completed in 2012 and it took longer for me to get back into the directing saddle because of commitments I had to my sales company Jinga Films. The company was growing quickly and needed more of my time and energy. We had grown from handling th...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Jules Vincent, co-writer and producer of Alive
Posted on Thursday 4th October 2018
Grimmfest 2018 is well underway and delivering some memorable movie moments, and one of the best is showing on Sunday, Alive. This cracking film sees the return of Grimmfest favourite Rob Grant as director and has been co-written and co-produced by Chuck McCue and Jules Vincent. Here Jules tells all about this brilliant piece.
HC: Where did the idea for Alive come from?
JV: We'd talked about writing a horror screenplay for a number of years before we finally came up with the right idea. We're both big fans of classic horror and we love the works of Hitchcock, Carpenter, Friedkin, and Cronenberg so in a way we had a very specific style and feel in mind before we even had the story. A...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Olivier Afonso director of Girls With Balls
Posted on Wednesday 3rd October 2018
Grimmfest 2018 kicks off tomorrow and one of the many highlights of the four day event is the blood-splattered shocker Girls With Balls. We chatted to it's director Olivier Afonso about this fab film and his career as an SFX artists.
HC: What inspired you to write Girls With Balls?
OA: My co-writer and I we wanted to write a trash comedy to entertain an audience because we love festivals: the atmosphere, people screaming, laughing... Personally, I'm inspired by the eighties and nineties movies such as of Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson, Alex de la Iglesia. We wanted to make a survival movie but with strong women, a girl ...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 Exclusive interview with Adam Green, director of Hatchet.
Posted on Thursday 13th September 2018
Ahead of Horror Channel's UK TV Premiere of Hatchet on Friday 14th Sept, director Adam Green gives an exclusive interview about his beloved franchise and what the future holds for Victor Crowley...
Hatchet is finally getting its first showing on UK TV, courtesy of Horror Channel. We're excited, are you?
I couldn't be more excited! I've always said that even though Hatchet may have world premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC, it was at FrightFest in London where "Victor Crowley" was truly born. FrightFest was "the screening heard around the world" and the UK audience was so enthusiastic over Hatchet that every genre festival on t...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 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 Interview with John Rocco and Abiel Bruhn the writers and directors of The Night Sitter
Posted on Sunday 26th August 2018
HC: Where did the idea for The Night Sitter come from?
JR: From the beginning of this story, I had my childhood home in Nashville in mind as the perfect location. After several months of convincing, my parents allowed us to film in their house. It's a pretty amazing feeling to have grown up in the same location that we'd eventually film our first feature in! We were able to incorporate all the parts of my house that used to scare me as a child and weave them into a story about witches, which was extremely fun and nostalgic at times. While developing the story, I tried to recall the scary thoughts I had when I was Kevin's age.
AB: Finding an inspiring location (the house has this stran...SHARE: READ MORE Interviews Archive: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Friday 30th November
Saturday 1st December
Tuesday 27th November