ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview with Robi Michael, writer and director of Every Time I Die
By James Whittington, Saturday 5th October 2019
Robi Michael

Grimmfest 2019 is well underway and one of the stand out movies so far has been Every Time I Die from director Robi Michael. Here he chats about this gripping movie.

HC: Was there one person or movie that you saw that made you want to be a director?

RM: Hard to think of one person or movie, because as long as I remember, it was clear to me that all I want to do is make movies - I was in love with films and decided to pursue it from a very early age. I was too young to realized what it takes to make movies or what is the job of a director. I can say that an early big influence in story telling is the legendary graphic novel writer, Alan Moore. Books like "Watchmen" and "V for Vendetta" really blew my young mind and opened it up to the possibilities of what you can do as a storyteller: the way you tell and unfold a story is just as important as what you actually say.

HC: Where did the idea for Every Time I Die come from and did it take long to lock down?

RM: For some reason, I find myself interested in exploring consciousness and the human mind. Basically, everything that makes us who we are. My mind always goes to those places. So, when I sat down to write my next project, I came up with the idea of exploring one's true self through the bodies of other people. After all, if you're trying to understand who you are, what will be more challenging than to do it when you are not you? When I figured out the basic idea, I got my writing partner (Gal Katzir) involved and together we started a 6-year journey of writing and re-writing the screenplay. There were a lot of different drafts and it took some time to find the right tone. When we started, it was skewed towards a classic possession movie, but it ended up being much more psychological and grounded in reality, which both of us found more interesting.

HC: Drew Fonteiro gives an exceptional performance as Sam, was the part written with him in mind?

RM: When we wrote the screenplay, we didn't know Drew. We found him through a vigorous casting process, headed by our great casting director, Gabrielle Almagor. We saw a lot of actors in LA and NY, but Drew brought a sense of intensity to the character which was very unique. He seemed to have a special connection to Sam's character and could really identify with him. He was also 100% committed to the role. At the time of his audition, Drew was in a very athletic shape. After he got the part, he decided to lose a lot of weight before we started shooting. His new demeanor added fragility and vulnerability to his character, and combined with his intensity, he elevated the role to another level. The rest of the cast did an amazing job as well. They all came through the same casting process and I just couldn't dream of a better ensemble.

HC: Did you have much a of a budget to play with as the effects are quite something?

RM: We originally wrote the idea of this movie with a budget constrain in mind. It was important for us to be able to actually shoot the movie, and not just have a screenplay in hand. So, we were trying hard to not include any scenes or set pieces that will be too complicated to shoot or will cost too much money to accomplish. But the mind wanders. And we ended up writing some stuff that was beautiful and integral to the story, but production wise, it was definitely challenging to include in a low budget movie. The quotes we got from several medium size FX companies were 7-10 times the budget we actually had, so when we got down to the postproduction process, we found out we need to get creative. We enlisted Thomas Marinello, a good friend and a colleague that is a visual FX master. We worked together many times before, but never on a scale this big. He did most of the VFX shots himself, for a fraction of the price they usually cost. For the light tunnel shots, we came up with an idea of shooting ink elements in a water tank. To put it all together, we enlisted another friend, Pascual Sisto, who is a vsual artist and a filmmaker. He managed to put it all together in a specific design, that turned out amazing. I guess the moral of the story is: It's good to have friends. (Especially talented ones).

HC: This is your first feature length movie, were you nervous the first day you stepped onto set?

RM: Hell yeah. You feel so much pressure knowing all these people on set are here to accomplish the realization of an idea you had 6 years ago. You kind of have to ask yourself is it worthy? And all that money that was invested. What if it's all for nothing? At the same time, these exact worries are also the reasons this is so exciting and breathtaking. You are accomplishing a dream. There's nothing like it. It gets you focused in a very distinct way.

HC: It's had some amazing reviews but is there anything you would go back and change?

RM: Depends on the day you ask me. Sometimes I think it's perfect. Other times I think nothing works and I want to do it all over again. There will always be small things I will want to try differently, and you can really drive yourself insane with doubt. But as a friend told me once, doubt is what makes you a filmmaker. Bottom line is that I'm very proud of this movie.

HC: You're a multi-talented person but is there one role that you prefer?

RM: Thanks for the compliment. I enjoyed (and suffered) in all the different roles I had in this movie. But I mostly enjoyed working with the actors and coming up with shots to tell the story. It's hard for me to see myself writing or producing for projects that are not my own. But I will be happy to direct other people stories in collaboration with different writers and producers.

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

RM: I am currently writing the next film and developing a script for a TV series. Can't talk about it much right now but stay tuned!

HC: Robi Michael, thank you very much.


MORE ARTICLES
Horror Channel kicks off the New Year with a Stranger Fears Season
Posted in Features, Tuesday 10th December 2019

Horror Channel kicks off the New Year with a Stranger Fears Season - a retro-flavoured selection of 1980s influenced modern horror, which includes the UK TV premieres of Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski's hard-core hospital horror The Void and Jackson Stewart's throwback paranormal fantasy Beyond the Gates, starring horror legend Barbara Crampton. Broadcast every Saturday night throughout the month, the season also includes Todd Strauss-Schulson's entertainingly subversive slasher fantasy The Final Girls and Lowell Dean's stylish, rage-fuelled WolfCop.

There is also a UK TV premiere for Mathieu Turi's terrifying and moving horror thriller Hostile and channel premieres for Barry Levinson's brutal an...

SHARE: READ MORE
Sean Doyle is back but so is David Callahan in Shaun Hutson's Testament
Posted in News, Thursday 5th December 2019

British horror legend Shaun Hutson is back with Testament, a new novel featuring one of his fans most loved characters, Sean Doyle. Published as a new hardback and eBook by Caffeine Nights Publishing, the novel is a direct sequel to the novel Renegades, picks the story up some thirty years later. Sean Doyle is now working as an advisor in Iraq when he is approached by British Intelligence regarding the resurrection of an old nemesis, David Callahan. A man Doyle knows he killed. A man who took the one-woman Doyle ever loved from him.

Older, possibly not wiser but teamed up with a younger operative, Doyle is sent to investigate the rumours surrounding the apparent sightings of Callahan, when supe...

SHARE: READ MORE
Amicus classics back on Blu-ray
Posted in News, Wednesday 4th December 2019

Following their highly acclaimed release on Limited Edition Blu-ray, Second Sight is delighted to announce classic Amicus horrors Asylum and The House That Dripped Blood are set to arrive as Standard Edition Blu-rays, complete with a slew of special features and new reversible sleeve artwork created by Graham Humphreys on 6 January.

Iconic 1972 Amicus horror anthology Asylum from Psycho writer Robert Bloch and director Roy Ward Baker (A Night to Remember), follows Doctor Martin (Robert Powell - The Italian Job, The Thirty Nine Steps) as he arrives for a job interview at a secluded asylum for the incurably insane. He must prove himself by listening to the macabre tales of four inmates to determine which is the f...

SHARE: READ MORE
Prom Night finally reaches Blu-ray
Posted in News, Wednesday 4th December 2019

101 Films presents Prom Night (1980), a slasher classic and one of the most influential horror films of the 1980s. Starring Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) and Leslie Nielsen (Airplane!), and adorned with a highly-regarded original score and disco soundtrack, Prom Night is a bloody landmark in high school horror.

Available on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK thanks to 101 Films Black Label Prom Night is available now.

Four Hamilton High School seniors have been hiding the truth of what happened to ten-year-old Robin Hammond for six long years. But someone saw what they did and is preparing for vengeance - a prom night killing spree. Hooded, masked, and wielding an axe, he'll ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Grimmfest 2020 - First guest announced!
Posted in News, Tuesday 26th November 2019
-

2020 sees Grimmfest reaching the dirty dozen: Twelve years at the cutting edge of genre film. And to celebrate, next year's festival will be bigger, bolder, and bloodier than ever - running from the evening of Wed 7th October through to the evening of Sunday 11th Oct at Odeon Great Northern in Manchester UK. Hell has expanded itself: the festival will now run for five days, to cram in even more amazing genre content.

The Grimmfest team is also excited to announce our first confirmed guest.

Mick Garris has been at the heart of the horror genre since the early 80s, working closely with horror legends such as Stephen King, John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, Dario Argento and many more. A screenwriter, producer ...

SHARE: READ MORE
What would you do if you only had 8 Days left to live?
Posted in News, Tuesday 26th November 2019

What would you do if you only had 8 Days left to live? A meteorite is on a collision course with Earth. The chances to survive in Central Europe: Zero.

8 Days is a colossally ambitious German series which explores the answer to this impossible question through the eyes of an ordinary Berlin family living through the last days of mankind as we know it. This gripping series arrives on DVD and digital 6 January from Acorn Media International.

Each episode of this eight-parter brings us one day closer to annihilation. The impending catastrophe sets in motion the reorganisation of society as we know it, and the world rapidly sinks into a huge, panicky, chaotic party. Suddenly people can...

SHARE: READ MORE
The Exorcist III coming to Blu-ray
Posted in News, Tuesday 26th November 2019

The true heir to William Peter Blatty and William Friedkin's 1973 masterpiece, The Exorcist III is a hellish horror detective story that pairs thoughtful theological themes with scenes of sheer terror and is coming to Blu-ray December 9th.

The personal vision of Blatty (the acclaimed author of The Exorcist), The Exorcist III is set 15 years after the events of the first film and sees Lieutenant Kinderman (George C. Scott, The Changeling) investigate a series of horrific murders that follow the modus operandi of the notorious Gemini Killer... who died several years earlier in the electric chair. After his friend Father Dyer (Ed Flanders) is murdered in his hospital bed, Kinderman's invest...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with James Moran, writer of Tower Block
Posted in Interviews, Monday 25th November 2019

Writer James Moran is about to do what few other writers have done in the past, the Horror Channel Triple! He is one of the few creatives who has had three of his movies play on the channel; Cockneys Vs Zombies, Severance and now Tower Block which is playing on November 29th. So, we decided to chat to this talented chap about this superior thriller and the rest of his career.

HC: Your first movie, Severance is a huge favourite with Horror Channel viewers, were you ever tempted to pen a sequel?

JM: Thank you, I'm really glad that people can still discover it with every new screening. Everybody wanted to do a sequel, we actually had several meetings about it. Nothing came of it, they carried on with...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Gary Dauberman, writer and director of Annabelle Comes Home
Posted in Interviews, Saturday 23rd November 2019

Gary Dauberman has been the scriptwriter for some of the most successful horror movies of the last few years including IT: Parts 1 and 2, Annabelle and The Nun. His latest movie, Annabelle Comes Home which is also his directorial debut, has just been released onto DVD and Blu-ray. We caught up with this talented chap about his career to date.

HC: What was it about the horror genre that grabbed your imagination and made you want to become a writer?

GD: The earliest movie going experience I can remember was my parents taking me to Raiders of the Lost Ark and I was 4 or 5 or something and I had to sleep with them for a week, you know the opening up of The Ark and the face melting, a rea...

SHARE: READ MORE
First look at the thriller, Antebellum
Posted in News, Thursday 21st November 2019

Lionsgate UK has announced that highly anticipated thriller Antebellum will be released in cinemas across the UK and Ireland in Spring 2020.

Successful author Veronica Henley (Janelle Monaae) finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it's too late.

This is the much anticipated thriller from the producer of the acclaimed films Get Out and Us, and groundbreaking directors Gerard Bush and Christoper Renz (Bush+Renz) - an exciting new voice in filmmaking.

SHARE: READ MORE
Seasonal shocks aplenty on Horror in December including UK premiere of Tyler MacIntyre's Patchwork.
Posted in Features, Thursday 21st November 2019

Wayward werewolves, genetic mutants, a female Frankenstein, man-eating spiders and the return of The Creeper... Horror Channel provides plenty of seasonal shocks in December, including the UK TV premiere for Tyler MacIntyre's incandescent comic horror Patchwork, a modern spin on Mary Shelley mythology, mixed with fun gore and a cheeky tone. It received rapturous applause when first screened in the UK at FrightFest Glasgow 2016 and will delight fans of classic 1980's scream fests.

There is also a UK TV premiere for spider-infested supernatural thriller Guardians of the Tombs, starring Kelsey Grammer and Channel premieres for martial-arts futurist thriller Ultraviolet, starring Milla Jovovich, werewolf chiller...

SHARE: READ MORE
Are you ready for The Gallows: Act II?
Posted in News, Wednesday 20th November 2019

The spectre of 'The Hangman' returns in this sequel to smash-hit supernatural thriller The Gallows in The Gallows: Act II.

When Auna Rue, a teenage vlogger and aspiring actress, logs onto a sinister website, she's soon trapped in the malevolent world of cursed stage play, The Gallows. After performing a passage from the play for her tiny online fan base, Auna instantly achieves the stardom she seeks - as well as a twisted challenge from the deadly spirit of The Hangman himself...

Produced by the company that brought you the box-office phenomenon Paranormal Activity and modern horror-classic Insidious, The Gallows Act II is written and directed by Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing, the ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Sinbad And The War Of The Furies
SINBAD AND THE WAR OF THE FURIES
Sunday 15th December
6.40 PM
The 'Burbs
THE 'BURBS
Wednesday 18th December
9.00 PM
Star Trek: Voyager
STAR TREK: VOYAGER
Monday 23rd December
7.00 PM