Exclusive Interview With Director Johannes Roberts
By James Whittington, Tuesday 24th July 2012

Johannes RobertsDirector Johannes Roberts is one of the most exciting talents working in the industry today. His latest films F and Storage 24 prove that he can work between genres with ease and create visually stunning movies.

On Thursday he is introducing a trio of movies in his very own Director's Night event from 9pm. Here he discusses his career to date and why the the films he chose mean something to him.

HC: We first met some time ago, in fact when you were working on the Mobile phone series When Evil Calls. That must have been a difficult format to shot for?

JR: Ha! Yeah that was bonkers. No one had ever done it before and phones were not like they are now. The screens were tiny and refresh rates were terrible. We had to devise a whole new way of shooting and editing. Things you might have assumed would work - like lots of close ups - were the worst way to shoot. We were the first and last made for mobile series!

HC: The full version was an anthology sort of a piece, are you a fan of such things?

JR: They can be OK. I’m proud of what we achieved with When Evil Calls. The reviews made it seem like I had murdered someone. And then stolen their wallet!

HC: Let's come right up to date with your latest cinematic pieces, F and Storage 24. Do you still get a huge buzz when you see your work on the big screen?

JR: Yes. Seeing the Universal Logo on the big screen with storage for the first time was a real thrill.

HC: They are very different movies, how did you approach each one?

JR: F was really last chance saloon for me. I hadn't worked for four years and it was really the last roll of the dice. F was all about making a film for me. I never thought about the commercial aspect of how to sell it. I just wanted to make the film I wanted to make. Storage 24 was much more commercial.

HC: Which one was the most fun to make?

JR: I enjoyed both a lot. F was an incredible experience. All night shoots. Everybody doing it for the love. We had no money. Storage was cool because it was much bigger but it was mainly the crew from F who I then took onto this. That alien was a pain in the f*****g arse to get right though.

HC: As your career progresses can you see yourself moving away from the horror genre?

JR: I love the horror genre. Storage 24 is very Sci-Fi which is cool. I love stories so I go where good stories are.

HC: If you were given the chance of re-imagining a classic horror movie from the past, would you be tempted? If so which movie would you choose?

JR: I think I’d love to do Christine. It would be great. It's a very beautiful movie although flawed. I think it would be perfect for an update.

HC: You've chosen three very different movies for you Director's Night event. Could you talk us through them and say why you chose them?

JR: Children Of The Corn - I love King. He is the biggest influence on my career. This was one of those movies that inspired me to become a filmmaker although it had nothing to do with the movie itself. I used to see the video box in the store when I was young and be obsessed with it. The concept of kids killing adults. I thought it was terrifying.

Blood River - Adam Mason, the Director is I guess you would say one of my peers. His film 13th Sign was the first DTV micro-budget movie I ever saw in Blockbuster. It began a whole new era of filmmaking which began the careers of people like Adam and myself and people like Jake West, James Eaves, Alex Chandon, Julian Richards etc. I used to see Adam as competition but then I remember watching this film and Devil's Chair and realising that he had totally left me behind. What he was doing with the camera and how he was dealing with actors was just a league above me. It really inspired me to make F. Of all his movies I like this and a film he did called Luster, the best.

The Bird With The Crystal Plumage - I love a bit of Argento but I particularly chose this because of the Morricone score. My films all have very distinctive music to them (whether you like it or not!). I love music in films to be up front and central. I love the main theme to this so much. I sent this to Neil Stemp when doing F. It's why I like Carpenter movies so much as well. You can really encapsulate a movie in a theme.

HC: So what's next for you?

JR: Ha! Well after looking at the box office receipts for Storage 24 I am now looking at wedding videos and school plays. You getting married anytime soon? I offer good rates.

HC: Johannes Roberts, thank you very much.

Interview with Stewart Sparke, director of Book of Monsters
Posted on Friday 29th April 2022
Director Stewart Sparke watches a scene

A birthday bash becomes a bloodbath when monsters escape from a supernatural storybook, leaving a group of teenagers to fight for their lives and shut the party down in the UK TV premiere of Book of Monsters on May 16th on Horror. We chatted to its director, Stewart Sparke about this fun, retro-filled fright-fest.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a film director?

SS: I remember first realising that I wanted to make films during one of many viewings of The Mummy (1999) on VHS in my bedroom on an old 15" TV. I became quite obsessed with the film and tried to make all my friends come over to watch it ...

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Posted on Wednesday 16th February 2022
Paul Hyett

Paul Hyett is a multi-disciplined creative whose work is as inventive as it is imaginative. His latest movie is a dark sci-fi chiller named Peripheral and it will have its UK TV premiere on Horror, Friday 25th February at 11.05pm.

Here he chats about this incredible movie and his plans for the future.

HC: How did you become attached to Peripheral?

PH: The producer Craig Touhy and I had been friends for a while and had nearly done another movie together and he'd liked the claustrophobia and tension of The Seasoning House so we met up to discuss Peripheral. When he pitched it to me, very much a low budget, contained movie, in one apartment. I must say I was a little hesitant. I...

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Abigail Blackmore 1

Ahead of Horror Channel's Xmas Day broadcast of her horror comedy feature Tales From The Lodge, director Abigail Blackmore recalls the brutal weather conditions, the challenges of casting and the joy of playing at FrightFest.

HC: Thanks to Horror Channel, Tales From The Lodge finally gets its UK TV premiere on British TV. Excited or what?

AB: So excited! I know a huge amount of people watch the Horror Channel so I'm hoping it opens TFTL up to a whole new audience.

HC: Looking back to its showcase screening at FrightFest in 2019, what are your abiding memories?

AB: It was a wonderful experience! FrightFest has long been one of the highlights of my ...

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Sacrifice Image 1

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Note that there are some spoilers for Sacrifice in the interview.

HC: Can you recall how you felt the first time you stepped onto a TV or film set?

BC: Yes, I remember the first time I was ever on a television set, it was for the soap opera, Days of Our Lives, and it was my very first job, and I had one line, "Hi. I'm your cousin Trista from Colorado". It was to the character Marlena Evans and subsequently I had w...

Interview with Michael Mayer and Guy Ayal from the acclaimed movie Happy Times
Posted on Saturday 16th October 2021
thumbnail_HT_set_Marie Alyse Rodriguez

Happy Times, which is showing at Grimmfest Online, is a movie that takes the home invasion genre and turns it inside out! Directed by Michael Mayer and co-written with composer Guy Ayal, the movie is a bombastic, bloody and hilarious piece of cinema. I chatted to them both about this dinner party from hell.

HC: Where did the idea for Happy Times come from?

MM: The idea for the movie started forming when I was invited to a Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year's) dinner in Los Angeles. It was the first year of Trump's presidency and wherever you went all people wanted to talk about was politics. One thing to know about the Israeli expat com...

Interview with D.M. Cunningham, writer and director of The Spore
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DMC_SetPic copy

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HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a director?

DM: I started out wanting to be a makeup effects artist. After seeing Night of the Living Dead and discovering Fangoria magazine I was hooked. Tom Savini was a huge influence on my trajectory toward becoming a filmmaker. It wasn't until later that I discovered that you could boss the monsters around on set being the director. That's...

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Father of Flies director

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HC: Where did the idea for Father of Flies come from?

BE: It came from my childhood experiences. When my good friend and journalist Dominic Wells was talking to me about my next project, he told me to draw on real life experiences. So, I did. My own experiences were neither as heightened nor as traumatic as they may...

Interview with Marcel Sarmiento co-writer and director of Faceless
Posted on Friday 15th October 2021
Faceless Director

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HC: Have you always been a big horror movie fan?

MS: Definitely as a kid. My first movies made with my Betamax were all about scaring one other and how gross we could push makeup effects. We mostly strangled, stabbed, and threw each other off buildings. I think as I got older, I appreciated what you could do with horror more than horror for horror's sake. I love that you can make characters do things that in any other genre you couldn't make them do and still come out the other end liking them and routi...

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Posted on Tuesday 14th September 2021
Tom Paton on the set of G-Loc-3-1

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Horror Channel will be broadcasting the UK TV premiere of your Sci-fi adventure G-LOC. Excited or what?

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Posted on Tuesday 15th June 2021
Alexis Kendra-4

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HC: The Cleaning Lady is having its channel premiere on Horror Channel. Excited?

AK: I love you guys. Always have, always will. I'm honoured.

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SS: The Horror Channel has supported us and our work since the beginning, so it's a special treat to have the newest film premiere there!

Js: We are so excited. Having Rabid on Horror Channel feels like coming home. They've been very kind to us. We are happy to have so many of our films on there.

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Interview with Mickey Fisher, creator of sci-fi series Extant
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Mickey Fisher 1

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The series begins on Horror May 11th so, we decided to chat to its creator, Mickey Fisher about how the series came to be produced and what it was like working with Hollywood royalty.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a writer?

MF: From the time I was maybe five or six years old I wanted to be an actor. Going to see Star...

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Monday 27th June
9.00 PM
Space: 1999
SPACE: 1999
Wednesday 29th June
7.00 PM
Star Trek - The Original Series
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8.00 PM