INTERVIEWS

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Exclusive Interview With Eron Sheean Director Of Errors Of The Human Body
By James Whittington, Friday 31st August 2012

eron_sheeanThe FrightFest Discovery Screen contained some real gems this year.

One of the stand- out pieces was Errors Of The Human Body written and directed by Eron Sheean.

Eron had co-wrote another FrightFest favourite The Divide so we decided to have a quick chat to him about his latest work.

HC: Have you always been a fan of horror cinema?

ES: Yes, as far back as I can remember I was drawn to it. I used to ride my BMX into town where there was a great deal, ten weekly VHS tapes for five dollars, so I used to load up on them. Mum was very worried about me… I was fascinated how Horror Films could confront taboos in our society.

HC: I first became aware of your work a couple of years back when I saw The Divide at FrightFest. That’s an incredibly powerful piece; did it take long to write?

ES: The concept comes from an original script called Shelter by Karl Muller. I then worked with Xavier (Gens) on adapting the concept into a new screenplay. It was our antidote at the time to 2012 - that Disney version of the end of the world. There was a lot of development through the shooting of the film because of improvisation and the luxury of shooting in continuity. Often we would shoot all day, then go to the hotel bar and start working on altering scenes for the next day, knowing that ideas had popped up during that day that could be built on. This is a wonderfully collaborative way to make a film, making the actors part of the writing process and greater commitment to their characters. In the end the development and writing process did take a long time because it was an ever-evolving beast.

HC: What did you think of the film, did it stick rigidly to your script?

ES: In so far as the plot and character motivations and twists it stuck close to the script. The characters changed here and there because on the chance to shoot in continuity and improvise. There was a whole sci-fi back-story with the children and the Hazmat's but it was watered down over time and some stuff was cut from the film. For me it was more interesting concentrating on the character ensemble than the sci-fi plot in the end.

HC: Let's come up to date with Errors Of The Human Body which is your first feature, what can you tell us about the plot?

ES: I had a short film in Berlinale in 2006 and I met a scientist who was one of the directors of a preeminent genetics lab in Dresden. He was the brother of my cinematographer Anna Howard. I was always interested in science as subject matter so the institute invited me as an artist for 3 months to learn what they were doing - three months turned into 6 years - I was back and forth to the institute over this time trying to settle on an idea for a feature film that could be set in this real world location. There were so many interesting directions you could go and the more I learnt about their research the more I realized that trying to write the film was like trying to adapt an epic novel. The film is about a molecular biologist that moves to Dresden to set up a new lab after getting into some trouble at his old lab in Boston. There he's reunited with an old flame and she reveals a revolutionary discovery she has made involving axolotls and the ability to regenerate damaged tissue. Then everything turns weird!

HC: How did you go about casting the movie as it's interesting to see Rik Mayall back in the horror genre?

ES: Well the lead was Michael Eklund who played Bobby in The Divide. He plays a very different character in Errors - a rather conservative internal scientist where as The Divide he plays a reckless immature sociopath - however, both characters go through an extreme transformation. In The Divide he brought sympathy to Bobby even though the character becomes pretty despicable, that made me realise he could also do the same for Geoff Burton, who also does some pretty extreme things in the story of EOTHB. It was important for me that he brought an underlying sympathy and humanity to the role. As for Rik, he had worked with the producer on a previous film and thought he could make an interesting, unexpected Samuel - more politician than scientist. He also brings some humour to the role and a sense of fun and unpredictability.

HC: It seems to have a very washed out, subtle palette of colour, was this to give it an unusual slightly surreal touch?

ES: I'm not sure it's washed out, it's more austere in the beginning which is in keeping with the style and locations, story and Geoff's state, but as the film goes on all these things evolve and so too does the style and look of the film. In other words, it becomes more surreal as Geoff losses grip on one reality and has to face another, himself.

HC: The film contains a very serious tone, what was the atmosphere like on set?

ES: It is serious in tone, yes, but it's also not without a warped humour, well at least I find some of it funny. That's mostly to do with other characters and some of the absurdity of situations. It was a difficult shoot because it was low budget, and we were shooting in the middle of winter in Dresden and it could get brutally could, and that's hard on a crew and cast. But in the end everyone worked their ass off and I made a lot of friends!

HC: It's being compared to the early work of David Cronenberg, that's quite a compliment, wouldn't you agree?

ES: Yes, it is. I suppose it's unavoidable the film would be compared because it deals with science and scientists and the body as a lot of his early films did. I was aware that some comparisons would be drawn simply based on that fact, but in Errors I'm really concerned with the human story ultimately and the sci-fi/horror is the capsule around the pill.

HC: What advice would you give to someone who wants to make their first horror film?

ES: I think you have to develop something that is achievable on a low budget and use the resources around you to maximise the quality of the film. For instance, Errors was developed with the location in mind so I knew where I would be shooting and how to maximise the production value. I would also say that make sure you idea is really about something and not just an excuse to explode some heads…

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

ES: Too many things! Little scattered to be honest, but there are a few scripts that are starting to come to life.

HC: Eron Sheean, thank you very much.


MORE INTERVIEWS
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 ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Paul Hyett, director of Peripheral
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Abigail Blackmore, writer and director of Tales From The Lodge
Posted on Tuesday 14th December 2021
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 ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Barbara Crampton, star of chilling horror Sacrifice
Posted on Wednesday 8th December 2021
Sacrifice Image 1

Barbara Crampton is a Horror Channel favourite. This much loved and much admired creative is starring in the UK TV premiere of Sacrifice, which is showing December 12th at 9pm on Horror so we chatted to her about this movie and her plans for the future.

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...

SHARE: READ MORE
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with D.M. Cunningham, writer and director of The Spore
Posted on Saturday 16th October 2021
DMC_SetPic copy

If you like your horror with a huge lashing of gruesome effects and a strong story then The Spore is for. Showing at Grimmfest Online, the movie from D.M. Cunningham is a smart take on the body horror genre. Here he chats about this movie which is guaranteed to get under your skin.

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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Ben Charles Edwards, co-writer and director of Father of Flies
Posted on Saturday 16th October 2021
Father of Flies director

A vulnerable young boy finds his mother pushed out of the family home by a strange new woman in Father of Flies, and he must confront the terrifying supernatural forces that seem to move in with her. This intense and chilling movie is showing at Grimmfest Online Edition so we chatted to director and co-writer Ben Charles Edwards about this movie.

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...

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

Showing at Grimmfest Online Edition is the incredibly inventive horror/sci-fi hybrid Faceless. Here, co-writer and director Marcel Sarmiento speaks about this superb movie.

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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Tom Paton, director of G-LOC chats about his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman
Posted on Tuesday 14th September 2021
Tom Paton on the set of G-Loc-3-1

Ahead of the Horror Channel premiere of his sci-fi action thriller G-LOC, director Tom Paton reflects on why making movies is like solving a puzzle, his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman.

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

It's honesty so strange to me every time Horror Channel debuts one of my movies. The channel has been such a big part of my life growing up and informing my taste in films, that it's always a "pinch myself moment" when I see something that I've made appear on their TV listing. G-LOC is much more of a SCI-FI adventure than any ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Alexis Kendra, the writer and producer of The Cleaning Lady
Posted on Tuesday 15th June 2021
Alexis Kendra-4

Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of The Cleaning Lady on June 26, the film's star, writer and producer Alexis Kendra talks about playing a 'Goddess', coping with lockdown and why she can't watch horror films on her own.

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.

HC: It's a very disturbing film, dealing with abuse, addiction and hidden rage, yet the characters are sympathetic and have real depth. It's horror with a twisted heart. As a co-writer, alongside your director Jon Knautz, what were the main challenges in getting the balance right between acting and writing? <...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Jen and Sylvia Soska, directors of Rabid
Posted on Tuesday 1st June 2021
Soska sisiters-WEB-1

Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of Rabid on June 12, Jen and Sylvia Soska reflect on the challenges of re-imagining Cronenberg's body horror classic, meeting the great man and their new monster movie, Bob.

HC: Rabid is having its channel premiere on Horror Channel. Excited?

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.

HC: We all, of course, remember that Rabid was one of David Cronenberg's earli...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Mickey Fisher, creator of sci-fi series Extant
Posted on Thursday 6th May 2021
Mickey Fisher 1

Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with Seasons 1 and 2 of the CBS Studios/Amblin Television production of Extant, starring Halle Berry as astronaut Molly Woods, who returns home to her family, inexplicably pregnant after 13 months in outer space on a solo mission.

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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interviews Archive: 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Star Trek - The Original Series
STAR TREK - THE ORIGINAL SERIES
Tuesday 28th June
8.00 PM
American Mary
AMERICAN MARY
Monday 27th June
10.40 PM
She Never Died
SHE NEVER DIED
Wednesday 29th June
9.00 PM