LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Interview with Paul Hunt and Julie Kauffman directors of The Brilliant Terror
By James Whittington, Wednesday 1st September 2021
The filmmaking process is a long difficult one, but even harder for those working at grassroots level. Paul Hunt and Julie Kauffman's superb documentary, The Brilliant Terror is showing on the Horror Channel Screen today at Arrow Video FrightFest Online Edition today and it takes an in-depth look at this micro-budget genre and the people whose dedication has created some memorable movie moments. Here we chat to the directors about this acclaimed piece.
What inspired you to make The Brilliant Terror?
The original inspiration for the doc was based around an imagined scenario from Paul's childhood - a sort of Kobayashi Maru test of horror. We cut that piece from the movie a month before we finished editing. This brought the film into sharper focus, delving purely into the story of the filmmakers and fans - their motivations and methods and the community bond of grassroots creativity. One thread that survives from that initial premise is the theme of how we deal with our fears.
HC: What do you think is the major difference between "grassroots" and "Indie" filmmaking?
The grassroots filmmakers in our case are working on no-budget or microbudget filmmaking - it becomes all about your friends and the community you cultivate to help you fulfil your dream of making a movie. Grassroots has that DIY attitude and determination. Indie now seems to have become larger in scope, budget wise and control wise.
HC: There's been a number of docs recently covering filmmaking such as Clapboard Jungle, why do you think there's so much interest in horror filmmaking at the moment?
I don't think the interest in horror filmmaking has ever gone away. Nearly every DVD/Blu-ray extra includes a making of - from the studio EPK types to multi-part segments covering every layer. We all love to see what it takes to make a movie. It's hypnotic to witness the joys and pains the filmmakers go through or how they created a particular effect. I could endlessly watch the unedited sequence of Mike Lombardo and his crew shivering on the icy bathroom stall floor spitting blood and wrangling tentacles. But it's getting harder to see honest, warts-and-all behind-the-scenes moments these days because everyone wants to come off as perfect. So when those real gems squeak out, they're glorious.
HC: It focuses mainly on multi-talented creative Mike Lombardo and he's not shy in explaining the raw truth about the process, how did you first meet?
A month before we were about to wrap on our doc, we were checking the line up at a local film fest and discovered a zombie short made by Mike. We had been across the country interviewing people, but were still hoping to include local filmmakers from our central Pennsylvania area. So I called and left a message with Mike. The initial answer was no. But later he called back, agreed to an interview, and invited us to film behind the scenes on the set of his movies. And then he couldn't get rid of us. He was a charming triple threat - a great writer, director, and practical effects artist. The funny thing is we found our muse, Mike, just around the corner from us - literally 15 minutes away. And that took us on a 7-year journey that ultimately became the heart of this film.
HC: His enthusiasm is at first infectious, but seems to change much over the seven years you shot this, is this how it was?
You're always raring to go when you start filming a new project and all that prep seems to be paying off. But over time the giddy excitement turns into tiring hard work. Frustrations inevitably surface when your vision is not coming together like you want, especially when you're working with friends, many who are volunteering. Hence the reshoots and more reshoots. All great material for the documentary!
HC: Do you think qualifications are better than experience or vice versa when it comes to filmmaking?
For us as a two-person team, we followed the same path as Mike (not going to film school) and taught ourselves filmmaking. Twenty years ago we picked up a GL1 and filmed stories of artisans and their craft in India, and then a local puppeteer's production of Treasure Island. It was always about seeing the creative process. And we learned by doing and by watching many docs in many genres. We also both come from creative fields - graphic design and illustration - and filmmaking for us is just another way of expressing a compelling story.
HC: Were there any interviews you couldn't set up?
At one point, we were hoping to include a section on international grassroots horror and explore the traditions/monsters/folklore specific to people's homelands. We reached out to the Nigerian Nollywood horror community and had leads in Thailand and Japan, but nothing panned out there. So we dropped that thread, keeping only one filmmaker outside the U.S. in the doc - Ashley Thorpe. His animations explore British folklore inspired by his haunting Devonshire backdrop.
HC: I feel this will inspire many to try and create their own movies, is this your hope for the movie?
I'm not sure this is a good lesson in inspiring someone to make movies as Mike's experience is equal measures masochistic and joyous. We do hope it inspires a producer to reach out to Mike and invest in his talents.
HC: What's the single, greatest piece of advice you can give to budding filmmakers, actors, crew etc?
Watch and read everything you can on all flavours of filmmaking and storytelling, not just your personal taste. And watch the bad stuff too. We've learned so much more from documentaries that were just okay, because we end up trying to figure out why it didn't work, why it didn't take you on a journey.
HC: So, what are you up to at the moment?
Apart from running around the U.S. filming for nonprofits, we'd love to make a documentary about practical effects legend Rob Bottin - where did he go? Why did he walk away from it all. Anyone have a contact? Put Mike next to Mr. Bottin and see what happens. Or making a doc on Clint Howard, the man Mike hopes would play him in his biography.
HC: Paul Hunt and Julie Kauffman, thank you very much.
Related show tags: FRIGHTFEST MORE ARTICLES Interview with Marcel Sarmiento co-writer and director of Faceless
Posted in Features, Interviews, Friday 15th October 2021
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 routing for them.
HC: Where did the idea for the movie come from and what was your writing process between the three of you like?
MS: It originated with my friend Ed and I wanting t...SHARE: READ MORE Universal Monsters are back on Horror Channel and Kim Newman is here to tell you all about them
Posted in Features, Thursday 14th October 2021
Respected journalist, film critic, and fiction writer Kim Newman takes us through the Universal monsters joining Horror for our Classic Horror Halloween event running from 30th-31st of October.
With Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Wolf Man (1941) and The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954), Universal Pictures introduced the lasting icons of horror... combining the presence of stars Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr with the make-up artistry of Jack P. Pierce (except for the Creature who came later in the day and was designed by the extraordinary Millicent Patrick ). These are the genre's cornerstone fiends, and - despite the way they have been domesticated an...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel goes out of this world to bring Channel premiere of Brit sci-fi thriller series UFO from October 20
Posted in Features, Wednesday 13th October 2021
Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing great cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with Season 1 of the 1970 British science fiction TV series UFO, created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and produced by the Andersons and TV mogul Lew Grade.
One of the best of its genre, the 26-part series combines the remarkable talents of the Andersons with those of special effects director Derek Meddings. And with a stellar cast including Ed Bishop, Michael Billington and George Sewell, it proved a popular hit at the time.
Following syndication in the US and favourable ratings, a possible second series was plann...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel - Now on Instagram!
Posted in Features, Saturday 9th October 2021
You can never have too much Horror Channel in your life, so follow us on Instagram too!
Find us at instagram.com/horrorchannel_uk/SHARE: READ MORE Classic monsters will rise this Halloween on Horror
Posted in Features, Thursday 7th October 2021
Famous monsters rise again!
To celebrate the Halloween weekend on Saturday 30th October and Sunday 31st October, Horror Channel presents Classic Horror Halloween, two diabolical daytime marathons highlighted by five channel premieres, including Bride Of Frankenstein, the celebrated sequel to the 1931 classic with Boris Karloff reprising his role as the Creature, Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman, featuring the original Wolfman, Lon Chaney, Jr. and Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein's monster, The Invisible Man, in which Claude Rains delivers a remarkable performance in his screen debut, Christy Cabanne's frightening chiller masterpiece The Mummy's Hand and Revenge ...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel sponsoring Grimmfest Online 2021
Posted in News, Thursday 30th September 2021
Horror Channel is proudly sponsoring Grimmfest Online 2021 which runs 14th-17th October and will offer audiences the chance to experience the live festival programme in the comfort of their own homes, as well as enabling them to catch up on anything they might have missed at the live event.
The virtual festival will complement and sit alongside the live festival, with much of the content crossing both events. Many of the feature films and shorts that play the live festival will also be featured within the online event but there will also be some online exclusives.
Grimmfest are excited to announce two exclusive feature film presentations only available on our virtual event an...SHARE: READ MORE Would you dare enter? Escape Room 2: Tournament of Champions coming home soon
Posted in News, Sunday 26th September 2021
Sequel to the box-office hit psychological thriller that terrified audiences around the world Escape Room 2: Tournament of Champions is available to Download and Keep on October 4 and to Rent on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD on October 18 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.Directed by Adam Robitel (Escape Room, Insidious: The Last Key) the movie stars Taylor Russell (Escape Room, Waves), Logan Miller (Escape Room, Love Simon), Indya Moore (Queen & Slim), Holland Roden (Follow Me), Thomas Cocquerel (In Like Flynn) and Carlito Olivero (Bad Samaritan).
In this installment, six people unwittingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly un...SHARE: READ MORE Creature-Feature mockumentary Bigfoot Hunters to be unleashed soon
Posted in News, Sunday 26th September 2021
Join the hunt for the legendary sasquatch in hilarious creature feature-comedy mockumentary Bigfoot Hunter.
Meet Brian Emond, a millennial clickbait reporter longing to work on serious news stories. Unfortunately for him and his producer Zach, their network has zero faith in them and sends them into the Appalachian Mountains in search of Bigfoot. Along for the ride is their guide, Jefferey, the only cryptozoologist to have encountered the legendary sasquatch in recent times. The three set-out into the wilderness with one goal: find Bigfoot. What could possibly go wrong?
Directed by and starring Zach Lampugh, a former Adult Swim editor, and Brian Emond, a comedi...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel unleashes primetime premieres for October
Posted in Features, Tuesday 21st September 2021
Horror Channel has seven weekend primetime premieres line up for October, including, at 9pm on Sunday nights, the UK TV premiere of Brad Paxton's supernatural thriller Incarnate, starring Aaron Eckhart, and the channel premieres of David Cronenberg's erotic psychological chiller Dead Ringers and Juan Carlo Fresnadillo's atmospheric fantasy Intruders (2011), starring Clive Owen.
Plus, there are four premieres at 9pm on Saturday nights: Darren Lynn Bousman's nightmarish mystery Abattoir, Iain Softley's Southern Gothic-style frightener The Skeleton Key, starring Kate Hudson, dark horror comedy Mom And Dad, starring Nicholas Cage and Selma Blair and Mama, the Guillermo Del Toro exec...SHARE: READ MORE Tom Paton, director of G-LOC chats about his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman
Posted in Features, Interviews, Tuesday 14th September 2021
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 Escape From New York score to be released on blue vinyl
Posted in News, Wednesday 8th September 2021
Originally released on the 31st of July 2015, the vinyl edition of John Carpenter's classic 1981 thriller, Escape From New York mirrored the expanded CD release from 2000, with over 20 minutes of previously unreleased music plus music from scenes deleted from the final print and original dialogue highlights.
The masters for that CD were re-mixed from the original multi-track session tapes by long-time Carpenter associate Alan Howarth.
This is the first time on coloured vinyl for this LP, all previous pressings having been on black vinyl and will be released January 21st, 2022 thanks to Silva Screen Records.... SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Sean Nichols Lynch writer and director of Red Snow
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Final film of Arrow Films FrightFest Online Edition 2021 is a fangtastic (sorry) twist on the vampire movie, Sean Nichols Lynch's Red Snow. We had a quick chat about this blood-splattered shocker which has a deep vein of humour running through it.
HC: Where did the idea for Red Snow come from?
SL: I was trying to get a different horror feature financed and was struggling to get it off the ground. It was a frustrating period for me, and I honestly felt like I'd never get to make another film. I happened to run into Dennice, who I knew from my film school days at San Francisco State. We got to talking and I started to think about how great it would be to just drop everything and ...SHARE: READ MORE Articles Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Tuesday 26th October
Sunday 24th October
Saturday 23rd October