LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Brand New Interview With Paul Hyett Director Of The Seasoning House And Judge on 666 Short Cuts To Hell Competition
By James Whittington, Sunday 12th May 2013
FrightFest and Movie Mogul, in association with Horror Channel, are challenging aspiring filmmakers to make a short horror film - the best six of which will be shown on Horror Channel and at the 2013 Film4 FrightFest event. Its called 666 Short Cuts To Hell Competition and the overall winner will receive a prize fund of £6,666 and the opportunity to develop a horror short or feature idea under mentorship from Movie Mogul, for a possible 2014 production.
Here one of the Judges, director Paul Hyett talks about his career, what he looks for in a short movie and his plans for the future.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in the film industry?
PH: I've always had a love of film since I was very young. And it was in my teens that I really wanted to get into the film industry. And I was lucky enough that from the age of 18, I’ve been steadily working in the film industry and seen it evolve quite a lot in the last 20 years. I feel lucky to have had the career I'm having.
HC: Which horror movie kick started your love of the genre?
PH: John Carpenter's The Thing was a life changing film for myself as a young teenager, which along with A Nightmare of Elm Street and the Friday The 13th series really kicked off my love for the genre.
HC: What was it about it that captured your attention?
PH: The whole film, the nihilistic feel and tone, the realistic, conflicted characters, the creepy score and the amazing make up effects. It was a real breakaway from the young good looking kids, going into a forest type horrors (which don't get me wrong, I whole heartedly enjoyed), but The Thing was a real ground breaking film for me. A classic to this day.
HC: What do you look for in a horror movie?
PH: Nowadays, I look for a good compelling story that's unpredictable. Characters that are well written and not one dimensional. And originality, something that, even if it fails, is still trying to do something different rather than the same old formula. I've really enjoyed the new wave of extreme French horror, Martyrs, Inside and Frontiers, brutal, beautifully shot, harrowing but thought provoking and challenging film making. Oh and the remake of Maniac, again, beautifully shot, technically brilliant in its Point Of View style and unflinchingly brutal.
HC: Is there any advice would you give to anyone making a horror short?
PH: It's hard to tell a story in such a small amount of time, so surprise the viewer, you’ve only got 6 minutes, don’t be scared to just do something out of the box, it’s going to be what stands out as refreshingly original that grabs the attention of the judges.
HC: What do you think will be the next big thing in horror?
PH: Well, it keeps changing, just when you think gore is out and non gore scares are in, something comes in gory and brilliant and then that shifts again. We’re going through a whole remake era at the moment, which I'm really enjoying. I just think that horror will always evolve in a way that formulaic big Hollywood movies wont.
HC: Your stunning and claustrophobic film, The Seasoning House is soon to be released onto, what was it being in control of your first feature?
PH: Yes, the film comes out in cinema's on June 21st. It was great to be able to direct my first feature. It was something that I'd been wanting to do for such a long time. Everything came together at the right time and it was such an enjoyable process. I was lucky to have such a brilliant cast and crew. I can’t wait to do it again. It really was my single most satisfying and rewarding experience of my career to date.
HC: Was it a steep learning curve?
PH: Oh yes.
HC: Looking back would you do anything differently?
PH: I think every director looks back and wishes they had certain done things differently. But I'm proud of what we pulled off. And to be opening film at Frightfest 2012 was such an honour, and the reaction from festivals and fans has been great so far. So I couldn’t really ask for more.
HC: So what are you working on at the moment?
PH: We should be announcing my next project very soon. Rest assured it’s a genre piece.
HC: Paul Hyett, thank you very much.
PH: It’s been a pleasure.
For more information on 666 Short Cuts To Hell click here
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