ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Cruel Britannia - Exclusive Interview With Lawrence Gough, Director Of Salvage
By James Whittington, Sunday 10th April 2011

Lawrence GoughDuring April the Horror Channel celebrates the best of contemporary British horror with a special season of UK TV premieres under the banner Cruel Britannia which showcases some of the finest home-grown directorial talent around. You'll find sadistic killers, destroyed families, violent paranoia and self-destruction. Each movie is accompanied by a filmed introduction with the directors and keep tuning in as the season is being promoted on-air with some specially shot sequences presented by femme fatale Emily Booth.

The season continues on April 22nd with Lawrence Gough's urban shocker Salvage. Here he chats about how Salvage came about and his honest opinion on the state of the British horror film industry.

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

LG: Yes, from the age of 9! But how was I going to do it, seems to be the ongoing issue!

HC: Salvage was your debut movie, how did the project come together?

LG: A number of factors contributed to Salvage: It was based on a short film that I had made some years earlier. The premise of this idea was good enough to expand into a feature length. The one big change was that the short was set in the middle of the countryside and so we thought we would subvert this and place it in suburbia. The other big concept of the film was the Branscombe Disaster that happened off the coast of Devon. Containers were washing up on the Devonshire coast and people were running down and opening them up to see if there was any loot. I thought this is a great way to get an antagonistic element into suburbia. It fitted perfectly with my intentions of embracing this contemporary fear of terrorism.

HC: Did the script change much during production?

LG: No, none of it changed. Elements of the script were written with the close in mind so this meant that we could be very specific with almost all of the sequences.

HC: Although you had directed shorts before this, how did it feel to be behind your first feature film?

LG: To be honest, my expectations of the leap were quickly dashed on the first day of principle photography….it's exactly the same! Just bigger, more people to deal and more paranoia!

HC: Its claustrophobic atmosphere reminded me of a cross between of Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead and The Crazies, are you a fan of his work?

LG: Yes but he was only a very small influence and his work is not the only films to embrace such a claustrophobic nature.

HC: Salvage is a raw and real looking movie but was it a difficult shoot?

LG: Not really, everything was intentional. Being in 'real' houses, gardens etc and the decision to shoot the entire film handheld gave me the 360 environment I wanted. It gave the actors great freedom within the frame. A very tight budget meant that we shot it in 19 days so that was the biggest challenge…time is NEVER on your side even with millions of pounds!

HC: Is it true the movie was shot on sets left over from Brookside?

LG: Yes, the Brookside close gave us everything I needed to create a realism. With our budget issues, there was no way we could have ever built these sets and shooting in people’s real houses just creates even more constraints…even though I hate saying it...Brookside saved me!

HC: The film runs just over 80 minutes but packs in plenty of action and plot; are there any sequences that were left on the cutting room floor?

LG: No every setup shot was used in the finished cut!

HC: If you had a bigger budget would you have changed anything?

LG: I think there was a time that I would have answered no to that but the honest answer is yes…probably elements of everything. There are many, many elements of Salvage that I am not happy with!

HC: Are you a fan of the urban horror movie genre?

LG: I am a fan of all good horror…horror that has something to say….I am not into just watching inventive ways of watching people being chopped up!

HC: What's your take on the current British horror film scene?

LG: I am not really seeing one currently. Yes lots are being made but I think it's missing the point of what horror is. There are and there has always been enough contemporary fears that horror films could and should embrace and I don't really see this happening. I don't mean that horror should be ramming political or social issues down the audience’s throat but these shared fears are a great starting point to take an audience on a visceral but thought provoking ride.

HC: What's your top 3 horror films of all time?

LG: The Exorcist, Alien and Funny Games.

HC: In your opinion what is the all time best British horror film?

LG: Peeping Tom, especially in this day and age!

HC: What's your next project? Do you intend to carry on making “horror” films?

LG: Yes, I am currently working on 4 features. My latest is The Drought an ecological horror. It's about a drought in the UK and the milk of human kindness has evaporated!

HC: Lawrence Gough, thank you very much.


Related show tags: MUM AND DAD, SALVAGE, THE LIVING AND THE DEAD, TONY: LONDON SERIAL KILLER
MORE INTERVIEWS
Interview with Julien Seri, director of Anderson Falls
Posted on Tuesday 18th February 2020

Ahead of the UK premiere of serial killer thriller Anderson Falls at Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020, director Julien Seri reflects on this, his first 'American' experience, challenging fight scenes and the importance of personal vision.

It has been five years since we premiered Night Fare at FrightFest London, what have you been up to since then?

JS: I worked on two, very singular, projects as a producer and/or director. I signed for both with Wild Bunch, but we've failed to produce them yet. So I keep fighting. And I did a lot of commercials, TV series and music videos.

When did you first hear about the Anderson Falls script and why did you think it was perfect for yo...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Adam Stovall, director of A Ghost Waits
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020

Ahead of the World premiere of A Ghost Waits at Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020, director Adam Stovall reflects on getting through depression, creating paranormal romance and the influence of Tom Waits...

You have an interesting CV - from comedy theatre and film journalism to writing for The Hollywood Reporter and second assistant directing. Was all this a game plan to becoming a fully-fledged director?

AS: I've known since I was a little kid sitting in the basement watching the network TV premiere of Back To The Future while holding my Back To The Future storybook and waiting for them to premiere the first footage from Back To The Future 2 during a commercial br...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Simeon Halligan, director of Habit
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020

Simeon Halligan is one of the busiest people working in the industry today. Writer, director, producer, director of celebrated film festival Grimmfest, in fact the list goes on.

His latest film is the neon tinged, blood-splattered masterpiece Habit which is showing on Horror February 14th so we thought we should get the story on how he brought this shocker to the big screen.

HC: When did you first become aware of the book by Stephen McGeagh to which Habit is based?

SH: I read the book a couple of years back and really liked it. A combination of gritty realism and dark fantasy; set within a very recognisable Manchester. There's a juxtaposition in the book; from a kind of soc...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Jackson Stewart, director of Beyond The Gates
Posted on Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Jack Stewart's sublime retro horror Beyond the Gates was recently shown on Horror. Jackson is one of the strongest creatives around at the moment but he took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about this contemporary classic and his future movie plans.

HC: Was there one film that you saw growing up which gave you the idea that you wanted to work in the film industry?

JS: There were definitely a number of them; I think the ones that stick out strongest in my memory were Temple Of Doom, Batman '89, Nightmare On Elm Street 4, Raising Arizona, Back To The Future, Marnie, Army Of Darkness, The Frighteners and Dirty Harry. All of them had a big emotional impact on me. Dirty Har...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with acclaimed author Shaun Hutson
Posted on Friday 20th December 2019

The British horror legend Shaun Hutson is back with Testament, a new novel featuring one of his fans most loved characters, Sean Doyle so we decided to catch up with this talented chap about his acclaimed work.

HC: Was there one author who inspired you to become a writer?

SH: My inspirations were always and still are cinematic if I'm honest. Even when I first started writing my influences and inspirations came from things like Hammer films, from TV series like The Avengers (with Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee) and from old Universal horror films. I read the Pan Books of Horror Stories when I was a kid and I think they were probably the first "literary" influences I ever had. I also read lo...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Tyler MacIntyre, director of Patchwork
Posted on Thursday 12th December 2019
On the eve of Horror Channel's UK TV premiere of Patchwork on December 14th, director Tyler MacIntyre reflects on body image issues. twisting audience expectations and his admiration for current female genre directors.

HC: Patchwork finally gets its UK TV premiere on Horror Channel. Excited or what?

TM: Relieved actually. It's been a long time coming. The third screening of the film ever happened at FrightFest in Glasgow and since then I've had people asking me when it was going to come out. The UK genre fans are among the most diehard in the world, so I'm very excited to finally have it available for them.

HC: You were in attendance when Patchwork, your directorial feature debut, rece...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with James Moran, writer of Tower Block
Posted on 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 on 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
Interview with Cameron Macgowan, director of Red Letter Day
Posted on Friday 1st November 2019

FrightFest 2019 exposed a lot of new talent in the movie industry and one of the stand-out pieces was Red Letter Day from Cameron Macgowan.

HC: Where did the idea for Red Letter Day come from and did it take long to write?

CM: I have long been a fan of the 'Humans Hunting Humans' subgenre of film (Battle Royale, The Running Man, Hard Target, etc.) and was inspired to set one of these films in what many people consider the 'safe' location of the suburbs. Suburban communities feel like the perfect setting for a horror film as you can walk for miles without seeing a single soul all while knowing that you are surrounded by many people. This mixed with a desire to satirise the current socio-political climate ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Carlo Mirabella-Davis, director of Swallow
Posted on Wednesday 30th October 2019

Ahead of the UK premiere of Swallow at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween, director Carlo Mirabella-Davis reflects on the personal inspiration behind his feature debut, healing psychological wounds and his empathy for the genre.

HC: Swallow is your directorial debut. How difficult was it to get the project off the ground?

CMD: Getting a film made is a fascinating process. My late, great teacher at NYU, Bill Reilly, would always say "script is coin of the realm". The early stages involved perfecting the screenplay as much as I could, writing and rewriting until I felt confident sending it out. The sacred bond between the producer and the director is the catalyst that brings a film into being. I ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Paul Davis, director of Uncanny Annie
Posted on Wednesday 16th October 2019

Ahead of the International premiere of Uncanny Annie at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween 2019, director Paul Davis reflects on working for Blumhouse, bemoans attitudes to British genre film funding and reveals the movies that inspire him the most...

HC: Tell us how Uncanny Annie came about?

PD: Uncanny Annie is my second movie for Blumhouse as part of Hulu's Into The Dark movie series. I had the opportunity to actually kick off last October with a feature adaptation of my short film The Body (which had its world premiere at FF in 2013). The concept was to release a movie a month, for twelve months, with each revolving around a holiday or particular day for the month of its released. With The Bod...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Lars Klevberg, director of Child's Play (2019)
Posted on Thursday 10th October 2019
CHILDS_PLAY_Universal_2D_BD_Pakcshot_UKIt was the remake everyone was against! The interweb was ablaze with negativity but director Lars Klevberg and his team managed to pull off one of the best horror movies of 2019. Here he chats about the smart shocker, Child's Play.

HC: How nervous were you taking on a re-imagining of such a beloved concept and franchise?

LK: I was in fact very nervous the minute I signed on to do the movie. Before that, I worked relentlessly for weeks to get the job, but immediately after getting it my body had a very stressful reaction. I was fully aware of the legacy I was about to re-open so, I didn't sleep one minute that night.

HC: W...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interviews Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Inanimate
INANIMATE
Tuesday 3rd March
9.00 PM
Hollow Man
HOLLOW MAN
Tuesday 3rd March
10.35 PM
An American Haunting
AN AMERICAN HAUNTING
Monday 2nd March
9.00 PM