ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Director's Night Interview - Paul Davis
By James Whittington, Wednesday 15th September 2010

Paul Davis HeadshotWe first met Paul Davis last year when his acclaimed documentary Beware The Moon: Remembering An American Werewolf In London was shown at FrightFest. This month he’s introducing three movies as part of Horror Channel’s Directors Night strand. We caught up with this very busy guy to talk about his perfect documentary and his plans for the future.

HC: Were you surprised by the incredibly positive reaction from the crowd when your documentary played at FrightFest?

PD: Absolutely. It being my first film I really had no comprehension as to what to expect. I knew we at the right place for it to be unveiled and thankfully everyone seemed to really dig it and more importantly got that we were genuine in our intentions to make a heartfelt piece that celebrated the making of a wonderful movie. I think I read a total of two negative reviews for Beware The Moon to date – one was a Tweet and the other on a blog. All the big boys loved it. Totally mind blowing seeing reviews from the likes of IGN and Empire urging people to buy another copy of An American Werewolf In London JUST for the documentary.

HC: You’ve been around the world with it, has the response been positive everywhere it’s played?

PD: We were very fortunate that Universal let us have a premier in Los Angeles – even more fortunate was that they let me pick the cinema. I got in touch with The New Beverly (the cinema owned by Mr. Quentin Tarantino) and they were more than happy to host our premier in a double bill with An American Werewolf In London. We did it the night before the Blu-Ray came out and were joined by none other than Make-Up Effects legend Rick Baker, producer George Folsey and another three members of the original crew for a Q&A between features. Again, the experience was so overwhelming. When I turned up there was a line almost wrapping round the block. I haven’t seen a line to get IN to a cinema since the early 90s so that was pretty cool to see. People have been so nice and complimentary regarding the documentary. I’m really happy that people like it. It’s not my movie anymore. It’s theirs.

HC: So have you been tempted to give the same treatment to another classic horror title?

PD: This is the question I’m most frequently asked. Recently in LA I got talking with another documentary filmmaker who asked me the same thing. Honestly, Beware The Moon came out of a ten-year mission to chronicle a movie I adored just as Mark Kermode did with The Exorcist in 1998. Now that I’ve done it, that fire has been put out and now I want to move to story telling. I want to make feature films, and that’s now what I’m about to do. If I did do another doc though… Pulp Fiction or Teen Wolf.

HC: There is a remake of AWIL underway; would you have liked the chance to re-imagine it back to the big screen?

PD: I did think about how I’d approach it if given the opportunity, but it’s certainly nothing I’d ever expect at all. I’ve got a lot of work to do first. Would I do it though if asked? Sure

HC: If so what would you change or add to the story and would you be tempted to use CGI?

PD: Well ultimately the only way to successfully remake a movie like An American Werewolf In London is to not try to imitate the original while at the same time borrow from its simplistic approach. A lot of remakes try to be clever and only end up over complicating things – be it within the fabric of the story or the production as a whole. With regard to the special effects, I’d totally employ CGI to enhance prosthetics – but that would be up to the effects guy involved. I think it’s terrible that Rick Baker didn’t get to go all out on The Wolf Man, and I truly believe that if the script is right, Rick should be brought in for the remake. As much as we love the original transformation (it’s still amazing!), I know he’d love to take another stab at it with the technology he’d have at his disposal now. The remake can be really good and I honestly wish the filmmakers all the best with it. Regardless of what happens, Landis’ movie still exists.

HC: Your next project is Habeas Corpus; can you tell us what it’s all about?

PD: Habeas Corpus is an anthology piece that harkens back to the classic multi-tale horror flicks such as Dead of Night and Creepshow. The basic concept is that of a lonely, old caretaker, who helps a zombie out of his grave and promises him some raw flesh in exchange for some brief company. Over the course of their time together the caretaker tells four stories that all revolve around the exploitation of the dead. It’s a unique culmination of stories in which the dead (or monsters) are the victim and the segment I’m directing, called S.C.U.M. features a female art student who uses dead bodies to aid her latest art project.

HC: How did it come about?

PD: I actually came on to the project very late. I believe the film had been in development for nearly two-years before I was contacted to direct one of the stories. The overall idea came about via fellow directors on the project, Simon Aitken and Brendan Lonergan. They had both written short screenplays and figured it would be ideal to find out if anyone else in their circle had any shorts to put in to a horror anthology feature. Enter Clive Ashenden, Rob Wickings and the writer of my story Ben Woodiwiss. Originally Ben was set to direct S.C.U.M. but pulled out for personal reasons. I was approached last May and things have been steam rolling forward. I did my own draft of the script to really bring out the sense of humour in the piece. If I’m honest that’s what really attracted me to the story. It’s a ridiculous concept and I want to exploit that fact with a lot of over the top, pop-arty, set pieces. Out of everyone I’ve spoken to about S.C.U.M. so far, it’s incredibly popular with women. You’ll just have to trust me on that one. There are a few moments that will have guys squirming in their seats. In addition, I have some UK genre favourites popping up in the film - one of which is the Horror Channel's own, Ms. Emily Booth.

HC: Have you all the funding in place or are you still getting that together?

PD: We are currently in the process of funding. It’s not an insanely large budget, but we are treating and preparing each segment not as shorts, but as features. The beauty with independent filmmaking is that we have the luxury not to rush. However, if all goes to plan we should be shooting early next year.

PD: And do you have any other projects in the pipeline?

HC: There are a couple of scripts I’m toying with, one is another horror romp and the other is a comedy. I’ve also done a bit of acting in between working on Habeas Corpus. I played a Michael Myers-esq serial killer in a short directed by Jen Moss. Only the concept is not quite what you’d think it is. You’ll have to see it though when it goes online. I don’t want to ruin it. And I also pop up in John Landis’ anticipated return to the big screen, Burke & Hare. Again, I can’t say what I did on the picture but I got to share a scene with an absolute legend of the genre. Was a wonderful experience and a real thrill to be directed by Mr. Landis.


HC: Paul Davis, thank you very much

Paul Davis will present Director’s Night on 30th September on the Horror Channel.


MORE ARTICLES
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
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
Escape From New York score to be released on blue vinyl
Posted in News, Wednesday 8th September 2021
SILLP1493-EFNY-visual-blue-transparent

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
RedSnow-poster

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
Interview with Alex Kahuam writer and director of Forgiveness
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Alex Kahuam 1 Forgiveness

Director Alex Kahuam has brought to Arrow Films FrightFest Online Edition a brutal and intelligent film, Forgiveness. Almost devoid of dialogue, it's an excursion into the raw side of reality. Here he chats about this movie and his plans for the future.

HC: Was there one movie you saw when growing up which made you want to go into filmmaking?

AK: When we were kids my brother and I my parents took us a lot to the theaters and this is where everything began for me. I just loved the experience so much and till this day I thank them because they triggered this on me and for many years filmmaking has been my life. While growing up Hollywood films have always be...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Sarah Appleton co-writer and co-director of The Found Footage Phenomenon
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Sarah Appleton

The final documentary of FrightFest Online Edition looks to one of the most misunderstood genres out there. The Found Footage Phenomenon dissects this often over-looked type of movie with interviews from many key players. We chatted to co-writer and co-director Sarah Appleton about this very informative piece.

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

SA: Yes, I grew up watching Hammer horror movies and Japanese horror because my dad was a film critic, so I used to look through all his VHS tapes he'd taped off the late night tv and pick something to watch. Evil Dead II was one of the first horror movies I ever saw, aged about 8.

HC: Can you recall the first fo...

SHARE: READ MORE
Taxi rides and crumbling hotels - Day 5 of Arrow Video FrightFest Online Edition: Part 2
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
NightDrive-poster

As we enter the final evening of Arrow Films FrightFest Online Edition 2021 there's still plenty to look forward to starting with a belter from directors Brad Baruh and Meghan Leon, Night Drive. Ride-share app driver Russell picks up his Hollywood fare Charlotte... and his whole life turns upside down. Slipping him a wad of cash, she hires him for the rest of the evening. Their first stop at her ex's place sees Charlotte running out the door clutching a tiny suitcase being chased. They make their escape, but accidentally run over a pedestrian, setting in motion a chain of gruesome events that will go to places Russell could never have imagined in his wildest dreams. What starts off as a simpl...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Josh Stifter director of Greywood's Plot
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
GreywoodsPlot-1

There are a number of monochrome movies at FrightFest this year and one of the stand out ones is Josh Stifter's Greywood's Plot so we had a quick chat with him about it.

HC: Was there one movie you saw when you were younger that made you want to be in the filmmaking business?

JS: Beetlejuice. I saw it when I was 5 years old. My family all got the flu and my mom went and rented it. This was back in the day when you didn't have access as easily to movies so if you rented a movie, it often would get watched a couple times before it was returned. Since we had nothing else to do, we all just laid around sick watching Beetlejuice over and over. I became obsessed. It was the first tim...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Conor Stechschulte writer of Ultrasound
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Ultrasound-1

Based on his own graphic novel 'Generous Bosom', Conor Stechschulte has written a tight and tense script for Ultrasound which is showing today at Arrow Films Fright Online Edition. We chatted to him about the process of bringing his original idea to the big screen.

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

CS: I did! At about 7 or 8 I went from wanting to be a fighter pilot to wanting to be a writer. My formal education is in visual art, but I've always had narratives at the heart of all the creative work that I make and have never really stopped writing in one form or another.

HC: Was there any one person who inspired you?

CS: I can't...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Rob Schroeder director of Ultrasound
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Ultrasound-1

The feature debut of Rob Schroeder, producer of Sun Choke and Beyond The Gates, Ultrasound is a startling puzzle box Sci-Fi mystery and playing today at Arrow Films FrightFest Online Event. We chatted to Rob about this chilling movie.

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

RS: Not really. When I was young, I loved going to the movie theatre every week, but I didn't see filmmaking as a career because in my town I didn't know any filmmakers. The movies were always so special for me and even sacred, so at a young age I did sense the magic.

HC: How did become attached to this project?

RS: I developed the project, by reaching out to Cono...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Peter Daskaloff director and co-writer of Antidote
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Peter Daskaloff Anitdote

Peter Daskaloff has brought his nerve-jangling movie Antidote to FrightFest Online Eidtion 2021 so we chatted to him about this complex and intriguing movie.

HC: What is your writing method when working alongside someone else?

PD: I usually write alone. But for Antidote, I had to hire a co-writer because the subject was complex. I needed another set of eyes to look at it from outside my box. Matt Toronto was recommended to me by my executive producer, Ian Michaels, who has worked with Matt before. The collaboration was a bit bumpy, but the resulting script turned out pretty good.

HC: How did you go about casting the movie?

PD: I had a casti...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Francesco Erba writer and director of As in Heaven, So on Earth
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Francesco Erba As In Heaven director

As In Heaven, So On Earth mixes the found footage genre with incredible animation to deliver a truly unique take on the format. The movie effortlessly moves from its gothic animation to cutting edge technology footage and brings together a tale which is emotional and utterly heart breaking in equal measure. We chatted to its writer and director Francesco Erba as it plays at FrightFest Online Edition 2021.

HC: Where did the idea for As in Heaven, So on Earth come from?

FE: As in Heaven, So on Earth was born not only from one specific idea but, as very often occurs, from many different ones, different influences and life experien...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Casey Dillard actor and writer of Killer Concept
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
KillerConcept-2

If you managed to catch Driven the other year at FrightFest then you'll need to catch Killer Concept today. Writer Casey Dillard is back alongside director Glenn Payne but this time serial killers are the target. We chatted to Casey about this movie.

HC: It's been a couple of years since we last chatted, apart from Killer Concept, what have you been up to?

CD: Mostly avoiding Covid and trying to find work-arounds so that I can still perform safely.

HC: Where did the idea for Killer Concept come from?

CD: Glenn wanted to make a simple movie with minimal people while our core filmmaking team was unable to go to work so we kicked around a lot of ideas and KC wa...

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
Nightbreed
NIGHTBREED
Wednesday 22nd September
9.00 PM
Final Girl
FINAL GIRL
Tuesday 28th September
9.00 PM
The Quiet Ones
THE QUIET ONES
Thursday 23rd September
9.00 PM