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Exclusive Interview With Director Johannes Roberts
By James Whittington, Tuesday 24th July 2012

Johannes RobertsDirector Johannes Roberts is one of the most exciting talents working in the industry today. His latest films F and Storage 24 prove that he can work between genres with ease and create visually stunning movies.

On Thursday he is introducing a trio of movies in his very own Director's Night event from 9pm. Here he discusses his career to date and why the the films he chose mean something to him.

HC: We first met some time ago, in fact when you were working on the Mobile phone series When Evil Calls. That must have been a difficult format to shot for?

JR: Ha! Yeah that was bonkers. No one had ever done it before and phones were not like they are now. The screens were tiny and refresh rates were terrible. We had to devise a whole new way of shooting and editing. Things you might have assumed would work - like lots of close ups - were the worst way to shoot. We were the first and last made for mobile series!

HC: The full version was an anthology sort of a piece, are you a fan of such things?

JR: They can be OK. I’m proud of what we achieved with When Evil Calls. The reviews made it seem like I had murdered someone. And then stolen their wallet!

HC: Let's come right up to date with your latest cinematic pieces, F and Storage 24. Do you still get a huge buzz when you see your work on the big screen?

JR: Yes. Seeing the Universal Logo on the big screen with storage for the first time was a real thrill.

HC: They are very different movies, how did you approach each one?

JR: F was really last chance saloon for me. I hadn't worked for four years and it was really the last roll of the dice. F was all about making a film for me. I never thought about the commercial aspect of how to sell it. I just wanted to make the film I wanted to make. Storage 24 was much more commercial.

HC: Which one was the most fun to make?

JR: I enjoyed both a lot. F was an incredible experience. All night shoots. Everybody doing it for the love. We had no money. Storage was cool because it was much bigger but it was mainly the crew from F who I then took onto this. That alien was a pain in the f*****g arse to get right though.

HC: As your career progresses can you see yourself moving away from the horror genre?

JR: I love the horror genre. Storage 24 is very Sci-Fi which is cool. I love stories so I go where good stories are.

HC: If you were given the chance of re-imagining a classic horror movie from the past, would you be tempted? If so which movie would you choose?

JR: I think I’d love to do Christine. It would be great. It's a very beautiful movie although flawed. I think it would be perfect for an update.

HC: You've chosen three very different movies for you Director's Night event. Could you talk us through them and say why you chose them?

JR: Children Of The Corn - I love King. He is the biggest influence on my career. This was one of those movies that inspired me to become a filmmaker although it had nothing to do with the movie itself. I used to see the video box in the store when I was young and be obsessed with it. The concept of kids killing adults. I thought it was terrifying.

Blood River - Adam Mason, the Director is I guess you would say one of my peers. His film 13th Sign was the first DTV micro-budget movie I ever saw in Blockbuster. It began a whole new era of filmmaking which began the careers of people like Adam and myself and people like Jake West, James Eaves, Alex Chandon, Julian Richards etc. I used to see Adam as competition but then I remember watching this film and Devil's Chair and realising that he had totally left me behind. What he was doing with the camera and how he was dealing with actors was just a league above me. It really inspired me to make F. Of all his movies I like this and a film he did called Luster, the best.

The Bird With The Crystal Plumage - I love a bit of Argento but I particularly chose this because of the Morricone score. My films all have very distinctive music to them (whether you like it or not!). I love music in films to be up front and central. I love the main theme to this so much. I sent this to Neil Stemp when doing F. It's why I like Carpenter movies so much as well. You can really encapsulate a movie in a theme.

HC: So what's next for you?

JR: Ha! Well after looking at the box office receipts for Storage 24 I am now looking at wedding videos and school plays. You getting married anytime soon? I offer good rates.

HC: Johannes Roberts, thank you very much.


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