ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Exclusive Interview With Director Johnny Kevorkian
By James Whittington, Friday 19th June 2009
The Disappeared is the brand new chiller from gifted director Johnny Kevorkian. Packed with believable performances coupled with a paranormal script it’s one of the best British horror in years being intelligent, scary and very raw. Anyway, the movie is being shown at the ICA, London on varying days through June and July as part of their New British Cinema season (check link at the end of this piece for more information on dates) so we thought we’d chat with Johnny to see how this stunning movie came together.   ZH: How did you get into the film making business?   JK: Well first of all thank you for your kind words on the film, its great to see people a liking it.   My background comes from going to film school where I graduated in film at The University of Westminister in Harrow. Then after film school I went around knocking on doors around Soho looking for some directing work, God how naive I was then! I had made a successful short film for my graduation at film school which I thought was excellent, but it didn’t really out too well in the film world. So I then came to the realization very quickly that I needed to make another short film– something that could stand out and people would take notice of. So I did, I raised money from various people and got lots of help in the industry and I made my first proper short film. I then went on and made some more shorts. People did see that that I could make films but then I came to another realization that no one was going to offer me a gig at directing a feature film, so I had to go out and make my own.   ZH: Had you always wanted to be a director?   JK: I did, fortunately or maybe unfortunately? I don’t think I had a choice, I wasn’t very good at anything else!   ZH: Where did the idea for The Disappeared come from?
  JK: I wanted to direct something which could be made very inexpensively if we didn’t secure any proper funding and horror was always the main choice as you can make them cheap but still good. Overall it had to be something really good. I found scripts by other writers which I did develop but by the time it came to making these the option periods would lapse and the scripts were no longer mine. So we (my writing and Producing colleage Neil Murphy) decided to write our own script. So we came up with The Disappeared, which was then titled The Calling.   ZH: How did you and co-writer Neil Murphy approach the project?   JK: It really had to be something different from the current crop of horror’s coming from the UK then. There were a lot of creature films, gore and very much following in what the American’s were doing for so long. There weren’t any atmospheric horror stuff coming from the UK, the Spanish had The Others, which I loved but not from here. It really had to be something which was a traditional haunted house type of film, the haunted house being the council estate. Then we really wanted to create strong real and believable characters, characters who existed in everyday life. This attracted a great quality cast.   ZH: Did it take you long to cast the movie?   JK: It took about 8 weeks in total. Harry was cast pretty quickly, although it took a lot of persuasion for him to board the project. I think he was a bit reluctant at the start as it was a horror film. When I told him how I saw myself making the movie, which was a very much character led to begin with and the horror was creeping through in a subtle way, he liked that and came on board.   ZH: Harry Treadaway who plays Matt gives an amazing performance, he seems to be a star on the rise, would you agree?   JK: I think Harry is definitely a star on the rise, its going to happen any day now, he’s still young, but I was very fortunate to get in my first film early in his career. We will be working again in the future no doubt about that.   ZH: The acting in The Disappeared seems very natural, was some of the dialogue improvised by the young cast?   JK: Some was improvised, some changed during rehearsal and the shoot. I think you can have a script which is a great blueprint but until you have your cast infront of you reading the lines you will see that if the dialogue works on not and if not you change it.   ZH: It’s an incredibly eerie film with a raw sense of dread running through it, what was the atmosphere like on set?   JK: It was tense, we were on some pretty harsh locations, dirty derelict hospitals, claustrophobic caves which we were in for about 14 hours, council estates etc. Plus the theme of the film didn’t help, but we got through it and survived.   ZH: The film uses subtle sound effects to heighten the tension, did it take you long to mix the soundtrack?   JK: I’m very much involved hands on with the sound design. I worked closely with Mathew Gough and really wanted the sound to be another character in the film, always having a sense that there is a constant underlying threat going on. It took around 8 weeks overall to create sound effects to the final Dolby mix. I just love the entire sound aspects of filmmaking.   ZH: Though the film has a paranormal plot some of the situations the youngsters talk about such as work, hoodie violence etc is very real. Did you take measures to make sure the dialogue for example was authentic?   JK: Yes it was very important to get it right, I’ve just seen so many film that are let down by the characters who really don’t at all sound authentic and that really bugs me. It had to sound real. Funny enough at a recent Q&A session at a festival somebody in the audience was from a South London council estate and he was praising how real the characters sounded.   ZH: Was it a long shoot?
  JK: It was just under 5 weeks, we went over by two days, all location and not a single studio set built. I wouldn’t make another film which was entirely location work again to be honest, its too exhausting and demanding. It has to have some studio work.   ZH: What projects do you have in development at the moment?   JK: The next project is called Sleep Thief. Its a psychological thriller like The Machinist It’s about a man who begins to deteriorate physically and mentally due to his lack of sleep, its a very horror film that’s very Gothic in its style. He starts to experience hauntings on all different levels - very creepy stuff in there. I'm very excited to be making that as my next film - I guess I'm taking the more selective career path like Brad Anderson, I haven’t sold out as yet! We're casting the lead at the moment.   ZH: Johnny Kevorkian thank you very much   JK: Thank you also for the opportunity for the interview.   Click here for show times
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
Quarantine 2: Terminal
QUARANTINE 2: TERMINAL
Sunday 1st March
10.55 PM
An American Haunting
AN AMERICAN HAUNTING
Monday 2nd March
9.00 PM
Night of the Living Dead
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
Thursday 27th February
9.00 PM