LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS FrightFest: Interview With Emily Booth Writer And Star Of Selkie
By James Whittington, Saturday 23rd August 2014
The Short Film Showcase at FrightFest always highlights the best of new horror making talent out there. Someone who is stepping into film making for the first time is our very own Emily Booth whose short film Selkie is showing today.
Here she chats about this project and her hopes for the future.
HC: Where did the idea for Selkie come from?
EB: Selkie is the amalgamation of my love for the sea and particularly my hometown of Hastings – it has some superb locations and both my brother and I have always wanted to make a film set here, so I wanted ‘the sea’ to be a theme. I’ve always been attracted to the female creature or monster in mythology, I love all the old stories of mermaids, medusa etc.! But also on a personal ‘wish list’ level I always wanted to have my own ‘transformation’ scene in a film. My dream role would involve some kind of creature metamorphosis so I began playing with those themes and ideas and did some research and found the “Selkie’ storyline and fell in love with the multi-layered meanings behind the significance of one’s skin and identity. And that natural calling one feels for the sea and where that comes from. Also I have done so many interviews now where I am interviewing directors about their first short or feature and always wanted to be on the other side of the mic so I just finally said one day – I’m gonna do it! I’m going to make my own damn movie as Lloyd Kauffman would say!
HC: Did it take long to write?
EB: It took around 2 months, only because this was a project that very much evolved naturally it was not rushed. Me, my brother and my partner Marc would send each other emails containing story ideas and developments until we had a basic story on one page, then Simon wrote it into a 10 page screenplay.
HC: It feels like a traditional, good old fashioned fairy tale, was this your intention?
EB: I’m not sure what my intention was! I did want to do an adult fairytale yes, it’s quite closely based on the traditional myth of the Selkie with some artistic licenses! My favourite kind of films are those like Neil Jordan’s Company of Wolves, they take a classic tale and give it darkness.
HC: How do you prepare to play a character like this one?
EB: Well it all came quite quickly in terms of playing the role of Selkie as I produced the whole film on my own too – so to be honest I was really wrapped up in making the film happen, from organizing the Kickstarter campaign to locations, costume, props, food, call sheets, shooting schedules you name it I did it – so it was almost like I was thinking ‘Oh yeah I’m on set now playing Selkie – must concentrate on that bit now!” I was so familiar with the story and with her that I just did it on set using my instincts. Also – she does not talk – which was intentional – whenever I tried writing dialogue for her it just felt wrong – so we made her very ambiguous and animal by not giving her English speaking language. It’s all in the eyes for her! I just kept my ‘drive’ really simple. She craves the sea, she craves her true self and that’s the only thing driving her. Until then she’s in a pretty miserable state of pure existence!
HC: It’s very sombre, what was the atmosphere like during the shoot?
EB: The atmosphere on most sets in never like the atmosphere conveyed in the actual film. Of course we took it seriously when prepping and rehearsing, but we all just had fun too. It was very intimate and small and personal. A skeleton crew and the other actor that I had to do a few uncomfortable scenes with was a chap I’ve known since I was 18 so we already had some chemistry.
HC: How would you describe this short and would you like to extend it into a feature length piece?
EB: I’d describe it as a moody adult fairy tale! Very sparse, all atmosphere. It’s kind of melodrama for the first half then full blown fantasy for the last! I wanted it to almost switch genres in mood, tempo and style too. So it’s all just melodrama first – an unhappy abusive relationship, a trapped woman, a domineering man. But there’s something mysterious going on too – his hold over her represented by her skin kept under lock and key. Then when she reclaims her skin after all those years the film changes style completely and becomes total fantasy with evocative colours, intense music, experimental editing. I really wanted the ending to wrap people up in her mental state of ecstasy – of her transformation. So you almost feel it with her.
HC: What’s it like producing a short piece and what advice would you give to anyone who was thinking of doing the same?
EB: Its still a lot of work even though it’s a short! We took it very seriously in terms of production values and every process involved in a feature still applies to a short film, so it can still take time and money! But it’s the best learning curve and we were lucky in that we had no deadline and just enjoyed the process. My advice to anyone else would be to really budget it as much as you can! Save money where you can (I was not so good at that bit!) Location is key to making a good short and making it easier on yourself – so think of somewhere you can access that is also cinematic to look at. I mean it depends on what kind of short it is! If it’s just set in one room – make sure your script and characters are really tight and well written as this is what will drive the piece. Ours was more evocative and dreamlike – so the locations and feel / mood were more relevant than script and dialogue.
HC: So what are you working on at the moment?
EB: I just had my second child – I was pregnant when I shot the final scenes in Selkie of her crawling back to the sea!!! So I am actually just getting my head around being a mother again and getting back into work next month for Horror Channel.
HC: Emily Booth, thank you very much.
MORE ARTICLES Nothing will prepare you for Chuck Steel - Night of the Trampires!
Posted in News, Sunday 17th October 2021
Animortal Studios, announces that its British-made stop-motion animated feature, Chuck Steel: Night Of The Trampires, is releasing into UK cinemas on Friday 29th October, in time for Halloween.
From the fevered imagination of two-time BAFTA-winning writer/director, Mike Mort (Gogs), and featuring the voices of UK comedy legends, Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous) and Paul Whitehouse (The Fast Show) alongside Mort's, this homage to 80's B-movie excess is "one of the most extraordinary achievements by an independent animation studio" (Starburst), comes "chock-full of snappy one-liners and ultra-violent action"(Hollywood Reporter) tha...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Michael Mayer and Guy Ayal from the acclaimed movie Happy Times
Posted in Features, Interviews, Saturday 16th October 2021
Happy Times, which is showing at Grimmfest Online, is a movie that takes the home invasion genre and turns it inside out! Directed by Michael Mayer and co-written with composer Guy Ayal, the movie is a bombastic, bloody and hilarious piece of cinema. I chatted to them both about this dinner party from hell.
HC: Where did the idea for Happy Times come from?
MM: The idea for the movie started forming when I was invited to a Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year's) dinner in Los Angeles. It was the first year of Trump's presidency and wherever you went all people wanted to talk about was politics. One thing to know about the Israeli expat com...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with D.M. Cunningham, writer and director of The Spore
Posted in Features, Interviews, Saturday 16th October 2021
If you like your horror with a huge lashing of gruesome effects and a strong story then The Spore is for. Showing at Grimmfest Online, the movie from D.M. Cunningham is a smart take on the body horror genre. Here he chats about this movie which is guaranteed to get under your skin.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a director?
DM: I started out wanting to be a makeup effects artist. After seeing Night of the Living Dead and discovering Fangoria magazine I was hooked. Tom Savini was a huge influence on my trajectory toward becoming a filmmaker. It wasn't until later that I discovered that you could boss the monsters around on set being the director. That's...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Ben Charles Edwards, co-writer and director of Father of Flies
Posted in Features, Interviews, Saturday 16th October 2021
A vulnerable young boy finds his mother pushed out of the family home by a strange new woman in Father of Flies, and he must confront the terrifying supernatural forces that seem to move in with her. This intense and chilling movie is showing at Grimmfest Online Edition so we chatted to director and co-writer Ben Charles Edwards about this movie.
HC: Where did the idea for Father of Flies come from?
BE: It came from my childhood experiences. When my good friend and journalist Dominic Wells was talking to me about my next project, he told me to draw on real life experiences. So, I did. My own experiences were neither as heightened nor as traumatic as they may...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Marcel Sarmiento co-writer and director of Faceless
Posted in Features, Interviews, Friday 15th October 2021
Showing at Grimmfest Online Edition is the incredibly inventive horror/sci-fi hybrid Faceless. Here, co-writer and director Marcel Sarmiento speaks about this superb movie.
HC: Have you always been a big horror movie fan?
MS: Definitely as a kid. My first movies made with my Betamax were all about scaring one other and how gross we could push makeup effects. We mostly strangled, stabbed, and threw each other off buildings. I think as I got older, I appreciated what you could do with horror more than horror for horror's sake. I love that you can make characters do things that in any other genre you couldn't make them do and still come out the other end liking them and routi...SHARE: READ MORE Hallowen Kills...on vinyl!
Posted in News, Thursday 14th October 2021
Renowned composer/director John Carpenter and his creative foils Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies have announced details for the impending release of the original motion picture soundtrack for the fiercely anticipated second installment in the new Halloween trilogy, Halloween Kills, from Universal Pictures, Miramax, and Blumhouse, directed by David Gordon Green and starring horror icon Jamie Lee Curtis. The soundtrack will be released in conjunction with the film release on October 15th through Sacred Bones in a wide range of variants.
In 2018, David Gordon Green's Halloween killed at the box office, becoming the highest-grossing chapter in the four-decade franchi...SHARE: READ MORE Universal Monsters are back on Horror Channel and Kim Newman is here to tell you all about them
Posted in Features, Thursday 14th October 2021
Respected journalist, film critic, and fiction writer Kim Newman takes us through the Universal monsters joining Horror for our Classic Horror Halloween event running from 30th-31st of October.
With Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Wolf Man (1941) and The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954), Universal Pictures introduced the lasting icons of horror... combining the presence of stars Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr with the make-up artistry of Jack P. Pierce (except for the Creature who came later in the day and was designed by the extraordinary Millicent Patrick ). These are the genre's cornerstone fiends, and - despite the way they have been domesticated an...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel goes out of this world to bring Channel premiere of Brit sci-fi thriller series UFO from October 20
Posted in Features, Wednesday 13th October 2021
Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing great cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with Season 1 of the 1970 British science fiction TV series UFO, created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and produced by the Andersons and TV mogul Lew Grade.
One of the best of its genre, the 26-part series combines the remarkable talents of the Andersons with those of special effects director Derek Meddings. And with a stellar cast including Ed Bishop, Michael Billington and George Sewell, it proved a popular hit at the time.
Following syndication in the US and favourable ratings, a possible second series was plann...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel - Now on Instagram!
Posted in Features, Saturday 9th October 2021
You can never have too much Horror Channel in your life, so follow us on Instagram too!
Find us at instagram.com/horrorchannel_uk/SHARE: READ MORE Classic monsters will rise this Halloween on Horror
Posted in Features, Thursday 7th October 2021
Famous monsters rise again!
To celebrate the Halloween weekend on Saturday 30th October and Sunday 31st October, Horror Channel presents Classic Horror Halloween, two diabolical daytime marathons highlighted by five channel premieres, including Bride Of Frankenstein, the celebrated sequel to the 1931 classic with Boris Karloff reprising his role as the Creature, Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman, featuring the original Wolfman, Lon Chaney, Jr. and Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein's monster, The Invisible Man, in which Claude Rains delivers a remarkable performance in his screen debut, Christy Cabanne's frightening chiller masterpiece The Mummy's Hand and Revenge ...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel sponsoring Grimmfest Online 2021
Posted in News, Thursday 30th September 2021
Horror Channel is proudly sponsoring Grimmfest Online 2021 which runs 14th-17th October and will offer audiences the chance to experience the live festival programme in the comfort of their own homes, as well as enabling them to catch up on anything they might have missed at the live event.
The virtual festival will complement and sit alongside the live festival, with much of the content crossing both events. Many of the feature films and shorts that play the live festival will also be featured within the online event but there will also be some online exclusives.
Grimmfest are excited to announce two exclusive feature film presentations only available on our virtual event an...SHARE: READ MORE Would you dare enter? Escape Room 2: Tournament of Champions coming home soon
Posted in News, Sunday 26th September 2021
Sequel to the box-office hit psychological thriller that terrified audiences around the world Escape Room 2: Tournament of Champions is available to Download and Keep on October 4 and to Rent on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD on October 18 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.Directed by Adam Robitel (Escape Room, Insidious: The Last Key) the movie stars Taylor Russell (Escape Room, Waves), Logan Miller (Escape Room, Love Simon), Indya Moore (Queen & Slim), Holland Roden (Follow Me), Thomas Cocquerel (In Like Flynn) and Carlito Olivero (Bad Samaritan).
In this installment, six people unwittingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly un...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
Tuesday 19th October
Friday 29th October
Wednesday 20th October