ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

FrightFest: Interview With Emily Booth Writer And Star Of Selkie
By James Whittington, Saturday 23rd August 2014

Selkie_cover_image1The 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
This summer, the original hero in a half-shell returns!
Posted in News, Monday 24th February 2020

For the first time ever worldwide, Arrow Video has collected together all twelve tales of the adventures of everyone's favourite titanic terrapin, in one deluxe Blu-ray box set. Japanese icon Gamera first appeared onscreen in 1965, and gave homegrown creature-feature favourite Godzilla a run for his money, going on to become one of the most beloved movie monsters of all time.

This deluxe, limited edition collectors' set traces the decades-long evolution of Gamera, from the "friend of all children" in his more light-hearted earlier films, to the Guardian of the Universe in the groundbreaking 1990s reboot series, often hailed as three of the best kaiju films ever made...

SHARE: READ MORE
Obituary - Director Mojica Marins known to millions as the creator of Coffin Joe
Posted in News, Thursday 20th February 2020

Pop culture icon and global genre star, Mojica Marins, known to the world as Coffin Joe, sadly died recently aged 83. He had been suffering from pneumonia after wrestling with ill health for several years.

Here, Betina Goldman from One Eyed Films pays her respects.

With sadness and regret we would like to share the sad news of the passing away yesterday in Sao Paulo, Brazil, of the filmmaker Mojica Marins, legendary Master of horror Cinema, Director, actor and creator of the memorable evil, cult character Coffin Joe.

With of over 40 feature films as Director and over 60 films as actor, working in extreme financial challenging conditions in Brazil, in a long and twisting road that ev...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel gets beastly in March with Creature Feature season
Posted in Features, Thursday 20th February 2020

Carnivorous sandworms, murderous ant hybrids, a giant snake and deadly creepy spiders... Horror Channel gets beastly this March with a Creature Feature Season - a monstrous collection of creature carnage, which includes the UK TV premieres of It Came From The Desert, Marko Makilaakso's smart, funny and very creepy homage to Ray Harryhausen, and Micah Gallo's skin-tingling directorial debut Itsy Bitsy, every arachnophobe's worst nightmare.

Broadcast on Friday nights throughout the month, the season also includes the channel premiere of Tremors, Ron Underwood's affectionate throwback to 1950s creature features, starring Kevin Bacon, and the star-studded jungle snake nightmare Anaconda, s...

SHARE: READ MORE
Discover how to create incredible SFX with this new guide
Posted in , Thursday 20th February 2020

Ever wanted to try your hand at creating movie-standard SFX? Well now you have the information at hand!

Uncover the secrets of horror makeup in the third volume of the acclaimed special effects makeup series. Learn how to apply gory, realistic, and captivating scar and wound makeup from leading Japanese special effects makeup artists. Discover the hidden tricks behind special effects makeup, mask-making, and more.

Acclaimed as the best book series ever published on Special Effects Makeup - whether you are a beginner preparing for a Halloween party, or interested in more complex techniques, this is the definitive guide covering everything from basic facial makeup styles, and simple sc...

SHARE: READ MORE
Dorothy McShane is back. Do you know "Who" she is?
Posted in News, Thursday 20th February 2020

Past, present and future collide as the Thirteenth Doctor meets classic Doctor Who companion Ace - in the first epic novel from the woman who played her, Sophie Aldred; Doctor Who: At Childhood's End.

Once, a girl called Ace travelled the universe with the Doctor - until, in the wake of a terrible tragedy they parted company. Decades later, she is known as Dorothy McShane, the reclusive millionaire philanthropist who heads global organisation A Charitable Earth.

Dorothy is haunted by terrible nightmares, vivid dreams that begin just as scores of young runaways are vanishing from the dark alleyways of London. Could the disappearances be linked to sightings of sinister cr...

SHARE: READ MORE
Is home where the heart is? Not in smart sci-fi shocker, Vivarium
Posted in News, Tuesday 18th February 2020

Following rave reviews at the BFI London Film Festival (2019), sci-fi thriller Vivarium will be released in UK and Irish cinemas and on digital on 27th March 2020 courtesy of Vertigo Releasing and Wildcard Distribution. It will also open the Virgin Media International Dublin Film Festival on the 26th February, and will be shown at the Glasgow Film Festival on the 27th and 28th February. The film stars The Social Network's Jesse Eisenberg and Green Room's Imogen Poots, and is from the producers of cult hits Mandy and The Void.

The movie won the Gan Foundation Award at Cannes Film Festival (2019), and Imogen Poots was awarded Best Actress at Sitges International Film Festival ...

SHARE: READ MORE
New anthology that will enchant and thrill!
Posted in News, Tuesday 18th February 2020

"It's the prick of blood, the bite of an apple, the evil eye, a wedding ring or a pair of red shoes. Curses come in all shapes and sizes, and when you least expect them..."

Editors Marie O'Regan and Paul Kane present Cursed, an anthology of unique twists on the fairy tale conceit of the curse from an exciting line-up of bestselling and award-winning authors. From the traditional to the modern, this collection gives us brand new mythologies as well as new approaches to well-loved fables from a carefully cultivated selection of brand-new stories, folk-horror poetry and modern classic tales.

Some might shock you, some might make you laugh, and they will all impress you with their origina...

SHARE: READ MORE
Ravers! A movie we'll drink to!
Posted in News, Tuesday 18th February 2020

Party like there's no tomorrow with Ravers, the blissfully violent and drug-addled horror set in the shady underground of illegal raves!

A group of clubbers descend on an abandoned warehouse for a night of twisted techno and hedonistic drug-taking, but the illegal rave takes a blood-stained turn for the worse when the whacked-out partygoers discover a case of energy drink 'Renergize'.

Little do they know, the experimental drink caused a factory worker to butcher his colleagues months earlier and soon the party descends into violent carnage. Caught in the middle of the slaughter is Becky (Georgia Hirst), a germaphobic journalist who must overcome her crippling-fea...

SHARE: READ MORE
The hunt for Vlad the Impaler will begin in March.
Posted in News, Tuesday 18th February 2020

Game of Thrones meets Vikings - with a Dracula origin story - in this thunderous tale of seven fierce warriors in 15th Century Turkey, tasked with hunting down the vicious warlord Vlad the Impaler, to put an end to his cruel reign of terror.

Think of The Magnificent Seven crossed with Conan, as the unstoppable wing-backed warriors close in on their foe - with and a superbly sinister performance from Turkish star Erkan Petekkaya as the villainous Vlad Dracula, the 'heir of the devil', and the inspiration for vampire mythology.

In the middle of the 15th Century, in the depths of Turkey during the Ottoman Empire, the land is torn apart by horrendous atrocities and bloody murder...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Julien Seri, director of Anderson Falls
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, 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
Chilling modern folk horror coming from T. Kingfisher
Posted in News, Friday 14th February 2020

The Twisted Ones is the celebrated debut from T. Kingfisher. Published last year in the US, The Twisted Ones was shortlisted in the Goodreads Reader's Choice for horror and received rave reviews, now Titan will be bringing it to the UK market for the first time on 17th March.

When Mouse's dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother's house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be? Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is stuffed with useless rubbish. Mouse stumbles across her step-grandfather;s journal, which seems like nonsense until Mouse encounters some of the terrifying things he described. Alone in the woods with her dog, Mouse finds herself face to face...

SHARE: READ MORE
The Breach - brand new fiction from M.T. Hill
Posted in News, Monday 10th February 2020

Award-winning author M.T. Hill returns with a new science fiction novel that blurs the lines between reality and fiction in a gripping exploration of the dangerous underground world of urban exploration. With hints of the claustrophobic terror of Sarah Lotz's The White Road blended with Philip K. Dick-esque imaginings, The Breach is genre-bending, pageturning read that aptly demonstrates why Hill is one of today's most exciting new voices in weird fiction.

Freya Medlock, a reporter at her local paper, is down on her luck and chasing a break. When she's assigned to cover the death of a young climber named Stephen, she might just have the story she needs. Digging into Stephen's life, Frey...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
The Disappearance Of Alice Creed
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED
Monday 2nd March
10.50 PM
Sleepwalkers
SLEEPWALKERS
Thursday 5th March
10.50 PM
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN
Tuesday 10th March
9.00 PM