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 FRIGHTFEST
See how music can kill in Sound of Violence
Posted on Friday 23rd July 2021
Sound of Violence Cover

In thrilling new horror Sound of Violence, a young girl recovers her hearing and gains synthetic abilities during the brutal murder of her family. Finding solace in the sounds of bodily harm, as an adult she pursues a career in music composing her masterpieces through gruesome murders.

From the mind of talented new writer-director Alex Noyer and featuring a stunning lead performance from Jasmin Savoy Brown (2022's Scream, The Leftovers), Sound of Violence is being billed as one of the most original and shocking horrors of the year.

After its UK premiere at Arrow Frightfest, Sound of Violence on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from 30th August than...

SHARE: READ MORE
Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 announces second wave of films for August Cineworld event
Posted on Thursday 22nd July 2021
Bloodthirsty-WEB3

It's full scream ahead as Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 announces its second wave of hugely anticipated Discovery Screen and First Blood titles - a summer collection of provocative, edgy and transgressive entertainment to die for. There are fourteen World and ten European/International premieres amongst the thirty-four films on offer.

Eleven countries are represented, with titles ranging from Canadian entries Bloodthirsty, Amelia Moses' simmering LGBQT+ werewolf movie and sinister isolation thriller Motherly to Francesco Erba's As In Heaven, So On Earth, a stunning Italian blend of live action and Gothic puppet animation. Then there's Peter Bergendy's sumptuous Post Mortem, an epic Hu...

SHARE: READ MORE
FrightFest resurrects its New Blood quest for new writers
Posted on Tuesday 13th July 2021
New Blood 2021 - logo

As Arrow Video FrightFest stalks the dark recesses of the big screen again, the search resumes for new writers in the horror genre through its New Blood initiative. New Blood reunites FrightFest with Giles Edwards of Queensbury Pictures with its mission to find emerging UK-based writers dedicated to the genre and nurture their projects from script to screen. Queensbury is ultimately interested in buying the finished script rather than the idea, and so, this year all successful final candidates if selected should be able to send even a rough draft of the first ten pages of their script through with their acceptance.

Already the scheme has delivered two new projects: Broadcast ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Arrow Video FrightFest unveils first wave of twenty-five films for August 2021 Cineworld event
Posted on Thursday 8th July 2021
FrightFest 2021 - Poster art-1

Arrow Video FrightFest, the UK's biggest horror and fantasy film festival, is back at the Cineworld Leicester Square from Thursday August 26 - Monday 30 August for five days of the very best of global genre cinema.

The internationally renowned event leads the way in attesting to the versatility of the genre and, despite the interruptions caused by the pandemic, this year is no exception as the twenty-five films to be presented in the main screens are revealed. They include four world premieres and eight International/European premieres.

Global events over the past eighteen months have not only altered most people's lives but have had a profoundly i...

SHARE: READ MORE
Graham Humphreys' stunning artwork for Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 celebrates the festival's cinematic return.
Posted on Friday 2nd July 2021
FrightFest 2021 - Poster art-1

Arrow Video FrightFest is proud to present Graham Humphreys' stand-out poster design for 2021, which marks the 13th appearance for his iconic Monster.

Graham revealed today: "We have a happy monster this year. Though how happy a monster should be in a horror film festival raised the question, what would make the monster happy? Last year's event was not 'live'. This year, with a return to the social interaction that makes the festival such an important event in the annual calendar, it's as if we have bypassed 2020 in a time machine, full throttle, into 2021. To celebrate - a bottle of champagne! Although the monster would probably prefer a full-blooded vinta...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Adrian Langley, director of Butchers.
Posted on Tuesday 27th October 2020
FrightFest-Halloween-2020

Butchers is a superb piece of horror cinema from Adrian Langley. Here he chats about this grim and gruesome piece and his plans for the future.

HC: Where did the idea for Butchers come from?

AL: Butchers came from two of Daniel Weissenberger's old screenplays - he writes a lot - and I remixed them with some ideas that had been kicking around in my head after having read those scripts a long time ago.

HC: Did it take long to write?

AL: Not at all. Because Dan's scripts were so full already, the initial working draft only took about two weeks to put together and then I did a lot of rewriting during the prep process to streamline it to what...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Andrew Thomas Hunt, director of Spare Parts.
Posted on Tuesday 27th October 2020
Spare Parts

FrightFest is all about the diversity of movies, none more so than Spare Parts from director Andrew Thomas Hunt. This superb mash-up of gladiator-style fighting and a scorching soundtrack is desitined to become a cult classic so we chatted to Andrew about this movie.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in the film industry?

AH: I did - from the age of 16. I was a huge fan of David Cronenberg's films, and when I discovered that he was not only from Toronto, but made his films here, it made me realize you didn't have to be from Hollywood to make movies.

HC: How did you become attached to this wild project?

AH: It was pitched to me at TIFF (Toronto Int'l ...

SHARE: READ MORE
And the winner is... Benny Loves You!
Posted on Monday 26th October 2020

The winner of the FrightFest Horror Channel First Blood Award 2020 is... Benny Loves You!

Here, Channel Manager Stewart Bridle chats to its very talented director, Karl Holt.

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Liam O'Donnell director of SKYLIN3S
Posted on Sunday 25th October 2020
skylin3s-poster

FrightFest Digital Edition 2 concludes tonight with an out-of-this-world premiere, SKYLIN3S. Here its writer and director Liam O'Donnell talks about this and the other entries in this sci-fi series.

HC: You've been involved with the Skyline series of movies from the start, where did the initial idea come from?

LD: Initially the idea just came from, we were sort of do it ourselves film makers and I had been living in the building we ended up shooting in. We had already been illegally shooting on the rooftop helipad for a pitch that we were developing and when Greg's (Greg Strause, director of Skyline) unit on the top floor and he walked in and saw this big, expansive view of LA...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Paul Tanter director and co-writer of The Nights Before Christmas
Posted on Sunday 25th October 2020
The Nights Before Christmas-poster

Prolific creative Paul Tanter has delivered a real treat for FrightFest pass holders today, the blood-splattered shocker, The Nights Before Christmas. Here he chats about this cracker of a movie.

HC: Have you always been a fan of the horror genre?

PT: Absolutely. One of my first cinema memories is my dad taking me to see Fright Night in 1985 and there being a promotional pack of vampire teeth on every seat. I was five at the time so I'm not sure how he snuck me in there, considering it's rated 18. I grew up watching The Omen films, in parts enthralled and terrified by them. I still can't pass that church in Fulham without keeping an eye on ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Simon Phillips, star and co-writer of The Nights Before Christmas
Posted on Sunday 25th October 2020
The Nights Before Christmas-poster

Seasonal slashers are once again coming into vogue but none as brutal as The Nights Before Christmas. Here, its star and co-writer Simon Phillips tells all about this movie.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in the film industry?

SP: I don't know if I ever was sure I was going to be in the film industry but as a child I sure liked talking a lot and my teacher once shouted at me "They'd better pay you to talk when you grow up, because you sure like the sound of your own voice"... So perhaps it was always on the cards!

HC: Are you a fan of horror movies?

SP: To be honest they terrify me... not the o...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Elza Kephart, director and co-writer of Slaxx
Posted on Sunday 25th October 2020
SLAXX_Elza_(C)photoB-Calmeau_0125FrightFest is all about originality and new talent and 2020 has been a belter of a year for such things. Slaxx from Elza Kephart is a prime example of the new and exciting creative talent that's out there at the moment. We chatted to Elza about this superb shocker.

HC: Are you a big horror movie fan?

EK: Yes, huge! I started my horror adventure when I was a pre-teen, reading Agatha Christie, R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, Anne Rice. If there wasn't a death I wasn't interested. From that, I migrated to horror films; when I was about ten, I watched Aliens, the Fearless Vampire Hunters, Exorcist 2. I might have been a little too young, I remember being re...

SHARE: READ MORE
Frightfest Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
PICK OF THE WEEK
Knuckleball
KNUCKLEBALL
Monday 2nd August
10.55 PM
Star Trek: Voyager
STAR TREK: VOYAGER
Wednesday 11th August
7.00 PM
13 Sins
13 SINS
Wednesday 11th August
9.00 PM