Interview with Alastair Orr, director of Triggered
By James Whittington, Friday 28th August 2020
Alastair Orr

One of our favourite movies showing on Horror at the moment is Alastair Orr's superb shocker From a House on Willow Street. For FrightFest 2020 he has a new film for us all to enjoy, Triggered. Here he chats about both movies.

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

AO: I always loved films but it wasn't until my teens when I realised I could actually do it as a job. Growing up in a small town in South Africa, filmmaking was always seen as something that Americans do as a job - not us. We were very sheltered under the apartheid government in the late 80s so content was limited, if not censored. The video store was basically a Holy Grail where every week new stuff would arrive, sometimes it wasn't even that new, our latest releases could've been five years old. I would just watch these video tapes and didn't really pay much attention to how these films were made, but just watched out of utter enjoyment. My dad was cool with letting us watch whatever we want, he didn't really care about the age restrictions. It was only in high school, through an English class, that I started dissecting films and realised, hey, there's a lot of people that work on these movies and I could absolutely be one of them. My parents supported me with that decision and I got myself a student loan and went to the only film-school in the country at the time.

HC: We broadcast your movie, From a House on Willow Street on Horror Channel, what do you recall from making that movie?

AO: When I think back to that shoot all I remember is how cold it was. That threw us all. We're used to making films in the heat down in South Africa, but we wanted to avoid the rain with this one so we decided to shoot in winter. We could see the frost forming on our clothing as we were shooting. Everyone moves slower when they're cold so we were always running against the clock. It was an absolutely horrible process!

HC: What lessons did you learn as a director when making that film?

AO: I learnt that the director is going to get blamed for whatever decision gets put forward by producers, financiers anyway, so you might as well be an asshole and just do it your way anyway.

HC: How did you become involved with Triggered?

AO: I own a commercial production house and we wanted to do a film on our own terms. Every person that you go and ask for money from comes with their own set of rules and requirements on how that money should be spent. We decided to make a film with less money but something that we can completely control (well control as much as you can). We were working with the writer, David D. Jones, on a bigger film that we were trying to get off the ground when he pitched this low budget Battle Royale style film that we thought we could do with the money we had saved up.

HC: It seems to have been entirely shot on location, if so, how difficult was that?

AO: We shot on a horse farm that had these out trails that we could use. We only had budget for limited lights so it's basically the same 30m stretch of forest that we kept using. We found that if you lowered the lights and adjusted the angle the entire forest would change shape, so that allowed us to shoot the whole film in around 15 days. The biggest issue we had was the rain, as it poured down at least once every night. There were times when we were literally flooded out, with our lights being damaged and our vests breaking down constantly. I don't want to complain too much, but some people don't understand how hard it is to even make a crappy movie. There were at least 4 times while shooting Triggered when I got together with the producers and said, "There's no way we're finishing this movie." But the crew and cast always pulled themselves together and figured a way out of the holes we were in.

HC: What did the cast think of the shoot as it's a very physical movie set in a hard terrain?

AO: This was the first movie for a lot of our actors and that really worked to our advantage because they had no idea what they were getting into. They all became such great friends and were really up for anything.

HC: The technology used seems so cool, who designed that?

AO: There's this cosplay superstar called Brian Cargyle (Two Horns United) and he modelled and built the vests for us. They were a nightmare to shoot with because they kept breaking down with all the rain. We called an engineer buddy of ours out one morning at 2am to come over and supercharge them. He rewired them and set them up to remotes so we could control them. We had a TV remote mapped to all the vests so we could control whose vest is what colour and that they can change on screen.

HC: It's a sort of Hunger Games, meets slasher flicks meets Battle Royale, would you agree?

AO: Oh absolutely. We wear our references on our sleeves and poke fun of the films that came before. There was some dialogue that was cut from the film how this is essentially the same plot as Battle Royale. We always pitched it as SAW meets American Pie.

HC: There's a lot of effect shots, were they all done in camera?

AO: There was no way to shoot with real timers ticking down. That would be a logistical nightmare. So, we added all the timers in post - which in itself wasn't easy. We added some very small CG enhancements on the explosions. It's a very hand stitched film made by people that were really passionate about it.

HC: Are you just as nervous the movie is getting its UK premiere at a virtual event as opposed to a physical one?

AO: We all just wish we could be at FrightFest this year and have a great party with the audience. We were there in 2016 for Willow Street and it really is just the best festival experience in the world. There certainly is an energy at FrightFest in the cinema when you're watching these films and I don't know if that can be replicated with a digital version. We're glad that it can be seen though!

HC: Alastair Orr, thank you very much.

Interview with the legendary actress Lin Shaye about being part of The Horror Crowd
Posted on Wednesday 9th September 2020
Lin Shaye and Ruben PlaLin Shaye is an actress that need no introduction. Her screen work over the last few decades has seen her appear in countless movies such as Nightmare on Elm Street, Critters or more recently the Insidious series of movies. Here she chats about her career and her why she appeared in Ruben Pla's superb doc, The Horror Crowd.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be an actress?

LS: No, I never had the dream. Ever. I had the need to tell stories and from a very young age and my dad, when he tucked me in a night we would tell what we would call "Candyland Stories" and they were stories about a little girl named Linda, and they would start when she was just falling to sleep...

Interview with Steve Villeneuve, director of Hail to the Deadites
Posted on Thursday 3rd September 2020
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HC: Can you recall the first time you saw an Evil Dead movie and what it was that grabbed your attention?

SV: I guess I was 13. I actually saw Army of Darkness first on television. Years later, spot the cover of Evil Dead 2 in a video store. Then, rent Evil Dead one without knowing it was the first film because here in Quebec, The Evil Dead is ca...
Interview with our very own Emily Booth who stars in UK TV premiere of Shed of the Dead this Friday on Horror
Posted on Wednesday 2nd September 2020

The UK TV premiere of outlandish Brit Zom Com Shed of the Dead takes place Friday 4th September at 9pm. The movie stars Ewen MacIntosh, Lauren Socha, Kane Hodder, Bill Moseley, Michael Berryman, Brian Blessed and our very own Emily Booth. Here, Emily chats about this movie and what it was like to work with the legendary Michael Berryman.

HC: Are you a big zombie movie fan?

EB: If I'm completely honest it's not my favourite sub-genre within horror only because the genre has been so massively mined for all it's worth and I've never been particularly scared of them! However, there are certain stand out zombie films or even certain scenes that make me lo...

Interview with Guillaume Lubrano, director of Dark Stories
Posted on Monday 31st August 2020
Guillaume Lubrano image 1

There's been a number of anthology movies at FrightFest 2020 but one of the strongest is Dark Stories from director Guillaume Lubrano. Here he chats about this fun piece.

HC: Have you always been a fan of horror movies?

GL: I'd say I've always been a fan of genre titles, being it horror, science fiction, fantasy, every subgenre that plays with the ability to push our imagination forward always fascinated me. And this was born mostly with the 80s I think and the birth of modern era special effects... those comforted writers and directors in the fact that they could try to tell stuff about anything... and well that's what they did: anything... and among all this...
Interview with Michael Lee Joplin, star of Blinders
Posted on Monday 31st August 2020

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HC: Was there one person who inspired you to become an actor?

MJ: I started acting in middle school really, but I had a wonderful theatre teacher in high school in Austin Texas, a Brit from Manchester, named Beryl Knifton. She instilled a love of acting and Shakespeare for me at an early age. I'm lucky to have had a lot of great teachers and mentors along the way. My acting teacher in college, the late Mr. Stephen Gerald pushed me along and more recently the Meisner teachings of Laurel Vouvray-Smith. My dad al...

Interview with Vincent Van Horn, star of Blinders
Posted on Monday 31st August 2020

The tense psychological movie Blinders is showing on the Horror Channel Screen at FrightFest today so we chatted to one of its stars, Vincent Van Horn about the movie and his character, Andy.

HC: Was there one person who inspired you to become an actor?

VH: I can't say there was one person in particular but more of a love for movies in general as a kid. Charlie Chaplin and Peter Sellers were definitely early influences with their physical comedy.

HC: When did you get your acting break?

VH: Hmm have I gotten it already? Ha ha. This is by far the biggest role I've had to date so maybe this is it? But as far as my first time acting in anything at all was when I was asked t...

Interview with Tyler Savage, director and co-writer of Blinders
Posted on Monday 31st August 2020

Psychological horror is always well represented at FrightFest and this year is no exception and one of the stand out pieces is Blinders from director Tyler Savage. Here he chats about this emotional and atmospheric movie.

HC: Where did the idea for the movie come from?

TS: The original idea for the movie came from an unsettling rideshare ride I took. Something about the driver made me uncomfortable, and I hated the fact that he now knew where I lived. From here, Dash and I started talking about the many ways in which technology makes us all incredibly vulnerable. There's a dark flipside to the convenience technology brings into our lives, and we wanted to highlight that idea in a way that was ...

Interview with Adam Stovall, director of A Ghost Waits
Posted on Sunday 30th August 2020

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HC: Where did the idea for A Ghost Waits come from?

AS: The two main inspirations were a video game and a web comic. "P.T." was a first-person haunted house puzzle game designed by Guillermo Del Toro and Hideo Kojima. My friends Brian and Jenn wanted me to play it because it had scared the bejesus out of them, and when I did I had them cracking up laughing. When Jenn started filming me with her phone, I thought there might be a movie in someone like me having to deal with a haunted ...

Interview with Justin McConnell, director of Clapboard Jungle
Posted on Sunday 30th August 2020

A couple of years back, at FrightFest 2018 a movie named Lifechanger played. This deep, engaging and original movie was a thought provoking and intelligent piece of work. Its director, Justin McConnell is back at FrightFest but this time with a rather different piece of work, looking at how the industry works and showing people just how hard the film making business can be. We chatted to him about this look at the business.

HC: What was it you saw or read about that made you want to have a career in the industry?

JM: Maybe it's a thread of insanity of some kind? I honestly can't remember the exact "ah ha" moment, more of a generally growing love of film when I w...

Interview with Kapel Furman, co-director and SFX master on Skull: The Mask
Posted on Sunday 30th August 2020
Kapel Furman Image 1

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HC: Is there a strong horror movie following in Brazil?

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Interview with Majhid Heath, producer of Dark Place
Posted on Saturday 29th August 2020

HC: Where did the idea for Dark Place come from?

MH: Dark Place came from an initiative through Screen Australian and ABC Television to find the next generation of Aboriginal auteurs, asking them to tell their stories in the horror genre. After a number of workshops with Colin and Cameron Cairnes (EPs), Hayley and Majhid jumped on to shape the scripts and draw out themes as diverse as the treatment of Aboriginal women, (Scout) displacement from country and community (Foe), cultural genocide (Vale Light), identity (The Shore) and germ warfare during colonisation (Killer Native). The hook being that all filmmakers wanted to say a something about the treatment of Aboriginals ...

Interview with Phillip G. Carroll Jr. writer and director of The Honeymoon Phase
Posted on Saturday 29th August 2020
Honeymoon Phase-poster

More new talent comes to FrightFest 2020, this time its a husband and wife team Phillip G. Carroll Jr and Chloe Carroll. Here, Phillip describes how this intense and emotional, psychological movie came about.

HC: Where did the idea for The Honeymoon Phase come from?

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Interviews Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
A Good Marriage
Friday 25th September
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Sunday 20th September
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