Interview with Brea Grant, the writer and director of 12 Hour Shift
By James Whittington, Wednesday 7th October 2020
Brea Grant BW35-020

12 Hour Shift is one of the best from Grimmfest 2020. The movie stars Angela Bettis, David Arquette, Chloe Farnworth and Mick Fole and is a grim, funny, dark and hugely entreating piece which has been written and directed by Brea Grant. Here she chats about this superb movie.

HC: Did you know from an early age that you wanted to be in show business?

G: Not really. I grew up in a small town and I didn't know anyone who made their living in the film industry. I acted in plays at the local theater but Hollywood felt like something for other people. It wasn't until I was in college that I started realizing that you could make a living making movies and I moved to Los Angeles. It was a big deal because I didn't know anyone who had done that. If you had told me how hard it would be (and still is), I definitely would have made a different decision.

HC: How did you get your "big break" and can you recall how nervous you were in your first acting role?

BG: My first big role was a recurring character on Season 2 of Friday Night Lights. I was very nervous but probably naive as to how much it would change my life. My next big gig was Heroes and I was so nervous the first day that I hurt my hands from wringing them so much. I'm a hand wringer.

HC: Where did the idea for 12 Hour Shift come from and did you write it with a cast in mind?

BG: It came from a few places. I wanted to write something that incorporated the world I knew growing up in a small town in Texas. I took that and combined it with the urban legend of waking up in a bathtub with your kidney missing. This is my answer to where that kidney went. I also have spent a lot of time in hospitals and around nurses and it came naturally for me to set it in a place I knew really well. I didn't have the cast in mind when I wrote it. I had actors I liked that I used as templates but none of them ended up being in the movie. Most of the cast came in and did brand new things with the roles. What Chloe Farnworth ended up doing with Regina wasn't what I had planned for the character but she took it in such a cool direction that I felt like I was really seeing the character for the first time.

HC: Did the idea/concept change much over the writing period?

BG: Only a little. Originally, it was all Mandy's story and Regina was a very distant B story but as the script grew, I kept writing more and more Regina. She is very fun to write for.

HC: Were you tempted to cast yourself in the movie?

BG: Definitely. I thought for a while I would play Mandy, but I starred and acted in my first film, Best Friends Forever, and I felt like both roles suffered. I wanted to make sure I was concentrating on directing 100% because it was such a puzzle to keep this movie together.

HC: The cast are superb, particularly Chloe Farnworth, who plays Regina and Angela Bettis who plays Mandy. Did they have much rehearsal time as they riff off each other perfectly?

BG: We had no rehearsal time unfortunately. You just don't have time on an independent movie! They are both just really great actors. We did spend a lot of time on set improvising and I find that that really helps the actors to find the character and the arc of the scene.

HC: Where did you find such an amazing location?

BG: It's a working hospital in Arkansas. My producer, Tara Perry, had mentioned to her father that we needed a location, and he knew of this hospital that hadn't updated one floor since the 90s. They were about to renovate, and my producers asked them if we could shoot a movie there before they changed anything. They agreed! It was such a great moment for the film.

HC: How nervous do you get when one of your movies show at a festival?

BG: Very nervous! But this time has been weird because I haven't physically been there. I only know what I see online which takes away some of the sting.

HC: You're a writer, director and actress to name just some of your talents, is there one job you do that's your favourite?

BG: It depends on the project. I like to find where I am best used for each particular project. But at this point in my life, I am leaning more towards writing and directing.

HC: We spoke to Lin Shaye recently and she said that, although things are changing for the better for women in movies there's still some way to go. Do you agree?

BG: I completely agree. (I worked with Lin on a show called EastSiders, by the way, and she is a dream come true.) There are a lot of mandates to include more women, but it still feels like there is a "female slot" for each season of television directing or each film slate. A lot of us got started later in life and don't have long resumes so people have to really take a chance on us. And even if we do have the resumes, people are way less likely to take any chances on us. There are people out there trying and actively searching for female filmmakers to support but those same people need to make sure they are constantly checking in to make sure they are doing the day-to-day work of not treating their female director like she doesn't deserve to be there. I feel confident though that there has been a shift in awareness in the last few years. You can't get by with not hiring a woman because you don't know any anymore.

HC: So, what are you working on at the moment?

BG: I have a graphic novel called Mary out, I have a film I wrote and starred in, directed by Natasha Kermani, called Lucky that comes out next year on Shudder.

HC: Brea Grant, thank you very much.

Interview with Shayne Ward, star of The Ascent
Posted on Thursday 22nd October 2020

A special ops team on a mission in a war-torn country find themselves trapped on a never-ending staircase that they must climb - or they die! This is the premise for Tom Paton's superb, action-packed horror The Ascent which is having its UK TV premiere at 9pm on October 23rd. Here its star, Shayne Ward tells all about his career to date and how he became involved in this sci-fi shocker.

HC: How much did the X-Factor change your life?

SW: Oh, like anyone can say who has been on it, who has done well on the show, it does change your life because it catapults you into the limelight, into the public eye. One day you are relatively unknown...

Interview with Ryan Kruger, writer and director of Fried Barry
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
Fried Barry

Anyone who as been to Grimmfest will know that the team behind the event try their very best to bring to their audience films that challenge and push as many envelopes as possible. Fried Barry from director Ryan Kruger is such a movie. Packed with mind-bending imagery and and emotional punch, this polarizing movie has to be seen just for its creativity and strong storytelling. Here, Ryan chats about this incredible movie.

HC: Where did Fried Barry come from?

RK: Fried Barry was born out of total frustration where I was in my career. I am known in South Africa as a music video director for doing narrative story telling within music vids and sharp visuals. Although I al...

Interview with Deiondre Teagle, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
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Grimmfest 2020 is packed with new talent and one actor that stands out is Deiondre Teagle who styars in Charlie Steeds' grindhouse homage, Death Ranch. Here Deiondre explains his role and what it was like being part of such a bold movie.

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

DT: I've definitely known my whole life I've wanted to be an actor. One of my favourite movies of all time is the original Men In Black. When I was little (about 3 or 4 years old), I would re-watch my VHS copy of that movie over and over and over again. I would re-enact every scene. Since then, my love for acting and film has just grown. I have such a love for the...

Interview with Faith Monique, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020

Grimmfest 2020 is packed with world premieres and none so bold as Charlie Steed's Death Ranch. We chatted to one of its main stars, Faith Monique about her role in this brutal and brilliant movie.

HC: Was there one person you saw at a young age who inspired you to want to become an actress?

FM: Funny fact, I grew up without a TV! So, at a young age, I never had an actor that inspired me and to this day I still don't. Acting did not become a dream of mine until 2016 and for inspiration, I like to dig deep into my own soul to find truth to bring into each character.

HC: Are you a big fan of horror movies and were you aware of grindhouse and e...

Interview with Charlie Steeds, writer and director of Death Ranch
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020

Horror movies and controversy always go hand in hand but when they tackle serious issues by using extreme violence to hammer home a point they can be very worthy. Death Ranch from Charlie Steeds is having its world premiere at Grimmfest so we chatted to him about this very strong movie.

HC: What inspired you to write Death Ranch?

CS: I'd always wanted to try making a movie with a 70s Grindhouse/Exploitation style and was watching old Grindhouse trailers for inspiration. I came across the movie Brotherhood of Death, where black characters fight back against the KKK for some of the film (the tagline is 'Watch these brothers stick it to the Klan!') and that conce...

Interview with Nicholas Santos, writer and director of It Cuts Deep
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020
It Cuts Deep Image 2

At Grimmfest we're used to comedy horror but none as well written as It Cuts Deep from writer/director Nicholas Santos. Here he chats about this true dissection of a romance going terribly wrong.

HC: Have you always been a big horror fan?

NS: I've been a big horror fan since I was a little kid. Some of my favourite childhood memories are seeing Event Horizon with my dad when I was in second grade, being absolutely terrified by Chucky from Child's Play at every waking moment and watching Psycho for the first time on VHS when I was 7 years old.

HC: Where did the idea for It Cuts Deep come from and did it take long to write?

NS: It Cuts Deep is a hor...

Interview with Robert Woods, director of An Ideal Host
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020
Robert Woods

Ever had the dinner party from Hell with people you don't really relate to and seem alien? Well this is the premise of the the hilarious horror comedy An Ideal Host from director Robert Woods. Here he tells Horror about this cracking movie.

HC: What did you think of the script when you first read it and what made you decide that this would be your first project as a director?

RW: Tyler and I had been writing theatre together for a decade, but movies are our first love and we wanted to give it a crack as well. Tyler came up with the initial idea but we worked on the story together and it evolved a great deal from the initial pitch. As it was my first time directing, I think we were j...

Interview with Chad Ferrin, writer and director of The Deep Ones
Posted on Friday 9th October 2020
Jeff Billings and Chad The Deep Ones

H.P. Lovecraft's influence on horror cinema is immeasurable and continues to this very day. In fact, today at Grimmfest a movie called The Deep Ones is showing so we asked its writer and director Chad Ferrin and how the great man himself has influenced his work.

HC: When was the first time you heard or read anything by or about HP Lovecraft?

CF: My parents worked nights, so the television was my babysitter. I must have been around six years old when I saw an episode of Rod Serling's Night Gallery called "Pickman's Model". Seeing that monster carrying off Louise Sorel terrified me beyond belief and seared the name H.P. Lovecraft into my...

Interview with Cody Calahan, director of The Oak Room
Posted on Friday 9th October 2020
The Oak Room - Director Headshot (Calahan, Cody) (Photo Credit - Miz Monday)

If you like your horror to have a "Twilight Zone" style twist then The Oak Room is for you. Showing today at Grimmfest we chatted to its director, Cody Calahan.

HC: We show your movie, Let Her Out on the Horror Channel here in the UK, what was the best thing you remember from making that movie?

CC: Experimenting. I definitely played more on that film than any other film I've done. Whether it was with the camera movement or editing, everything seemed very experimental. That was very refreshing.

HC: What did you think of the script for The Oak Room when you f...

Interview with actress Mary Madaline Roe, star of They Reach
Posted on Thursday 8th October 2020
Mary Madaline Roe

Grimmfest continues to champion new talent in front and and behind the camera. Mary Madaline Roe is the star on the superb retro chiller, They Reach and here she chats to Horror about this festival favourite.

HC: For someone so young you've built up an impressive resume, can you recall how you felt when you first walked out onto a movie set?

MMR: When I first walked onto the film set, I was very excited and ready for this day! I had been anticipating the first day of filming for about a year. All the cast and crew were delightful to work with and felt like we were a family. I've learned so much from They Reach as it was my first major role.

HC: Are you a fan of ...

Interview with John C. Lyons and Dorota Swies the co-directors of Unearth
Posted on Wednesday 7th October 2020
UNEARTHGrimmfest gets underway today and as usual has a superb collection of genre movies for all to enjoy and this time, due to global circumstances is online.

One movie that stands out is the very original, Unearth which is a deep and effective movie with a message for us all. Here it's directors John C. Lyons and Dorota Swies talk about this powerful piece.

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

JCL: Growing up in 80's America, I have the typical story of entertaining myself and my family with a variety of audio and video recorders. My first love though was drawing. I was really into Detective Comics, but besides drawing Batman characters, I liked to cr...

Interview with Toby Poser, co-director, co-writer and co-star of The Deeper You Dig
Posted on Friday 2nd October 2020

Themes of family, loss and survival intersect on the thin line that separates the living from the dead in The Deeper You Dig, the latest feature written, directed by and starring filmmaking family the Adams Family. Here, co-director, co-writer and co-star Toby Poser tells all about this superior chiller.

HC: Where did the idea for The Deeper You Dig come from?

TP: Horror Channel, hey! We are still floating from our time with some of you at FrightFest 2019. Ok, so my husband and creative partner, John Adams, is always having these crazy nightmares about burying people, so it seemed appropriate to slap that concept onto film. I'm hoping that if he ca...

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The Disappearance Of Alice Creed
Tuesday 3rd November
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Thursday 5th November
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John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars
Wednesday 4th November
9.00 PM