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Interview with Casey Dillard writer and star of Driven
By James Whittington, Sunday 25th August 2019
FrightFest 2019 contains some of the most inventive and rewarding movies that are out there waiting to be discovered. One in particular, Driven is causing a bit of a stir so we chatted to Casey Dillard, writer and star of this smart shocker.
HC: How did the idea for Driven come to you?
CD: Glenn wanted to try to make an "easy" movie that took place entirely in a car, so the concept was his. I came up with the idea of a ride-share driver and passenger. Once I had solid reasons for them to stay within this space the story came easily enough. I enjoy a good curse as long as it isn't put on me.
HC: Did it take long to write?
CD: If you count the time that I actually sat in front of the computer and wrote, rather than all the time I spent getting distracted or going down a YouTube tunnel, probably not all that long. I think it was a couple of months start to finish. My cat Trippy was my unofficial writing partner since he'd get in my lap and keep me in place for longer periods of time.
HC: Was your script/vision constricted by budget?
CD: Not especially. Maybe it's because I come from a theatre background, but I generally find myself drawn to smaller stories, or at least big stories told within a small space. I think the budget showed up to bite me more when I started doing some of the producing work.
HC: A lot of the movie takes place in Emerson's cab, what was that like from an actor's point of view?
CD: I'd get a little stir-crazy a couple of times a night, but for the most part I was grateful not to be in the open air since we filmed during an insanely badly timed cold front. It got to be a pain when I'd be wanting to engage with a scene partner by looking at them but was driving (or pretending to drive) so I had to keep my eyes on the road.
HC: How hard was is it shooting at night?
CD: Those particular nights? Pretty hard (see above: awful weather), but otherwise OK. Once you get married to the idea of being exhausted for a few months and lean into it it isn't so bad.
HC: What's the most memorable moment you had during the making of the movie?
CD: Gosh. I guess Rich smashing his head on his first night of shooting was pretty memorable. I think there was a ghost in the interior space we filmed in and it really wanted us gone one night. A cat came and watched us film for so long it was unnerving once. I guess a good one was when Rich and I had to do one of the heavier scenes in the movie and after one take I saw a crew member (Zach, our sound man) smile and nod to himself and give Glenn a thumbs up. It's possible, even probable, that he just really nailed the sound on that take, but I like to think we did a good job and he enjoyed watching.
HC: Just got to ask, where did the "turdspoon" concept come from?
CD: Life. Years ago, thankfully.
HC: Are you nervous that the movie is showing at FrightFest and have you ever been before?
CD: Oh, yes. Quite nervous. We've had good audience responses so far, but humour is so subjective that comedy is always a gamble. I'm thrilled to be going, but a little nervous about it. I've not been before, first time in London, too, so if anybody has any activity suggestions, I'm all ears.
HC: You're a multi-talented person, do you have one job that you prefer above all others?
CD: Well, thanks! Performing is definitely my number one pursuit. I like writing, love it sometimes, but I mainly got into screenwriting so that I could write the kinds of roles that I want to watch and play. I could walk away from anything except performance. And I've tried.
HC: So, what are you up to at the moment?
CD: Planning for my improv team's 10th anniversary show, practicing rope dart, working on a couple of features, and waiting to see what's next.
HC: Casey Dillard, thank you very much.
Related show tags: FRIGHTFEST MORE FRIGHTFEST Arrow Video FrightFest announces August 2020 Short Film Programme
Posted on Saturday 8th August 2020
The films may be short, but there is no shortage of scares as Arrow Video FrightFest 2020 showcases the best new short films from the UK and around the world, with six countries representing three continents. From under-the-bed monsters to monsters in front of your eyes, from the sinister and the creepy to the wickedly human and the not-so-human, this year's selection shines a spotlight on upcoming filmmakers.
The UK is represented with a record eleven entries. There are world premiere screenings for Werewolf, where game night just got dangerous, A Bit Of Fun, where a girls' night in brings out the dead and The Beholder, in which you'd be wise to ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Airell Hayles writer and co-director of They're Outside
Posted on Saturday 1st August 2020
FrightFest is once again on the horizon but this time, due to global events the event has become a virtual experience with all films being accessed online. Horror is once again sponsoring the First Blood strand of the event. Here we chat to Airell Hayles whose movie They're Outside mixes found footage and pagan horror genres to great effect.
HC: Where did the idea for They're Outside come from?
AH: This idea for They're Outside came from a couple of things. I remember as a kid hearing that my uncle suffered mild agoraphobia, and when I learned what it was, I was fascinated by this idea of some people being kind of scared to leave their homes. Of course, the recent Covid-19 events h...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Fionn and Toby Watts, directors of Playhouse
Posted on Saturday 1st August 2020
FrightFest is once again on the horizon but this time, due to global events the event has become a virtual experience with all films being accessed online. Horror is once again sponsoring the First Blood strand of the event. Here we chat to talented brothers Fionn and Toby Watts who have delivered a gothic, creepy piece named Playhouse.
HC: Was there one film or person who influenced or inspired you to become film makers?
FW: As a young boy I remember being absolutely blown away by the image of The Terminator's exo-skeleton rising from the flames. Around the same time I saw Candyman at a sleepover (rented by my friend's 'older' brother...) and it was such an i...SHARE: READ MORE Arrow Video FrightFest announces August Digital Edition line-up and Horror Channel sponsors talent-seeking First Blood strand
Posted on Tuesday 28th July 2020
The UK's most popular horror and fantasy film festival celebrates its 21st bloody year with a special Digital edition, showcasing twenty-five films, from Thursday 27th August to Monday 31st August, including seven world premieres and sixteen UK premieres. Ten countries are represented from four continents in a deadly, daring and diverse programme exclusively presented to UK audiences.
Passes and tickets will go on sale Saturday 1 August and details on how to access the event and choose which films to watch are on the FrightFest website. All film screenings will be geo-locked to UK audiences and only accessible from within the United Kingdom.
The men...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel highlights six summer weekend shockers in its August premiere line-up
Posted on Thursday 16th July 2020
August is a wicked month on Horror Channel, as the UK's most popular small-screen destination for genre fans presents six summer weekend shockers, five FrightFest hits including the UK TV premieres of Julian Richards, Reborn, a Carrie for the Z Generation, starring horror icon Barbara Crampton, Jordan Barker's Witches In The Woods, an unrelenting assault of pure terror, Alistair Legrand's highly unusual genre-blending chiller, The Diabolical and Milan Todorovic's sharp-teethed, seductive Killer Mermaids. All these films received FrightFest premiere screenings.
There is also a channel premiere for another FrightFest title, The Windmill Massacre, where Friday The 13th...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Tony and Ryan Smith co-writers of Volition.
Posted on Tuesday 7th July 2020
FrightFest 2019 delivered some amazing movies and one of the best was Volition from the talented brothers Tony and Ryan Smith. Now that the movie has been unleashed onto Apple TV, Prime Video and other Digital Platforms we chatted to them about this acclaimed movie and their plans for the future.
HC: You both hail from South Africa, what's the movie industry like in that country at the moment?
TDS: I believe the South African film industry is very healthy and it's a place Ryan and I would love to revisit and make a movie about. I have a number of filmmaker friends who film there and absolutely love the people, the scenery and the incredible crews.
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Posted on Wednesday 24th June 2020
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More details will be announced in the coming weeks, alongside the line-up of films.
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Posted on Tuesday 2nd June 2020
Due to the continuing Covid-19 restrictions on social distancing, Arrow FrightFest's traditional five day event in August has been regretfully put on hold. Instead, the organisers are planning to expand their traditional all-day Halloween event at the end of October.
Alan Jones, co-director, said today: "Sadly, we won't be able to come together and celebrate our 21st year in the summer but rest assured, we will make our London Halloween event one to remember. FrightFest has always been about the genre community joining together, not just to embrace films but to demonstrate our unique spirit of supportive closeness".
Details on dates, venues, films and tick...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Julien Seri, director of Anderson Falls
Posted on 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.
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You have an interesting CV - from comedy theatre and film journalism to writing for The Hollywood Reporter and second assistant directing. Was all this a game plan to becoming a fully-fledged director?
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Posted on Thursday 16th January 2020
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Posted on Friday 1st November 2019
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HC: Where did the idea for Red Letter Day come from and did it take long to write?
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