INTERVIEWS

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview with Chris Collier, director of FrightFest: Beneath the Dark Heart of Cinema
By James Whittington, Saturday 25th August 2018
Chris Collier director of FrightFest doc

FrightFest is one of the most famous festivals in the world. The team of Alan Jones, Ian Rattray, Paul McEvoy and Greg Day ensure that everyone who attends, from guests to punters get the best experience they can from it.

But what do they really think of each other and what really goes on behind the scenes? A new documentary from Chris Collier has given the team the chance to talk candidly about the festival and each other. Here he tells us how FrightFest: Beneath the Dark Heart of Cinema came together.

HC: Can you recall what it was like at your first FrightFest and what attracted you to attend in the first place?

CC: Back in 2009 I recorded a podcast with my friend Phil Newton - he's been coming to FrightFest since year one. He introduced me to Ian Rattray at a screening in London and it's through those two that I was drawn in to attending that first year.

HC: What inspired you to make a documentary about FrightFest?

CC: The initial inspiration was not mine. It's something that's been talked about as far back as 2012, though I was never involved in that. My only knowledge of that is through having produced their video content at the festival since 2011. In that time I've witnessed first hand what happens before the doors are opened to the public, and after they're closed. I'd discussed it with my production partner Craig Ennis over the years, but it was never more than that. Then, in 2016, we were working on a music doc that fell through part way through shooting. So, we went from one day making a film to the next day not making a film. With time on my hands I was drawn down the YouTube recommendations whirlpool, and ended up watching a punk documentary that featured Alan Jones. I'm sure that's the point I started to really think about it. Soon after that I met with Ian to discuss the festival moving to Shepard's Bush. Over the years I've got to know Ian well, and we end up talking about general life stuff. At some point during that conversation, without any plan to, I ended up pitching the idea of how I would make a documentary about FrightFest. He liked it and said, lets arranged to meet the others. I then had to pitch it to Craig, who fortunately didn't think it was a terrible idea.

HC: How long did it take to make from the first shot till the final edit?

CC: Our first actual shot for the documentary was shot on Thursday 25th August 2016, and we locked the film around 1st June 2018.

HC: Was it difficult getting the archive material together?

CC: Fortunately, FrightFest have been shooting at the festival since 2009. All we needed to do is look at it all. That's were Craig is invaluable. I edit other people work on a daily basis. However, on a film I always work with Craig. He's a great editor, very creative and the perfect person to work with. Especially, when you have hard drive after hard drive of footage. He's also not afraid to tell me when I'm wrong. We worked through all the many, many hours of archive footage together. We also got given footage and I tracked some down via the web.

HC: Were you surprised by the honesty from the FrightFest team as they talked themselves, each other and the event?

CC: Knowing the guys well before hand was helpful. The more honest material came from me witnessing some of those events. So, I knew what I wanted to ask and what I wanted them to talk about. I hoped they would be open with me, so I'm not sure I was surprised, but I was certainly pleased.

HC: The infamous Giallo and Tulpa movies are covered, can you recall these showing and what's the worst film, in your opinion that's been shown at FrightFest?

CC: Having worked at the festival for years now, I've not seen a full film there for a long time. I did see Giallo as part of the festival, surrounded by many other films of all different types, and without doubt it's one of my favourite screenings. I can't pick a worst film because in the context of the festival, films like Giallo and Tulpa are magic times.

HC: The piece conjures up many happy memories of past events, what's your favourite FrightFest moment?

CC: I've been very lucky, as we've interviewed a lot of great guests at the festival and met some amazing people. However, looking back to 2009 and meeting people I'd spoken to online in person and experiencing the festival for the first time can't be beaten.

HC: Are there any movies that have been shown at FrightFest that you liked that have yet to get a commercial release?

CC: Tulpa is available. However, I'd like to see the original cut released.

HC: It's clear that the FrightFest team had no input into this but did any of them ask for a preview before you'd locked the documentary?

CC: No, I let them know it was nearly done and that I'd like to show them it. We arranged a screening and I sat behind them, desperately trying to work out their reactions. That was it. They didn't ask me to change anything at all. That says something about them; it must be very difficult when the film is about you.

HC: Would you like to do a follow up doc in say ten years time?

CC: It would be interesting to see how the festival and film has progress over that time. It would be nice if someone new to FrightFest, who maybe walked in the door this year, makes that film from his or her perspective in ten years time. I'd like to see that.

HC: So, what are you working on next?

CC: We've just started planning for a new music documentary which we plan to start shooting just a soon as enough of the pieces fall into place. Not a narrative horror I'm afraid, but who knows - if the right idea comes along.

HC: Chris Collier, thank you very much.


MORE INTERVIEWS
Interview with Gary J. Tunnicliffe, writer and director of Hellraiser: Judgement
Posted on Saturday 20th February 2021
Gary J. Tunnicliffe doing SFX make-up on the set of Hellraiser Judgement

Director and long-time Hellraiser franchise SFX artist Gary John Tunnicliffe has a new entry into the Hellraiser series for us all to enjoy, Hellraiser: Judgement. Here he chats about this gritty horror.

HC: Was there one person or film which inspired you to want to be in the effects industry?

GJT: I can't remember one film that directly inspired me to be in the effects industry, it would definitely have been around 1982 (when I was 14) when The Thing AND American Werewolf in London came out (as well as a mass of FX laden movies) but more than anything it was when s...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Chee Keong Cheung, director of Redcon-1
Posted on Wednesday 17th February 2021
Director Chee Keong Cheung

Fast-paced British zombie thriller, Redcon-1 will be having its UK TV premiere on Horror on Saturday 20th February so we decided to chat with its writer and director Chee Keong Cheung about this acclaimed movie.

HC: Where did the idea for Redcon-1 come from and are you a fan of zombie movies?

CKC: I'm a huge fan of the zombie genre and in particular, Danny Boyle's '28 Days Later', Zak Snyder's 'Dawn of the Dead' and of course George Romero's original works which helped to pave the way for the genre and was a real inspiration for me growing up. I remember watching 'Saving Private Ryan' and 'Black Hawk Down' on TV and had always been drawn to the men on a m...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Scott Reiniger star of the original Dawn of the Dead
Posted on Sunday 15th November 2020
DAWN_OF_THE_DEAD_3D_BD_SLIPCASE_PACK_ (1)

On the eve of a stunning new 4K box set of George A Romero's Dawn of the Dead from Second Sight Films, we chat to one of its stars, Scott Reiniger about this incredible film.

HC: How did you first become involved with Dawn of the Dead?

SR: Well, I was in New York, I was a stage actor in New York and I went to college with Christine Forrest, who later became George's wife and she asked me if I wanted to audition for this film called Dawn of the Dead, she wanted to know if I knew who George Romero was and I said, "Yeah, he was the guy who directed Night of the Living Dead". So, they sent the script over and I read it and it was pr...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Steve Speirs, star of Concrete Plans
Posted on Sunday 1st November 2020
Concrete Plans poster

Welsh, Scottish and Ukranian dialects clash in Concrete Plans, a stand-out movie from Will Jewell which has just been released by FrightFest Presents via Signature. Its a super and very dark thriller with an outstanding cast headed up by Steve Speirs. Here he chats about this amazing piece.

Be warned this interview contains some spoilers about the movie. If in doubt watch the movie before reading. You have been warned!

HC: Was there one actor of one film you saw when you were younger that made you want to be an actor?

SS: Oh, I've never been asked that actually. When I started to get into watching films, I'd always wanted to be an actor for as long as I can ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Shayne Ward, star of The Ascent
Posted on Thursday 22nd October 2020
SHAYNE WARD NEW PROMO HEADSHOT 2020-6

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...

SHARE: READ MORE
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Deiondre Teagle, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
thumbnail_Brandon Blood

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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Faith Monique, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
FAITH MONIQUE INTERVIEW PHOTO

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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Charlie Steeds, writer and director of Death Ranch
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020
CHARLIE STEEDS EDITED-23

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...

SHARE: READ MORE
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interviews Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Legion
LEGION
Friday 23rd April
9.00 PM
The Frighteners
THE FRIGHTENERS
Thursday 22nd April
9.00 PM
Sherlock Holmes
SHERLOCK HOLMES
Sunday 25th April
6.35 PM