ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS


Interview With Chris Scheuerman Writer And Director Of Lost Solace
By James Whittington, Monday 29th August 2016

Chris-Scheuerman-writer-and-director-of-Lost-Solace-281x300One of the more surreal and deep films of FrightFest 2016 has been the rather stunning picture from Chris Scheuerman, Lost Solace. Here he chats about this very original movie.

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

CS: I was 4 years old when I told my mom I was going to make movies. She was a librarian, and raised us on all kinds of stories, whether it was books, movies, or music. I had a very hyperactive imagination (which remains a blessing and curse!!). I was always writing or creating. I lived in my own worlds. I had a few teachers who expressed concern to my parents about that. We got the first family video camera when I was 11, and looking through that eye piece felt so right. That passion was very real. I only graduated from High School because my principal and my communications technology teacher let me make short films for school credit, otherwise I would have flunked. I don't know where the hell I'd be if it wasn't for them.

HC: Where did the idea for Lost Solace come from?

CS: My best bud Andrew Jenkins (the lead actor and co-producer) came in from auditioning as a psychopath. He told me how much he loved playing that character. We joked about how fun it would be to feel no remorse, and the freedoms in that. And how being a psychopath would make it so much easier in our society. We're a couple of nerds. Eventually we talked about making a film about it that I could Direct, and he could play the lead role. This was all happening at the same time I was fighting my way out of a panic disorder from Hell. Like, I was completely down the rabbit hole. I felt like I was just f******g losing my grip on reality man, and undergoing a ton of therapy. In the midst of it all, I remember noticing how much I was changing. Literally becoming a different person. More mindful, using meditation to abort fears and let go of things out of my control. That whole experience introduced me to how your brain is plastic, and how people can change. I remember pitching the idea to Andrew about this happening to the psychopath, where he gets really messed up, feeling these crazy f****d emotions for the first time. We both loved it. We began developing an idea, and then I got to writing.

HC: The movie is a smart, complex mix of psychological horror and extreme family tension, did you have to do much research for the script?

CS: Yes, there was a ton of research done. The psychological horror was inspired by my panic disorder, which was very cathartic. I tore a strip off my heart, and it got dirty, digging into my past, family dysfunction. Making it very personal, and truthful. I ended up doing a lot of healing with it. I had this whole rising from the ashes feeling. The science was thought out with the involvement of a neuropsychologist and a radiologist. We got it as close to plausible science as we could, without being in a creatively abusive relationship with it. We were making a fantasy, not a research paper.

HC: Did the script change much over the time you spent writing it?

CS: It took four years until there was a screenplay I was happy to move forward with. Andrew was privy to the entire journey. If you ask him, he would tell you how little there was to recognize from the first draft to the final.

HC: What category would you place the movie in as it's pretty original?

CS: For me, I always felt I was making a psychological thriller. We did recognize part way through that it was an original idea. We couldn't find any movies like it. Which was exciting! But I didn't feel I was trying to make it original. And if it is, then it's a byproduct of making it personal and taking time with it. Letting the story distill and find its way to the surface. I love Stephen King's analogy of uncovering the story like uncovering a fossil. It was a slow process of discovery.

HC: The story deals with some heavy subjects, what was the atmosphere like on set?

CS: The irony is that we worked hard with our producers Lori Triolo and David Angelski to make our set very comfortable and relaxed. Everyone involved was there because they believed in the script, believed in the project. Out of that comes a sort of passion to serve the story. It meant a lot to hear from our key crew members and cast that it was one of their favorite shows to work on. That being said, the subject matter was very intense. Lori looked to me on day three and asked "Did you even consider what this script would be like to shoot?" It was a very challenging show creatively. By the end, we were all emotionally drained.

HC: How did the cast prepare for such deep roles?

CS: I worked with each actor individually before the shoot to ensure they were coming from the right place, which for me is always a place of truthfulness. I'd been studying Meisner for a few years under Lori Triolo. We were fortunate to have her come on board. She's a respected force in the film community here, and her expertise and influence in the work is very inspiring. She also functioned as our casting director. We worked hard to find actors in Vancouver who not only wanted to, but were capable of doing the work we wanted to capture. After I'd had some time with them, the actors sank into their individual processes. I know that Andrew spent about six weeks before production spending a lot of time alone, exploring Spence's psychopathy, and also his metamorphosis. Watching the results of his work is f*****g awesome. His performance in the film is evidence of that. I gotta say, that for both of us, being best buds and having the short hand we did was great. It's an experience I'll hold onto dearly. And for both of us, the film literally changed our lives.

HC: It effortlessly moves between states of mind with some subtle yet effective scenes such as the painted sky moments, how hard were these to realise?

CS: My DP Thomas Billingsley and I brainstormed for about two months before we found a way to shoot to take us 'inside' Spence's experience. We were stubborn to realize the vision with practical in-camera techniques, which most of it is. My brother Matthew co-edited the film with me, and he seemed to find a way to utilize jump cuts and frenetic editing to accentuate how we had shot the episodes Spence was having. The sky became a character and a metaphor for Spence's transformation during script development. Our production designer Moe Curtin and visual effects maestro Geoff Hunt executed the effects brilliantly. As you can see, it all came down to having a great team. And I mean GREAT!

HC: The film is getting its European premiere at FrightFest, are you nervous at all?

CS: We are thrilled by the invite to Frightfest I'm so excited to visit London for the first time. Naturally, the nerves will probably kick in moments before the show... and perhaps after I introduce myself to the audience, I'll pop out for a quick drink to quell the nerves. For me, it's always hard to sit through the film with a new audience.

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

CS: I have several screenplays at the ready. I am currently moving forward on one of them as we speak. It's a throwback to where I grew up in the raging oil fields of southern Alberta, Canada. It's a terrifying script because it's so unflinchingly personal. But what the Hell, you live once.

HC: Chris Scheuerman, thank you very much.


MORE FRIGHTFEST
Arrow Video FrightFest announces August 2020 Short Film Programme
Posted on Saturday 8th August 2020
FrightFest August Short Film -logo2

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
Airell Hayles

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
Toby and Fionn Clapper 1

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
FrightFest Online-Logo-3_NEW

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
Horror Chanel - Aug banner

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
Volition

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.

HC: Did you know from an...

SHARE: READ MORE
Arrow Video FrightFest to present August digital edition
Posted on Wednesday 24th June 2020
FrightFest 2020 Banner

Arrow Video FrightFest will go virtual over the August Bank Holiday, presenting up to twenty-five films from Friday 28th August to Monday 31st August inclusive.

There will also be additional online content including special guest intros, Q and As, and a short film showcase. Plus, some free Live events are at the planning stage. Passes and individual tickets will be available and go on sale early August. The films will be geo-blocked for viewers in the UK.

More details will be announced in the coming weeks, alongside the line-up of films.

Ian Rattray, FrightFest co-director said today: "Although we can't recreate the special atmosphere of our public gat...

SHARE: READ MORE
Important news from team FrightFest
Posted on Tuesday 2nd June 2020
FrightFest Halloween 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.

When did you first hear about the Anderson Falls script and why did you think it was perfect for yo...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Adam Stovall, director of A Ghost Waits
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020

Ahead of the World premiere of A Ghost Waits at Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020, director Adam Stovall reflects on getting through depression, creating paranormal romance and the influence of Tom Waits...

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?

AS: I've known since I was a little kid sitting in the basement watching the network TV premiere of Back To The Future while holding my Back To The Future storybook and waiting for them to premiere the first footage from Back To The Future 2 during a commercial br...

SHARE: READ MORE
Arrow Video FrightFest announces Glasgow Film Festival 2020 line-up
Posted on Thursday 16th January 2020

Welcome the transgressive, the traumatic and the terrifying as Arrow Video FrightFest, the UK's favourite horror fantasy event, returns to Glasgow Film Festival for a 15th fantastic year, from Thursday 5 March to Saturday 7 March, 2020.

Thirteen is lucky for some as that's the number of new films being presented at the iconic Glasgow Film Theatre, embracing the latest genre discoveries from around the globe, spanning four continents, including one world, two European and seven UK premieres.

Alan Jones, FrightFest co-director, commented: "Welcome to another banner FrightFest and another invitation to explore the horror fantasy genre's fertile harvest bursting with creativity, ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Cameron Macgowan, director of Red Letter Day
Posted on Friday 1st November 2019

FrightFest 2019 exposed a lot of new talent in the movie industry and one of the stand-out pieces was Red Letter Day from Cameron Macgowan.

HC: Where did the idea for Red Letter Day come from and did it take long to write?

CM: I have long been a fan of the 'Humans Hunting Humans' subgenre of film (Battle Royale, The Running Man, Hard Target, etc.) and was inspired to set one of these films in what many people consider the 'safe' location of the suburbs. Suburban communities feel like the perfect setting for a horror film as you can walk for miles without seeing a single soul all while knowing that you are surrounded by many people. This mixed with a desire to satirise the current socio-political climate ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Frightfest Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
PICK OF THE WEEK
Annihilation Earth
ANNIHILATION EARTH
Saturday 15th August
6.40 PM
The Neighbour
THE NEIGHBOUR
Thursday 20th August
10.50 PM
The Unfolding
THE UNFOLDING
Thursday 13th August
10.50 PM