ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview With Dominic Brunt Director Of Bait
By James Whittington, Saturday 29th August 2015
dominic_brunt Though Dominic Brunt is well known on TV as Emmerdale's super vet Paddy, he's making big waves as a director. His first movie, Before Dawn is a huge Horror Channel favourite and his latest movie, Bait is getting a special preview today at FrightFest.

Here Dominic chats about his movies and his future directorial plans.

HC: Your first movie, Before Dawn was a huge success, were you tempted to do another horror movie?

DB: I'll definitely make more horror movies. We're in pre-production with two over the next four years at the moment. That's where my heart is. I think even though "Bait" is a thriller, there's enough show off gore and violence to entertain the horror crowd.

HC: What pressure did Before Dawn’s success create when you were looking for your next project?

DB: None really. I look at Before Dawn now with fondness but I'd like to completely re-film the whole thing (I never will) with all the knowledge and confidence we've gained as film makers over the last five years. It was done on the cheap and supposed to be released on a tiny label but then FrightFest, the Horror Channel and Metrodome got hold of it and it sailed happily away. I am proud of the film and it taught us so much. I like to think "Bait" is a huge step forward from there.

HC: How did you decide that Bait was right to be your second feature?

DB: Paul Roundell's writing just jumps off the page and is so truthful and authentic. It gave us the confidence to approach potential backers. I just knew someone would bite.

HC: Did you add or take anything away from the script when you first read it?

DB: The story is inspired by three real life situations involving loan sharks. It was just a case of embellishing what had actually happened. Paul then wrote this as the screenplay which really didn't need touching.

HC: The central leads give astonishing performances that lift this way above your standard revenge film, how did you go about casting the film?

DB: Joanne Mitchell (Dawn) and Victoria Smurfit (Bex) where at drama school together and have been best friends ever since. I knew if we could get them both, the relationship they have on screen would be organic and palpable from the start. There's love there and they deeply care for each other in real life. I like the fact that Paul wrote them as chalk and cheese but Bex allows Dawn to be herself without judgement and vice versa. You already empathise with them before it all goes terribly, terribly wrong for them. Jonathan Slinger (Jeremy) has spent ten years playing all the main parts for the RSC and is in fact one of the best stage actors this country has produced. I knew he'd be great on film too. As I found, it's always worth asking.

HC: What sort of a budget did you have?

DB: A big one.

HC: The script is incredibly strong in tone, what was it like on set?

DB: It was very professional and strict which was important if we wanted to get it finished on time and within budget. Working with other people’s money does wonders to concentrate your mind. But it was also great fun and I laughed an awful lot. Working with such a great cast and crew was utterly thrilling. 73 of us all together! There are so many locations involved with the film. It never stops moving from one place to the next. We were a travelling circus until the last week which was studio bound special effects and fights.

HC: There are some moments of unflinching violence, how important was it to you not to cut away?

DB: Well, the first show of violence in the pub, we do cut away on purpose to lull the viewer into a false sense of security. From then on we keep the camera there to show everything. You need to want the baddies dead. You have to see what these bastards are capable of doing, every day, as a job.

HC: How do you prepare for and direct such violent sequences?

DB: The dichotomy is that violence is huge fun to film. There are then questions as to whether we stick to a moral duty or ethics and still show off what we can do. All the violence is within the context of the story and everyone pays the consequences for their actions.

HC: I feel that the film has something to say about today’s society and the dangerous situations people can get themselves in, would you agree?

DB: It's exactly about that and also allegorical of the bigger picture with the banks and their impact on society. When economics rule a land without a shred of empathy or an inclusion of philosophy. Also a huge theme for me was the production of sociopathy in society and the way we excuse extreme behaviour as being "Evil". This lets us all off the hook. "It's nothing to do with us, they are simply evil". Well evil does not exist. So, what then?

HC: Are you nervous that it’s getting a special preview at FrightFest?

DB: Yes. Very. We have three showings on the main screen on Saturday 29th August 11am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm.

HC: Will you watch with the audience?

DB: The first ten minutes then the last ten.

HC: So, what projects are you working on next?

DB: Jo is working on the pre-production for Attack Of The Adult Babies which is a very British satirical slapstick horror feature in pre-production. Also something next year as a hired director which I so wish I could tell you more about but I can't. Yet.

HC: Dominic Brunt, thank you very much.


Related show tags: BEFORE DAWN
MORE INTERVIEWS
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
Interview with Simeon Halligan, director of Habit
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020

Simeon Halligan is one of the busiest people working in the industry today. Writer, director, producer, director of celebrated film festival Grimmfest, in fact the list goes on.

His latest film is the neon tinged, blood-splattered masterpiece Habit which is showing on Horror February 14th so we thought we should get the story on how he brought this shocker to the big screen.

HC: When did you first become aware of the book by Stephen McGeagh to which Habit is based?

SH: I read the book a couple of years back and really liked it. A combination of gritty realism and dark fantasy; set within a very recognisable Manchester. There's a juxtaposition in the book; from a kind of soc...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Jackson Stewart, director of Beyond The Gates
Posted on Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Jack Stewart's sublime retro horror Beyond the Gates was recently shown on Horror. Jackson is one of the strongest creatives around at the moment but he took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about this contemporary classic and his future movie plans.

HC: Was there one film that you saw growing up which gave you the idea that you wanted to work in the film industry?

JS: There were definitely a number of them; I think the ones that stick out strongest in my memory were Temple Of Doom, Batman '89, Nightmare On Elm Street 4, Raising Arizona, Back To The Future, Marnie, Army Of Darkness, The Frighteners and Dirty Harry. All of them had a big emotional impact on me. Dirty Har...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with acclaimed author Shaun Hutson
Posted on Friday 20th December 2019

The British horror legend Shaun Hutson is back with Testament, a new novel featuring one of his fans most loved characters, Sean Doyle so we decided to catch up with this talented chap about his acclaimed work.

HC: Was there one author who inspired you to become a writer?

SH: My inspirations were always and still are cinematic if I'm honest. Even when I first started writing my influences and inspirations came from things like Hammer films, from TV series like The Avengers (with Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee) and from old Universal horror films. I read the Pan Books of Horror Stories when I was a kid and I think they were probably the first "literary" influences I ever had. I also read lo...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Tyler MacIntyre, director of Patchwork
Posted on Thursday 12th December 2019
On the eve of Horror Channel's UK TV premiere of Patchwork on December 14th, director Tyler MacIntyre reflects on body image issues. twisting audience expectations and his admiration for current female genre directors.

HC: Patchwork finally gets its UK TV premiere on Horror Channel. Excited or what?

TM: Relieved actually. It's been a long time coming. The third screening of the film ever happened at FrightFest in Glasgow and since then I've had people asking me when it was going to come out. The UK genre fans are among the most diehard in the world, so I'm very excited to finally have it available for them.

HC: You were in attendance when Patchwork, your directorial feature debut, rece...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with James Moran, writer of Tower Block
Posted on Monday 25th November 2019

Writer James Moran is about to do what few other writers have done in the past, the Horror Channel Triple! He is one of the few creatives who has had three of his movies play on the channel; Cockneys Vs Zombies, Severance and now Tower Block which is playing on November 29th. So, we decided to chat to this talented chap about this superior thriller and the rest of his career.

HC: Your first movie, Severance is a huge favourite with Horror Channel viewers, were you ever tempted to pen a sequel?

JM: Thank you, I'm really glad that people can still discover it with every new screening. Everybody wanted to do a sequel, we actually had several meetings about it. Nothing came of it, they carried on with...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Gary Dauberman, writer and director of Annabelle Comes Home
Posted on Saturday 23rd November 2019

Gary Dauberman has been the scriptwriter for some of the most successful horror movies of the last few years including IT: Parts 1 and 2, Annabelle and The Nun. His latest movie, Annabelle Comes Home which is also his directorial debut, has just been released onto DVD and Blu-ray. We caught up with this talented chap about his career to date.

HC: What was it about the horror genre that grabbed your imagination and made you want to become a writer?

GD: The earliest movie going experience I can remember was my parents taking me to Raiders of the Lost Ark and I was 4 or 5 or something and I had to sleep with them for a week, you know the opening up of The Ark and the face melting, a rea...

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
Interview with Carlo Mirabella-Davis, director of Swallow
Posted on Wednesday 30th October 2019

Ahead of the UK premiere of Swallow at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween, director Carlo Mirabella-Davis reflects on the personal inspiration behind his feature debut, healing psychological wounds and his empathy for the genre.

HC: Swallow is your directorial debut. How difficult was it to get the project off the ground?

CMD: Getting a film made is a fascinating process. My late, great teacher at NYU, Bill Reilly, would always say "script is coin of the realm". The early stages involved perfecting the screenplay as much as I could, writing and rewriting until I felt confident sending it out. The sacred bond between the producer and the director is the catalyst that brings a film into being. I ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Paul Davis, director of Uncanny Annie
Posted on Wednesday 16th October 2019

Ahead of the International premiere of Uncanny Annie at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween 2019, director Paul Davis reflects on working for Blumhouse, bemoans attitudes to British genre film funding and reveals the movies that inspire him the most...

HC: Tell us how Uncanny Annie came about?

PD: Uncanny Annie is my second movie for Blumhouse as part of Hulu's Into The Dark movie series. I had the opportunity to actually kick off last October with a feature adaptation of my short film The Body (which had its world premiere at FF in 2013). The concept was to release a movie a month, for twelve months, with each revolving around a holiday or particular day for the month of its released. With The Bod...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Lars Klevberg, director of Child's Play (2019)
Posted on Thursday 10th October 2019
CHILDS_PLAY_Universal_2D_BD_Pakcshot_UKIt was the remake everyone was against! The interweb was ablaze with negativity but director Lars Klevberg and his team managed to pull off one of the best horror movies of 2019. Here he chats about the smart shocker, Child's Play.

HC: How nervous were you taking on a re-imagining of such a beloved concept and franchise?

LK: I was in fact very nervous the minute I signed on to do the movie. Before that, I worked relentlessly for weeks to get the job, but immediately after getting it my body had a very stressful reaction. I was fully aware of the legacy I was about to re-open so, I didn't sleep one minute that night.

HC: W...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interviews Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Urban Legend
URBAN LEGEND
Sunday 8th March
9.00 PM
The Disappearance Of Alice Creed
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED
Monday 2nd March
10.50 PM
Tremors
TREMORS
Friday 6th March
9.00 PM