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Interview With Dominic Brunt Director Of Shell Shocked
By James Whittington, Monday 26th August 2013

dominic_bruntAn integral part of FrightFest is the showing of horror movie shorts. These expose the audience quickly to the mega talents of those involved. One of the best this year is Shell Shocked, directed by Dominc Brunt and written by Joannne Mitchell.

Here Dominic chats about this and his other horror hit, Before Dawn.

HC: It’s been a year since Before Dawn, looking back did its success surprise you?

DB: God yes!! We were proud of what we had done and felt we had told the story we wanted to tell but starting with FrightFest, Before Dawn has gone around the world with both festivals and distribution. We’ve been hugely flattered.

HC: Are you tempted to revisit the zombie genre on the big screen and create Before Dawn 2?

DB: Well for reasons that would become obvious once you’ve seen Before Dawn, a sequel isn’t possible. At all.

HC: Let’s chat about your new short, Shell Shocked, where did the idea come from?

DB: The idea came from our eldest son who was playing soldiers one day and was telling me his little story. I was nodding away then I thought hang on, this is brilliant. He basically said –“The German and English chap can argue all they want. It’s no good because THIS is going to happen”. There was a twist and everything. We have a list of stories we want to film and when the opportunity arose for this one, we jumped at it.

HC: The opening scene is quite claustrophobic, how did you manage that shot?

DB: A very long room in Prime Studio’s in Leeds and a camera sitting on a very long piece of track. We follow the soldier along an underground mine shaft which was actually bout 5ft up on stilts. The hardest thing was lighting the film so it looked like single source lighting from one lamp.

DB: Did it take long to cast the piece?

HC: We had the Yorkshireman ready from the start in Tony Streeter. An ex soldier and professional actor who can basically do whatever emotion you ask of him. Geoffrey Newland was a lucky stab in the dark as we asked agents for German speaking actors with short hair. I’d work with both again at the drop of a hat. Two actors, without ego that listened to each other intently. Very rare.

HC: What sort of budget did you have?

DB: Ha Ha! Pass.

HC: Did you have to cut anything out of the script to make it fit the duration time?

DB: No. It was pretty tightly done in 4 scenes before reaching its crescendo.

HC: Are you as nervous as you were last year as it’s being given its world premiere at FrightFest?

DB: I am nervous but I can not wait to show it in front of an audience. It has a certain ending which I’m very proud of.

HC: If someone reading this wants to make a short film, what advice would you give them?

HC: Plan, Schedule, Press record. Listen to criticism.

DB: So what projects are you working on at the moment?

HC: Something big which is engulfing our lives. We start filming in April and it’ll be a leap.

DB: I’ve done a voice over for Lee Hardcastle’s next project Ghost Burger. Me and Jo, my wife did a short for Alice Moet, Jo has just done White Settlers, a movie with Pollyanna McIntosh and I’m on with my beloved Emmerdale.

HC: Dominic Brunt, thank you very much.


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