LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Interview With Mark Murphy Director Of Awaiting
By James Whittington, Sunday 6th September 2015
Showing as part of FrightFest 2015 was the superb psychological thriller Awaiting. You’ll get a chance to see this when its released onto DVD and digital download on September 7th and we were lucky enough to chat to the director, Mark Murphy just before FrightFest about this much talked about movie.
HC: Where did the idea for Awaiting come from and did it take long to write?
MM: I’ve always wanted to make a Psychological thriller ever since I saw Seven, this was a story I had had in my back pocket for a while, the premise of a victim being caught in the middle of a rather disturbing father/daughter relationship, I must concede the victim trapped against his will isn’t a new premise, and I owe a nod to a lot of films, but I feel with Awaiting I’ve managed to add some fresh elements, specifically what happens when you start breaking apart the family bond. I originally wrote the script back in 2008, but it’s had so many incarnations since then, that if you were to put a time frame on writing hours, I’d say a good 8 months, spread over 6 years or so.
HC: Did you have a cast in mind whilst writing it?
MM: To be honest, I don’t remember, I first started writing it back in 2008, so I’m sure I did, but couldn’t recollect. I was delighted with who we got, I’ve been a fan of Tony’s (Curran) for years, ever since This Life, and both Rupert (Hill) and Diana (Vickers) were hard working troopers who gave so much to the project – especially Rupert who had to endure quite a physical performance.
HC: The cast really do throw themselves into their respective roles, did they rehearse for long?
MM: We had a few days of rehearsal, which was vital, and allowed the actors to really bond before filming, it’s a real character driven piece, very intimate, so this was instrumental to making the film work.
HC: What was the atmosphere like on set?
MM: It was pretty jovial. Tony enjoys a good laugh, he’s got a fantastic spirit and energy, so he’d be playing up between takes, usually doing imitations of people, often stupid people, mostly me. But it was a great crew, a happy family, and everyone bonded, there were no divisions, no hierarchy in place when it came to the social bonding. We all have happy memories from the shoot.
HC: Did you have a large budget?
MM: It was the largest budget I’d worked with, so for me it was, it gave me more toys to play with, but in respect to the rest of the industry, it was fairly modest. Some people recoil at budget restrictions, but for me, necessity is the mother of invention, and you find creative ways to adapt.
HC: Was it all shot on location and if so what problems did that incur?
MM: It was half shot on location, half in the studio (Green Screen Studios, York). We were very fortunate with our location shoot, we had some excellent hands on deck in the form of my line producer and Unit Production Manager, Paddy and Joe, so it all went swimmingly. Beautiful weather too which helped.
HC: How difficult is it to direct such a tension packed movie?
MM: With a lesser cast, it would have been, but Tony, Rupert and Diana, delivered, I just wish I had more time, to play around with more ideas.
HC: Are you nervous that’s it being shown at such a large festival?
MM: Yes, especially as it’s in my own home turf, but I would get nervous at any festival. You can never anticipate how an audience will respond, and you’re throwing yourself at their mercy, here’s a project you’ve spent a portion of your life dedicated to, a project you’ve put your heart and soul into, and put yourself in front of strangers to be judged. If they don’t like it, there’s no way as writer and director you can’t take that personally. But FrightFest is a great festival, and the fans are a passionate lot, as nervous as I am that they may not like it, I’m also tremendously excited that they may really enjoy it.
HC: What state do you think the British film industry is in at the moment?
MM: It’s definitely improving, the industry is incredibly busy at the moment, everyone’s working, which is great, very healthy, and I think there’s some exciting talent emerging, I’m hoping the distributors start taking more responsibility and alienate the few rogue producers still floating around out there, that have been giving the industry a bad rep, exploiting enthusiastic new comers, not paying crew, and producing cheap and weak films. I anticipate the future of the British film industry to only get stronger over the next decade.
HC: What advice would you give to people wanting to write and direct their own movies?
MM: Three pieces of advice; 1) practice your craft as much as you can, keep writing, until your scripts get sharper, keep directing (with your camera phone if you have to) until you start to appreciate the technical side of the craft, which angles will cut well, will allow you to connect to the emotional state of the characters the best, 2) Understand the industry, don’t try and leave film school and go straight into directing, spend a year or two on set, so you can see how each department operates, and interact with each other. Film sets are intimidating places, moving at quite a speed, if you’ve never been on one. As a director you have to be confident, before every take you’ll have various departments asking you questions, if you can’t respond, it’ll all fall apart, it’s important that you inspire confidence in the crew that you know what you’re doing. 3) Find an awesome producer, no man (or woman) is an island, and you’ll need someone to shoulder the workload, and focus on financing your passion, if you spread yourself too thin, you’ll never fully reach your potential as a director and/or writer. I’ve been very fortunate in my having my producer Alan Latham, and line producer Paddy Robinson-Griffin.
HC: So, what projects are you working on at the moment?
MM: I’m currently filming a comedy called The Comedian’s Guide To Survival, starring James Buckley (Inbetweeners), MyAnna Buring (Kill List, Ripper Street), Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones), Neil Stuke and some amazing comic talent, including: Gilbert Gottfried, Jimmy Carr, Omid Djalili, Tim McInnerny, Kevin Eldon, and many more, about a struggling comedian who travels the world to try and discover the secret of comedy.
HC: Mark Murphy, thank you very much.
MM: Thank you.
MORE ARTICLES A stalker finds himself the prey in Eye Without a Face
Posted in News, Friday 23rd July 2021
Do you know who's watching this very moment? Brand new horror feature Eye Without a Face from director Ramin Niami (Paris, Shirin In Love) combines chills, thrills and bloody murder to bring the voyeur genre bang up to date.
This edgy movie creeps on to digital 23 August for its UK Premiere from Miracle M.
Holed up in his LA apartment agoraphobic Henry (Dakota Shapiro) spends his days hacking into the webcams of unsuspecting local young women, seeing himself as their protector and guardian angel, rather than what he really is... a stalker. But his creepy peeks take a sinister turn as he starts to suspect one of his 'friends', Laura (Vladka Verevko), is a kil...SHARE: READ MORE See how music can kill in Sound of Violence
Posted in Frightfest, News, Friday 23rd July 2021
In thrilling new horror Sound of Violence, a young girl recovers her hearing and gains synthetic abilities during the brutal murder of her family. Finding solace in the sounds of bodily harm, as an adult she pursues a career in music composing her masterpieces through gruesome murders.
From the mind of talented new writer-director Alex Noyer and featuring a stunning lead performance from Jasmin Savoy Brown (2022's Scream, The Leftovers), Sound of Violence is being billed as one of the most original and shocking horrors of the year.
After its UK premiere at Arrow Frightfest, Sound of Violence on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from 30th August than...SHARE: READ MORE Exploitation movie that will bring out the Devil in you!
Posted in News, Friday 23rd July 2021
Directed by Domenico Paolella (The Prey/The Story of a Cloistered Nun), The Nun and the Devil AKA Le Monache di Sant'Arcangelo is a headily erotic tale of seduction and persecution detailing the sinful practices which spill out of a 16th century convent.
When the psychotically ambitious Sister Julia (Anna Heywood) vies to take the place of a dying Mother Superior by any means possible, other inmates start to lose their way. But things take a nasty turn when the nuns are subjected to a violent inquisition and their existence becomes one of torture and degradation.
Made just two years after Ken Russell's notorious Th...SHARE: READ MORE Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 announces second wave of films for August Cineworld event
Posted in Features, Frightfest, Thursday 22nd July 2021
It's full scream ahead as Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 announces its second wave of hugely anticipated Discovery Screen and First Blood titles - a summer collection of provocative, edgy and transgressive entertainment to die for. There are fourteen World and ten European/International premieres amongst the thirty-four films on offer.
Eleven countries are represented, with titles ranging from Canadian entries Bloodthirsty, Amelia Moses' simmering LGBQT+ werewolf movie and sinister isolation thriller Motherly to Francesco Erba's As In Heaven, So On Earth, a stunning Italian blend of live action and Gothic puppet animation. Then there's Peter Bergendy's sumptuous Post Mortem, an epic Hu...SHARE: READ MORE V for Vendetta: Behind the Mask now at The Cartoon Museum
Posted in News, Thursday 22nd July 2021
The Cartoon Museum has re-opened (no advance booking required) with an exciting new exhibition which celebrates the cultural impact of V for Vendetta from the classic graphic novel to the cult film classic. Tickets are available now and the exhibition is open and will be running until 31st October 2021.
V for Vendetta: Behind the Mask will chart the rise from graphic novel, to hit film and now global phenomenon as a symbol of protest. Securing rare loans from the art department of Warner Bros, The Cartoon Museum will present a history of this modern classic with original artwork and covers, as well as costumes and designs that have never been seen in the UK before.
T...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel raises hell in August!
Posted in Features, Tuesday 20th July 2021
August is a wicked month on Horror Channel, as the UK's number 1 destination for genre films revives some horror, sci-fi and fantasy classics - including Clive Barker's Hellraiser trilogy, which has one of the most stylish and ferociously original horror fantasy franchises ever and Night Of The Living Dead (1990), Tom Savini's colour remake of George Romero's original Night Of The Living Dead, which transcended the world of horror movies to become a film classic .
Other highlights include Re-Animator, the late Stuart Gordon's darkly comic classic, that has been acknowledged as one of the most celebrated, outrageous and original horror films of all ti...SHARE: READ MORE Fulci's The Psychic getting a Shameless release
Posted in News, Saturday 17th July 2021
Shameless is prud to present Lucio 'The Godfather of Gore' Fulci's The Psychic (aka Murder To the Tune of the Seven Black Notes) like never seen before, extensively restored from new 2K-scanned materials on August 9th.
Jennifer O'Neill, fresh from Luchino Visconti's The Innocent, plays Virginia, a woman who has had psychic powers since childhood when she sensed her mother's suicide... Now newly married, Virginia becomes plagued by waking visions of bloody deaths and meaningless torment. With the aid of her parapsychologist friend (Marc Porel), she tries to uncover the meaning of the unwanted visions only to discover they are premonitions of future deaths...
...SHARE: READ MORE Original Vs Remake: Which one do you prefer?
Posted in Features, Thursday 15th July 2021
Horror Channel has always celebrated the classics as well as the more recent chillers around. Inevitably we come across some remakes which have either caused celebration or contention among viewers.
But are all remakes bad? Here's five of the finest which are showing at the moment on Horror.
Night of the Living Dead (1990) SFX maestro Tom Savini was given the job of bringing George A Romero's all-time classic back to the big screen, and in doing so gave the classic a colourful retelling. Set during an unexplained event, namely the dead rising from their graves, strangers stranded in a house battle the undead as well as themselves. Tony Todd, Patricia Tallman, and Tom Towles ta...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest resurrects its New Blood quest for new writers
Posted in Frightfest, Tuesday 13th July 2021
As Arrow Video FrightFest stalks the dark recesses of the big screen again, the search resumes for new writers in the horror genre through its New Blood initiative. New Blood reunites FrightFest with Giles Edwards of Queensbury Pictures with its mission to find emerging UK-based writers dedicated to the genre and nurture their projects from script to screen. Queensbury is ultimately interested in buying the finished script rather than the idea, and so, this year all successful final candidates if selected should be able to send even a rough draft of the first ten pages of their script through with their acceptance.
Already the scheme has delivered two new projects: Broadcast ...SHARE: READ MORE Arrow Video FrightFest unveils first wave of twenty-five films for August 2021 Cineworld event
Posted in Frightfest, Thursday 8th July 2021
Arrow Video FrightFest, the UK's biggest horror and fantasy film festival, is back at the Cineworld Leicester Square from Thursday August 26 - Monday 30 August for five days of the very best of global genre cinema.
The internationally renowned event leads the way in attesting to the versatility of the genre and, despite the interruptions caused by the pandemic, this year is no exception as the twenty-five films to be presented in the main screens are revealed. They include four world premieres and eight International/European premieres.
Global events over the past eighteen months have not only altered most people's lives but have had a profoundly i...SHARE: READ MORE Halloween Kills - New poster and trailer
Posted in News, Sunday 4th July 2021
Universal Pictures has unleashed the official trailer for Halloween Kills, coming to UK cinemas October 15.
In 2018, David Gordon Green's Halloween, starring icon Jamie Lee Curtis, killed at the box office, earning more than $250 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing chapter in the four-decade franchise and setting a new record for the biggest opening weekend in history for a horror film starring a woman.
And the Halloween night when Michael Myers returned isn't over yet.
Minutes after Laurie Strode (Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) left masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in La...SHARE: READ MORE Space: 1999 - Soundtracks to get the vinyl treatment
Posted in News, Sunday 4th July 2021
The latest Silva Screen release in their series exploring the musical worlds of Gerry Anderson is the most extensive yet and incorporates two separate Double LP releases.
Space: 1999 (showing weekdays at 6pm on Horror) ran for two series from 1976 to 1977 and depicted the occupants of Moonbase Alpha and their struggle for survival when, after the explosion of a nuclear waste dump, the Moon is hurtled into space.
The series was the most expensive produced for British television at that time and the most musically diverse of all the shows made by Anderson for ITC. Gerry Anderson's long-time musical partner in all the previous adventures was Barry Gray and Space: 1999 proved t...SHARE: READ MORE Articles Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Saturday 7th August
Sunday 1st August
Sunday 8th August