INTERVIEWS

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview With Mark Murphy Director Of Awaiting
By James Whittington, Sunday 6th September 2015

Awaiting DVD CoverShowing 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 INTERVIEWS
Interview with Mickey Fisher, creator of sci-fi series Extant
Posted on Thursday 6th May 2021
Mickey Fisher 1

Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with Seasons 1 and 2 of the CBS Studios/Amblin Television production of Extant, starring Halle Berry as astronaut Molly Woods, who returns home to her family, inexplicably pregnant after 13 months in outer space on a solo mission.

The series begins on Horror May 11th so, we decided to chat to its creator, Mickey Fisher about how the series came to be produced and what it was like working with Hollywood royalty.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a writer?

MF: From the time I was maybe five or six years old I wanted to be an actor. Going to see Star...

SHARE: READ MORE
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
Interviews Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Battlestar Galactica
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
Monday 10th May
8.00 PM
Skinwalkers
SKINWALKERS
Friday 14th May
9.00 PM
Wolf Creek 2
WOLF CREEK 2
Thursday 20th May
10.35 PM