ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview With Milan Todorovic Director Of Nymph
By James Whittington, Sunday 24th August 2014

Milan TodorovicThere's a strong creature feature theme at FrightFest this year with plenty of beasts clambering out of the darkness to frighten the wits out of us.

One of the more original movie is Nymph which is showing tomorrow on the main screens. We've had a quick chat with the film's director Milan Todorovic to talk about this much talked about movie and his plans for the future film making.

HC: There’s a bit of a gap between your first feature Apocalypse Of The Dead and Nymph, why was that?

MT: It’s always hard to make an independent movie. But when you live in Serbia it’s like 100 times harder. No one believes in genre films, funds or state does not support it, and for a newcomer directors – it’s hard as hell, even if you are making social drama or comedy. I was developing a few projects, trying hard to make them, but had not enough luck with them. Eventually I made a teaser for sequel for Apocalypse of the Dead, and about the same time – Nymph happened!

HC: How did Nymph come about?

MT: Last year in Cannes I was with my producer Marko Jocic and we were trying to find investors for Apocalypse of the Dead sequel when we realized that the project is too complex, and by the time we make the teaser and raise enough funds – the year would pass and we won’t have a movie. So we agreed to make another movie in the meantime, like a really low budget, micro budget movie, for like a two weeks of shooting. Marko suggested we do a movie based on a synopsis he already got from fellow director Marko Backovic, about a mermaid trapped on Mamula island in Montenegro. I loved the idea. I loved that island, and always dreamt of using it as a location, and there are no many movies with mermaids. So I felt it may be an interesting project. We ended up shooting it 16 days on beautiful locations in Montenegro, and I am very happy with the final product. It looks good and it’s one entertaining flick!

HC: Why did you choose Barry Keating as co-writer?

MT: Barry and I met a few years ago on a festival in Orvieto, Italy. He liked Apocalypse of the Dead and pitched some ideas for the potential sequel. I liked his approach and style so I thought he could be the perfect choice to do the screenplay for Wrath of the Dead. And I was right! He made a fantastic script, and I since we are of the same age and like same stuff, comics and movies, we were on the same page throughout the whole process. So, when the time was to have someone to work on Nymph, he was the logical choice. He co-wrote it together with Milan Konjevic, who wrote and co-directed Apocalypse of the Dead.

HC: Did the script take long to put together?

MT: Since the moment we accepted the idea to do this movie, when we had only some short synopsis until actual filming – it was around three months. So the entire movie was developed, prepared and written in around three months.

HC: How did you go about casting the movie?

MT: Kristina Klebe was first to be approached. She was lead actress in Apocalypse of the Dead, and I really love her work. Since Apocalypse she made some fantastic roles. Also, she’s a good friend of mine. So we asked her to be in a movie, and we didn’t even had a script at the moment. But she liked the idea and said –Yes! (also – the beautiful location helped her decide) After she said yes – the lead character was written with her in mind.
Similar thing was with Natalie Burn, who I have met a few weeks before in Cannes. I saw some of her previous work and thought she would be great for the role. Also, I came to her birthday party in Cannes, and didn’t have any gift for her, so I told her she would be in my next movie. It sounded like a joke, but in the end – it wasn’t. We also had made a character for some special guest star. Since I was invited to Grossmann festival to be in the jury and Franco Nero was getting a life achievement award there, I told writers to make the character especially for him. He was a little bit skeptical about the role and he thought it would be just a meaningless cameo, but I have explained him that his character IS the leading role. He’s not on the screen all the time, but it’s the most important character in the movie. He eventually suggested a lot of changes to his character but it was all better than we originally imagined. And he insisted to be involved in the action finale with more things to do. Which was great. He did more than asked for and helped us a lot. Working with Franco Nero was one of the best things ever. He is a great man and an amazing actor. I hope we’ll do more movies together.

HC: How did you choose the locations and was it a tough shoot?

MT: The location choose us! As I said, the screenplay was written based on the locations. It is an unique fortress in the world, with that circle shape on such a small island. There was a concentration camp on the island, and there is a movie from 50s called Mamula Camp that is about that period. And it was really a tough shoot. Locations were dangerous, remoted... Weather was not always nice. We had storms, winds, rain, power failure, a lot of injuries... even our boat got on fire one night while we were returning from the island. It was an adventure!

HC: Did your budget restrict you at all?

MT: Well, yes. A lot of things had to be cut out or changed in order to make everything. The movie was conceived for the small budget, but filming on sea is not something you can predict easily. But everybody gave their heart into making it, both cast and crew, so I think the budget restriction is not something that damaged the movie in the end.

HC: Nymph is billed as the first Serbian creature feature, do you think it will open the gates for more?

MT: I hope so. But I am not sure. I thought Apocalypse of the Dead, as first Serbian zombie movie, would open gates for more horror movie, but it didn’t happen. Although, Nymph was eventually supported by the Serbian Film Center (Government Fund), which is a next step in recognition genre films as part of national cinema and maybe pushing them more. As genre films get to wider audience and more people will start paying attention to films that come from Serbia. A lot of talent in Serbia that loves genre movies. I hope examples of Nymph and Apocalypse of the Dead will give them courage to try to make them.

HC: Are you nervous that Nymph is playing at FrightFest?

MT: Of course. They were the first ones to see finished film. I have sent it to them as soon as I had the screener. And I was so nervous. But I got reply like two hours later from them saying they liked it and it’s in! Hope the audience will like it too. It is a movie made from a film fan to film fans. And the main goal is to get audience entertained for 90mins. Hope they will enjoy it.

HC: How hard is it for a film director in Serbia and what did you think of the controversial movie A Serbian Film?

MT: It is very hard for film directors in Serbia, especially the younger ones. Movies depend a lot on Government fund help so it is a war in trenches to get some funds. If you make genre film – it’s much much harder. But, my producer Marko Jocic and I made Nymph under concept we believe it can work. We are hoping to produce another movie by the end of the year under the same concept. Also, with the support we got for Nymph, there is a chance that Serbia is opening for genre films. Everywhere I went – from USA to Korea – people usually know about three movies from Serbia (not only genre geeks, but common people in general) – Apocalypse of the Dead and A Serbian Film. It says a lot, I think. As for A Serbian Film – I think it is a well done thriller, and I just didn’t like too explicit ending. I believe it would be even more frightening if it had left us imagining details.

HC: So what are you working on next?

MT: A lot of things. Some projects only as a producer. As for my next director’s thing, it would be either Wrath of the Dead (finally), or some other project I am talking to Franco Nero to do it together. It would be like a Death Wish meets Taken crime action flick. Also, a lot of people is talking and asking about Nymph 2. Kristina Klebe is interested in doing it. Franco too. So if it goes well on the market I see no reason not to do it. I already have some great ideas for that.

HC: Milan Todorovic, thank you very much

MT: Thank you!!


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
Quarantine 2: Terminal
QUARANTINE 2: TERMINAL
Sunday 1st March
10.55 PM
Resident Evil: Extinction
RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION
Friday 6th March
10.55 PM
Star Trek: Voyager
STAR TREK: VOYAGER
Friday 6th March
7.00 PM