ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview With Oliver Frampton Director Of The Forgotten
By James Whittington, Friday 22nd August 2014

The forgottenStarring Shaun Dingwall and Clem Tibber, The Forgotten is showing today on Discovery Screen 1 at FrightFest.

This superb and eerie film contains a slow burning narrative that builds into a gripping pay off. We've been lucky enough to chat to the film's co-writer and director Oliver Frampton about this cracking film and his plans for the future.

HC: What inspired you to write The Forgotten?

OF: I co-wrote The Forgotten with James Hall. In a nutshell it’s like Fish Tank meets The Shining. Gritty, character-based social realism meets supernatural horror. So influences were on one hand Ken Loach and Andrea Arnold and on the other hand Hideo Nakata and Stanley Kubrick. James and I are both huge horror fans and have both been to FrightFest a number of times. We really wanted to make a slow build, classically structured, terrifying ghost story which foregrounded character (rather than just situation and event). Those are the kinds of stories we love. We had worked together on TV projects and one of those was The Bill (the old ITV show). We used to film in these abandoned estates in central London. Only we’d populate them with extras and cars and so on, so they felt alive. But these estates were acres of yawning grey, big blocks, long walkways, all empty. And then you’d see this one little light on in one of the blocks and you thought – what kind of family hangs on like that? Why are they here? So that’s what got us thinking.

HC: It’s your first movie as a director, what did you learn from the making of it?

OF: Dangerously, that I love it! And that I plan to do it all over again as soon as possible! I think the whole process from conceiving, to writing, to prepping to production and into post is a learning process. And you learn every time you repeat it. My professional background is editorial and in scripts, so that was perhaps the area where I was most comfortable. But The Forgotten is really a performance piece, it’s so character based, so what I enjoyed most (and what was the biggest challenge) was learning how to really craft an arc on-screen. I also learned it’s always colder outside that it looks. And to wear comfy trainers. I might be stealing that last answer from Spielberg. But if you’re gonna steal…

HC: How did you choose the young cast?

OF: We managed to entice a great casting director Daniel Edwards to work with us. Casting Tommy was the hardest. Daniel brought in groups of young lads – ten at a time - and he kind of work-shopped them in front of us to see if anyone had the touch of ‘Tommy’ about them. We did this three or four times. And we just couldn’t find the right lad. Then Daniel went further afield and managed to bring me a tape of Clem Tibber just talking. We knew it was him right away. As for the character Carmen, we saw loads of very exciting possible actors. But I remember Elarica Gallacher came in and said she’d rather read a different scene than we’d selected, one that she’d enjoyed more. And she just blew us away – her reading was just so truthful. You had goosebumps. When we put her and Clem together the chemistry was just what we were after.

HC: Shaun Dingwall and Clem Tibber as father and son, bring a real honesty to their roles, was this something they had to work on or did they “bond” quickly?

OF: Thank you. Shaun was brilliant with Clem. We all got on so well during the shoot, there was a very trusting atmosphere, which really helps. But Shaun would definitely help ‘direct’ Clem with his own performance. Give him things to react to. Throw him the energy to do something with. I think Clem’s such a great ‘reactor’ to the things that happen to him on-screen; never overblown, always grounded and emotionally truthful. But Shaun, aside from being outstanding himself, really helped bring out the best for the film as a whole.

HC: What sort of a budget did you have?

OF: Funny story, the film was actually kick started by money from mine and my (very understanding) wife’s wedding! We said on our invites – we’re making a film, please donate. So I won’t have anyone say this wasn’t a film made with love! That gave us the incentive to continue and when the script came together, we were able to budget properly and get other investors onboard. Obviously I can’t give specifics but we’re in the micro-budget bracket. And it was tight. You use the urban landscape and all its bleakness to great effect, how did you choose the locations? Again, ask an expert. We spoke to a locations manager I’d worked with in television called Jim Chambers. He gave us a list of potential estates. We looked around. What I loved about the flats in Durand Close, where we filmed, is that you enter them at first floor level and then go DOWN to the bedrooms. Story wise that was perfect for us because the bedrooms were the scary place. So this meant everytime you go down those stairs by lamplight, you’re thinking “oh god, what’s going to happen now”, like going down into hell.

HC: What was the shoot like?

OF: Wonderful, challenging, emotional, incredibly fast but overwhelmingly positive. We all genuinely bonded and seemed intent on achieving something special. Our shoot was a swift fifteen days – so we had to work at quite a pace. I had to have a very clear vision of the film in my head so I could communicate quickly and clearly with the whole team. And we could move fast because of the amazing crew Jennifer Handorf (Producer) assembled, and because our brilliant Director of Photography Eben Bolter shot almost entirely handheld, lighting predominantly with practical lights (i.e. lamps and props that you see on screen). Quite daring but it looks really great.

HC: The score is subtle and at times quite beautiful; did you have much say in the style?

OF: Yes, it’s beautiful isn’t it. I’m really pleased with what Paul Frith did with the score. The truth is that unless you’re John Carpenter and write your own synth tracks, like so many facets of making a film someone else pours their soul into it. So while Paul and I talked a lot, discussed the direction, agreed the cues, and knew the kind of sounds and timbre we were after – the music is his, it’s from his heart. I’m lucky enough to be a musical person, so we could communicate effectively about material he presented me. But Paul just brought it such warmth and mystery. When we were editing the film, the temp music I used was a bit all over the place. The emotional music was stuff like Max Richter (used in Perfect Sense) – sugary string pieces – while the scary stuff was much more abstract like Krzysztof Penderecki (The Shining). I think Paul found the beating heart in the middle.

HC: The film has a lot to say about the lost youth culture of today, was this intentional?

OF: In a word. Yes. The Forgotten – when you stand back – works as a big metaphor for the eternal question; is it possible to escape the fate that you’re born into? We really wanted to say something about London and about the ‘forgotten’ elements of society. And to do something that felt truthful yet redemptive. I’m really proud of the light-touch way we invite the audience to think about these issues, while obviously weaving it through something tense and entertaining. I think more than anything we wanted to make something emotional (moving) as well as scary.

HC: Are you nervous that the film is showing at FrightFest?

OF: I suppose in some ways I am. This was always designed to be a supernatural horror film; a touch of J-horror, a touch of urban nightmare but in The Forgotten that’s balanced with gritty urban drama. So it might feel a bit different. Having said that, the people we’ve tested the film with (including lots of horror fans) have responded incredibly positively. The way the FrightFest team programme the festival is fantastic as it always provides variety.

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

OF: James Hall (my co-writer) and I never stopped writing after The Forgotten, so we’ve got a number of follow-up feature scripts in development, and a fair amount of interest in getting the next project off the ground, including one that I’m particularly passionate about; which is supernatural horror film but about a homosexual relationship in a high category prison. An exploration of identity amidst terrifying ghostly happenings. And the idea of people literally being locked into a space that’s haunted is really appealing. And of course more television drama. I’ve been working on some big, really exciting projects, which will be hitting screens later in the year. The Great Fire will air on ITV in October. Keep your eyes peeled.

HC: Oliver Frampton, thank you very much.


MORE ARTICLES
Horror Channel unwraps eight UK TV premieres for December including Tales From The Lodge, Aquaslash and Sacrifice
Posted in Features, Tuesday 16th November 2021
Horror Channel Dec highlights - tweet banner

Horror Channel comes bearing gory gifts for the Xmas season, presenting eight UK TV premieres, including Abigail Blackmore's gruesome and comically dark Tales From The Lodge, starring Mackenzie Crook, Sophie Thompson and Johnny Vegas, cosmic chiller Sacrifice, starring horror icon Barbara Crampton and Aquaslash, a mad exploitation slasher harking back to the classic 1980s era of gushing blood and teenage turmoil.

Also showing for the first time on British TV are Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead's romantic body horror Spring, Greg McLean's supernatural horror The Darkness, starring Kevin Bacon, deadly thriller, Desolation, Brit mon...

SHARE: READ MORE
Swallow to get an extra special release.
Posted in News, Monday 15th November 2021
Swallow Cover

Second Sight is delighted to announce Carlo Mirabella-Davis' visually stunning, critically acclaimed feature debut Swallow is set to receive a fantastic Limited Edition Blu-ray Box set release, complete with a slew of fascinating new bonus content this November.

Haley Bennett (Hillbilly Elegy) gives an outstanding performance as Hunter a young woman who on the surface appears to have it all, the handsome, successful husband, the idyllic house, and a baby on the way. But is her life as perfect as it seems? As domineering husband Richie (Austin Stowell), and his overbearing family put pressure on Hunter to play the dutiful wife, she becomes overwhelmed and powerless. Desperate to reclaim contr...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel takes off with premiere of action series Airwolf from Thursday 25 November
Posted in Features, Thursday 11th November 2021

Horror Channel is dedicated to bringing great cult action thrillers to its audience and this trend continues with Season 1 of the 1984 US military drama series Airwolf, created by Donald P. Bellisario and produced over four seasons.

A renegade helicopter pilot, Stringfellow Hawke, played by Jan-Michael Vincent, is given the chance to know the whereabouts of his imprisoned brother if he conducts daring missions for a shadowy intelligence agency. Hid first mission is to go to Libya and steal back a high-technology military helicopter, code-named Airwolf, at all costs. With its riveting, high-tech, battle scenes, AIRWOLF is consid...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel invaded by week of Sci-Fi Horror
Posted in Features, Wednesday 3rd November 2021

Horror Channel goes extra-terrestrial with Sci-Fear Week (Saturday 20th to Friday 26th, 9pm), in which strange science, terrifying tech and insidious invasions takes control, highlighted by the Channel premiere of jolting sci-fi thriller The Last Days On Mars, starring Liev Schreiber, Romola Garai and Olivia Williams. It also includes the channel premieres of 1980 British science fiction movie Saturn 3, which stars Farrah Fawcett, Kirk Douglas and Harvey Keitel and XTRO, an unsettling slice of Sci-Fi Horror and one of the few British films that landed on the UK film censors' infamous 'Video Nasty' list. The week also includes Scanners, Ce...

SHARE: READ MORE
One for your Christmas list, the new book from Kim Newman
Posted in News, Wednesday 27th October 2021
Something More Than The Night Cover

From the award-winning author of Anno Dracula comes a masterclass in wit and cinematic vision as the legendary maestro of horror teams together two icons of page and silver screen in a daring and horrifying tale that puts a twist on the genre, as only Kim Newman can. Something More Than Night promises to be a genre-bending horror thriller that brings together two icons of the 1930s.

Hollywood, the late 1930s. Raymond Chandler writes detective stories for pulp magazines. Boris Karloff plays monsters in the movies. Both understand that these streets are dark with something more than night. Under Home House, the mock gothic mock mansion of a film mogul, is a mad science du...

SHARE: READ MORE
88Films to release the classic euro horror The Doll of Satan
Posted in News, Tuesday 26th October 2021
The Doll of Satan

After her uncle dies unexpectedly, Elizabeth Balljanon inherits his sprawling castle. The walls are crumbling, the electricity doesn't work and there's a fully equipped torture chamber in the cellars but interior decoration is the least of her worries: a black-gloved killer haunts the halls at night and, even worse, the tales she's been told about the castle's ghosts might not be stories after all...

Part giallo, part modern-dress Gothic, The Doll of Satan is a gloriously ripe slice of Italian horror, heady with atmosphere and steamy eroticism too. 88 Films has rediscovered this genre gem and given it a superb HD release in the UK for the very first time.

Extras...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel unveils an unholy host of premieres for November
Posted in Features, Thursday 21st October 2021
Nov highliights-social-1

Long weekends just got scarier as Horror Channel announces eleven premieres for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights across November, including five UK TV premieres, three by emerging female directors.

Being shown for the first time on the small screen are Elle Callahan's allegorical paranormal thriller Witch Hunt, Amelia Moses' lyrical lycanthrope horror Bloodthirsty and Coralie Fargeat's directorial debut, the slickly gruesome Revenge. Also getting their first showings on TV are Nicolas Pesce's smartly sadistic Piercing and John Berardo's subversive slasher Initiation.

Neil Marshall makes a welcome return with the channel premiere of Doomsday, as do the Sosk...

SHARE: READ MORE
Nothing will prepare you for Chuck Steel - Night of the Trampires!
Posted in News, Sunday 17th October 2021
Chuck Steel Night of the Trampires poster

Animortal Studios, announces that its British-made stop-motion animated feature, Chuck Steel: Night Of The Trampires, is releasing into UK cinemas on Friday 29th October, in time for Halloween.

From the fevered imagination of two-time BAFTA-winning writer/director, Mike Mort (Gogs), and featuring the voices of UK comedy legends, Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous) and Paul Whitehouse (The Fast Show) alongside Mort's, this homage to 80's B-movie excess is "one of the most extraordinary achievements by an independent animation studio" (Starburst), comes "chock-full of snappy one-liners and ultra-violent action"(Hollywood Reporter) tha...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Michael Mayer and Guy Ayal from the acclaimed movie Happy Times
Posted in Features, Interviews, Saturday 16th October 2021
thumbnail_HT_set_Marie Alyse Rodriguez

Happy Times, which is showing at Grimmfest Online, is a movie that takes the home invasion genre and turns it inside out! Directed by Michael Mayer and co-written with composer Guy Ayal, the movie is a bombastic, bloody and hilarious piece of cinema. I chatted to them both about this dinner party from hell.

HC: Where did the idea for Happy Times come from?

MM: The idea for the movie started forming when I was invited to a Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year's) dinner in Los Angeles. It was the first year of Trump's presidency and wherever you went all people wanted to talk about was politics. One thing to know about the Israeli expat com...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with D.M. Cunningham, writer and director of The Spore
Posted in Features, Interviews, Saturday 16th October 2021
DMC_SetPic copy

If you like your horror with a huge lashing of gruesome effects and a strong story then The Spore is for. Showing at Grimmfest Online, the movie from D.M. Cunningham is a smart take on the body horror genre. Here he chats about this movie which is guaranteed to get under your skin.

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

DM: I started out wanting to be a makeup effects artist. After seeing Night of the Living Dead and discovering Fangoria magazine I was hooked. Tom Savini was a huge influence on my trajectory toward becoming a filmmaker. It wasn't until later that I discovered that you could boss the monsters around on set being the director. That's...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Ben Charles Edwards, co-writer and director of Father of Flies
Posted in Features, Interviews, Saturday 16th October 2021
Father of Flies director

A vulnerable young boy finds his mother pushed out of the family home by a strange new woman in Father of Flies, and he must confront the terrifying supernatural forces that seem to move in with her. This intense and chilling movie is showing at Grimmfest Online Edition so we chatted to director and co-writer Ben Charles Edwards about this movie.

HC: Where did the idea for Father of Flies come from?

BE: It came from my childhood experiences. When my good friend and journalist Dominic Wells was talking to me about my next project, he told me to draw on real life experiences. So, I did. My own experiences were neither as heightened nor as traumatic as they may...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Marcel Sarmiento co-writer and director of Faceless
Posted in Features, Interviews, Friday 15th October 2021
Faceless Director

Showing at Grimmfest Online Edition is the incredibly inventive horror/sci-fi hybrid Faceless. Here, co-writer and director Marcel Sarmiento speaks about this superb movie.

HC: Have you always been a big horror movie fan?

MS: Definitely as a kid. My first movies made with my Betamax were all about scaring one other and how gross we could push makeup effects. We mostly strangled, stabbed, and threw each other off buildings. I think as I got older, I appreciated what you could do with horror more than horror for horror's sake. I love that you can make characters do things that in any other genre you couldn't make them do and still come out the other end liking them and routi...

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
Mom and Dad
MOM AND DAD
Wednesday 1st December
9.00 PM
Island of Terror
ISLAND OF TERROR
Saturday 27th November
6.40 PM
An American Werewolf In Paris
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS
Tuesday 7th December
9.00 PM