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Interview with Paul Hyett director of Peripheral
By James Whittington, Friday 2nd November 2018 Paul Hyett is a firm FrightFest favourite. His work jumps from genre you genre with ease but still retains that "Hyett" feeling in each piece. His latest work, Peripheral is having its UK Premiere at the FrightFest Halloween 2018 event so we decided to chat to Paul about this and his view on technology.
HC: How did the project of Peripheral come together?
PH: Peripheral was bought to me by the original producer, he thought I'd be a good fit. Originally he had pitched me a one woman in a room, contained location about bad technology theme. It didn't feel appealing as after Howl, which was a big film in terms of cast, VFX, stunts etc and I was looking for a more challenging film logistically. Then I read Peripheral. And I fell in love with the script, it was such an important, pertinent movie, it really had something to say about dependance on technology, addiction in all its forms and how an artists soul can be slowly drained away, and it really is about art versus commerce, which we're seeing now with the current studio system and algorithms created by certain streaming services. We could literally be seeing the end of indie films, and here was this ferociously independent little film. I had to do it.
HC: The story focuses on an author having issues writing her second novel, did you ever have such problems making your second feature?
PH: Not so much my second one. But really in general, you can spend so many hours crafting away at a script, coming up with something that you think is really cool, only to show to potential financiers to be told,'yeah good script, but not commercial enough', 'can you change the protagonist to a an 18-year-old to appeal to that demographic', and 'yeah, gore isn't really in at the moment, can you make it a PG-13 horror', and it really breaks you down, I understand I'm a commercial artist, that you have to make profitable movies, but it can be tough because you're writing a story from a commercial angle rather then a story for story's sake, so I feel I've been through what Bobbi goes through in Peripheral.
HC: The technology on show looks amazing, how was that created?
PH: It was headed by Lindsay Comens, a very talented VFX artist, his company toomuchblackcoffee did over 350 VFX shots, they looked great, it was too important to get right. I had designed the computer with Paul Gerrard, an amazing concept artist, and we worked out the structure and what I wanted in terms how to shoot, I knew I need a huge screen with no borders, I didn't want it to ever be a girl hunched over a small computer, I wanted it large so I could shoot through the screen at any angle and also to give the feeling of this technology getting bigger and more sinister.
HC: What did the cast think of the themes of the movie?
PH: The cast loved the themes of the film, its what drew them to the script, whether it was the self harming, the addiction issues, the worry of overbearing technology, the creative process, the taking over of the corporate entities, replacing the purity of the artists vision. It touches on too many levels. And for Hannah it was as painful as giving birth. She really gave everything to this role, and she went through the mill. And her performance is phenomenal...
HC: The film looks at addiction in its many forms, would you say it has a lot to say about this issue?
PH: Oh yes, addiction comes in soo many forms. You can be addicted to anything for sooo many reasons. Whether it be alcohol, drugs, sex, sugar, technology, anything. When you see separation anxiety is a medically recognised condition it hammers home how addicted we are to technology. Addiction usually is filling a hole where there's something missing, and you always want to fill that hole, with something, with anything. You always want to chase highs that you've experienced, whether that's drugs, or success, or orgasms, or creative flourishes and endeavours. Our brain is anamazing thing, a piece of jelly with millions of neurological pathways, its amazing, its a computer highway, and anything can disrupt it, make the wiring go bad, whether physical or emotional, and that wiring can go wrong, cause us to crave the weirdest things, do the strangest things, its equally fantastic and self destructive...
HC: I feel it also has a lot to say about the creative process itself too, would you agree?
PH: Yes definitely, the whole film is a metaphor for writing a book. Its painful, like childbirth... You go through the whole gestation of the creating, you're protective of your little miracle, then you finally give birth to it, you show your close friends and family your creation, they all say how beautiful it is, then you give it to the world, in the cold light of day and then they tell you what they really think, in reviews, in social media, they can tear your creation apart, it can be soul crushing, you need to have a tough skin. In this day and age, where everyone is a critic, on IMDB etc, you need to just deal with it, some people will like what you did, others will hate it. You just got to hope that the ones that hate it will like the next one.
HC: The score is pretty cool, will we get a release of this?
PH: Yes there's definitely a plan to release it. its a very cool score by the very talented Si Begg...
HC: Are you a technophobe at all or do you embrace each new piece of technology?
PH: I get there eventually. I always say I'm not, but I do, it took me a while to get out of the stone age, on principle... But like most people it gets its claws into me, and I can't live without it... I'm defiantly now addicted to my tech.
HC: All of your movies are every different in tone, theme and content, is this deliberate?
PH: Yes, I like to tell different stories, I would never really want to just tell the same story or theme, I like to explore very different themes, character journeys etc... Although I think I'll give romantic comedies a miss.
HC: So, what are you working on at the moment?
I'm working on a dark thriller at the moment. Hopefully going to announce what it is soon.
HC: Paul Hyett, thank you very much.
MORE FRIGHTFEST Interview with Airell Hayles writer and co-director of They're Outside
Posted on Saturday 1st August 2020
FrightFest is once again on the horizon but this time, due to global events the event has become a virtual experience with all films being accessed online. Horror is once again sponsoring the First Blood strand of the event. Here we chat to Airell Hayles whose movie They're Outside mixes found footage and pagan horror genres to great effect.
HC: Where did the idea for They're Outside come from?
AH: This idea for They're Outside came from a couple of things. I remember as a kid hearing that my uncle suffered mild agoraphobia, and when I learned what it was, I was fascinated by this idea of some people being kind of scared to leave their homes. Of course, the recent Covid-19 events h...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Fionn and Toby Watts, directors of Playhouse
Posted on Saturday 1st August 2020
FrightFest is once again on the horizon but this time, due to global events the event has become a virtual experience with all films being accessed online. Horror is once again sponsoring the First Blood strand of the event. Here we chat to talented brothers Fionn and Toby Watts who have delivered a gothic, creepy piece named Playhouse.
HC: Was there one film or person who influenced or inspired you to become film makers?
FW: As a young boy I remember being absolutely blown away by the image of The Terminator's exo-skeleton rising from the flames. Around the same time I saw Candyman at a sleepover (rented by my friend's 'older' brother...) and it was such an i...SHARE: READ MORE Arrow Video FrightFest announces August Digital Edition line-up and Horror Channel sponsors talent-seeking First Blood strand
Posted on Tuesday 28th July 2020
The UK's most popular horror and fantasy film festival celebrates its 21st bloody year with a special Digital edition, showcasing twenty-five films, from Thursday 27th August to Monday 31st August, including seven world premieres and sixteen UK premieres. Ten countries are represented from four continents in a deadly, daring and diverse programme exclusively presented to UK audiences.
Passes and tickets will go on sale Saturday 1 August and details on how to access the event and choose which films to watch are on the FrightFest website. All film screenings will be geo-locked to UK audiences and only accessible from within the United Kingdom.
The men...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel highlights six summer weekend shockers in its August premiere line-up
Posted on Thursday 16th July 2020
August is a wicked month on Horror Channel, as the UK's most popular small-screen destination for genre fans presents six summer weekend shockers, five FrightFest hits including the UK TV premieres of Julian Richards, Reborn, a Carrie for the Z Generation, starring horror icon Barbara Crampton, Jordan Barker's Witches In The Woods, an unrelenting assault of pure terror, Alistair Legrand's highly unusual genre-blending chiller, The Diabolical and Milan Todorovic's sharp-teethed, seductive Killer Mermaids. All these films received FrightFest premiere screenings.
There is also a channel premiere for another FrightFest title, The Windmill Massacre, where Friday The 13th...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Tony and Ryan Smith co-writers of Volition.
Posted on Tuesday 7th July 2020
FrightFest 2019 delivered some amazing movies and one of the best was Volition from the talented brothers Tony and Ryan Smith. Now that the movie has been unleashed onto Apple TV, Prime Video and other Digital Platforms we chatted to them about this acclaimed movie and their plans for the future.
HC: You both hail from South Africa, what's the movie industry like in that country at the moment?
TDS: I believe the South African film industry is very healthy and it's a place Ryan and I would love to revisit and make a movie about. I have a number of filmmaker friends who film there and absolutely love the people, the scenery and the incredible crews.
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Posted on Wednesday 24th June 2020
Arrow Video FrightFest will go virtual over the August Bank Holiday, presenting up to twenty-five films from Friday 28th August to Monday 31st August inclusive.
There will also be additional online content including special guest intros, Q and As, and a short film showcase. Plus, some free Live events are at the planning stage. Passes and individual tickets will be available and go on sale early August. The films will be geo-blocked for viewers in the UK.
More details will be announced in the coming weeks, alongside the line-up of films.
Ian Rattray, FrightFest co-director said today: "Although we can't recreate the special atmosphere of our public gat...SHARE: READ MORE Important news from team FrightFest
Posted on Tuesday 2nd June 2020
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Alan Jones, co-director, said today: "Sadly, we won't be able to come together and celebrate our 21st year in the summer but rest assured, we will make our London Halloween event one to remember. FrightFest has always been about the genre community joining together, not just to embrace films but to demonstrate our unique spirit of supportive closeness".
Details on dates, venues, films and tick...SHARE: READ MORE 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 Arrow Video FrightFest announces Glasgow Film Festival 2020 line-up
Posted on Thursday 16th January 2020
Welcome the transgressive, the traumatic and the terrifying as Arrow Video FrightFest, the UK's favourite horror fantasy event, returns to Glasgow Film Festival for a 15th fantastic year, from Thursday 5 March to Saturday 7 March, 2020.
Thirteen is lucky for some as that's the number of new films being presented at the iconic Glasgow Film Theatre, embracing the latest genre discoveries from around the globe, spanning four continents, including one world, two European and seven UK premieres.
Alan Jones, FrightFest co-director, commented: "Welcome to another banner FrightFest and another invitation to explore the horror fantasy genre's fertile harvest bursting with creativity, ...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 Frightfest Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 PICK OF THE WEEK
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