Interview with Reese Eveneshen and Gabriel Carrer, co-directors of For the Sake of Vicious
By James Whittington, Saturday 24th October 2020
for-the-sake-of-vicious-posterFrightFest has always championed creatives from Canada and 2020 is no exception. A stand-out movie is the brutal shocker For the Sake of Vicious. Here co-directors Reese Eveneshen and Gabriel Carrer talk us through its production.

HC: Where did the idea come from?

The initial story was was from Gabe. We had talked it over at a mall food court one afternoon, the idea of the nurse coming home from a shift, and finding this guy holding another man hostage in her kitchen. And these was something intriguing about the story that made us both latch onto it and say that we should work on this together. The idea was born out of a certain frustration that we had brewing between the two of us. A frustration that was the result of our filmmaking careers not necessarily moving the way we wanted them to. We had both had films that were released around the same time (Defective & Death on Scenic Drive) that were not particularly well received and didn't have the legs we had hoped they would. There was a certain anger that was coming from that.

A lot of that anger spilled out into the script. It's a pot boiler, it's about putting people in an uncomfortable situation that forces them into fight or flight mode. Which I think is something that we've all collectively felt over the last few years with our current state of the world. On a less serious note, we both enjoy watching movies on the big screen and experiencing the audience reaction. We like that kind of spectacle. We wanted to make a movie that would be a ride for the audience, sort of an exercise in tension. How far can we stretch this out before it leads to this inevitable violent conclusion.

HC: You both co-wrote and co-directed the movie; how did you decide on who would write certain and parts and who would direct which scene?

The writing part of it was never an issue for us. Gabe did the initial story outline which he then presented to me. I took that, expanded into a larger treatment, and wrote the first draft from there. After, we would consult on story points and character motivations, but for the most part I was left to my own devices while writing the script. We shared the building of the story. Especially as we moved closer and closer to production. Such as setting the film over one night (when it was originally a few days), setting the film in the fall (it was originally set in the summer, though are eventual production dates dictated the fall setting), and finally deciding upon the Halloween setting. Having the movie take place on Halloween night seemed to be the big lightbulb moment, everything fell into place after that.

Because we ended up being in such a time crunch rushing the film into production, and because we also had to wear multiple hats on the production; we didn't have time to divide who was directing what. There wasn't any clear set of you're doing this scene and I'm doing this scene. You just put your backs together, tried to support each other as best you can and make the movie. It was easier to split directorial duties up in the sense that, for dramatic sequences for instance, Gabe will focus on visuals and work with the camera department, and Reese will focus on the story elements and work with the actors. You make that work and you give each other notes as you go along. When it comes to action sequences it's all hands on deck. It becomes a mechanical process where you both work with the stunt team and the camera team to pull off these scenes to the best of all your abilities. At that point you're not necessarily directing as you are more providing guidance to those who are more experienced in that field.

HC: The cast are simply superb, did they have much rehearsal time together?

The reoccurring theme here is going to be that we just didn't have enough time. Scheduling is always an issue when making a film, and by the time you negotiate with agents, you work out your own schedules and then you sit down... you realize there's no time for you to have rehearsals when the shoot is two weeks away. The best we had was a four-hour read through of the script with the core three leads. We were able to talk about the characters, get a feel for our personalities and emotionally prep-each other for how hard the shoot was going to be. Ultimately though this is where co-directing became a very big asset on set. If Gabe could focus on setting the stage for a scene, working out the lighting and camera work; then Reese could take the actors and work out the beats and character emotions of a scene. We'd take the time between scene set-ups to rehearse in the moment and figure out what's going to work vs. what wasn't going to work. I think rehearsing for a movie like this would have been fruitless. Because of our budget and time, we constantly had to rework scenes just before we shot them.

HC: The fight sequences are breath-taking and brutal. Did they take long to choreograph?

We had phenomenal stunt co-ordinators (Tj Kennedy & Adam Ewings), who were always calm, professional and never, ever stressed out. The fight scenes were very detailed in the script, they provided a good blueprint for how we wanted them to play out on camera. We were able to work closely with Tj beforehand and specifically outline exactly what we wanted. Which is that we wanted fights that didn't feel planned and rehearsed, we needed these to be bar room brawls. Where issues came to pass were the lack of time on production. We didn't get our house location till just before we shot the film and that didn't give the stunt team much time to prep within the actual space.

Furthermore, because of scheduling it was nearly impossible to get the cast, crew and stunt-team together before hand to rehearse. All the fight scenes where choreographed and rehearsed on the day. We had figured out earlier that that's how this would play out, so we scheduled our shoot around the fight scenes to give them some time to breath. The action is planned out, broken down safely and carefully, and it's just a matter of getting in there and shooting it. With the exception of some long hours on set (and the physical toll), they were all relatively simple to get through.

HC: How many buckets of fake blood did you use?

We can confidently say we only used three quarters of one five litre bucket. The remaining blood is sitting in that bucket, wrapped in a bag and in Reese's garage. The shooting draft is far gorier and more graphic than what ended up on screen. Unfortunately, due to do some budgetary restraints on set, we weren't able to go as far as we thought we would. That might be a good thing, people have already been saying that the film is too bloody and violent... they have no idea what they've been spared! At the end of the day though the best used expression for filmmaking is "less is more". There's a scene in the film where a character has a crowbar jammed into their head. We don't show any of it, and the reaction is always far greater than some of the violent acts that are actually shown in detail.

HC: It's a dark, chilling film, which makes the viewer think about what they would do in each situation, what was the atmosphere like on set?

It was a very difficult shoot for all of us involved. It just felt like we didn't have enough time to really get things to a place where we wanted them to be. And we were constantly in flux with what crew we had access too, what crew we didn't... it became a hodgepodge of people we know vs. people we've never worked with before. Gabe and myself were also wearing several different hats during production. And we both come from a very specific school of filmmaking, which is the "do it yourself" mentality. And that also means that we push ourselves harder than most people are probably willing to be pushed otherwise. And when you're asking cast and crew to work on a smaller budgeted production, it's understandable that they may not want to be pushed that hard. And you've got 10-15 people crammed into a very tiny house, during a cold fall, with long hours each day, complicated scenes to pull off... it was tough. Tensions were often incredibly high each day, especially as we got to our last week and some of us, we're even communicating with each other anymore. But that's what it is, filmmaking can be a little bit like going into battle sometimes. It's how you emerge on the other side of it that counts.

HC: The score is almost a character in itself, pushing forward the narrative with its tens building "throbbing". Did it take long to get this right?

The score was being tinkered around with before the film went to camera, but there was some hesitation on how much score would be used. Originally, we talked about having no score in the film at all. Gabe goes under an alias called "Foxgrndr" and had scored a few films before. Given some of our limitations (and the fact that we didn't know how much score we actually wanted), he seemed like a good fit as composer. Some sounds and noises he produced were already banked up.

On set, Gabe had an iPhone app that enabled him to come up with simple synth notes and keys, then it linked to his home computer where it was saved. In between long setups and lunch breaks, he was sometimes walking around messing with sounds with his portable synth apps, capturing some sort of mood. In a sense the score was a character on set, because the root of that "throbbing" sound was literally created on the set itself. While Reese was editing the film, Gabe was sent clips from the film to score. Since a lot of skeleton sounds and arrangements were made on set and before shooting, there was a solid ground to launch from sonically. Then we both pieced it together over a couple months while we were in post-production.

HC: Will you be nervous when the movie shows at FrightFest?

We're just both so honoured to be included in this year's line-up for FrightFest that it kind of numbs any nervousness that we may have towards it. I know we're both feeling deflated this year due to the lack of physical presence at these film festivals. Obviously Covid-19 has a very serious hold on the world at the moment, we both respect and understand that. Part of the joy with filmmaking is sharing these movies with audiences across the globe. When you make a film like this, one that has an action-packed final half, you know you're making an audience movie. And to be denied the opportunity to watch it with an audience... to meet with other filmmakers on the circuit, to be with these festival programmers; it's heart breaking. Part of the job is being able to network, and we're not able to do that this year. But at the same time, we need to be safe right now and have each other's backs!

HC: So, what are you up to at the moment?

From August 2019 to September 2020 we worked extensively on For the Sake of Vicious. Including having to do pretty much all of post-production during the initial break out of Covid-19. It's been a very busy year for us. Now we're both back to being movie fans again, and to talking about other film ideas. We're both working on separate projects (that we're still actively involved in each other's films regardless), and we're working with our partners at Federgreen Entertainment and Raven Banner Entertainment who helped get Vicious off the ground! Hopefully later next year we'll both be behind the camera again for these films. And there's always hope that there's a Vicious Part Two on the horizon...

HC: Reese Eveneshen and Gabriel Carrer, thank you very much.

Interview with Sean Nichols Lynch writer and director of Red Snow
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021

Final film of Arrow Films FrightFest Online Edition 2021 is a fangtastic (sorry) twist on the vampire movie, Sean Nichols Lynch's Red Snow. We had a quick chat about this blood-splattered shocker which has a deep vein of humour running through it.

HC: Where did the idea for Red Snow come from?

SL: I was trying to get a different horror feature financed and was struggling to get it off the ground. It was a frustrating period for me, and I honestly felt like I'd never get to make another film. I happened to run into Dennice, who I knew from my film school days at San Francisco State. We got to talking and I started to think about how great it would be to just drop everything and ...

Interview with Alex Kahuam writer and director of Forgiveness
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021
Alex Kahuam 1 Forgiveness

Director Alex Kahuam has brought to Arrow Films FrightFest Online Edition a brutal and intelligent film, Forgiveness. Almost devoid of dialogue, it's an excursion into the raw side of reality. Here he chats about this movie and his plans for the future.

HC: Was there one movie you saw when growing up which made you want to go into filmmaking?

AK: When we were kids my brother and I my parents took us a lot to the theaters and this is where everything began for me. I just loved the experience so much and till this day I thank them because they triggered this on me and for many years filmmaking has been my life. While growing up Hollywood films have always be...

Interview with Sarah Appleton co-writer and co-director of The Found Footage Phenomenon
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021
Sarah Appleton

The final documentary of FrightFest Online Edition looks to one of the most misunderstood genres out there. The Found Footage Phenomenon dissects this often over-looked type of movie with interviews from many key players. We chatted to co-writer and co-director Sarah Appleton about this very informative piece.

HC: Have you always been a fan of horror movies?

SA: Yes, I grew up watching Hammer horror movies and Japanese horror because my dad was a film critic, so I used to look through all his VHS tapes he'd taped off the late night tv and pick something to watch. Evil Dead II was one of the first horror movies I ever saw, aged about 8.

HC: Can you recall the first fo...

Taxi rides and crumbling hotels - Day 5 of Arrow Video FrightFest Online Edition: Part 2
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021

As we enter the final evening of Arrow Films FrightFest Online Edition 2021 there's still plenty to look forward to starting with a belter from directors Brad Baruh and Meghan Leon, Night Drive. Ride-share app driver Russell picks up his Hollywood fare Charlotte... and his whole life turns upside down. Slipping him a wad of cash, she hires him for the rest of the evening. Their first stop at her ex's place sees Charlotte running out the door clutching a tiny suitcase being chased. They make their escape, but accidentally run over a pedestrian, setting in motion a chain of gruesome events that will go to places Russell could never have imagined in his wildest dreams. What starts off as a simpl...

Interview with Josh Stifter director of Greywood's Plot
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021

There are a number of monochrome movies at FrightFest this year and one of the stand out ones is Josh Stifter's Greywood's Plot so we had a quick chat with him about it.

HC: Was there one movie you saw when you were younger that made you want to be in the filmmaking business?

JS: Beetlejuice. I saw it when I was 5 years old. My family all got the flu and my mom went and rented it. This was back in the day when you didn't have access as easily to movies so if you rented a movie, it often would get watched a couple times before it was returned. Since we had nothing else to do, we all just laid around sick watching Beetlejuice over and over. I became obsessed. It was the first tim...

Interview with Conor Stechschulte writer of Ultrasound
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021

Based on his own graphic novel 'Generous Bosom', Conor Stechschulte has written a tight and tense script for Ultrasound which is showing today at Arrow Films Fright Online Edition. We chatted to him about the process of bringing his original idea to the big screen.

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

CS: I did! At about 7 or 8 I went from wanting to be a fighter pilot to wanting to be a writer. My formal education is in visual art, but I've always had narratives at the heart of all the creative work that I make and have never really stopped writing in one form or another.

HC: Was there any one person who inspired you?

CS: I can't...

Interview with Rob Schroeder director of Ultrasound
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021

The feature debut of Rob Schroeder, producer of Sun Choke and Beyond The Gates, Ultrasound is a startling puzzle box Sci-Fi mystery and playing today at Arrow Films FrightFest Online Event. We chatted to Rob about this chilling movie.

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

RS: Not really. When I was young, I loved going to the movie theatre every week, but I didn't see filmmaking as a career because in my town I didn't know any filmmakers. The movies were always so special for me and even sacred, so at a young age I did sense the magic.

HC: How did become attached to this project?

RS: I developed the project, by reaching out to Cono...

Interview with Peter Daskaloff director and co-writer of Antidote
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021
Peter Daskaloff Anitdote

Peter Daskaloff has brought his nerve-jangling movie Antidote to FrightFest Online Eidtion 2021 so we chatted to him about this complex and intriguing movie.

HC: What is your writing method when working alongside someone else?

PD: I usually write alone. But for Antidote, I had to hire a co-writer because the subject was complex. I needed another set of eyes to look at it from outside my box. Matt Toronto was recommended to me by my executive producer, Ian Michaels, who has worked with Matt before. The collaboration was a bit bumpy, but the resulting script turned out pretty good.

HC: How did you go about casting the movie?

PD: I had a casti...

Interview with Francesco Erba writer and director of As in Heaven, So on Earth
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021
Francesco Erba As In Heaven director

As In Heaven, So On Earth mixes the found footage genre with incredible animation to deliver a truly unique take on the format. The movie effortlessly moves from its gothic animation to cutting edge technology footage and brings together a tale which is emotional and utterly heart breaking in equal measure. We chatted to its writer and director Francesco Erba as it plays at FrightFest Online Edition 2021.

HC: Where did the idea for As in Heaven, So on Earth come from?

FE: As in Heaven, So on Earth was born not only from one specific idea but, as very often occurs, from many different ones, different influences and life experien...

Interview with Casey Dillard actor and writer of Killer Concept
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021

If you managed to catch Driven the other year at FrightFest then you'll need to catch Killer Concept today. Writer Casey Dillard is back alongside director Glenn Payne but this time serial killers are the target. We chatted to Casey about this movie.

HC: It's been a couple of years since we last chatted, apart from Killer Concept, what have you been up to?

CD: Mostly avoiding Covid and trying to find work-arounds so that I can still perform safely.

HC: Where did the idea for Killer Concept come from?

CD: Glenn wanted to make a simple movie with minimal people while our core filmmaking team was unable to go to work so we kicked around a lot of ideas and KC wa...

Interview with Glenn Payne director and actor from Killer Concept
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021

If you managed to catch Driven the other year at FrightFest then you'll need to catch Killer Concept today. Director Glenn Payne is back alongside writer Casey Dillard but this time serial killers are the target. We chatted to him about this movie.

HC: It's been a couple of years since you brought the superb movie Driven to FrightFest, how was that movie received across the world?

GP: Thank you for the kind words! We've felt very blessed by how warm the reception's been for Driven. We knew the story was different, given the entire thing takes place inside one vehicle, but the characters really seemed to resonate with people. I think that's a huge testament to the per...

Interview with Chad Crawford Kinkle writer and director of Dementer
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021
Chad Crawford Kinkle Dementer Image 2

A movie which is bold not only with its storytelling but its casting is playing today at FrightFest. Dementer from Chad Crawford Kinkle, is an emotional, raw and very real feeling movie built around a care home which delivers some of the most effective acting you'll see at the event this year. Here he chats about this superb film.

HC: Where did the idea for Dementer come from?

CK: The idea was really years in the making. I had always wanted to do a film with my sister but my mind always went to doing a documentary of some sort. Then one year at Sundance, I watched the movie The Tribe and it sparked an idea that I could set a narrativ...

Frightfest Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
Fright Night
Monday 6th December
10.50 PM
Friday 10th December
9.00 PM
Tales From The Darkside
Sunday 12th December
8.30 PM