ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Short Cuts To Hell 2 Finalist Interview: Joe And Lloyd Staszkiewicz - Hubert's Ghost
By James Whittington, Saturday 4th October 2014

s GhostThis year’s ShortCuts To Hell competition saw some incredibly inventive entries.

Here we speak to finalists Joe and Lloyd Staszkiewicz who are behind the paranormal short Hubert’s Ghost.

To vote for Hubert’s Ghost click here.

HC: Where did the idea for Hubert’s Ghost come from?

JLS: Despite it being a new idea we’d often talked about a way to expand the core concept behind Hubert’s Ghost for years. We've always been very fascinated with the origins and folklore behind Halloween. On that one night, the veil between the living and the dead is apparently at it's weakest, so in ye olden days people started dressing up in costumes in attempt to blend in with the evil spirits and go unnoticed. We’ve always thought about this and wondered what it would be like if this idea wasn't just confined to one night, and there was a really haunted town where people have to dress up all year-round. Also, every Halloween, you see blogs posting old-school pictures of how people used to dress up in those amazingly messed up, makeshift but awesomely creepy costumes. So we decided to combine that with the other story elements we had in place. Not only would these super-shit costumes keep costs down but they would give the film a very interesting style, with regards to character and costume design.

HC: Did it take long to write?

JLS: I probably took us about 30 minutes to write the first draft. We had a very clear idea of what we wanted. We then spent a few weeks tweaking and changing bits of the story and dialogue for various reasons. The three minute time constraint meant we had to be very strict with what went in the final script so we deliberated over it right up until we started shooting. We also had to ditch the part where 10,000 ghosts march on Hubert’s house and destroy it with ray guns before Hubert and his family escape to the Planet Of The Apes on a spaceship from the future. We weren’t sure that we could make that visual effect convincing enough.

HC: How much budget did you use?

JLS: We were allowed to spend £666 on the short as per the competition rules. This was one of our most expensive productions to date, costing about £30 which covered the cost of some paint, chopsticks, a bright orange harness and a load of ‘buy one get one free’ pot noodles. We try not to spend much. Mainly because we don’t have much. But I also think you don’t always need money to make something look great. Working with a strict budget really helps to focus your creativity. I’m probably only saying that because I’m bitter about rich people though.

HC: It has a wonderfully dark streak of humour running through it, were you inspired by any other horror/comedy movies?

JLS: We were inspired by a wide range of films and TV shows for this film. There’s obvious reference points like the films of Tim Burton, Wes Anderson and Laika. Really fun and quirky family films. But our main influence in writing and also in life is a 90s TV show that ran on Nickelodeon called The Adventures Of Pete And Pete. The main characters are two brothers, both called Pete. Their Mum has a metal plate in her head that picks up Mexican radio and the younger Pete has his own personal Superhero called Artie: The Strongest Man in the World. It’s utter genius and so funny without being stupid just for the sake of it. You really care about the characters in it and it has a lot of depth and heart. That’s something we aspire to.

HC: Did it take long to shoot and edit together?

JLS: It was quite a lengthy process. Definitely the most time we’ve ever put into a short film with regards to both filming and post production. We shot it over a weekend at an Oriental Brewhouse in Lincolnshire. I’m not really sure what one of those is but it looked great on camera. Eight of us worked on the film and all slept on the floor of the room that Hubert’s Ghost was mostly shot in. We didn’t get much sleep. Mainly because of the ghosts that kept throwing chess pieces and books at our heads. That could have been our brother Rowan, though. He was quite drunk by the time we decided to get some sleep. We’re always professional.

The post-production process took a few weeks. We had a lot of effects shots to complete, most of which were completely new to us. On top of that we wanted to spend a lot of time on the sound. I think the final sound mix had around 80 tracks of audio on it. We had a lot of fun doing it all though. Our parents had just opened a cafe in Nottingham so Lloyd and I would go down there every day and work on the film. Some of the older, regular customers often made snide comments about us wasting our time on “those machines” playing “Wars of The Warcrafts”. Little did they know we were actually playing Minecraft whilst scabbing free cups of tea.

HC: What was the hardest part of creating Hubert’s Ghost?

JLS: There’s always obstacles in film making but I wouldn’t say anything was particularly hard. Having challenges are part of the fun and it makes the end product so much more satisfying when you finally get there. The VFX shots were quite ambitious for us. For the most part, we went into filming without knowing whether we were going to be able to accomplish the shots that we had in our heads. We ended up pretty proud of what we achieved. If any Visual effects guru looked at it, they would probably laugh but I think for the majority of the audience that will see the short, it does the trick. Having said that, I suppose the toughest part was trying not to break any of the home owner’s valuable possessions whilst we were throwing people and objects around rooms and along floors. I’m quite proud that we left it unscathed.

HC: What did it feel like seeing your work on the Horror Channel?

JLS: Having your work broadcast to the general public is amazing. We feel very fortunate that Hubert’s Ghost has been screened at both FrightFest on the big screen and on the Horror Channel in the last few months. I’ll never get bored of seeing our films like that. We’ve both religiously tuned into the Horror Channel when Hubert’s Ghost has been shown. Every time it’s on we get picture messages from our friends who are also watching and feel as proud as we do that’s it’s being shown on TV.

HC: Do you have a plan as to how to extend this idea if it wins Short Cuts To Hell 2?

JLS: We always had the feature length idea in the back of our minds when working on the short. The style and much of the concept will carry over, but there will be a few key changes. Instead of the story being confined to the one haunted house, the whole town is super haunted, and so all the residents have to wear costumes. There will be such a weird and wonderful world that will aid a really interesting story. We are currently working on the script. Every story element is mapped out and we have a really clear idea of where we are taking it.

HC: Are you working on any other projects at the moment?

JLS: We are currently concentrating on developing the Hubert’s Ghost script. We both work full-time doing freelance video, so we are just spending every bit of free time on this. Hopefully one day we can dedicate a lot more time to our own projects, like Hubert’s Ghost. Also, I need to paint my dining room because it’s just been re-plastered. I’m putting that off.

HC: Joe and Lloyd Staszkiewicz, thank you very much.


MORE ARTICLES
Horror Channel to present a Halloween double-bill of Corin Hardy's The Hallow and Ante Novakovic's Fright Fest.
Posted in Features, Tuesday 15th September 2020
Horror Channel Halloween social

October boasts eleven premieres on Horror Channel, including a hellish Halloween night double-bill of Corin Hardy's impressive Irish monster movie debut The Hallow and Ante Novakovic's rampant Halloween slasher Fright Fest. Both channel premieres will be broadcast on Saturday 31 October, at 9pm and 10.55pm respectively.

There are also four prime-time UK premieres: Demon chiller Firstborn, with Misfits star Antonia Laura Thomas, hashtag horror Selfie From Hell, the haunting, award-winning Echoes Of Fear and the pint-sized gold-digger is back in the sequel, Leprechaun Returns.

There are five further channel premieres: Pet, a twisted tale of obsession and ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula to open Arrow Video FrightFest October 2020
Posted in Frightfest, Thursday 10th September 2020
FrightFest - October 2020 event - banner

Four years after Train to Busan was voted the most popular FrightFest Closing Night film ever, comes the hotly anticipated stand-alone sequel, Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula, which will open this year's Arrow Video FrightFest October event, courtesy of Studiocanal. The film will play on Thursday October 22, 6pm, across three screens at the Cineworld, Leicester Square.

FrightFest co-director Alan Jones commented: "Ask any die-hard FrightFester what their favourite ever Closing Night film was and they will say the fabulous Train to Busan. The continuous standing ovations, cheers and applause engendered by our sell-out screenings of that ins...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with the legendary actress Lin Shaye about being part of The Horror Crowd
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Wednesday 9th September 2020
Lin Shaye and Ruben PlaLin Shaye is an actress that need no introduction. Her screen work over the last few decades has seen her appear in countless movies such as Nightmare on Elm Street, Critters or more recently the Insidious series of movies. Here she chats about her career and her why she appeared in Ruben Pla's superb doc, The Horror Crowd.

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

LS: No, I never had the dream. Ever. I had the need to tell stories and from a very young age and my dad, when he tucked me in a night we would tell what we would call "Candyland Stories" and they were stories about a little girl named Linda, and they would start when she was just falling to sleep...

SHARE: READ MORE
The Walking Dead Delux gets six Charlie Adlard connecting covers
Posted in News, Wednesday 9th September 2020
The Walking Dead connected covers

Image/Skybound Entertainment is pleased to reveal a series of six highly collectible, connecting variant covers by Charlie Adlard, which will be unleashed over the course of the first story arc of The Walking Dead Deluxe full color editions. The iconic independent series that took the entertainment world by storm 17 years ago, The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman (Fire Power, Oblivion Song) and Charlie Adlard (Vampire State Building) will be reissued starting in October as The Walking Dead Deluxe and fully colored by Dave McCaig.

Deluxe editions of the series will also feature a variety of other variants including covers by David Finch, Tony Moore, Jul...

SHARE: READ MORE
Dawn of the Dead "the zombie movie to end 'em all" rises again in Limited Edition 4K UHD and Limited Edition Blu-ray
Posted in News, Wednesday 9th September 2020
DAWN_OF_THE_DEAD_3D_BD_SLIPCASE_PACK_ (1)

This Autumn, Second Sight Films presents the horror release to end all horror releases. Fans, aficionados and collectors are in for a treat as horror maestro George A. Romero's long-awaited, highly anticipated Dawn of the Dead, finally gets the home entertainment release it deserves.

Widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest horror films of all time, this seminal work has been painstakingly restored and arrives in two separate format releases: Dawn Of The Dead Limited Edition 4K UHD and Dawn Of The Dead Limited Edition Blu-ray on 16 November.

Both Box Sets arrive in stunning packaging featuring the original iconic poster art...

SHARE: READ MORE
Look to the skies... in November for Mothra on Blu-ray
Posted in News, Monday 7th September 2020
Mothra cover

Eureka Entertainment to release Mothra, Ishiro Honda's stunningly inventive monster adventure-fantasy, on home video for the first time in the UK. Available on Blu-ray from 16 November as part of The Masters of Cinema Series in a Limited Edition set of only 3000 copies, featuring a Hardbound Case, 60-page Perfect Bound Collector's Book & Reversible Poster.

One of the most iconic Japanese kaiju, Mothra has appeared in over a dozen feature films. Presented here is her debut, a gloriously vibrant piece of filmmaking that forever changed how kaiju eiga would be produced in Japan.

Following reports of human life on Infant Island, the supposedly deserted site of at...

SHARE: READ MORE
New label, Danse Macabre is coming soon
Posted in News, Saturday 5th September 2020
Danse Macabre

Jinga Films have announced the launch of their new distribution arm, Danse Macabre. Under the Jinga umbrella, Danse Macabre will be focused on the distribution of horror films in the English speaking territories, UK, Ireland, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Danse Macabre will also act as a horror sales sub-label within Jinga Films whilst Jinga itself expands to include a wider range of genres, including arthouse.

Much like Jinga Films, Danse Macabre is co-owned by Julian Richards and Rosana Coutinho. Julian was thrilled to confirm the news. "Danse Macabre will be the home for horror, run by horror fans for horror fans. We travel the world, select the best films and will br...

SHARE: READ MORE
The Circus of Horrors is coming to town
Posted in News, Saturday 5th September 2020
Circus of Horrors

A gem of classic 60s horror and an early example of British exploitation cinema, Circus of Horrors will be released on Blu-ray for the first time, fully restored with new bonus content, courtesy of Studiocanal's Vintage Classics Collection on 12th October.

Starring Anton Diffring (Beast Must Die, The Man Who Could Cheat Death), Erika Remberg (Mord in Rio), Yvonne Monlaur (The Brides of Dracula), Donald Pleasence (Halloween) and directed by Sidney Hayers (Night of the Eagle) from a screenplay by George Baxt, Circus of Horrors, with its depiction of voluptuous scantily-clad women meeting violent and sadistic ends amidst the lurid backdrop of the circus, is considered to be the third f...

SHARE: READ MORE
The Moorcock Library: Elric The Eternal Champion Collection
Posted in News, Saturday 5th September 2020
Elric book cover

Seminal sword and sorcery author Michael Moorcock weaves stunning blend of magic, heroism, and wonder as his legendary Eternal Champion Elric features in two rarely seen adventures, featuring artwork from legendary French artist Phillippe Druillet.

Based on Michael Moorcock's beloved original stories, through the brilliant artistry of James Cawthorne this book revisits and reimagines his iconic hero, Elric of Melnibone, nearly fifty years after his inception. Elric has been continuously in print since the 1970's, and has been a staple character in pop culture, having appeared in comics, album covers, song lyrics, and even role-playing games.

Essential reading for all fans o...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Steve Villeneuve, director of Hail to the Deadites
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Thursday 3rd September 2020
HailToTheDeadites-1FrightFest 2020 delivered some incredibly entertaining and informative documentaries. Hail to the Deadites from Steve Villeneuve is a celebration of the the Evil Dead series of movies and truly gets under the skin of what the franchise means to those who created it and those who are mega fans! Here Steve talks about this amazing doc.

HC: Can you recall the first time you saw an Evil Dead movie and what it was that grabbed your attention?

SV: I guess I was 13. I actually saw Army of Darkness first on television. Years later, spot the cover of Evil Dead 2 in a video store. Then, rent Evil Dead one without knowing it was the first film because here in Quebec, The Evil Dead is ca...
SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with our very own Emily Booth who stars in UK TV premiere of Shed of the Dead this Friday on Horror
Posted in Interviews, Wednesday 2nd September 2020
Emily_June2018_0361_retouch-7

The UK TV premiere of outlandish Brit Zom Com Shed of the Dead takes place Friday 4th September at 9pm. The movie stars Ewen MacIntosh, Lauren Socha, Kane Hodder, Bill Moseley, Michael Berryman, Brian Blessed and our very own Emily Booth. Here, Emily chats about this movie and what it was like to work with the legendary Michael Berryman.

HC: Are you a big zombie movie fan?

EB: If I'm completely honest it's not my favourite sub-genre within horror only because the genre has been so massively mined for all it's worth and I've never been particularly scared of them! However, there are certain stand out zombie films or even certain scenes that make me lo...

SHARE: READ MORE
Then, in the blink of an eye, it was all over
Posted in Frightfest, Monday 31st August 2020
FF 2020online-1_NEW

Arrow Video FrightFest 2020 Digital Edition has closed its doors. Over the last few days, the team have delivered on their promise, to make the event just as good apart as it would have been together.

The event contained the usual mix of horror genres that we've come to expect and exposed us to some seriously talented creatives. Features such as Blinders, Dark Stories and 12 Hour Shift delivered some of the most memorable moments which would have been amazing on a big screen.

If it was blood and gore you wanted, then Skull: The Mask and was the movie for you. Brutal and bloody this shows that there's some major talent movie making in Brazil. If you wanted laughs with...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Hannibal Rising
HANNIBAL RISING
Sunday 27th September
9.00 PM
Retreat
RETREAT
Tuesday 29th September
9.00 PM
Night Of The Big Heat
NIGHT OF THE BIG HEAT
Saturday 26th September
6.35 PM