INTERVIEWS

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Tom Paton, director of G-LOC chats about his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman
By James Whittington, Tuesday 14th September 2021
Tom Paton on the set of G-Loc-3-1

Ahead of the Horror Channel premiere of his sci-fi action thriller G-LOC, director Tom Paton reflects on why making movies is like solving a puzzle, his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman.

Horror Channel will be broadcasting the UK TV premiere of your Sci-fi adventure G-LOC. Excited or what?

It's honesty so strange to me every time Horror Channel debuts one of my movies. The channel has been such a big part of my life growing up and informing my taste in films, that it's always a "pinch myself moment" when I see something that I've made appear on their TV listing. G-LOC is much more of a SCI-FI adventure than any of my previous movies, so it's great that Horror Channel is supporting it and bringing it to UK audiences.

How difficult was it getting the film off the ground? It was shot in Yorkshire, right?

Films are always hard to get off the ground to be fair, I've just been incredibly lucky that there are people out there who have believed in me and the stories I want to tell and so that's made my journey through filmmaking slightly less painful. We shot the film in York in a town called Bubwith and I was there for around two months by the time we wrapped and really felt like Yorkshire had captured a bit of my heart. I've spent a lot of time there since.

One of the interesting layers in the film's narrative is the issue of 'space immigration' - the fact that Bran, the main character (played by Stephen Moyer), is banned from settling on another planet because he's a refugee from Earth. How did that idea form?

One of the things I've always loved about science fiction is the power to tell a very relatable story in a completely fictionalised setting. I've never been a fan of lecturing an audience or being lectured to myself when watching a film, and so I feel like my job as a writer is to create something that you can enjoy on its own or take away something from it that could change your perspective if you so wish. The idea of a planet being entirely built on immigration that suddenly decides it doesn't want any more immigrants arriving really came out of the situation in America and the plight of South American immigrants trying to cross the border. The concept was to switch that to a character who you wouldn't traditionally see trying to go through that type of journey so that the movie would act as "how would you like it?" cautionary tale.

It's got a great cast. Are you personally involved in the casting process?

I was very involved in this one yeah. I'd been a big fan of Stephen since True Blood and he's such a great actor that he really brought so much to the film that would not have been there had he turned it down. Casper Van Dien was always on my bucket list of actors to work with because I'm such a huge Starship Troopers fan. Landing him felt like a big deal for me and we've literally just finished another film together called Assailant (it's a return to my Horror roots so hopefully we'll be doing another one of these interviews for that one down the road.) Tala, John, Emily, Shayne and Mike were all an absolute pleasure to work with too, so I had a real blast on set with this one.

You're famously a self-taught filmmaker. Is that why you can easily move from directing and writing to producing and company-building? Some might call you a film entrepreneur.

Well, I appreciate the compliment. I think being self-taught certainly had its advantages in terms of teaching me the business side of filmmaking. Truthfully, it's about lateral thinking - making movies is a puzzle that you're having to figure out and the more aspects of the process you can master the easier it becomes in terms of finding your path to bringing it to life. It's very similar to a game of chess and if you move the wrong piece early in the game then it will come back to bite you in the ass later.

All your films flirt with the horror and sci-fi genres. Is that a space you feel particularly comfortable in?

I've always been in love with films as a form of escapism, so I think that's what attracts me to genre movies in general. But I think my real love is in survival tales - my two upcoming movies are both still in that survival genre but move away from sci-fi concepts entirely. I think my thing is to apply what makes a person tick in survival situation to different genres and see what happens. I have a comedy and a post-apocalyptic project in the pipeline, that whilst entirely different tonally, still explore what it means to survive in a tense situation that is beyond your control.

What advice would you give aspiring filmmakers just starting out?

With the technology available today, I honestly believe that if you think you've got something thematic to explore then there is nothing stopping you from getting two actors together and shooting something. The best way to become a filmmaker for a living is to just go and make something and prove to people that you've got the chops to hold a story together. We made my first film 'Pandorica' for hardly anything and if we did it today it would've cost even less with the available tech. Not only did just having the resolve to go and do that signal to the wider industry that I was capable and someone worth working with, but to this day it's still the most fun I've had on set and will always be one of my favourite things I've ever done. So go do it, you've got nothing to lose.

You've been called Britain's answer to low budget movie legend Roger Corman. A fair comparison?

I love hearing that. It was first said to me by a journalist that doesn't like my work and was clearly trying to insult me, but it was music to my ears and has kind of stuck. I love the idea that Roger Corman carved his own space within the industry and maintained that output for over fifty years. It was reading his autobiography that made me get off my ass and go and make my first film. So, to be in a position where I can even now get that comparison is a huge compliment to me and I can only hope that one day someone will read a book about my journey and set off on their own adventure.

You've already shot your next movie 400 Bullets, an edge-of-your-seat military action thriller. What are the release plans for that?

400 Bullets is very much for you if you like 'Assault On Precinct 13' and drops in the UK in September after a successful US run earlier this year. I'm really proud of the movie and if you love action then hopefully, you'll have a blast with this. I've also just wrapped on a movie called 'Assailant' with Casper Van Dien, Chad Michael Collins, Poppy Delevingne and Jeff Fahey that is a return to horror thrillers for me and should drop in 2022.

G-LOC airs on Horror Channel Friday September 17, 9pm.


Related show tags: G-LOC
MORE INTERVIEWS
Interview with Alexis Kendra, the writer and producer of The Cleaning Lady
Posted on Tuesday 15th June 2021
Alexis Kendra-4

Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of The Cleaning Lady on June 26, the film's star, writer and producer Alexis Kendra talks about playing a 'Goddess', coping with lockdown and why she can't watch horror films on her own.

HC: The Cleaning Lady is having its channel premiere on Horror Channel. Excited?

AK: I love you guys. Always have, always will. I'm honoured.

HC: It's a very disturbing film, dealing with abuse, addiction and hidden rage, yet the characters are sympathetic and have real depth. It's horror with a twisted heart. As a co-writer, alongside your director Jon Knautz, what were the main challenges in getting the balance right between acting and writing? <...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Jen and Sylvia Soska, directors of Rabid
Posted on Tuesday 1st June 2021
Soska sisiters-WEB-1

Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of Rabid on June 12, Jen and Sylvia Soska reflect on the challenges of re-imagining Cronenberg's body horror classic, meeting the great man and their new monster movie, Bob.

HC: Rabid is having its channel premiere on Horror Channel. Excited?

SS: The Horror Channel has supported us and our work since the beginning, so it's a special treat to have the newest film premiere there!

Js: We are so excited. Having Rabid on Horror Channel feels like coming home. They've been very kind to us. We are happy to have so many of our films on there.

HC: We all, of course, remember that Rabid was one of David Cronenberg's earli...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Mickey Fisher, creator of sci-fi series Extant
Posted on Thursday 6th May 2021
Mickey Fisher 1

Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with Seasons 1 and 2 of the CBS Studios/Amblin Television production of Extant, starring Halle Berry as astronaut Molly Woods, who returns home to her family, inexplicably pregnant after 13 months in outer space on a solo mission.

The series begins on Horror May 11th so, we decided to chat to its creator, Mickey Fisher about how the series came to be produced and what it was like working with Hollywood royalty.

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

MF: From the time I was maybe five or six years old I wanted to be an actor. Going to see Star...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Gary J. Tunnicliffe, writer and director of Hellraiser: Judgement
Posted on Saturday 20th February 2021
Gary J. Tunnicliffe doing SFX make-up on the set of Hellraiser Judgement

Director and long-time Hellraiser franchise SFX artist Gary John Tunnicliffe has a new entry into the Hellraiser series for us all to enjoy, Hellraiser: Judgement. Here he chats about this gritty horror.

HC: Was there one person or film which inspired you to want to be in the effects industry?

GJT: I can't remember one film that directly inspired me to be in the effects industry, it would definitely have been around 1982 (when I was 14) when The Thing AND American Werewolf in London came out (as well as a mass of FX laden movies) but more than anything it was when s...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Chee Keong Cheung, director of Redcon-1
Posted on Wednesday 17th February 2021
Director Chee Keong Cheung

Fast-paced British zombie thriller, Redcon-1 will be having its UK TV premiere on Horror on Saturday 20th February so we decided to chat with its writer and director Chee Keong Cheung about this acclaimed movie.

HC: Where did the idea for Redcon-1 come from and are you a fan of zombie movies?

CKC: I'm a huge fan of the zombie genre and in particular, Danny Boyle's '28 Days Later', Zak Snyder's 'Dawn of the Dead' and of course George Romero's original works which helped to pave the way for the genre and was a real inspiration for me growing up. I remember watching 'Saving Private Ryan' and 'Black Hawk Down' on TV and had always been drawn to the men on a m...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Scott Reiniger star of the original Dawn of the Dead
Posted on Sunday 15th November 2020
DAWN_OF_THE_DEAD_3D_BD_SLIPCASE_PACK_ (1)

On the eve of a stunning new 4K box set of George A Romero's Dawn of the Dead from Second Sight Films, we chat to one of its stars, Scott Reiniger about this incredible film.

HC: How did you first become involved with Dawn of the Dead?

SR: Well, I was in New York, I was a stage actor in New York and I went to college with Christine Forrest, who later became George's wife and she asked me if I wanted to audition for this film called Dawn of the Dead, she wanted to know if I knew who George Romero was and I said, "Yeah, he was the guy who directed Night of the Living Dead". So, they sent the script over and I read it and it was pr...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Steve Speirs, star of Concrete Plans
Posted on Sunday 1st November 2020
Concrete Plans poster

Welsh, Scottish and Ukranian dialects clash in Concrete Plans, a stand-out movie from Will Jewell which has just been released by FrightFest Presents via Signature. Its a super and very dark thriller with an outstanding cast headed up by Steve Speirs. Here he chats about this amazing piece.

Be warned this interview contains some spoilers about the movie. If in doubt watch the movie before reading. You have been warned!

HC: Was there one actor of one film you saw when you were younger that made you want to be an actor?

SS: Oh, I've never been asked that actually. When I started to get into watching films, I'd always wanted to be an actor for as long as I can ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Shayne Ward, star of The Ascent
Posted on Thursday 22nd October 2020
SHAYNE WARD NEW PROMO HEADSHOT 2020-6

A special ops team on a mission in a war-torn country find themselves trapped on a never-ending staircase that they must climb - or they die! This is the premise for Tom Paton's superb, action-packed horror The Ascent which is having its UK TV premiere at 9pm on October 23rd. Here its star, Shayne Ward tells all about his career to date and how he became involved in this sci-fi shocker.

HC: How much did the X-Factor change your life?

SW: Oh, like anyone can say who has been on it, who has done well on the show, it does change your life because it catapults you into the limelight, into the public eye. One day you are relatively unknown...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Ryan Kruger, writer and director of Fried Barry
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
Fried Barry

Anyone who as been to Grimmfest will know that the team behind the event try their very best to bring to their audience films that challenge and push as many envelopes as possible. Fried Barry from director Ryan Kruger is such a movie. Packed with mind-bending imagery and and emotional punch, this polarizing movie has to be seen just for its creativity and strong storytelling. Here, Ryan chats about this incredible movie.

HC: Where did Fried Barry come from?

RK: Fried Barry was born out of total frustration where I was in my career. I am known in South Africa as a music video director for doing narrative story telling within music vids and sharp visuals. Although I al...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Deiondre Teagle, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
thumbnail_Brandon Blood

Grimmfest 2020 is packed with new talent and one actor that stands out is Deiondre Teagle who styars in Charlie Steeds' grindhouse homage, Death Ranch. Here Deiondre explains his role and what it was like being part of such a bold movie.

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

DT: I've definitely known my whole life I've wanted to be an actor. One of my favourite movies of all time is the original Men In Black. When I was little (about 3 or 4 years old), I would re-watch my VHS copy of that movie over and over and over again. I would re-enact every scene. Since then, my love for acting and film has just grown. I have such a love for the...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Faith Monique, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
FAITH MONIQUE INTERVIEW PHOTO

Grimmfest 2020 is packed with world premieres and none so bold as Charlie Steed's Death Ranch. We chatted to one of its main stars, Faith Monique about her role in this brutal and brilliant movie.

HC: Was there one person you saw at a young age who inspired you to want to become an actress?

FM: Funny fact, I grew up without a TV! So, at a young age, I never had an actor that inspired me and to this day I still don't. Acting did not become a dream of mine until 2016 and for inspiration, I like to dig deep into my own soul to find truth to bring into each character.

HC: Are you a big fan of horror movies and were you aware of grindhouse and e...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Charlie Steeds, writer and director of Death Ranch
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020
CHARLIE STEEDS EDITED-23

Horror movies and controversy always go hand in hand but when they tackle serious issues by using extreme violence to hammer home a point they can be very worthy. Death Ranch from Charlie Steeds is having its world premiere at Grimmfest so we chatted to him about this very strong movie.

HC: What inspired you to write Death Ranch?

CS: I'd always wanted to try making a movie with a 70s Grindhouse/Exploitation style and was watching old Grindhouse trailers for inspiration. I came across the movie Brotherhood of Death, where black characters fight back against the KKK for some of the film (the tagline is 'Watch these brothers stick it to the Klan!') and that conce...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interviews Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Christine
CHRISTINE
Tuesday 21st September
9.00 PM
Avalon - Beyond The Abyss
AVALON - BEYOND THE ABYSS
Sunday 26th September
6.40 PM
Tales From The Darkside
TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE
Sunday 26th September
8.30 PM