1. What brings you to Australia?
I’m here to promote transmission’s theatrical and DVD release of
our 8 horror films (Husk, Seconds Apart, Fertile Ground, The
Task, Prowl, Scream of the Banshee, 51 and Re-Kill) which we
produced under our newest Horror Brand, After Dark Originals.
2. How did you get into horror
films? From a very young age I was fascinated with horror
films. I first watched The Exorcist and The Omen at the age of
5. Both films really shaped my views on what a good classic
genre film should be. I followed those up with 80’s classics
like Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street and loved seeing
how much an audience could really sink into the alternate
reality of horror….plus, those films make great date movies.
Also, my mother worked as a production co-ordinator in Toronto
and often had me on set with her from the age of 4 on.
Basically, films became my babysitter.
3. What is it that you enjoy
about this genre? I like the intensity that horror films
have. Being able to create suspense and really shock people has
always been a passion of mine. And with horror, you can have
fun with the technical side too. The make-up and special
effects are a blast in this genre. The lighting is extremely
interesting, and always gives the set a spooky vibe. This genre
has always been a personal preference of mine, and I just really
enjoy making these types of films.
4. Most challenging aspect of
this genre? I would have to say the most challenging aspect
of this genre is scaring the same people over and over again.
We constantly have to come up with new ideas, and always have to
stay one step ahead of the game to make sure we choose the most
original scripts. Horror fans today are so desensitised from
the genre, and it’s an enormous challenge to always have to
create new ideas that will suffice with today’s audiences.
5. How did you come up with the
idea of After Dark Films? Originally it started when I
wrote, directed, produced and self-distributed, An American
Haunting with Sissy Spacek and Donald Sutherland. Theatrically
it did quite well in the US, coming in #2, against Tom Cruise in
Mission Impossible 3. We had previously made a deal with
Lionsgate to distribute the DVD for us and they were so
impressed with the Theatrical showing they suggested a longer
term deal, with us becoming a mini-studio, almost a horror arm
of Lionsgate, distributing films theatrically while they put
them out on DVD for us. As the year’s progressed we’ve now moved
out of the Acquisition/Distribution game and back into the
Production distribution role, which is really where our passion
is…creating the types of films that our fans have expressed
6. Tell us a little about Husk
and Seconds Apart… In 2005 or 2006 we saw Husk as a short
film in Sun Dance. It was such a good film that we talked to
Brett Simmons about expanding it into a feature length film. We
then actually had to grow an entire cornfield in Iowa to shoot
the film. It took about four months for the corn to grow to the
right height so we could shoot the movie.
SECONDS APART THE MOVIE
We were excited about Seconds Apart
as soon as we read the script. We had a huge casting session
for the film, and it was actually Brian Singer who suggested our
stars. The Entin twins were amazing. They are A-list talent,
and their work ethic is just top notch. The creepy characters
that they play in this film really add to the original premise
7. As a movie maker, which actor
would you most like to work with? Well, there’s a different
talent out there for every movie. I’d have to have the perfect
script in mind before I could tell you who the perfect actor
would be, but of course I’d love to work with De Niro or Pacino…who
8. What about which actor would
you most like to “kill” in one of your movies? I’m not a
violent person, and I would never want to “kill” anyone. But,
let’s just say I could have fun writing a Twilight parody where
everyone dies at the end.
9. American Haunting helped
establish you in the film in industry, why do you think this
film was so popular? My favourite types of scary movies
have always been the ones that are based on true stories and
actual events. We visited the town of the Bell Witch and walked
the same floors, and slept on the same beds. Everywhere we went
there was this creepy aura surrounding us, and all the locals we
met were believers in the legend. This, in turn, made us
believers as filmmakers. All we had to do was put this truth on
film, and let the story tell itself. Audiences respond to the
truth, because it something they can truly believe in.
10. What was it like working
with two of Hollywood’s greats in American Haunting? I
really wanted them to do the film but I didn’t actually think
I’d ever get them! Don was on my wish list for John and he
worked out perfectly. His agent actually represented Sissy, and
that’s how we got her on board. What can I say, it was a dream
come true to work with such amazing talent.
AN AMERICAN HAUNTING
11. What is your favourite
horror movie and why? Growing up, it was really The
Exorcist, The Omen, and Halloween. But there was this one ghost
story from the early eighties that really resonated with me
called The Changeling. It had such a creepy feel to it, and it
scared me more than I thought any movie could scare at the
time. I will never forget the rush I got from that feeling.
12. Do you believe in the
supernatural? (If so, any stories?) I love the supernatural
genre, especially the ones based on true stories and actual
events. When we were filming American Haunting, we visited the
original cabins that the Bell family lived in back in 1818. It
was the middle of the summer and about 90 degrees inside and
out. We noticed a closed door in one of the cabins, and asked
the locals what was on the other side. They chuckled amongst
each other, and told us that we did not want to know. So, of
course, being the horror characters that we are, we had to know
what was on the other side! We opened the door, and as soon as
we stepped through, it was like BAM! Freezing cold air just
slapped us in the face. It was 90 degrees on one side of the
door, and ice cold on the other. We asked the locals why it was
like that, and they just shrugged and told us that the room has
always been like that. And that was their explanation.
13. What is one concept that has
NEVER been done in the horror genre before? After Dark
Originals. You’re looking at it. We are now the number one
horror brand in America because we are the only company to
produce eight horror films in one year, much less for several
years in a row. I hope we continue to set ourselves apart and
make the horror genre proud.
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS THE MOVIE
14. Dungeons & Dragons the
movie… it was a pop culture hit. Did you play the dice game
before making this movie? I used to play the game and loved
it. I’ve had the idea of making this movie since I was a young
teenager. Believe me, it was no easy task making this project
happen. A lot of producers laughed me out of the door.
15. Will you do a sequel to this
film? We have done smaller Straight to TV/DVD sequels….in
fact we are working on D&D 3 and 4 right now, but yes we are
always open to the idea of doing a larger budget Sequel or
Remake to the 1st film.
16. Any spoilers that you can
tell our readers? Ha ha. Nice try, but you’ll just have to
come see for yourselves!