Your upcoming movie A Killer
Conversation - in a few words,
what is it about?
In a nutshell, we can
only imagine how we would feel should we answer the door to a burglar ... well this film turns all those thoughts upside down.
How did you get involved with the
project in the first place?
I was working with the producer
Melanie Denholme [Melanie
Denholme interview - click here] on another project, and she asked if
I would be interested
in reading the script as I'm known for being a one-man band and that was
what she was looking for, someone who could shoot, direct and edit the film.
I read the script on a journey home from Bristol to Gatwick and literally
could not put the script down, I messaged the producer half way through
reading to inform her that I wanted to be part of it.
As far as I know, A Killer
Conversation is your first comedy, right? So what can you tell
us about your directorial approach, and how does making a comedy differ
from directing drama?
had made one very short comedy horror in the past but this was my first
full blown comedy feature and it was so much fun. Having become familiar
with the script I knew a horror approach would be best-suited to the
project but I wanted to push the visual style further than I had done before, and so jumped in with both feet and went that one step further
hammer and tong. Having so far edited the first two scenes I believe I made that choice well and what will emerge will be a contradiction to
How would you describe A Killer
Conversation's brand of humour, and which kind of humour do you
I'm fully a fan of toilet
humour and grew up with shows such as The Young Ones and Bottom.
fond fan of the Carry On-films - but the humour in this film is definitely
firmly set in the dark side. There is a definite dry black humour evident
in the script and I loved every minute of it. Luckily working close with
the writer during the shooting process, more comedic elements from our
conjoined mind made its way to the screen.
confined in almost its entirety to one set. Did that pose a serious
challenge, also aesthetically?
was both thrilled and concerned at the one-location idea of the film, with
only three cast members I wanted to give every one of them the screen
presence they deserved, and I was a little worried about getting the camera
into the tight spots in order to capture my vision. Luckily on some of
the more tight shots the assistant (Adam Lanfranchi [Adam
Lanfranchi interview - click here]) had brought his Canon 5D, which
was a little more suitable to some angles than my Canon XLH1.
However I was amazed at how quickly we managed to alter the set and give
such more realism to the timeframe of the film.
Let's talk about your
cast for a bit: What can you tell us about your leading lady (and
producer) Melanie Denholme [Melanie
Denholme interview - click here]?
great - I met her back in
2011 during a paranormal investigation I was filming with the cast and
crew of another film, she was one of the actresses in that movie (Paranormal
Haunting: The Curse of the Blue Moon Inn) but it wasn't until
another paranormal endeavour where we worked more together (Team Impact
Investigates). She is a talented lady who is very determined and goal-orientated.
There is no stopping this woman so keep your eyes out for her.
Her performance of Pauline was a great transformation, she really took on
board the personality of a right stuck-up bitch and yet still managed to
bring enough charm to the character to intake the audience.
As far as I know, you
brought Ryan Hunter [Ryan Hunter
interview - click here] to the project. Why him, and what else is there to say
Ryan is a great guy, I met him
at a festival back in 2008 where he was promoting a film he was in and I was promoting
Animal Soup. I was so impressed by his performance that I knew I would eventually cast him in a film. It was in 2010 when
I put in
to action my thriller Monitor where I hired him as one of the leads.
His performance in that film is amazing and I'm really grateful worked
with him, his knowledge of the filmmaking process is impressive and he's
always willing to help out with the more mundane tasks. I've since gone on
to work with him in Forest of the Damned 2 and we have discussed a few
other projects, including a comedy script he himself has written. I knew Ryan
would be great for this role as he is a very funny guy and again,
like Mel a very dedicated actor. I knew it would be challenging as it's his
character that is in 99% of the shots and as I'm sure he'll tell you if
you ask, he had a great time in the role too - so many times the comedy on
script was so good that we the cast and crew would be laughing on set and
I'd have to call cut.
Last but not least Rudy Barrow [Rudy
Barrow interview - click here] - a few words
With the character of Rudy I was originally concerned as
I thought by wearing a balaclava a lot of the
physical ability of the actor would have to be in his body rather than
axial expressions. I made a compromise and changed the style of mask thus
allowing us to see the eyes - by doing so we get a treat, Rudy is a great
actor and his character is really brought to life. The change in mask also
allowed Rudy to concentrate more on his actions rather than his dialogue,
so we could later ADR his lines in. I knew Rudy was good in a silent role
as I had seen one of his previous films, and it was that element I wanted
to have with the burglar, I wanted a character almost like Jason Vorhees,
who is imposing without having to say anything. Rudy brought with him a
very dead-pan element to his lines that really heighten the comedy of his
In all honesty, what did you think when you
first heard A Killer
Conversation's writer Michael Haberfelner (which would be me) [Michael
Haberfelner interview - click here],
of all things a self-appointed
movie critic, would be on set for the entire shoot? And, well ... how did
Melanie Denholme, Rudy Barrow, Ryan Hunter,
Michael Haberfelner, Paul Hobday, David V.G. Davies, Adam Lanfranchi
Honestly, I was a little worried as I was new to the script and you had written in 20
years ago - I didn't want to mess with your vision too much, but I know
you had faith in me and that was comforting. I also appreciated the fact
you were there when there were times where we added to the script and changed a
few scenes, had you not been there I would have been more reluctant to make
On set, you were a very funny guy, and we all had a great laugh during the making
of this film.
Conversation was shot in a
mere three days - did you think that was even doable before the shoot, and
would you do it again in such a limited timeframe?
It was very exhausting as we
all had very little sleep over the weekend, and myself and Mel had just
come from another project with very little sleep, but we all managed to
pull it together and the filming went really well. There were a couple of
scenes that were so funny to shoot (although they really shouldn't have
been) that delayed our schedule slightly but we only overran by a few
hours and considering we only really rolled cameras for 2 days and had one
day rehearsal I think we all managed really well.
Would I do it again? I
thinking right afterwards not anytime soon (haha) - but yes, I will definitely work on a film
again with a similar schedule.
can you tell us about the actual on-set atmosphere, and a few on-set
One scene which
definitely should not be seen as a funny one really tickled all of us
during the filming, so much so that at one point Ryan had to leave the
room and I turned my back to the camera and we really had difficulty in
not laughing. I think it actually took us 40 minutes to nail that 30
during the shoot of A Killer
Conversation, someone (it
wasn't me) suggested a sequel. Your thoughts?
I knew right
away I would definitely work with
the same cast and crew again, and at the time I didn't think it would be a
direct sequel, more another film in another setting just with the same
cast all playing different characters - but when you emailed us all with so
much excitement that you had a feasible idea for a direct sequel I was
already looking for a pen to sign up for the film. Having now read the
script I can definitely see the film happening very very soon.
(other) future projects you'd like to talk about?
I've got my film
currently heading out to festivals and hoping for a distribution deal soon
[Monitor interview - click here].
I also have my segment of a horror anthology called Three's a Shroud
and Forest of the Damned 2. Plus a tv show and a new horror-based
website all happening this year - and so many scripts I'm looking at for
2013, including a werewolf project and a couple I cannot mention just yet.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Having now done comedy,
thriller, horror and documentary, U think my next step might be Sci-Fi!
for the interview!