Your upcoming movie The Tour
- in a few words, what is it
The Tour is an idea I wrote with
Damon Rickard [Damon
Rickard interview - click here] about 18 months ago. Itís a pretty
clichťd idea, the simple
story of two girls that get charmed into taken a tour round a haunted
house and then somewhat regret it.
Like with many short films we
looked for a story which we could afford first and foremost but also one
we liked. Itís a horror film that we wanted to feel has ambition an
idea that could be easily expanded into a feature.
How did the project come into being in the first
place, and what were your inspirations when dreaming it up?
and I often watch films together, specifically horror films and it
was during one of these sessions we discussed the idea. Iíve always been
a huge fan of film and in the first shot I made I did about five contra
zooms - because I loved Jaws so much. I think looking back at The Tour I
can see so much wish fulfilment in the script. Itís our love letter to
the horror movies we love.
can you tell us about your film's look and feel, and its approach to
Since it was our first stab at horror, we had to feel our way through the job a little. We didnít set
out to mimic any style as such but wanted to keep the cameras moving and
shoot voyeuristically as much as possible.
We even added a bit of 1st person
hand held footage too.
We shot the film on two cameras, one was a Black Magic which we shot 4K on (I canít recommend this
camera enough itís ace) and the second was an Alexa which I often
shoot my promos on.
Do talk about your co-director Damon Rickard [Damon
Rickard interview - click here] for a bit, and what was your
collaboration like? And how did you two hook up in the first place?
met working at a video store when I was seventeen and have been great
friends since over the last 18 years. I may have had more experience than
Damon going into this project but he was the real energy on getting
project going. Without Damon thereíd be no Tour.
film stars American scream queens Jessica Cameron [Jessica
Cameron interview - click here] and Heather Dorff [Heather
Dorff interview - click here] - so how did you get them, what did
they bring to the table, and what was your collaboration like?
was Damon that suggested Jessica and Jessica that suggested Heather as far
as I know. I initially thought it could be a risk as we didnít formally
cast them as such and I knew if we ballsed up, re-shoots would be
incredibly difficult. But they were amazing. Like properly amazing. Great
people / passionate about the work and really supportive to a pair of first timers still learning the ropes. Tom
Gordon was cast more traditionally but
not only was he great in the audition and looked the part, I knew he had to
the right sort of personality for the team weíd put together.
Tom Gordon, Heather Dorff, Jessica Cameron
talk about the rest of your key cast and crew for a bit, and why exactly
Bell is a DOP Iíd done some advert work with and he brought so much to
the film, with his knowledge of lighting. He was probably the
filmís true hero. Also huge respect has got to go to Annette
Rickard for being an utter legend throughout the shoot rallying the
team and putting so much energy into the project.
As far as I know, The Tour
was filmed in
a genuinely haunted house - so what can you tell us about working in a
location like that, and what were the challenges but also the advantages
of filming there?
had a great atmosphere and we shot really late into the night.
Shooting there with the lights off in just torchlight was quite an intense
experience but so much fun.
What can you tell us about the shoot
as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
was a two day shoot with about 160-180 shots so it was all a bit hell for
leather. I was blown away by the crew we assembled, especially as I knew
they werenít getting paid much if any. The cast were great and gave the
project so much energy during filming and afterward with their support.
Damon and I couldnít have asked for more.
The $64-question of
course: Any idea when and where will the film might be released onto the
general public yet?
for June / July but with the favours weíre asking we canít guarantee
it. We have to wait for people as and when theyíre available to get the
film over the line.
Any future projects
you'd like to share?
watched Possession recently and itís really stuck with. So much
arresting imagery in it. Iím currently writing up an idea based loosely
on the effect that film had on me.
What got you into filmmaking in the
first place, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?
really I did a History Degree then went to NYFA for a basic 12
week immersion course but my TV career has taught me loads. Iím far
from being where I want to be with directing, but Iím learning all the
time and getting to make things fairly regularly so itís not all bad.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to The Tour?
have done a few college films. A short called The Unknown Soldier and
The Door, but they were B/W silent student films. Itís one of the most
exciting things to see your dialogue come to life for the first time and I
have only really got that experience from making The Tour.
would you describe yourself as a director?
wouldnít, not yet! (very much a work in progress)
who inspire you?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Malick - he makes the most
beautiful, poetic Films -, Jackson, Carpenter - for all his
early movies -, Raimi, Gareth Evans - The Raid was immense!
Your favourite movies?
The Haunting (1963) - just great -, The Texas Chainsaw
Massacre, Jacobís Ladder, Evil Dead
2, The Thing (1982),
Possession (1981), Bad
Guilty pleasure: Waxwork 2: Lost In
and of course, films you really deplore?
Of course there are terrible
movies. But doing this film has given me lots more respect for filming
Until youíve done it and done it
well itís hard to knock anyone. Saying that, Attack of the Clones was
pretty shit wasnít it?
for the interview!