Your new movie Blaze
of Gory - in a few words, what is it about?
is an anthology piece featuring nine nightmare
tales all written by one twisted mind. Each story has elements of leading
female characters and emotion driven acts of revenge and mayhem.
did the project fall together, and how did you first meet the writer of
the source material, Blaize-Alix Szanto [Blaize-Alix
Szanto interview - click here], who I understand was still a
rather young girl when you started working on this?
was between film jobs working part time in a shop and became friends with
the staff of a neighbouring store, one of the staff there mentioned her
daughter had written some horror stories and would I be interested in
reading them. Long story short, Blaize let me read them, I loved them and
she agreed and took faith in me that the stories were deserving of being
turned from page to screen. It took a long time and during which one year
it was all put on the shelf as I dealt with the loss of a family member
and relocated but then the film was finally finished in June of this year
and now begins the promo.
you remain religiously close to Blaize's source material, or did you take
many liberties? And other than her stories, what were your sources of
Some of Blaize's stories were synopsis
only so she allowed me some artistic licence when turning the originals into screenplays, they were then given to her for approval before being
given to the chosen directors who made a few changes and then again given
approval by Blaize. Some of what she wrote was a little too disturbing and
there was no way some of that could be brought to the screen.
One of the screenplays was inspired by David Cronenberg's Eastern
Promises as it fit to the original story quite well and gave it a
grounding in a reality that was different from the others.
The story I tackled underwent a few drafts before we shot but this
was mainly due to the difficulty in obtaining the right cast and also
remaining within the non-existent budget.
Overall I feel we definitely kept 90% of Blaize's original vision in
the film and I hope we did her proud.
David with Blaize-Alix Szanto
You decided to share directorial duties on
of Gory with quite a few of your colleagues - why was that then,
and do talk about your fellow directors on the film, and why exactly them?
used to work for a horror magazine and while there I met a few independent
film makers whose work I valued. When I left the magazine and began toying
with the idea of bringing together like-minded people for a website idea,
those contacts were kept in place and then this film idea happened and I
put it out there, I didn't want to direct it all myself as I know there
are people more talented out there looking for such a project and I was
overwhelmed with the responses and interest on the film. Some people I had
never worked with but had admired from afar as well as people I knew and
wanted the chance. I feel we were very lucky with the overall team and I
really hope I get to work with these talented people again.
you give your fellow directors on Blaze
of Gory any guidelines regarding look and feel or whatever of
their segments, or did you just send them their respective scripts and let
them do what they wanted with them?
I think all I
ever said was, here's the script, let me know of any additions and have
fun with it, I'll help with funds and props where I can and do not
hesitate to ask for help.
I ended up being present on 5 of the films and it was a wonderful
Let's talk about
your own segment in Blaze
of Gory, Snow, for a bit - what is it about, and why did
you choose exactly that story for yourself?
a fan of fantasy for a long time and this was the first story Blaize gave
to me so I felt it was very fitting that I be the one to make the first
segment and get the ball rolling. It also was a pleasure to be able to
turn such a story in to a film, I loved it all.
Blaize and I did make a few changes and combined a few characters.
It also enabled me to film in a wonderful location in the middle of
nowhere in a cabin in Norway. Credit cards definitely came in handy there
but it looks amazing.
about your segment's approach to horror for a bit!
wrote in some amazing imagery and it was all gore, no doubt about it there
was no way to shy away from it and I feel I learned a lot while making the
film, her characterizations were amazing and I'm truly grateful to my cast
and in fact all the segments' castf for doing a great job.
does of course draw strong inspirations from Snow
White - so did you let these fairy tale origins at all consciously
influence the look and feel of your segment?
written by Blaize as a modern horror version of Snow
White and I'm
particularly fond of the original fairy story so certain elements had to
stay in play. I did watch a few different incarnations of Snow
White during the screenplay adaptation but also drew from my own ideas wanting
to keep the film very true to its central character of the stepmother
rather than Snow herself. The one thing I did add was in Blaize's story we
never found out who was getting the stepmother to confess so I made a link
to a previous film I had made and set the story in an asylum, we also
added that asylum to one of the other segments to add a slight link.
you tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?
wanted to have an element of both claustrophobia as well as setting the
film in the wide open spaces of Norway. I hope I achieved that with camera
angles and lighting. By having such a small cast and zero crew and with
all dialogue very important it was essential that the actors harness the
inner character so I made a point of working on detailed character
development with them.
talk about your cast, and why exactly these people?
cast for my segment pretty much fell in my lap, I put out a post on
Facebook stating I was to be shooting a film in Norway and the responses
that came in first are the cast we used. Susan Adriensen [Susan
Adriensen interview - click here] was amazing. I met her in
Indiana at a film-fest and said we would eventually work together and I
intend to do so again. Vikki Spit and Zion I've known for a few years and
despite limited acting experience, their past as musicians gave them the
on screen presence required. Duff Eynon I've also known for a while and we never
had the chance to work together so I was thrilled our diaries allowed for
As for the cast of the other segments, I did make a few requests of
people I was eager to have in the film and am very pleased we managed to
have them all on board for this.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
film was pretty much tackled over three days but spread over an 18 month
time span, the times I was on set I feel every one got on very well and
some great friendships have been made in the process. Even in Norway when
we nearly slid off the road and died, we all kept it together and still
talk to each other to this day so something went right (LOL).
I recall at times members of the crew being nauseated by the graphic
gore but that spurned us all on and with every spill of blood there was a
smile in someone's eye. Jenny took great pleasure in being able to work
our makeshift blood canon in Abort. I like to think every one had a bit of
fun, if it's not fun, it's not worth doing, right?
$64 question of course, when and where will Blaze
of Gory be released onto the general public?
going to plan it will be released this Halloween, I am launching the film
at a horror con (fingers crossed) a couple of days before.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Blaze
of Gory yet?
So far those who have seen it
have given great responses, a few films are emerging as audience
favourites but that is to be expected with such variety. We also submitted
all the shorts independently to festivals during the latter part of 2016
and first half of 17 and have had some great response as well as some
nominations so I am over the moon.
Based on your experiences with Blaze
of Gory, could you ever be persuaded to make another
multi-director anthology film - and/or other future projects you'd like to
I've done a few features in the past but I
feel more comfortable in shorts. I know I will be doing more. I've just
been signed on to make a short for an anthology in pre-production now so
I'm sure they'll be links about that on my site once it's become more
public knowledge. I'm also writing a few short web series so we'll see how
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
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The links below
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Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
The making of Blaze
of Gory book is available now from Amazon:
Thanks for the interview!