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An Interview with John H. Shelton (= Esme Rose-Shelton), Director of Avant-Macabre

by Mike Haberfelner

March 2016

John H. Shelton on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Avant-Macabre - in a few words, what is it about?


It is an experimental, short horror film about a dark figure that enters its victims home at the worst time... whilst sleeping at night. Poems are spoken as the commentary to try and create spooky effect.


What were your sources of inspiration when dreaming up Avant-Macabre?


I was asked to enter a silent, avant garde film festival. I had some footage and then I started filming more. At the start, it was all silent apart from music. Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc (who reads in Avant-Macabre) is a poet and kinda helped me move forward. There's a silent version and and a poetry version.


The poetry that accompanies your visuals - was that planned from the get-go or added at a later stage? And what was there first, the poems or the visuals? And do talk about your respective poets for a bit, as well as your voice cast!


The poetry came about after seeing the footage and ideas come together. I wrote the last section poem (read by Dean Sills [Dean Sills interview - click here]) as though it was being spoken to a young child to try and create fear - I hope it worked.

Emma Dark (from Seize the Night) [Emma Dark interview - click here] read over the opening to Avant-Macabre and the poetry was written by musician/actor Gary Baxter - who did a wonderful job.

Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc - - wrote her own poem on the spot for the middle section and read it over the film. She is an amazing creative soul and does poetry all the time. Amazing.


You also play the killer in Avant-Macabre, slaughtering your real-life brother Steven Chamberlain - now how much fun was that, actually?


Fun! lol He was a good sport to play the victim part. His ideas helped, too.


Do talk about your directorial approach to your story at hand for a bit!


Dean Sills, Emma Dark, John H. Shelton

I try to look for anything visual, a bit macabre and weird. Anything that balances out the shots such as room objects and getting a feel for a place as for example, Avant-Macabre opens with a close-up of lit candles on a table. If you can create the atmosphere in a few simple shots here and there, it feels like magic.


What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


I worked with my brother on the first half, we had a great time - I edited mostly everything. Set atmosphere was fun.


You also have to talk about the additional footage by Laus London, and how did it fit in with yours? And what was your collaboration like?


Laus had something shot that just seemed to fit. The "Go to Sleep" part was just perfect to me. It it was grainy and black white and all I did was add a different soundtrack. Laus is a great lady who I hope does more filming one day.


The $64-question of course, where can the movie be seen?




Any future projects you'd like to share?


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x-rated  find John H. Shelton at

I'd love to make a follow-up to Avant-Macabre at some point and extend the horror short. I am looking to try and film an Evil Dead tribute too which could be fun. These will probably be for YouTube, again.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


I just wanna thank Laus London for the additional footage and Paddy Murphy for the final sound master - brilliant.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD