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An Interview with Kyle Hytonen, Director of Follow

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2013

Films directed by Kyle Hytonen on (re)Search my Trash


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


Follow is a found footage horror short about a young couple’s idyllic summer camping trip that turns into a nightmare.


What were your inspirations when writing Follow? And was it based on any actual urban legends?


I do a lot of camping, and I’ve ran many scenarios in my head while sitting in front of a campfire at night. Its a big “What if?” situation when you’re out there. “What if” someone started coming towards you with a light at night, “What if” you got lost in the woods at night. I think its those random fears that inspired the writing of the film. And no, it’s not based on any actual legends that I know of.


Why choose the found footage approach for Follow, why did you think it would work for your story at hand? And your thoughts about this particular approach to filmmaking as such?


Follow was actually written as a standard narrative film initially, but after realizing shooting a film out on location in the woods at night was not feasible financially I altered the concept to accommodate the cheaper found footage method. Thankfully the story stayed intact and I only had to make the creative adjustments to the film by using just the POV of the camera to tell it. I think when it is done well found footage films can be pretty effective, especially in the horror genre. I think it gives film-makers a challenge to be more creative, as you have to tell your story within the frame of the camera’s eye.


Found footage films often come across as a bunch of friends going to the woods pointing a camera at one another and then see how it turns out - so how much preparation does actually go into a film of this sort, how big was the actual crew on this?


Kyle Hytonen on location

For this film, I did a fair bit of location scouting, making sure the location we used would work for sound and give a good sense of isolation. I also held auditions in finding my actors, ran rehearsals and improvs of the script with them and did a dry run of test shots to ensure things would show up on camera before shooting. I think to pull these films off it seems there is more prep before you even roll camera. You want to make it look natural, but also well executed. I like to work with a small skeleton crew on my shorts, especially when working with a low budget, it allows for less communication breakdown. This film crew was only 4 deep, and we all did some double duties.


Related to that, do talk about your location and the actual shoot for a bit?


We shot the film partly on a conservation area and also in a patch of wooded land in Ontario. The locations were chosen for their illusion of looking deeply isolated, although they were actually very convenient to get to. On the first night of principal shooting we were rained out halfway through the shoot, and the following shoot day was completely cancelled due to another stormy night. After those few hiccups however, we sailed through the rest of the shoot.


What can you tell us about your two leads Heather Dicke and James Pike, and what made them perfect for their roles?


Heather came in for her audition and had a great grasp of the role and the performance, she did some great improvs as well which was a big deciding factor too. James was chosen as he fit the mold of the city boy very well. They also both had the passion that I look for in casting actors, willing to trudge out in mosquito infested woods and run around being scared of the trees. They also teamed up great on set and had a natural easy chemistry during their scenes together.


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


It is currently doing the festival circuit. Upcoming screenings will be at The Hamilton Film Festival on November 9th in Hamilton, Ontario, and the The Macabre Faire Film Festival on January 18th in Long Island, NY.


Any future projects beyond Follow you'd like to share?


I’m in early stages of prep on a few projects, one is a horror short and the other is a screwball comedy, hopefully both going into production in 2014.


What got you into filmmaking to begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?


I started discovering all the great films around age 13 and never looked back, I knew it was what I wanted to do. I graduated from Confederation College with a Film Production diploma.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Follow?


Follow is my 4th short film. Previously I was a content partner with YouTube and have had various jobs in the film industry.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


I’d like to say I’m a pretty easy going and collaborative director, I put a lot of trust in my cast and crew and hopefully they do as well. I’m open to allowing actors to create their own character and interpret the performances on their own.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


Filmmakers like Jim Jarmusch, Woody Allen, David Lynch, Hal Ashby, John Carpenter and The Coen Brothers are the ones who inspire me most. I like that when you watch one of their films you know you are watching “one of their films”. They translate their sensibilities and voice so well on film.


Your favourite movies?


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Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

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Boogie Nights, The Deer Hunter, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Halloween, Night On Earth, Mulholland Dr., and so many more.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


I think every film is worth giving a look at. However, if you have a scene in your movie where characters dance around and lip synch to a Motown song then it's probably not worth finishing.


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


My production banner has a Facebookpage at:  

You can find out all the info on my films there.


Anything else you are dying to mention and I've merely forgotten to ask?


No, thank you for the interview!!


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



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



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
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