Your new movie Cured - in a few words, what is it about?
is a short horror film about a family who is up caught up in a mass
suicide arranged by their cult and fight for their survival.
were your sources of inspiration when writing Cured? And is any of
the story based on actual suicide cults/Did you do some research on the
came up with the idea as a satire of modern day groups and movements. When
I looked into the subject I came across a mass suicide in Guyana, which is
said to be one of the most famous. There was also one involving a cult
that had something to do with aliens, I can't remember what it was called.
I read online stories about peopleís experiences in cults and their
views on it. This helped me flesh out my characters. For inspiration I
remembered a feature called Black Death starring Sean Bean that I
watched years ago.
To what extent could you identify with Cured's
lead character Jess ... or any of the other characters, really?
used to be brought to mass on Sundays and I wasn't too keen on it. I
didn't understand it and thought it seemed meaningless. Jess is based on
that part of me from years ago. She doesn't understand the brethren and
only tolerates it. Jennifer is a fanatic who looks up to Isabelle and
found a strong sense of purpose in joining the brethern. She's afraid of
losing it and holds on as tight as possible, whatever the cost.
talk about your movie's approach to horror, and is that a genre at all
dear to you?
is one of my favourites because itís one of the most creative and fun.
Itís also one of the deepest of genres because it centres around our
strongest impulse which is staying alive and fear of the unknown.
A few words about your overall directorial
approach to your story at hand?
wanted to focus on Jessís experience through the ordeal and show how it
changes her and her world.
What can you tell us
about your cast, and why exactly those people?
cast were from Northern Star
Acting, and Iíve known some of them for
nearly two years like Sharon Spink [Sharon
Spink interview - click here], Lucy Marshall, Chris Dudley [Chris
Dudley interview - click here], etc.
Iíve worked with them in class and other projects. Theyíre a fantastic
bunch and weíve a lot of fun moments together. I worked with Kayla Leigh
on some showreel material and was introduced to everyone else who played
their parts well. I knew where their strengths lay and which suited with
about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
it was fun. The cast were great to work with, everyone was brillant. The
crew did well too. I couldnít have asked for a better team.
new movie of yours is The Viewing - so what's that one about?
Viewing is about an optimistic couple viewing a new house to live in
by the landlord, thatís how it starts and Iím not gonna say anymore.
story for The Viewing was conceived by yourself and your cast - so
what can you tell us about the creative process there, and how did the
project come into being in the first place?
was a group assignment. We talked about it during an acting class and went
over different ideas. It had to involve everyone and done in one location.
Once we decided on what we were doing I wrote it into a screenplay with
input from the cast.
So do talk
about The Viewing's cast then, and why exactly those people?
know them from class, so I knew where their strengths lay and which
character would best suit. They're very talented and professional and I'm
very fortunate to have worked with them.
do talk about your directorial approach to your story at hand?
once heard a quote from director Andy Muschietti, who made the 2017
version of It, that you have to respect what scares you otherwise
you canít scare anyone. Since I watched J-horror films like Ringu
and Ju-on, Iíve found long black haired, white dressed undead
girls terrifying. I wanted to
film it in a similar style to J-horror and see what I can do with it.
can you tell us about that shoot then?
mentor and acting coach Eirian Cohen [Eirian
Cohen interview - click here] allowed us to use her old house as a
shooting location and we filmed it in about 3-4 hours. I forgot to bring
the sound recording equipment, which was a bummer so I had to use ADR for
the actorís lines. Overall it was fun shoot.
With you also
being an actor, were you never tempted to step in front of the camera in
either of these movies (apart from the final scene in The Viewing
like my films to be judged by my work on them and I find it a little
self-indulgent to star in your own film. I only fill in if itís needed,
like for The Viewing it was.
The $64-question of course, when and where
will both movies be released onto the general public?
donít have a specific date yet, maybe after their festival run. Weíll
wait and see.
future projects you'd like to share?
currently working on completing a short domestic drama film called Vows
which I wrote and directed last year. It's about an abused wife
who has an affair with her husband's best friend. This one is the first
film I've produced.
also currently writing another short slasher film, which I plan on filming
this year. Thereís also a feature length version of Cured in the
What got you into
the filmworld to begin with, and did you receive any formal training on
loved films since childhood and used to constantly go to the cinema (still
do). At first I took an interest in acting, but found I was better at
making up scenes then acting in them at the time. I studied Film &
Media Production at college and Visual Effects at university with a few
seminars along the way. I learned writing and directing at college on a
basic level, then advanced on my own. Iím still learning today.
On various films you've had numerous jobs
on both sides of the camera - so what do you enjoy the most, and honestly,
what could you do without?
enjoy acting, directing and writing. Iíve been a sound recordist quite a
lot and to be honest Iím not very fond of doing it. I wouldnít do it
again unless I get paid.
Do talk about your filmwork
prior to Cured and The Viewing, in whatever position?
made my first film when I was 8-10 with lego figures with a cardboard cut
stage using my dadís camera called Rookie Robot - everyone laughed
at it when they saw it. I didnít make another film until I went to
college. I did visual effects for a few features in my second to last year
at university and did some on-set roles for indie filmmakers after I
would you describe yourself as a director?
very visual. I visualise a lot of my ideas and I'd like to put as much
information as possible in a single shot. I'm also a bit of a
perfectionist so I never accept 'okay' as a quality. I let the cast and
crew give any ideas and suggestions they might have because I know they
want it to work, plus they might know something I don't.
actors, whoever else who inspire you?
Nolan and Quentin Tarantino are my role models in filmmaking. Iím also
inspired by Hayao Miyazaki, Ridley Scott and Tim Burton. Iíve recently
taken an interest in Akira Kurosawa after watching Seven Samurai.
acting, I thought Marlon Brando's acting in The Godfather was phenomenal
and saw Peter Sellers in Dr Strangelove who I thought was brilliant in all
his roles. Iím also a fan of Michael Fassbender, Christoph Waltz and
a difficult one because there are so many great films I love. One of my
all-time favourites is The Dark
Knight, mostly because I'm a Batman
fanboy. Iíve recently seen Annihilation by Alex Garland on Netflix
which I thought was great.
... and of course, films you really deplore?
in the Darkí is one of the worst Iíve ever seen so far. There was one
I saw called The Garbage Pail Kids Movie which I thought was
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
recently been set to star in a short film with Sharon Spink [Sharon
Spink interview - click here], who is also
writing the script, which is exciting. It's based on an improvisation we
did in class.
like thank my mentor Eirian Cohen [Eirian
Cohen interview - click here] for believing in me and my acting coach
Carl Backhouse. Iíd also like to thank my assistant director Jenny
Edwards (also editor for Cured) for her dedication to all weíve
worked on together.
for the interview!