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An Interview with Adam Dunning, Director of Laughter

by Mike Haberfelner

January 2013

Films directed by Adam Dunning on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new film Laughter - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Joey is bullied and pushed around. When him and his two friends plan a prank, it goes deadly wrong. Months down the road each and everyone pays their actions with their lives.

 

Basic question: Why a clown?

 

I wanted to do something different. So i thought to myself what are people afraid of? Well my dad gave me that answer and told me that clowns are people's fears or they like them. Which is very true, because clowns can be nice, or they can be straight up scary. Plus you can go many ways with clowns. They can be friendly at a kids party, or they can hide the dark and wait for that moment to get you.

 

With Laughter being essentially a slasher movie - is that a genre you can at all relate to, and some of your genre favourites?

 

Yeah, it's a genre I grew up on whether it was old slashers or new ones. It's a genre that is dying and we are all trying to save and see something more come to it. Some of my favorite slashers would have to be the Halloween series, the music and just a man that can stare and walk slow as hell and still catch you.

 

(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Laughter?

 

When writing any type of script you take a part of life or something you may see while driving and then add to that. That is what inspires a lot of writers. I will be driving and then see something and write it down, or take a childhood memory or dream and turn that into something. Then also other work of films I saw and say I like that idea, but how can I make it different or better. So you just take a look on life and just go with it.

 

How would you describe your directorial approach to your subject at hand?

 

Watching and studying other films. You want to direct the film, but also make it your own. I need to make sure I am not doing the same camera work as another horror flick. Do some test shots or I even like to film the same scene 3 or more times, but if different ways. One take can be great, but more takes give you the option to switch and cut to many ways. Also to help yourself in post. So the better way you can direct yourself and make it simple on all ends.

 

Laughter contains quite a few rather gory scenes - so what can you tell us about creating these, was there a line you refused to cross, and how important do you rate these scenes in the context of your movie?

 

When making any film that runs to the horror genre, the first things you think what new death scene can I make that has never been done. Now that being a very hard area to fill. So I thought of ways and ways to come up and I think we did reach that goal. The shack scene was a fun death to create. Now in the script it's written differently than what you see on film. The script was to be a man tied up with hooks in his hands, and legs, but the hooks being under all his bones to be more painful. Which then later gets torn out and making him bleed to death. Well when we filmed it we had an issue making that come to life, so I pulled the scene and came up with something new a few weeks later. Which was the father chained up and then taking the axe to the arm and burning the shack down while he was alive. Which I thought was different and more a what the hell is wrong with this clown. That he will go past the line to do anything. There are many scenes that I can talk about, but don't want to spoil the scenes for any that have not checked out the film. Rating these deaths in the film are extreme and not for the group that hates gore and torture - if I were to rate them on a scale of 5 stars, some would be like a 3 and then most like 4 1/2 and maybe one or two being a 5.

 

What can you tell us about your key cast and crew?

 

For the first time I have the chance to work with a cast that I did not know. There were a few that I did go to school with. An 80% of the cast never met until the day of auditions. There were some that have done small projects, commercials and theatre. Then there were some that wanted to just come out and try for the part. The cast was great and hard working, so it was a fun experience to watch what I wrote come to life during production. For my second film and working with this new cast I thought they did a great job. Now for crew we had myself running cameras, my fiancee running audio, and then lights, clapboard, and other tech stuff were run by the cast. We all took part in the crew area to make things meet and get finished.

 

A few words about the actual shoot and the on-set atmosphere?

 

The production of this film was a lot of fun. When filming everyone went from talking to silence which made things easier to film. Then when the cameras were off we sat around, went over lines, talked about the next scene and gave thoughts and just made things easier and flow quicker. The atmosphere where some of the scene were different and then slaughter house was just amazing and set the mood for the final scene.

 

What can you tell us about audience and critical reception of your movie so far?

 

The response from the audience from the premiere were these: "Great Movie" "Well put together" "Nice Story Line" "Gross death scenes, but new ideas" - which made me think well did a great job and nailed it. I also had some that said the color was too dark, some areas it was hard to hear, which there were so I know for the next time to watch for that. Now the reviewers side I am getting back about the same response from the audience that has gotten a chance to see Laughter. So on that note it's been a great ride so far, about 75% or more love the film and had fun with it and the other percentage had issues with it or just hated the film, and you will get that with all movies.

 

Let's go back to the beginnings of your career: What got you into filmmaking to begin with, and did you receive any kind of formal education on the subject?

 

Well it's been a thing with films. When you are small you watch movies and say I want t be this or that. Well, when it comes to filmmaking you can be all that. Also I love the way you can sit an come up with something on paper and then film it and make it come to life. It's a way of art that can be expressed in a lot of ways. Now when I was small I watched a lot of horror films and just kept growing and growing from there and I knew I wanted to make my own horror films. Well before that I made jackass videos when that was the thing to do in the day. Then shorts and then went to college and completed my degree and now just trying to do my thing and make movies that are different.

 

What can you tell us about your debut feature The inFected?

 

The inFected was my first feature and I did not really think a lot would go for it. It was a script I wrote my last year in college. I had a choice to either intern somewhere or make a short film. Well it ended up from a short to a feature film. Now although it did not win awards or get a distribution it did go to the San Antonio Horrific Film Fest, Scarlet Waters Showcase in Austin Texas, and Pittsburgh Horror Film Festival in 2011 and was nominated for Best Feature and Best Make-up which was cool being that it had no budget and actors were myself, my fiancee and her brother and sister and other family. So in my eyes I thought for a first try it did well.

 

Other filmwork of yours you'd like to talk about? Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I will keep this short! I worked on a web series that was shot in my hometown, Mob on the Run. Other than that never did any other projects. My newest project I am working on is a sequel to Laughter, and if all goes well it will start production in the summer of 2013

 

How would you describe yourself as a director?

 

Decent, hardworking and a leader. Yes at times I drop the ball and fall behind. The question for that is who doesn't drop the ball at times? I can't rate myself on what I can do. I just go with it and hope I get the job done. Which I have done so on The inFected and Laughter. Not saying I am a great director, because I'm not. I am still learning and trying to figure out what terms are and what this is and what that is. So from now till my career is done I will just be learning and proceeding down the path.

 

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

Adam Green, Tim Burton, John Carpenter, George Romero, Sam Raimi, Tobe Hooper - and that's just a few!

 

Your favourite movies?

 

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Halloween series, Friday the 13th series, Nightmare on Elm Street series, Hatchet 1 and 2, Frozen, the Dead series and much more that I can go on.

 

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

 

Remakes!!!!! Yes I go and see them, and yes some of those are good and bad, but this is why we are indie horror filmmakers. We are trying to come up with new and we do not get looked at for a second. Just need to end the remakes and think outside the box and then we won't hate on any movie. 

 

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

 

We don't have a website for the neither of the films, just a Facebook page for both Laughter and The inFected.

 

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

 

If you are a filmmaker, producer, actor, writer or a fan of the genre keep it going. Once we stop and give up that's it, the genre will die. So keep pushing and just do what we do best, scare the shit out of people and make some kick ass horror/slasher flicks.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

Jetzt kaufen bei
Lulu.com