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An Interview with Alex Mathieson, Co-Writer and Co-Director of The Tour

by Mike Haberfelner

May 2014

Films directed by Alex Mathieson on (re)Search my Trash


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Your upcoming movie The Tour - in a few words, what is it about?


The Tour is an idea I wrote with Damon Rickard [Damon Rickard interview - click here] about 18 months ago. Itís a pretty clichťd idea, the simple story of two girls that get charmed into taken a tour round a haunted house and then somewhat regret it.

Like with many short films we looked for a story which we could afford first and foremost but also one we liked. Itís a horror film that we wanted to feel has ambition an idea that could be easily expanded into a feature.


How did the project come into being in the first place, and what were your inspirations when dreaming it up?


Damon and I often watch films together, specifically horror films and it was during one of these sessions we discussed the idea. Iíve always been a huge fan of film and in the first shot I made I did about five contra zooms - because I loved Jaws so much. I think looking back at The Tour I can see so much wish fulfilment in the script. Itís our love letter to the horror movies we love.


What can you tell us about your film's look and feel, and its approach to horror?


Since it was our first stab at horror, we had to feel our way through the job a little. We didnít set out to mimic any style as such but wanted to keep the cameras moving and shoot voyeuristically as much as possible.

We even added a bit of 1st person hand held footage too.

We shot the film on two cameras, one was a Black Magic which we shot 4K on (I canít recommend this camera enough itís ace) and the second was an Alexa which I often shoot my promos on.


Do talk about your co-director Damon Rickard [Damon Rickard interview - click here] for a bit, and what was your collaboration like? And how did you two hook up in the first place?


We met working at a video store when I was seventeen and have been great friends since over the last 18 years. I may have had more experience than Damon going into this project but he was the real energy on getting project going. Without Damon thereíd be no Tour.


Your film stars American scream queens Jessica Cameron [Jessica Cameron interview - click here] and Heather Dorff [Heather Dorff interview - click here] - so how did you get them, what did they bring to the table, and what was your collaboration like?


It was Damon that suggested Jessica and Jessica that suggested Heather as far as I know. I initially thought it could be a risk as we didnít formally cast them as such and I knew if we ballsed up, re-shoots would be incredibly difficult. But they were amazing. Like properly amazing. Great people / passionate about the work and really supportive to a pair of first timers still learning the ropes. Tom Gordon was cast more traditionally but not only was he great in the audition and looked the part, I knew he had to the right sort of personality for the team weíd put together.


Tom Gordon, Heather Dorff, Jessica Cameron

Do talk about the rest of your key cast and crew for a bit, and why exactly these people?


Richard Bell is a DOP Iíd done some advert work with and he brought so much to the film, with his knowledge of lighting. He was probably the filmís true hero. Also huge respect has got to go to Annette Rickard for being an utter legend throughout the shoot rallying the team and putting so much energy into the project.


As far as I know, The Tour was filmed in a genuinely haunted house - so what can you tell us about working in a location like that, and what were the challenges but also the advantages of filming there?


It had a great atmosphere and we shot really late into the night. Shooting there with the lights off in just torchlight was quite an intense experience but so much fun.


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


It was a two day shoot with about 160-180 shots so it was all a bit hell for leather. I was blown away by the crew we assembled, especially as I knew they werenít getting paid much if any. The cast were great and gave the project so much energy during filming and afterward with their support. Damon and I couldnít have asked for more.


The $64-question of course: Any idea when and where will the film might be released onto the general public yet?


Aiming for June / July but with the favours weíre asking we canít guarantee it. We have to wait for people as and when theyíre available to get the film over the line.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I watched Possession recently and itís really stuck with. So much arresting imagery in it. Iím currently writing up an idea based loosely on the effect that film had on me.


What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?


Not really I did a History Degree then went to NYFA for a basic 12 week immersion course but my TV career has taught me loads. Iím far from being where I want to be with directing, but Iím learning all the time and getting to make things fairly regularly so itís not all bad.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to The Tour?


I have done a few college films. A short called The Unknown Soldier and The Door, but they were B/W silent student films. Itís one of the most exciting things to see your dialogue come to life for the first time and I have only really got that experience from making The Tour.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


I wouldnít, not yet! (very much a work in progress)


Filmmakers who inspire you?


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Alex Mathieson
at the amazons ...


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

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Alex Mathieson here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Alex Mathieson at

Malick - he makes the most beautiful, poetic Films -, Jackson, Carpenter - for all his early movies -, Raimi, Gareth Evans - The Raid was immense!


Your favourite movies?


The Haunting (1963) - just great -, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Jacobís Ladder, Evil Dead 2, The Thing (1982), Possession (1981), Bad Taste.

Guilty pleasure: Waxwork 2: Lost In Time.


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


Of course there are terrible movies. But doing this film has given me lots more respect for filming in general.

Until youíve done it and done it well itís hard to knock anyone. Saying that, Attack of the Clones was pretty shit wasnít it?


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
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) Tršume ...


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


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner


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