Your upcoming The New Family - in a few words, what's it
going to be about?
New Family is a thriller-slasher set in the sleepy town of Murdoch, where
an unknown assailant is killing pregnant women. Our lead is expecting, and
as the audience we follow her as she begins to unravel from paranoia.
With The New Family being a
slasher movie of sorts, is that a genre you're at all fond of, and some of
your genre favourites? And what do you think will make your film stand out
of the crowd?
wouldn't call The
New Family a thriller, but thatís not to say that Iím not fond of
the slasher genre. Some of my
favorites include Black Christmas 2006, Friday the 13th,
Slaughter High and Terror Train. With our film, so much of the script is
dedicated to establishing the characters and their relationships. In many
aspects itís very much a slow burn film. However, it is incredibly
violent at times and thatís where slasher elements are introduced. But
one thing we are not doing is showing gore for gore's sake. Every kill is
necessary in driving the plot forward. To me, with this kind of movie, a
death scene for shock value simply does not work. And in today's market,
where the audience is spoon-fed every bit of information, I think that
will make our film stand out. At its core it is a who-dun-it mystery.
Other sources of inspiration when writing The
New Family? And why having your killer go after pregnant women?
The House of the Devil was an enormous
source of inspiration to me. That film took its time building to the
climax, but the payoff for those that stuck around to the finish was worth
the wait. Another source of inspiration is John Carpenterís Halloween.
Murdoch and Haddonfield have some parallels, and I think that will come
across in the finished film. Theyíre both small towns that harbor dark
Itís a primal instinct for a mother to care for her young. A madman trying to
break that bond in the worst possible way is a true monster. Our lead
doesnít only have to fight for her own survival, but for her unborn
baby. We felt it would make a compelling story. Although not intentional,
the concept gave The
New Family its own niche in the genre.
Jason Voorhees kills
camp counselors. Michael Myers kills his family. In
New Family pregnant women are
the targets. Of course thereís a bit more to it then thatÖ
can you tell us about your writing partner Reece G. Donnell, and what's
your collaboration like?
Reece and I keep each other grounded. We
bounce ideas off one another. Iím thankful to have a writing partner
because the work constantly has a fresh pair of eyes.
As far as our process goes, Reece will write a few scenes, email them to me,
then Iíll do a pass. Then I write a few scenes, email them to him, and
he will do a pass. Then we put it together and edit. In order for that to
work we have to be on the same page, which fortunately we are. We have
everything planned before we sit down to write. With The
New Family, we were both
passionate about the characters and story. They became fictional friends.
Having someone to share the writing experience with makes the story
stronger in my opinion.
Anne Leigh Cooper
Slasher movies aren't always
entirely violence-free - so what can you tell us about that aspect of your
movie, and is there a line you refuse to cross (for other than budgetary
is no line we refused to cross, either for creative or budgetary reasons.
There are a number of deaths in the film. It is insanely violent at times.
But weíre not doing anything for shock value. As I mentioned previously,
I see that as the downfall of modern cinema and what has rendered many
current horror films problematic. In my opinion, itís much creepier when
left to your imagination. Blood splattering on a camera lens does nothing
for me. But a shadow passing across a wall and a floorboard creaking lets
the audience create their own horrific image.
What can you tell us about the intended look
and feel of the movie as such?
filming in the winter months, so very desaturated, sterile, and barren.
Long panning shots and symmetrical set-ups have also been written into the
script. When something is overly balanced it can create a false pretense
of security. I want the viewers to feel safe and protected when they
arrive to Murdoch, as if it were their hometown. Then, as the story
unfolds, weíll hit them even more where it hurts.
Anything you can tell us
about your key cast yet, and why exactly these people?
Leigh Cooper, Genvieve Johnson, Nicole Ogden, Blair Dinucci, and Chris
Moore are attached to star. When we saw their audition tapes we were blown
away. We didnít write the script with actors in mind. But these people
fit the roles perfectly.
far as I know, The New Family is still in pre-production as we
speak - so what's the schedule, and even if it might be waaay too early
to ask, any idea when and where the film might be released onto the
We're currently doing a crowd-funding
campaign, which you can find here:
than that, weíre targeting a 2016
release. Weíve been working
on the project since July 2013. Everything has to come together perfectly
before we move forward, because we want to deliver the best film possible.
Any future projects beyond The New
now our focus is on The
New Family. Reece and I have started on a script but itís
still in its first trimester.
What got you into filmmaking in the first
place, and did you have any formal training on the subject?
I was younger my grandparents lived down the street from a video store. I
would rent Halloween 4 and Halloween 5 on a regular basis. From that point
on I became engrossed with not only the Halloween saga but also the entire
genre. I knew from an early
age that this is what I wanted to do. Over the past several years Iíve
read numerous screenplays to get a feel for how to write one. On a
technical level, my formal training is in graphic design. But I feel that
going to school for this art form has made me more aware of compositions,
color, and how to get the most out of very little.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to The New Family?
never been behind the camera. However, I have been responsible for
advertising several films. I was hired to do the Halloween 2012 re-release
poster for Trancas International Films. A year later Malek Akkad
approached me and asked me to handle their Halloween 1, 4 and 5 campaigns.
That included the posters and web advertisements. Iíve also done graphic
design work for other up and coming studios, including Slasher Studios and
Dark Sunny Entertainment.
who inspire you?
Carpenter and Wes Craven.
Your favourite movies?
Jaws, and Suspiria.
and of course, films you really deplore?
that is overhyped, such as Annabelle.
thing that bothers me are independent filmmakers who cut corners. When you
make an indie film everything matters. Even the poster and advertising are
a big deal. There are a few indie films that will begin crowd funding soon
that I follow. Itís obvious the filmmakers, who probably have no graphic
design training, made the posters that are promoting the film. Itís a
shame. One thing I have learned is to not rush ANYTHING. So I guess you
could say that I hate any film that is a rushed job.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Of course the big thing is the launch of
our crowdfunding campaign on June 26th! This movie will not be
possible without fan support. So please check that out! We have some great perks being offered- t-shirts, posters,
stickers, DVDs, and walk-on roles in the film:
Like our official Facebook page for
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Another exciting bit of information is
that The New Family recently made RottenTomatoe's "40 Creepiest Posters of
All Time List"! To be in the company of Jaws was a huge honor.
Keep checking back for updates and more updates too! Some exciting announcements
are on the horizon.
for the interview!