Your new movie Paranormal
Farm - in a few words, what is it about?
is a film where I play a paranormal investigator investigating paranormal activity in a farm for Lucy and
Darren and trying to get close to the truth of whatís happening in the farm.
I also discover their daughter Jessica went missing in the woods five
Farm revolves around a paranormal investigation - so did you do
any research into that field prior to making the film, and your personal
thoughts on the subject?
am hugely into the world of the paranormal and I used to go to spiritual
church myself where I was developing my psychic sensibilities. For a little while
I became quite in tune with other realities, as my study into these other
realities progressed, such as reading Doris Stokes books and watching
anything on TV which had paranormal investigators and psychics.
experienced more and more spiritual for phenomena such as sensing people
in the room seeing things in the corner of my eye. This got more
progressive and I used to wake up experiencing night terrors and sleep
paralysis which let me to writing and producing my previous feature
film The Spiritualist, which explores
(Other) sources of inspiration
when writing Paranormal
My main inspiration when making this film was
in fact Lucy and Darren, the farmers, and the farm itself. Coming from a
farming background Iíve always had a strong interest for farmers and the
community and the daily running of a farm, I find farms eerie in appearance
and the isolation lends it self to the perfect filmset.
How rigidly did you stick to your script
when shooting Paranormal
Farm, and/or was there lots of improvisation involved?
had no script for this film, it was important to me to work very much in
the moment where I didnít feel disabled by a script or actors or a crew
or a budget. The
only true storyline I had was that I was going to attend the farm and
investigate any paranormal activity that was happening, it had to be
realistic, authentic and spontaneous. My producer Taz was often setting up
scares and making things go bump in the night which I didnít want to
have any prior knowledge of. I wanded to capture all my findings on
my phone, it was important using my phone because I feel in this day and
age people are more connected to the mobile devices than ever before and I
wanted to make an immersive film where viewers were transported to this
isolated location themselves seeing what I was seeing, experiencing what I
was experiencing and feeling what I was feeling.
and Darren the farmers didnít have any knowledge of what we were going
to film other than the fact I was there to investigate. It was important
for me as an investigator to ask them questions in the moment and capture
authentic responses. Every now and then I will drip feed them small chunk
size pieces of information which enabled them to always be in the moment
and truthful and not having to perform in any way. It was important we
established a good rapport and trust from the outset.
talk about Paranormal
Farm's approach to horror, and is this a genre at all dear to you?
wanted this film to be a found footage(ish) film which has nods to past
films such as The Blair
Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. But it
had to have its own identity at the same time, so I wanted the
documentary aspect of the film to be immersive and sincere and simple in
its approach. I was also inspired by films such as The Wicker Man
and The Hills Have Eyes,
where there is the fear of the unknown of the
occult and people with indifferences.
titular farm plays a big part in Paranormal
Farm - so do talk about the location for a bit, and how did you
find it, what was it like filming there? And when writing the movie, did
you have this exact location in mind already?
Yildirimlar the producer has previously shot a film on this farm and
introduced me to both the farm and Lucy and Darren the farmers. We knew we
would shoot another film here with no actors, budget, script or crew. We
set ourselves the challenge of shooting the whole film on my mobile phone
over the course of one weekend. We had to be resourceful and creative. I
felt it was the most stimulating filmmaking days Iíve ever experienced
when I had to think outside the box, it really forced my creativity. I thrive when creativity is born in the moment thatís when
you have to have all your senses alert, your awareness open, and Iím very
much into embracing the power of now.
you choose the found footage approach for Paranormal
Farm, and what are the advantages and challenges filming that way?
And after this movie, could you ever be persuaded to shoot first-person
chose to shoot the film in a found footage approach because of the
immersive benefits. We wanted to transport our
audience to the farm as if they were experiencing my investigation first
hand. Also this worked to our zero budget restraint. I
would absolutely film this way again as it was satisfying and time-effective not having to conversed with the MPs, lighting technicians, actors,
agents, assistant directors, the list goes on and on, every minute we spent that
weekend on the farm was utilised effectively.
You also play the lead in Paranormal
Farm - so have you written that part with yourself in mind from
the get-go, and how much of yourself can you find in him?
character was the link from the audience perspective and I didnít want
to act in the film, I wanted to simply be myself in the moment. So
what you see of myself in the film is pretty much me for real. Obviously we
had to stage a couple scenes for a fact that my knowledge of this was
talk about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?
with Lucy and Darren was amazing, they are so interesting as farmers, asking them questions and documenting their life was to me
interesting in its own right, they were both willing and able to be sincere and
truthful to the moment once rapport was established, very quickly
enabling us to trust one another throughout this weekend process.
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
weekend shoot was probably the best two days of my life because we had a
blank canvas, the farm, and Iíve been wanting to go through a process like
this for a few years now and my passion within the horror films Iíve
seen over the years Iíve saved up like a sponge and then just threw it
or on this blank canvas. Theyíre not salutes to many films that you may
discover in this investigation.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of your movie yet?
movie is released on Amazon today in both the USA and UK, we have had three
reviews so far where we are delighted with their responses. The
common theme discussed is that the film is creepy and authentic and
unpredictable, so weíre happy reading those claims.
future projects you'd like to share?
My previous project is
also coming out next week on Amazon in USA and other streaming platforms,
this is another paranormal film about night terrors and sleep paralysis
which I have personal experience in. The film is called The
Spiritualist and it
also explores the similarities between mental illness and spirituality.
What got you into
making movies in the first place?
When I was younger are
used to hire a video camera and make up films very much in the moment. We
always had the camera for two days and had to create a short film. This was
somehow me expressing myself from a young age, and I have the fondest memories so
itís been a pleasure reconnecting to this method and making a film and
reconnecting to that spontaneous passion.
Going through your filmography, you seem
to have done it all, writing, producing, directing, acting and whatnot -
why is that, and what do you enjoy the most, what could you do without?
guess I see myself first and foremost as a filmmaker who's about storytelling via
make films that challenge people's common beliefs and complacency. I
donít like to spoonfeed my audience I like them to have to guess
whatís going to happen in the next scene and to play the role of
do throw myself into most roads as I feel sometimes itís the quickest
route and unfiltered in its approach where you are not having to have many
conversations with many creatives tearing your belief and vision into
writers, actors, whoever else who inspire you? And your favourite movies
take inspirations from many different places in the world we inhabit, it
could be a new story thatís very topical, it could be a feeling that I
have brewing up for days and it evolves via storytelling, it can be a
conversation I overhear in the pub, Iím very nosy and inquisitive in
nature and it often gets me into much trouble.
like Stephen Daldry for his sensitivity and stories he likes to tell, I
like Mike Lee and his approach to filmmaking, and there are endless horror
films that I adore and like the James Wan films, The Conjuring Parts One
and Two, Insidious, Annabel, Saw, these were all groundbreaking films that
Iíve taken new and fresh inspiration from.
Films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I really donít like films that spoonfeed you,
there are so many horror films of late that rely on cheap CGI, intrusive
music, telling the audience where they should jump and weak storylines
that have no relevance or purpose.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Thanks for the interview!