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An Interview with Charles Davis, Director of Circle

by Mike Haberfelner

January 2021

Films directed by Charles Davis on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Circle - in a few words, what is it about?


It's a drama/horror film about a witch who returns to a place she used to call home in an attempt to save someone she loves.


The underlying mythology of Circle, is it based on any existing mythology or made up for the movie? And to what extent did you research the topic of witches covens and the like in preparation for your movie?


I completely made the mythology up myself and it wasn't based on anything else per se. In terms of research, I actually did my Master's dissertation on modern pagans in England and I know quite a few witches! Lol. Though I can't say I really pulled anything from that or any literature specifically other than concepts of what's called "Goddess Worship" and just the general idea of a coven that's tied to nature and performs rituals. It was really mostly just me making it up.


(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Circle?


The main source of inspiration for me was things going in my life at the time. Particularly the fact that both my wife and mother became very ill at one point (both have thankfully (mostly) recovered) and I was faced with raising my child on my own. The movie's primarily a reflection on that.


A few words about Circle's approach to horror?


I don't know if I have a real underlying philosophy on how to approach horror, it's mostly just what feels right in the moment for the scene. In this film I have a bunch of stuff that was heavily inspired by Ken Russell films I can say though.


What can you tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?


A lot of it was based on trying to get as much of Central Park into the shots as I could and make it feel like the actors were really working with the environment. I wanted Central Park to feel like a character itself.


Do talk about Circle's key cast, and why exactly these people?


I worked with Leslie Dame (Katka) on my previous film Athas and I wrote this role specifically for her. I just couldn't imagine anyone pulling it off. We both work very well together.


I also had previously worked with Jennifer Eiffert (Broozy Suzy) on my film Portal Man and really wanted to work with her again as well - she's a huge horror fan and giving her a more spooky intense character to play was a lot of fun.


Luke Mindell (Mr. Peter) had worked with me before but behind the camera - he was one of my camera people on Portal Man. He's a great actor/comedian and we had done live theater shows together before. I really wanted to see him try and pull off a serious role this time as I felt he could do it. I originally was actually going to play the role of Mr. Peter myself but I just had a premonition one day that Luke would be better in the role than me - and I was correct. This is actually the first movie I've made that I didn't act in!


Christina Perry (Stacy) and I have known each other for years and she is one of the people who runs the Chain Theatre here in NYC. I always wanted to direct her in a movie as I'd seen her act on stage a lot and this seemed like a great role for her.


Hope Stamper (Rebecca) and I have known each other for almost 20 years and she's been in every movie I've made (except Athas due to schedule issues at the time). I also wrote that role specifically for her and I couldn't image anyone else pulling it off. At this point I've had Hope basically be everything you can think of including a Rocker Girl, a Noir Femme Fatale, a Shut In, a burnt out apocalypse survivor and a Scottish demon. It was fun to give her like... a normal dramatic role of a daughter who has issues with her mom, lol.


With much of Circle shot in New York City's Central Park - why there, and what was it like filming there?


I had filmed scenes for movies multiple times in Central Park and I really wanted to make a full film set there. I just love Central Park and go there all the time. There's something about the fact that you have this giant arboreal area in the middle of a skyscrapers that I love and find very whimsical.


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


A flurry of activity! We filmed most of the movie in a week or so and were basically just constantly running around trying to get things shot as fast as we could. There was a lot of stuff involving dodging crowds of people and airplane noises and rain. However, everyone was up for it and we got it done!


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Circle?


We have been in a couple film fests so far and the reception was good. The film was just released on Amazon and is out to reviewers now so we haven't heard much back yet but we are hopeful it will connect with people!


Any future projects you'd like to share?


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I have a few things I'm working on right now including another film - however it's been stalled due to Covid. Hopefully this pandemic will end soon and we can get it back up and running!


Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?



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


Nope! Thank you for the interview!


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




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