Your new movie The
Deeper You Dig - in a few words, what's it about?
Toby Poser: Hey! Thanks for having us... The
Deeper You Dig
is about three
lives that collide in the aftermath of a murder. Thereís guilt,
thereís vengeance, thereís a motherís fierce love... all twisted up
in blood, snow, creepy houses, karmic clowns, sawzalls... and a lot
I'm wondering, how did this project come into being even - I mean, how did
you as a family unit come together and decide to make a horror movie?
Adams: Weíd made a number of dramas and thought the horror genre would
give us a lot of creative freedom, from the storytelling to the
cinematography to the music to the sound design.
can you tell us about your respective backgrounds in the filmmaking world?
I come from an acting background - theater, TV, indie film. When I hit 40
it seemed like a good time to take the reigns, so thatís when we made
our first film, Rumblestrips, with our two kids (6 and 11 at the time). It
was such a good time and enjoyed a fun festival ride, so we were hooked.
I was on a reality TV show called the Rock and Roll Acid Test in 2008, and
I really enjoyed watching and hanging out with the crew, realizing it was
something I was interested in.
to The Deeper You Dig
- what were your sources of inspirations while writing the movie?
Nightmares. The weather.
Not to be too macabre, but right after we began shooting I had to undergo
a number of surgeries for a reproductive cancer. Suddenly the story of a
mother who loses her child had even deeper meaning. Fortunately our girl,
Zelda, is alive and healthy (she plays Echo in the film), but what I was
going through sharpened the writing for me. Also, where we live is really
cinematic - the cold winter mountains... all the ice and snow. Not to
mention the creepy house John was actually renovating. It became the
fourth main character in the film.
talk about The Deeper You
Dig's approach to horror!
We love the visceral, but weíre more interested in the psychological and
emotional horror. The esoteric horror.
I second that. I like to approach any story as a drama that we then can
add different textures to. In this case, supernatural and psychologically
horrific angles. I like thinking of ways to connect an audience
emotionally, and then sticking a knife into it, so to speak. Also, I
donít think we care too much about following rules. Itís easier to
honor our imaginations if we donít worry too much about rules. Zelda
likes to say that she was most interested in turning the ghost story on
its head... where the ghost has true agency and is a true protagonist.
What can you tell us
about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
Since the three of us have strong opinions, we often shoot a scene three
ways. Itís just the democratic thing to do. And then we see which
direction feeds the film best while editing.
You also play the leads in The
Deeper You Dig - so please do talk about your respective
characters for a bit, and what did you draw upon to bring them to life?
The guilt I have in my dreams, and wanting to bring that to life.
Itís not a far reach, as a mother, to explore the depths of love and
longing that might activate Ivyís quest to be close to her daughter
again... the soul-wrenching lengths she would go to. That unconditional
love was really fun to explore, especially when it came with such a
can you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?
Zelda plays the 14 year old daughter, Echo. Sheís an equal creative
partner. Sheís dynamite on camera, having been doing this since she was
6, but she also shares the cinematography credit with John. And then the
rest of the cast is either family or friends we knew would be perfect for
their roles. My mom plays the elderly Mrs. Minskey, who Ivy bilks of her
money doing the bogus tarot reading (that bites Ivy in the ass down the
line.) And the detectives were actually retired cops who made those scenes
really sing. The store where Kurt buys his alcohol, rope and canvas is
actually owned by the friendly clerk we cast. And the psychic who gives
Ivy the box leading to the 7 Circles is our wonderful friend and talented
actor (with the most gorgeous screen presence), Shawn Wilson. He was so
perfect for the role.
was The Deeper You Dig
actually filmed and what was it like filming there?
We shot in the Catskill Mountains of upstate NY where we live. It was
wonderful because it really lends itself to a stark and brutal tone.
It helps too that we can walk outside our house and be in shooting heaven.
Itís got the dark woods, itís off a lonely country road, itís
covered in ice, snow, or colorful autumn leaves... Itís on a cold
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
Since we are three people, we have the luxury of being spontaneous a lot
of the time. We work around Zeldaís school and soccer schedules. We
often work with what we have, as opposed to what we donít. We use what is
at our fingertips and donít try to force too much what isnít. We
donít have special lighting or intricate equipment, so that keeps it
simple, which we donít ever feel bummed about. Instead, it keeps us
focused on the emotional core of a scene, and how we can be creative with
was the collaboration between the three of you actually like during the
Weíve been doing this for ten years - making 6 features - so Iíd say
we have a rhythm by now. We work very hard, but if itís not fun we
donít get far. So we keep it fun. And make sure life is compelling as
possible, so we can both live and create simultaneously. For instance,
since Zelda is remote learning during the pandemic, we got a camper
trailer and are bumming around the USA while we can. This creates endless
opportunities for cool shooting. We work it into the storyline and presto!
Life and work go on in happy tandem.
Anything you can tell us about audience and
critical reception of The
Deeper You Dig?
Weíve been thrilled by the positive response. People have been so
generous and we appreciate not just the positives, but also the negative
criticism that we plan to apply to our next movie.
Any future projects you'd like
Weíre working on our next feature, Hellbender... about a mother and
daughter and the secrets they keep. And the power of destiny.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Your/your movie's website, social media,
Wonder Wheel Productions
Anything else you're dying to mention and
I have merely forgotten to ask?
5th honorary member of the team is our SFX guy, Trey Lindsay. Heís the
bomb. (Lulu is our older girl, who was off in college for the film.)
are music videos on the website as well. Our band Hellbender and also
previous Kid Kalifornia music/videos.
Thanks for the