new movie The Night Sitter
- in a few words, what is it about?
petty thief poses as a babysitter to rob a house at Christmas, but her and
her friends get more than they bargained for when the kids sheís
babysitting unleash a trio of witches from an evil ancient text.
What were your
sources of inspiration when writing The
wanted to write a story that would mix our love of 70s and 80s Italian
horror movies (Suspiria in particular was obviously a huge influence),
kid-driven Christmas movies like Home Alone, and irreverent horror
comedies like Idle Hands or Shaun Of The
What was your collaboration
like, both when writing and during the shoot?
Usually I like to try to come up with a detailed outline that I'll send to
Abe. Once we get on the same page, Abe will then turn the outline into a
script, and we'll bounce ideas back and forth during the process in order
to get to a presentable or "final" draft. We're constantly
evolving the characters and script (when budget permits) sometimes up
until the moment we're getting ready to shoot though, so we use the script
as a guidance tool more than anything.
As for directing, I think we both share the workload pretty evenly. There
are so many things to be doing on an indie movie, and we like to keep each
other in check rather than step on each otherís toes.
about your film's approach to horror for a bit?
made a horror movie with comedic elements riddled throughout, so it was a
fun challenge to try to capture that specific tone that lots of our
favorite cult films were able to do.
Night Sitter is a film that does have its bloody bits - so do talk
about the gore scenes in your movie for a bit, and how were they achieved?
lead special effects artist, Ben Rittenhouse, did such an amazing job.
Heís done effects for some huge movies like Kill Bill and
The Hills Have
Eyes 2, and it was such a pleasure to work with someone of that calibre on
our first feature. We were worried about finding someone who could handle
all of our effects while shooting in Tennessee, but we lucked out since
Ben had recently moved out there and started his own school. He was
actually able to staff several students he was currently teaching, so we
had a lot of extra help in the effects and makeup department. Weíre both
hardcore advocates of practical gore, so we've got quite a few juicy kills
at the end that we can't wait for you to see!
The Night Sitter
being limited to only a handful of locations, how limiting and perhaps
also liberating was this to you as a filmmaker, and what techniques did
you use to keep things interesting?
The movie was designed specifically to be shot in one location, and we
wrote it with a specific location in mind: my parentsí house in
Nashville. Itís a great space that totally suited the style we were
going for; we could jump throughout the house and use intense and vibrant
colors to create different moods even if we were moving back into a room
weíd already seen.
It was liberating to shoot in one location because that was what allowed
us to actually make the movie at a reasonable budget. Not only did we film
99% of the footage in the house, but the cast and crew were living there
during the shoot. Itís the Evil Dead model of filmmaking - go somewhere,
lock yourself inside, throw some blood around and make a movie.
What can you tell us
about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
The Night Sitter
is a genre movie, so a lot of the specificity in the story
comes from the performances and the visual storytelling. So we can only
take so much credit for the directorial approach - a huge part of the
equation is casting great actors and letting them do their thing, and
having a great cinematographer like Scotty G. Field who can elevate our
talk about your key cast, and why exactly these people?
ensemble cast was fantastic, and we couldn't be happier with all of their
performances. We had the pleasure of working with Elyse DuFour (AMC's
Walking Dead), Jack Champion (Avatar 2 & 3) as well as Jermaine Rivers
(The Gifted, MacGuyver). We depended a lot on all of our actors,
especially Elyse, since she was the lead and had to carry most of the
emotional moments in our movie. She really carried the movie on her
shoulders, and we feel truly blessed and honored to have an actor of her
calibre put so much into this role.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
nearly the entire cast and crew stayed in the location we were filming in,
so it was kind of like summer camp for 3 weeks. We all had to experience a
few cold showers since we had to share all of the hot water between 30+
people in one house. But it was a truly amazing experience that allowed
the cast and crew to quickly become friends. Everyone bonded over the fact
that weíd be having such little privacy for ourselves for almost a
month. Although trying to make our days was always stressful, it was
really a once-in-a-lifetime experience and weíre really grateful for it.
$64-question of course, where can your movie be seen?
will be available digitally on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, etc. on August
6th. And youíll be able to find DVDs/BDs of The
Night Sitter at WalMart
and other retail stores.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of The
festival world has treated us well. After we had our world premiere at
FrightFest London, we kind of rode a wave of good buzz and started getting
requests from different festivals around the world. Itís so cool to
think about people all over the world, places weíve even been, getting a
chance to watch it on a big screen. We got a chance to see it with an
audience at a film festival in Los Angeles and it was a really special
Any future projects you'd like to
have another feature film concept that weíve actually been wanting to
make since before The Night Sitter; itís a serial killer thriller called
Killerís Vanilla about a homicidal rideshare driver who is obsessed with
a pop starlet. We both live in LA and itís kind of our love letter to
What got you into filmmaking in the first place,
and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
both went to film school, but for each of us the passion for filmmaking
was something that started as children. When youíre first discovering
movies - especially horror movies, which are so powerful and evocative -
you just sort of get hooked and you want to create those images, create
those feelings. Then you just have to never give up chasing it.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to The
formed a collective of filmmakers who share the same passion for horror
called Roller Disco
Massacre. All of us met in film school and the
partnership was born there. We've made a series of vibrantly colorful
horror shorts since graduating, and The Night Sitter
is our first feature.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Carpenter, Sam Raimi, Dario Argento, Alexandre Aja, Lucio Fulci [Lucio
Fulci bio - click here], Michele
Soavi, Edgar Wright, Brian De Palma, Fred Dekker.... the list goes on and
The Thing (1982) is my favorite, but there are so many other films I
Spring Breakers, Shaun Of The
Dead, Good Time, Under The
Skin. Iíd say
some of the best movies currently out are being released by A24.
Such a difficult question, and Iím going to challenge myself not to
repeat any of Johnís answers. Iíll just say three that I love because
of the voyeurism, tone and production design: Rear Window, Body Double and
.. and of course, films you really
I try to give everything a shot and usually can find something good in
every movie I watch. Iím not a huge fan of the Disney/Marvel/Star Wars
franchises being built and rebuilt, but Iím in the minority of course.
As long as
thereís at least one good horror movie being released a month, Iím
Itís fun to analyze movies and figure out why they werenít as
successful as they couldíve been, but itís tough to really hate on any
movies because we want the industry to be healthy. If people are paying
money and driving to the theater to watch movies, thatís a win for the
industry. I personally hope every movie makes money and finds an audience.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
or by going to our YouTube channel
- Roller Disco Massacre. We've also got Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
accounts for The Night Sitter
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
forgot to ask us if we are delighted to be interviewed by your site, and
the answer is yes.
Thanks for the interview!