Your new movie Follow
- in a few words, what is it about?
is a found footage horror short about a young couple’s idyllic summer camping trip that turns into a nightmare.
What were your
inspirations when writing Follow?
And was it based on any actual urban legends?
I do a lot of camping, and I’ve ran many scenarios in my head while
sitting in front of a campfire at night. Its a big “What if?”
situation when you’re out there. “What if” someone started coming towards
you with a light at night, “What if” you got lost in the woods at night. I think its those random fears that inspired the writing of the
film. And no, it’s not based on any actual legends that I know of.
the found footage approach for Follow,
why did you think it would work for your story at hand? And your thoughts
about this particular approach to filmmaking as such?
was actually written as a standard narrative film
initially, but after realizing shooting a film out on location in the woods at night was not feasible financially I altered the
concept to accommodate the cheaper found footage method. Thankfully the story stayed intact and I only had to make the creative
adjustments to the film by using just the POV of the camera to tell it. I think when it is done well found footage films can be
pretty effective, especially in the horror genre. I think it gives film-makers a challenge to be more creative, as you have to tell your
story within the frame of the camera’s eye.
footage films often come across as a bunch of friends going to the woods
pointing a camera at one another and then see how it turns out - so how
much preparation does actually go into a film of this sort, how big was
the actual crew on this?
Kyle Hytonen on location
For this film, I did a fair bit of location scouting, making sure the location we
used would work for sound and give a good sense of isolation. I also held auditions in finding my actors, ran rehearsals
and improvs of the script with them and did a dry run of test shots to ensure things would show up on camera before shooting.
I think to pull these films off it seems there is more prep before you even roll camera. You want to make it look natural,
but also well executed. I like to work with a small skeleton crew on my shorts, especially when working with a low budget,
it allows for less communication breakdown. This film crew was only 4 deep, and we all did some double duties.
Related to that, do talk about
your location and the actual shoot for a bit?
We shot the film partly on a conservation area and also in a
patch of wooded land in Ontario. The locations were chosen for their illusion of looking deeply isolated, although they were
actually very convenient to get to. On the first night of principal shooting we were rained out halfway through the shoot, and
the following shoot day was completely cancelled due to another stormy night. After those few hiccups however, we sailed through
the rest of the shoot.
you tell us about your two leads Heather Dicke and James Pike, and what
made them perfect for their roles?
Heather came in for her audition and had a great grasp of the role and the
performance, she did some great
improvs as well which was a big deciding factor too. James was chosen as he fit the mold of the city boy very well. They also
both had the passion that I look for in casting actors, willing to trudge out in mosquito infested woods and run around being
scared of the trees. They also teamed up great on set and had a natural easy chemistry during their scenes together.
The $64-question of
course, where can the movie be seen?
It is currently doing the festival circuit. Upcoming screenings will be at
The Hamilton Film Festival on November 9th in Hamilton, Ontario, and the
The Macabre Faire Film Festival on January 18th in Long
Any future projects
beyond Follow you'd like
I’m in early stages of prep on a few projects, one is a horror short and the other is a screwball comedy, hopefully
both going into production in 2014.
What got you into filmmaking to begin with, and did you receive
any formal training on the subject?
I started discovering all the great films around age 13 and never looked back,
I knew it was what I wanted to do. I graduated from Confederation College with a Film Production diploma.
you tell us
about your filmwork prior to Follow?
is my 4th short film.
Previously I was a content partner with
YouTube and have had various jobs in the film industry.
would you describe yourself as a director?
I’d like to say I’m a pretty easy going and collaborative director, I put a
lot of trust in my cast and crew and hopefully they do as well. I’m open to allowing actors to create their own character and interpret
the performances on their own.
who inspire you?
Filmmakers like Jim Jarmusch, Woody Allen, David Lynch, Hal Ashby, John Carpenter and The
Coen Brothers are the ones who inspire me most. I like that when you watch one of their films you know you are watching
“one of their films”. They translate their sensibilities and voice so well on film.
Your favourite movies?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Boogie Nights, The Deer
Hunter, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Halloween,
Night On Earth,
Mulholland Dr., and so many more.
and of course, films you really deplore?
I think every film is worth giving a look at. However, if you have a scene in
your movie where characters dance around and lip synch to a Motown song then
it's probably not worth finishing.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
My production banner has a Facebookpage
You can find out all the info on my films there.
you are dying to mention and I've merely forgotten to ask?
No, thank you for the interview!!
for the interview!