Your new movie Agoraphobia
- in a few words, what is it about?
Itís about a woman who is unable to leave her home due to an acute case
of agoraphobia. She inherits a
house where she thinks sheís going to finally be able to overcome her
illness. Instead, she begins to
suspect that the new house is haunted, and due to her condition, nobody
Agoraphobia as such - is that at all a fear you can relate to, and
how did you happen upon it as a premise of your movie?
I have aviophobia, which became pretty severe after the events of
September 11th. Itís under
control now, but I had to go to therapy to be able to set foot on a plane
again after that. Agoraphobia
seemed like a similar type of phobia, where people look at you like
youíre crazy and just canít understand why you canít just get over
it. The idea of not being able
to leave your house was scary to me on its own, so once you add that
youíre not safe inside either, it seemed terrifying.
being a ghost story of sorts, is that a genre at all dear to you, and some
of your genre favourites? And what do you think makes your movie different
from the usual ghost story?
Ghost stories are definitely my favorite.
The only issue I have with most of them is that you ask yourself,
ďwhy donít they just leave?Ē I
wanted to give this story a genuine reason.
She canít leave because of her illness, and the people who might
help her leave donít believe her.
Other sources of
inspiration when writing Agoraphobia?
Driving through the Florida Keys, you see some very beautiful houses in
remote islands. I liked the
irony of having a house surrounded by so much beauty and not being able to
go outside to enjoy it.
would you describe your directorial approach to your story at hand?
To keep the audience disoriented. I
wanted the audience to not know whether this is just her imagination, or
whether it is something supernatural, or even if itís a trick someone is
playing on her. If I succeed
in keeping them guessing, then the twist at the end works.
If not, I would have failed.
together with a dear long-time friend of this site, Tara Cardinal [Tara
Cardinal interview - click here] - so what was your collaboration
like, and how did she come on board even?
Tara and I are both part of a Facebook group of female directors.
I had originally planned to film in Los Angeles, so I posted
something on there asking for help from an experienced producer in L.A.
She wrote me right away, and I was thrilled to have her onboard.
Although we eventually moved the production to Miami, I would not
have been able to do it without her. She
took care of most of the casting and ran the entire production while I
directed. Not only do we love
working together, but weíve become really good friends.
Tony Todd and Cassandra Scerbo
features fan fave Tony Todd in a major supporting role - so what was it
like working with him, and how did you get him even?
That was all Tara. She fought
to have him join the cast and made it happen.
I was actually terrified of working with him.
I thought heíd be difficult or demanding.
Instead, he was a complete sweetheart and so easy to work with.
He continues to be involved with the film and to help us promote
can you tell us about the rest of your key cast, and why exactly these
We needed a very strong actor for the lead role, since sheís in
ninety-five percent of the scenes. Iíd
seen Cassandra Scerbo in Sharknado, and I thought that she was the
best part of that film. Tara
made that happen as well. The
rest of the cast came from very talented actors that either Tara or I had
worked with in the past or had always wanted to work with.
When you have a cast of seven people, every performance has to be
spot on or it kills your film.
I think your location is one of the key factors
of Agoraphobia - so
what can you tell us about the house it was filmed in, and the advantages
but maybe also challenges of filming there?
One of the reasons we decided to make this film at this time was the fact
that most of it happens in one location.
That helps us keep the budget relatively low so that you can spend
more money on talent. However,
filming at someoneís house is very challenging.
They initially are excited about it, but when fifty people descend
on their house and wreak havoc, it stops being fun.
I donít think Iíll ever do that again.
What can you
tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
This has to be the hardest production for me yet.
When you are trying to do an entire feature film in fifteen days
and you are flying in talent, there is zero room for error.
For example, we had Tony Todd on set for only one day, and we had
to film all four of his scenes in those twelve hours, no matter what.
I was actually physically ill that day on set, because the stress
level was so high. But you
just have to grin and power through.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
idea when and where the film is going to be released onto the general
We just signed a distribution deal for North America, Scandinavia,
Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Japan.
I donít have dates yet though.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
We start production in mid-February on a new film called, All Girls
Weekend. I like to call it
a horrific adventure film, because itís not a typical horror film.
Itís more of an adventure with some really gruesome events.
Itís an all-female cast, and it takes place in the mountains.
Itís my homage to one of my favorite films ever, The
Descent, but without the monsters Ė five strong, adventurous women
who are roughing it and get really roughed up.
That last part might be an understatement.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
for the interview!