Your new movie House
of Lexi - in a few words, what is it about?
is about Lexi Stone who lost her sister Haley at birth
and supposedly lost her mother in a car crash, and Lexi imagines her sister
as an adult as she wants to see her grow up, but this turns on Lexi and
begins to haunt her.
How closely could you actually identify with your lead character
Lexi, and is anything about her and what she's going through based on
Lexi is basically myself. I was born
in 1970 and my sister passed away as a baby in 1965 - I never met her but
always wanted to imagine what she would look like now and be like now, so
it's kind of a true story but with a made up story inside it.
(Other) sources of inspiration
when writing House
Music really inspired me when writing this
story as it does for pretty much all my stories, especially as I compose all the
music for my films. A Ligeti piece called Requiem inspired me and when it
came time to record the soundtrack, I worked with Nicola Barney who is a
mezzo soprano, and the Ligeti piece was a huge touchstone for the main
title. My interest in loneliness, sadness and bleakness was a huge
inspiration when writing
of Lexi is rather slowburn in its horror, so much so I'd almost
call it morbidly lyrical - would you at all like to elaborate on that?
the whole film pervades a sense of dread and sadness, so a sense of both
beauty and darkness runs through it. The film concentrates on the sadness
aspect of one individual but at the same time a huge hanging haunted
feeling looms over the film. The blend of emotional power and haunting
fear is something that interested me when writing
few words about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
As there is not much dialogue, a lot of it relies on capturing those
facial expressions and movements that express the lonely feeling of the
film, and Emma Dark [Emma Dark
interview - click here] was brilliant at acting that as she was with the
dialogue. I’m working on another film with Emma again in the lead role
for next year.
talk about House
of Lexi's cast, and why exactly these people?
Dark who plays Lexi was perfect for the role, Lexi is very subtly
affected by her mind, and Emma conveyed this amazingly. Helen Stephens who
plays her sister Haley again fits the role brilliantly. Haley is a
content soul and the complete antithesis to Lexi, Helen plays this with
great atmosphere. Jane Garioni plays Mary, who is Lexi's emotionally
attached neighbour and Jane really is Mary in that part. Loving but
brooding at the same time, and very obsessed by Lexi. Sean Francis
Mclaughlin plays Mary's paramedic husband Derek and is very thoughtful in the part.
plays Lexi's mother and in her acting debut is amazing. Again a wonderful
sense of brooding and love hangs over her character. Jools Green and
Hannah Short are the new house occupants and both play their parts
perfectly. I am always extremely careful who is cast, and in every film I
do all the actors completely fit the roles.
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
atmosphere on set is always great, everyone gets on well and when you're
making a serious psychological horror film the mood is always the far
opposite to the film's mood, so everyone is very relaxed and jovial. We
filmed the house scenes at Agnieszka’s house in north London and the
beach scenes in Whitstable, which is famous for where Peter Cushing lived.
We filmed it in two 6 hour days.
$64-question of course, where can your movie be seen?
have entered the film for various film festivals all over the world so I
should know soon if they have accepted the film or not. It may be online
eventually as a pay-per-view and on DVD/Blu-ray but that will be a very
long time off I think.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of House
The few people who have seen it and
reviewed it so far have loved the film. The creepy atmosphere of the film
has been something that has resonated with them. It's very early days yet
so hopefully more reviews soon.
Any other projects of yours you'd like to
My first film Being Without is a psychological drama and is doing
well in festivals; it got the final of the Gold Movie Awards, which is a
major film festival. The Affliction Table is a non-dialogue horror
short and is also in festivals this summer, and Emily's Hands
starring Jenny Runacre who was in The Witches, The Mackintosh Man,
Jubilee, The New Avengers, The Final Programme,
The Creeping Flesh etc.
It’s a psychological drama/horror 9 minute short and is also is
festivals soon. There are 4 or 5 films ready to work on as well.
What got you into filmmaking in the first place,
and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
got into filmmaking through a friend back in 2011, and met Nicolai Kornum
who is the DOP/sound editor/editor, and I continue to learn from him on
every film we do.
How would you describe yourself as a
I am very patient and look for that inspiration
with people I work with; I care very much about detail in the films and
the getting the right atmosphere. I compose all the music for my films so
getting a specific atmosphere is extremely important. When I type a script
and when that comes to life it is amazingly rewarding. The sense of
achievement personally for me is fantastic. I’m very proud of everyone I
work with on the films, without them it just would not happen. All
fantastic and very talented people.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Fuest, Mary Harron, Eric Rohmer, Victor Sjöström, Kathryn Bigelow,
Pasolini, Alfred Hitchcock, David Cronenberg.
There are so many, so I will pick the ones
that inspire me when writing: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, The
Elephant Man, Blow Up (1966), Stage Struck, The
Fly (1986), Freaks,
Daniel Blake, My Night at Maud's, The Phantom Carriage,
The Final Programme, The
Invisible Man (1933).
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
American Psycho 2, Hereditary, Titanic,
Your website, Facebook, whatever else?
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
so much for the interview it is much appreciated, and keep an eye out for
my upcoming films in festivals and more.
for the interview!