Your new movie The
Isolation Horrors - in a few words, what is it about?
plot of the film is about a man who during self-isolation finds a bloody
face-mask in the street and makes video calls to his friends to see if
they are okay. We are then taken to the different places of isolation
where the friends are experiencing their own horrors. The five filmmakers
have made their own stories, and filmed and acted in their own films,
which comes together in this little short film anthology.
what was the idea to collect all these horror filmmakers for The
Isolation Horrors, and what guidelines were they given to be
featured in your anthology?
idea was to be creative with friends during this time of self-isolation. I
wanted to set out some basic parameters so we all would create under the
same conditions: Shoot at your place of isolation, shoot on your phone,
make a horror film. Besides that I wanted to keep it open for the
filmmakers to enjoy the experience and be unlimited in their creativity,
play with their own ideas and with what was available to them. Whether the
style was black and white, cinematic, video, comical, tragic etc. It
needed to be a work of passion for them.
Why horror, and is that a
genre at all dear to you, and why (not)?
five filmmakers all have made horror before and are huge fans of the
genre, so it was obvious that we would go that way, also taking in to
consideration the current situation of the world as inspiration.
Do talk about
the filmmakers chosen for The
Isolation Horrors for a bit, and why exactly them? And how do you
know them even?
have worked with all of them before. On several occasions with several of
them involved in the same project. We have worked on each other’s
projects or have met working together on other people's projects. These
filmmakers are all more than just directors or writers or actors. They can
do it ALL, including write and shoot the film, which was a huge reason for
choosing them to participate.
What can you tell us about your own
segment, and what was the inspiration behind it?
My segment The Bloody Face Mask is weaving in and out through
the film connecting the individual short films. I wanted my film to be
slightly comical, fantastic and excessive (colourful, smoke machines in
the streets, flashing lights etc.), and to keep a very video-like quality,
in order to contrast some of the other short films so they would stand out
individually with their own style and moods. Also to give a breathing room
for the audience, before another short film starts.
about your segment's approach to horror?
Bloody Face Mask is mainly inspired by 50s sci-fi horrors and grindhouse. A cartoonish approach to look and feel, adding the sci-fi monster
element, using special props and puppetry and low tech effects. Those
films from the 50s can today appear unintentionally comedic, and I wanted
to bring that comedy element in for the purpose of helping the dynamic of
the overall film.
What kind of a
challenge is it to make a movie while sticking to lockdown rules, and what
are the advantages (if any)?
is an advantage that you suddenly have time to do this kind of thing.
Experiment with filmmaking, effects, editing etc. The biggest difficulty
was to accept the parameter of shooting on a phone (mainly because of the
lack of use of different lenses), but in the end that challenge became an
What can you tell us about
your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
find it very difficult to direct myself. Maybe that is also why my segment
is more comedic. In this case the acting was about getting the plot
delivered and then the real directing was the aesthetics, the visuals, the
photography, the editing, the effects. I love doing jump cuts with this
kind of handheld phone footage, and love spending time on making props and
effects. We ended up having 4 different especially made face masks for the
film for the different needs.
also play the lead in your segment - so what did you draw upon to bring
your character to life, and how much of the real you can we find in the
is mostly the real me. I am not a professional actor, and I tend to
overact when I am in front of the camera, so, in this case, where all the
filmmakers acts on camera as a fictional version of themselves, I tried to
act as little as possible, and just deliver what was needed for the plot.
A lot of the storytelling happens in the editing or in interactions with
the other filmmakers. Which probably makes for a better film. I think
ultimately I am better behind the camera.
What can you tell us about the shoot as such,
and the on-set atmosphere?
shoot was very efficient. It was done in one evening with only two people
on set (one of the rules were that we were not allowed to add people to
the set that we were not isolating with). But we worked very efficiently
with spotlights on the roof of our house illuminating the street and a
smoke machine on the pavement etc. Most of the time I am operating
switches just out of frame while acting. For example in the last scene
when I am walking down an alley looking scared, I actually have a 1000w
dimmer in my hand just out of frame creating the flashes of light behind
The $64-question of course,
where can The
Isolation Horrors be seen?
YouTube! From Friday 24th April
2020 9pm (UK time) -
Anything you can tell
us about audience and critical reception of The
Isolation Horrors yet?
the time of writing the film has not been released to the public, but it
has been reviewed by a few blogs that has given the film kind words.
Any future projects you'd
like to share?
the moment I am finishing the editing of a fashion film that was shot last
year in Los Angeles, which will premiere at an international festival in
San Diego, California this summer. And I have just finished writing a sexy
and colourful LGBT thriller short film that I hope to film next. I am also
booked as DOP and editor on a new M. W. Daniels short film in the fall [M.W.
Daniels interview - click here].
What got you into filmmaking in the first
place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
was probably the TV show Twin Peaks when it originally aired in the
early 1990s that got me hooked on filmmaking. I studied at European Film
College in Denmark, and moved on to be a 1st assistant director in the film industry. I spent 8 years working as 1st
on TV-drama, feature films and commercials for, among others, the Lego
brand. I also was floor manager on national TV for 24 live programmes, and
studied lighting design and show-calling at London College of Music and
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to The
the past 6 years I have had a growing success with making fashion films,
which has won more than 30 international film festival awards. This a
genre that is new, which is very stimulating to explore and develop and
discuss between filmmakers at festivals. Latest we were hired to make 2
separate fashion films in Los Angeles last year, which was a satisfying
achievement. This has led me to doing campaigns for commercial brands,
which of course is where the money is, which ultimately gives you the
freedom to experiment with your own ideas, like The
How would you describe
yourself as a director?
am a very technically efficient director. This probably comes from my
experience with scheduling and logistics as a 1st AD.
I believe that knowing all aspects of practical filmmaking and the
efficiency and challenges of a filmset, in addition to having studied
narrative structure and development in storytelling, is a great background
of knowledge for a film director. The artistic vision and stylistic
expression is then a matter of taste.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Rodriguez’ Planet Terror with his approach to trashing up the film
and giving it texture was one of the inspirations of The Bloody Face
Mask. Lars von Trier does some of the same in his own way and has a
very efficient way of using selective production value. I love classic
film noir, which also emerged from a need to produce with limited
resources (hence strong key light, shadows etc.). Brian de Palma has
taught me how valuable it is as a filmmaker to tell your story with
limited dialogue and instead focus on cinematic tools. Other great
low-budget filmmakers that has been a huge inspiration for me are John
Waters with his politically incorrect approach and shock value, and William
Castle with his marketing gimmicks.
I were to name a few: Gus Van Sant's Elephant with its simplicity,
David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive for its gorgeous mystery, John Water’s
Female Trouble for the colourful and hilarious docu-drama,
William Castle’s Homicidal for the suspense and twists, Lars von
Trier’s Dancer in the Dark for the emotional filmmaking, Brian de
Palma’s Dressed to Kill for the cinematic scope, anything with
Charles Busch, and several classic film noirs including Sunset
Boulevard, Laura, The
Big Combo, Detour and
... and of course, films you really
is such a complex media that you can almost always find something that is
good or interesting. Maybe the actor is good but the script is bad etc. I
don’t remember ever thinking a film was bad on all accounts. The only
film I ever fell asleep to in the cinema was Sense &
Your/your movie's website, social media,
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
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out nicolaikornum.com for
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On Facebook you can find me at
and on Instagram @nicolaikornumphotography
Anything else you're dying to mention and
I have merely forgotten to ask?
forget to check out the amazing filmmakers involved with The
Isolation Horrors! The horror icon Emma Dark [Emma
Dark interview - click here], the impeccable avantgarde filmmaker M.
W. Daniels [M.W. Daniels
interview - click here], the amazing filmmaking and acting talent of Richard Markworth,
and the productive multi-talent John Whitaker aka musician 1i2c.
Thanks for the inteview!