Your new movie The
Witches of the Watch - in a few words, what is it about?
Witches of the Watch
is a story of a mother and daughter who move to a new neighborhood and
little do they know the neighborhood is "run" by an all women
watch committee. They are invited to the watch meeting and the intentions
of the watch members becomes clear.
Witches of the Watch is what I'd call a suburban horror story - so
have you worked any actual experiences into your movie (not the witches I
hope), is the film in any kind or form autobiographical?
specifically no. The themes the story hits on are very real to every
neighborhood though. It deals with issues like power struggles,
secrets, relational drama and acceptance.
sources of inspiration when writing The
Witches of the Watch?
I was definitely inspired by sources like
Desperate Housewives, The
Witches of Eastwick as well as films like The Devil Wears Prada, where the
superintention of the characters is the antithesis of their stated
Do talk about your movie's
approach to horror for a bit!
Like all my
stories, I introduce horror elements into human stories, both to make them
interesting to watch but also to accentuate their message. Horror dilemmas
in a character range from the interpersonal (the horror comes from within
them) to personal (relational) to extra personal (outside forces). In The
Witches of the Watch, Holly is so trying to avoid revealing herself while Lois is doing
her best to scare Holly into submission, though her superintention is to
give up control. Playing on real fears is what makes horror effective, and
is not always about blood and guts.
Most of The
Witches of the Watch takes place in one single living room - so
what did you do to keep things interesting despite this limitation of
With the exception of a few lines of dialogue most
of what you see in the film is improvisation. In fact other than
about 10% of the script, the dialogue in the film is improvised variations
of the script. The cast was able to have a lot of fun with it.
What can you tell us about your overall
directorial approach to your story at hand?
I wanted this film, with its all female cast, to bond
together. If you over direct an ensemble, you lack chemistry and organic
energy. That's why I cut them loose with the improv. The result is a group
of 7 ladies who had a lot of fun playing off one another and their
performance shows that.
about your key cast, and why exactly these people?
all along was to use The
Witches of the Watch
as the first of a series of 5 short film
shoots and wrap around story using the same key cast. Since we shot that
film the rest of the project had to be put on hold due to my wife's
health, but Gwendolynn Murphy, Ashley Felkner, Gracie Whitton and Tricia
Mauro were our main repeating cast members throughout the series. They are
all amazing actors. Kara Rainer, Natali Jones and Katy Key round out the
watch members and were selected for the various traits they brought to the
cast which created diversity. Katy was the young wife, Natali brought an
Italian type edge and Kara just blew us away with her audition and beat
out several other amazing actors for her role.
words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
shoot was a total blast. That being said, it rained the entire weekend.
In fact we had to incorporate rain and water imagery into the film as a
whole in order to get the film shot. The shots of it raining are
real. And thankfully it didn't stop all weekend so we had continuity
where can The Witches
of the Watch be seen?
The film is
touring the festival circuit and is just getting started. Its been
officially selected to Lost Sanity Film Festival in Hoboken and will
screen later this month. More festival news is coming soon and can be seen
on social media for announcements.
Anything you can tell us
about audience and critical reception of The
Witches of the Watch?
Other than the reviews we've received from
online journalism outlets, which has been widely positive so far, we
haven't received much feedback yet.
Any future projects you'd
like to share?
At some point we may pick
this project back up and finish it.
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