Your new movie It
Be an Evil Moon - in a few words, what is it about?
A dude transforms into a werewolf.
It Be an Evil Moon
essentially being a(n almost-)werewolf movie, is that a genre especially
dear to you, and some of your genre favourites?
I normally go for sci-fi/fantasy films.
sources of inspiration when writing It
Be an Evil Moon?
to write a film about transformation and am also very interested in the
human relationship with nature. Cronenberg’s The Fly was an
influence on It
Be an Evil Moon, I just really liked the subtext in this
film and the slow transformation. Another film I loved at the time of
writing was Ali Abbasi’s Boarder. This inspired me to make a
modern-day folklore film.
Do talk about the effects work
in It Be an Evil Moon
for a bit!
This process was a big part of this film and Jodie
prosthetics designer) worked for three months in pre-production designing and
making the prosthetics, around half the crew listed in the credits were in
the makeup department.
What can you tell us about It
Be an Evil Moon's approach to horror?
Making a horror film is a lot of fun. We opted for an
approach that allows the viewers to imagine most of the violence rather
than an all-out gore fest. Plenty of other films do this so we wanted to
focus more on the characters. The horror elements were a nice way to add
darkness to the mix.
course also have to talk about It
Be an Evil Moon brand of humour for a bit!
well, the film wasn't originally
written as a comedy. It has comedic moments but it's not straight jokes
and never meant to be a laugh-out-loud thing. I wasn't sure if anyone
would get the humour in the film as it is a bit medium dry. I expect
for a lot of people, it just flies over the head like an evil bat or
words about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
One thing that I wanted to do with this film is not explain
anything. I prefer to leave as much as possible up to the viewer's
imagination. The answers are all there, but not openly in dialog and open
to interpretation - maybe this was a mistake, I think in my next film I'll
tone this down a bit. Wouldn’t want to dumb it down too much for the
masses but the objective was to entertain, not confuse, so next time I
will split the difference.
also written the score for It
Be an Evil Moon - now how did you go about that, and what can you
tell us about its musical style and influences?
Yeah, I enjoyed making the music for this.
The idea was that the music transformed along with the film. In the
beginning, I purposely left it empty, void of emotion as the
transformation starts, electronic (sci-fi) music is used and when the
horror starts - doom metal is introduced. When the film moves into the
wilderness the music is more organic, using instruments such as the
Northumbrian Pipes and orchestral instruments like cello, violin and
french horns. The soundtrack album is getting released on Ciao Ketchup
Recordings on Christmas Day 2023.
about It Be an Evil Moon's
cast, and why exactly these people?
I enjoy big, eccentric characters and
generally went for the nutters. We advertised for the roles on a website
called Mandy and were surprised by how many people applied. The lead part
for Freddy had over one thousand people applying for the role! I
originally wanted to cast Freddy as a Scotsman, but I said Scottish accent
in the advert. Out of all the replies Ian Ray-White was the only person to
send a self-tape (not needed or requested). It was him in his bathroom
doing a monologue from Macbeth! I think it was to show his Scottish
accent. This performance was incredible… I then found out that he had
directed a film called Planet Of The Baybes. I watched the film and
honestly I have never seen anything like it, it was released in 2014
filmed on a camcorder and has millions of views on YouTube. It's a sci-fi
musical filmed in Yorkshire. I loved it. About 30 minutes into the film, I
paused it and messaged Ian to offer him the part.
What can you tell us
about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
As in most film crews,
it feels like a weird family after a few days. Most of the crew had worked
together before and we are all friends. In the highlands, we were cruelly
forced to use the local pubs as catering, a lot of the production budget
went on beer, fine wine and fish'n'chips so the atmosphere was slightly
rock'n'roll I guess. The barman at The Chicken and Goose hates us for
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of It
Be an Evil Moon?
The film premiered at the Dead Northern Film
Festival in York on the 1st Oct. It was great to see it in a cinema and
enjoyed watching people's reactions. Horror fans are great, the people who
go to film festivals are genuine film fans, and it was great to chat with
everyone after. I’m grateful to anyone who spends the time to watch the
film and even more so if they take the time to write a review. Even if
it's a bad review, still appreciate it. Most reviews have been positive,
most of the negative ones I kind of agree with.
Any future projects you'd like
I’ve just started preproduction on my next film - it's
called The Bones Of St Cuthbert. It is a sword and sorcery film set
five years after the fall of Camelot.
What got you into filmmaking in the first
place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
I made my first short film at 14 years old, in 1991 on VHS. It
was called James in Jeopardy. In those days filmmaking was a hard thing to
get into. Real film (35mm or 16mm) is very expensive, to make a film in
the 90s you needed serious cash. I ended up becoming a musician
instead, moving to London and playing guitar in bands. I got into Super 8
in my 20s making some very strange short films and also making music
videos for bands. In 2017 I bought a Black Magic cinema camera and started
making short films as a hobby, but It was really during the 2020 lockdown
that I decided to move into the film industry full-time. I spent the time
watching around six hours a day of YouTube tutorials on filmmaking -
everything from scriptwriting to cinematography to acting. In 2021 I
started working as a sound mixer and boom op as I realised that I needed
to get some on-set experience. This experience I found was so much more
beneficial than film school or YouTube could have ever given me. I’ve
had the privilege to work with some great directors, DPs, actors and
gaffers - they taught me a lot.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to It
Be an Evil Moon?
Be an Evil Moon is my first feature as a
director, I think it was around 10 short films I had done before.
How would you describe yourself
as a director?
I tend to let people do their
jobs. I would never feed actors lines or even let them know how I think
the part should be played. Same with the crew, if I don't like something I
would let them know, but if you trust people and give them the creative
input they want then the results I believe end up better.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Werner Herzog is a big inspiration to me, I don't like all
his films but Aguirre, the Wrath of God changed my life. I watch it at
least 3 times a year. Terry Gilliam I also really admire. The Time
Bandits, Brazil and Baron Munchausen trilogy is like another world, no
one else could have done these films. Both these directors are
uncompromising and clearly strive to do something different, something
that no one has done before. This I think is important.
So many, but my all-time favourites are Hawk The
2 and The Holy Grail.
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I don’t enjoy the Marvel or
Disney stuff made in the last 10 years or
superhero films in general.
Your/your movie's website, social media,
Anything else you're dying to mention and
I have merely forgotten to ask?
My God, is this interview
never going to end! Lol!
Thanks for the