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An Interview with Dillon Brown, Director of Ghost

by Mike Haberfelner

August 2023

Films directed by Dillon Brown on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Ghost - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Ghost is about this group of mercenaries who are hired by the Vatican to eliminate cultists and demons before they can potentially bring about the End of Days. There's basically this fear that evil entities are going to attempt to kick-off the Apocalypse before God is ready, so this team on earth is fighting for the Church to prevent that from happening. This story follows one mercenary in particular, "Ghost", who is questioning the Church's motives and also searching for his missing partner.

 

What were your sources of inspiration when writing Ghost?

 

1980's B-movies, especially things that Roger Corman [Roger Corman bio - click here] has done, mixed with John Carpenter's ability to tell these wild stories, were all huge influences on me. I wanted to make a film that wasn't promoting any religion in particular, or demonizing it, but sort of create this grey area where the Church is using violence to eliminate its enemies, but maybe it's for the greater good? There's no answer here from me on if it's just or righteous, I just wanted to have some mercenaries fighting demons and figured it was a great way to make a very unique found footage film.

 

Ghost is somehow related to an earlier film of yours, The Flock - so do talk about that movie for a bit, and how closely are the two films actually connected?

 

The Flock was filmed the year prior and it follows these Satanists looking for a cult, and it just so happens these mercenaries for the Church are also looking for them as one of the soldiers believes his child was abducted by them. I originally had the story focused on the Satanists and their attempt to reach the cult before a very dangerous demon was unleashed by the ignorant cult leader, but the mercenary characters were so fun to work with that I needed to keep telling their story. So Ghost is definitely a sequel of sorts, but more of a spin-off.

 

Do talk about Ghost's approach to horror!

 

1980's horror is my favorite thing, and so I opted for a sort of 'cheesy-action-horror' vibe with this film. We never once really tried to "scare" the audience, but rather entertain them with the classic eighties tropes: one liners, silly dialogue, over-the-top villains and a rubber suit monster at the end, of course.

 

Ghost also features quite a number of action scenes - so what can you tell us about the stuntwork in your movie?

 

So, one of the very unique things we do in our films at Horror Nerd Productions is work with actual veterans, current members of the military, law enforcement and first responders who battle PTSD by using acting as a form of therapy. Now, not every person involved with the film fits this category, but I'd say 60% or more of the people involved with our productions are from a military or law enforcement background. Michael Rock, who plays "Ghost", is a former Green Beret himself, so when it comes to stunt work, we have experts already cast in the roles, so I just let them do their thing and follow their lead, as they know how to kick in doors or clear rooms or engage in combat much more than I'll ever know. It's an honor to work with so many real life heroes and I hope the acting opportunities we can afford them can aid in their rehabilitation from the everyday demons they face.

 

You chose to shoot Ghost found footage/mockumentary style - so what was the idea behind that?

 

So the idea of a camera-man (in this case "Monk," played by me!) following around and documenting this mercenary just seemed like a fun idea, so doing it in a found footage, or mockumentary as the subgenre defines it, seemed natural. But I'd also be lying if I didn't admit that shooting found footage films greatly helps out a tiny crew like we have, as we don't work with big budgets. It's an easier medium to capture. Ghost cost just under $5,000 to make. I've seen productions with lunch bills larger than that for their productions.

 

What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?

 

Honestly, I just go with the flow. I go in with an idea and many times itís larger than we can pull off, but I usually have enough meat there to chip away at it and start constructing something that is doable. Itís all about being flexible and willing to make changes when things are getting too big for a tiny indie production to pull off. You have to know your limits, but you have to push them too.

 

Do talk about Ghost's key cast, and why exactly these people?

 

We primarily use veterans and law enforcement and first responders who use acting as a therapeutic support device for battling PTSD. Itís such a unique set to be on, mixing Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, etc. Michael Rock is a former Green Beret and really coming into his own as an actor. Toma Smith is Air Force, and the dude is just built for action movies and creature acting. But we also had some non-military actors as well: Amanda Morgan (ďMandyĒ) is a more traditionally trained actress who really shined as the film went on, and Joshua Myron McKinney, known to the pro championship wrestling world as ďJMMĒ, got to really flex his villain chops.

 

The $64-question of course, where can Ghost be seen?

 

Ghost is streaming on Tubi, POV Horror and Wicked Horror TV. Itís available on Blu-Ray from the Horror Nerd Productions store via Big Cartel.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

We just shot a secret project, actually, thatís going to drop later this year. And then we are currently in production on our Bigfoot sequel, Tahoe Joe 2, which will begin principal photography in January. I also directed a segment for Ash Hamiltonís (Holes in the Sky: The Sean Miller Story) anthology about the end of the world called Fíd: Tales from the End Times.

 

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

Steven Spielberg (his long takes and lighting are unmatched), John Carpenter, Roger Corman [Roger Corman bio - click here], James Wan, Mike Flannagan [Mike Flanagan interview - click here], Dutch Marich.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

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Jurassic Park, The Fog, The Thing, Alien/Aliens, Predator, Scream, Jaws, The Howling.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

I always feel like no one in history has intentionally tried to make a film people hate on. Itís too hard to make a film to let it fail. Deep down, any artist wants their work admired. So I try not to bash films even if I donít like them in lists like this ... unless itís Jaws: The Revenge, which is the worst movie of all time.

 

Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?

 

https://horrornerdproductions.bigcartel.com

https://instagram.com/horrornerdproductions

https://www.facebook.com/horrornerdproductions

https://www.facebook.com/HorrorDadz

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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out now on DVD