Your new movie The Star
Light Motel - in a few words, what is it about?
is a short film about a woman who seems to have some
serious substance abuse issues spending the night in a haunted motel room. After
having a nightmare involving the ghost who committed suicide in the room, she
subsequently finds a photo of her and then attempts to summon her, with dire
What were your sources of inspiration when writing The
Star Light Motel?
don't know if any come to mind in particular. The two obvious ones would seem
like Psycho and The Shining, but I didn't have them in
mind when I wrote it. I mean, nobody gets butchered in a shower and there are
no evil butlers lurking around (or are there...?). I just think motel rooms
are a good, claustrophobic setting for a horror film or thriller.
To what extent could you actually identify with The
Star Light Motel's protagonist Kathy?
not sure if I identify with her, although I tried making her an empathetic
character and I hope the audience does. She just seemed like the right
character for this story: the seemingly perfect mom with a secret drug problem
who's about to experience a horrible fate.
words about The Star
Light Motel's approach to horror?
don't know, I suppose it has a fairly nihilistic approach to the material,
sort of like a John Carpenter film, plus the music sounds similar to his
stuff. Not that I'm a nihilist, by any means, though. The snide, fairly
over-the-top approach to the drug use probably made it more comedic than I
Star Light Motel is basically limited to just one motel room, what
were your techniques to keep things visually interesting throughout?
I really wanted was a good sense of atmosphere. The kind some of the old-timey
"dark and stormy night" mysteries had, like The Old Dark
House, The Black
Raven, or The Night Has Eyes. A
tiny room in a remote location, during a horrible thunderstorm, with the lead
character being forced to take shelter in what ultimately turns out to be a
very dangerous place. I tried using a lot of extreme wide angles to try and
make this small (very small) shoebox of a motel room seem much more cavernous
than it actually was. I also tried going for a more gritty/grindhouse-type
vibe, but I don't think that works as well in HD as it does on celluloid.
can you actually tell us about your location, and what was it like filming
shot it at a motel in Burlington, Ontario. The room was so small only four
people could have fit in there, and we couldn't have fit any lighting or grip
equipment in there either, but that's okay because we didn't have any anyways!
We basically lit the movie with the motel room lights, two of which were
broken. I can say in its favour that I did not detect any insects in the
Do talk about The
Star Light Motel's cast, and why exactly these people?
film only has two actors in it, Kristi Everard and Concetta Roche. Kristi, I
think, made her film debut with it. She had the kind of
"housewife/professional mom" personality I was going for. Concetta
was a last-minute replacement as the original actor couldn't make it, but I'd
already made several films with her. There was supposed to be another
character in it, the motel owner, but they were cut out of the movie.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
was fine. Very workmanlike. The only issue which concerned me was filming the
nudity, but Kristi was very professional about it, as was everyone else. This
film actually took me nearly two years to get made, was rewritten many times,
and had several aborted attempts at production. Originally there was supposed
to be a lot more gore and special effects in it, but these were all cut out
simply because of the tiny budget. For a film which took me so long to get
made it is ironically probably my most poorly-prepared film, but I'm perfectly
satisfied with the end result.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
$64-question of course, where can The
Star Light Motel be seen?
Light Motel can be viewed at
along with my feature The Kingdom of
Anything you can tell
us about audience and critical reception of The
Star Light Motel?
was screened at the Nasty Frames Film Festival, the self-proclaimed
"World's Worst Film Festival", and was pretty well-received. Albeit
by a bunch of who I presume were drunken horror/exploitation afficionados that
were encouraged to heckle the movies.
Any future projects you'd like
I am currently in pre-production on my next feature film, the aptly titled Blood
Fury. It is sort of like Poltergeist meets Society. Luckily there are no blood orgies with shunting in the
film. The characters just stick with blood, mucus, vomit, farting, and other
mysterious bodily amenities during the blood orgy sequence, the old-fashioned
way. It's a bloody good time!
Your/your movie's website, social media,
don't have a website at the moment but am working on making one.
Anything else you're dying to mention and
I've only forgotten to ask?
wouldn't happen to know tomorrow night's lottery numbers, would you?
Thanks for the interview!