Tinglewood at VIFF
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WD: She doesn't actually get to see any of the monsters.
AvH: No. We had puppets made which didn't end up in the film because they weren't of a high enough quality and we let her react off of those a bit and when she saw those she could kind of see where it was going: that was good. There was nothing too scary there for her.
WD: What was the most enjoyable aspect of making this film?
AvH: I think for me it was the moment I realized it was going to be ok (laughs). It was probably high up there. The first couple of days I was really worried about whether or not I was going to be able to pull off a film of this scale because it was only my second short. I didn't have the experience to start off with, and when I realized it was actually going to work, that the performances were coming off and that it was probably going to be good, I think that was a good moment for me because I actually got to relax and really enjoy the film from that point onwards: the process of making it.
Also, I think that when I finally saw that the creatures were looking good and that they were moving properly and that the whole thing was coming together, which was quite far down the track in post, that was a good moment as well.
WD: Were there any surprises or anything that maybe took the film in a different direction?
AvH: No particularly. We spent a lot of time planning it and a lot of it went pretty much to plan. We had this guy, he's actually a grip, who did the voices for the creatures. I wasn't expecting... I had an idea about what they might sound like but when he started doing these sounds that blew me away, that was really cool. We used everything that he put up: it was all him. That was a tough one to get right, so that was pretty good.
Also Nathan Coenen, who plays the boy, his performance just blew me away. I didn't really expect some of what he did there: especially at the end when he realizes that it's all gone wrong. The way he reacts to that situation is just fantastic. I couldn't have wanted more than that: I was really impressed. Since then he's been up for quite a few nominations and awards for his acting.
WD: How has the film been received so far?
AvH: Good. It's a weird one in that it's been in quite a few horror festivals where it has a place, but then it's also been in some festivals, kind of like this one, where there are a lot of dramas . Sometimes I wonder how they position the film.
It ends up usually in like a family drama/teen angst group, which I think is what it's in for this one, which is fine because that's the heart of what the film's about. Aside from being a horror, it's about the son's relationship with his family.
It's been in a lot of festivals and it's been received well. We've had people ask about feature versions and things like that before and it's doing surprisingly well. I'm really happy with it.
WD: What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?
AvH: I'm heading along the same kind of genre. I've written a first draft of a horror which is based on an oil rig. It's not a creature thing like this but it's similar: people on the oil rig get infected by parasites that are in the oil and they start acting crazy.
It's a similar sort of genre I guess. That's getting a little bit of interest so I'm still working on it, refining the script and we'll see what happens with that. I might make another short or two but I'm heading more towards features now. I'd like to keep writing and directing as long as I can.
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