Wednesday, 24 February 2016

interview with warren dudley - director of the cutting room

warren dudley wrote and directed a rather creepy and effective found footage horror film called the cutting room, which i reviewed last week.

it turns out we follow each other on twitter so i asked warren if he would be up for answering a few questions about the film for my blog and he kindly agreed. here's the interview -

what made you decide to make a found footage horror film, and were you a fan of the format before you started?

I love the format yes. I think when it's done well (particularly with horror) that you can really take the audience to the centre of the story. The tunnels sequence at the end would not have been half as scary shot traditionally I don't think.

i feel like there's a misconception about found footage films that they're somehow easier to shoot. did you find anything about the process easier than shooting a more traditional feature, and equally was any of it more difficult than you thought it would be?

It's easier technically. If you set out to make a film look like it's been shot by students you take away a lot of the normal pressures regarding cinematography etc... however it can get boring and hard to watch pretty quickly if done badly. We tried to find a happy medium though and kept the camera fairly steady throughout.

how did you find the location for the end sequence, and was it as terrifying to film there as it looked?

The underground tunnels are at Newhaven Fort in Sussex.... my wife is the Events Manager there! It's always less scary when you are surrounded by a film crew however one night I was left on my own down there mopping up fake blood in the dark... not for the faint hearted!

The Fort is open to the public so you can visit the set if you like.

how did you find your cast, and what did you do to help them appear so natural on camera?

Casting Call Pro. We had 1,100 applicants for the three main roles. We saw about 20 people and Lucy, Lydia and Parry stood out... particularly during the improv stuff we asked them to do. We didn't rehearse much so their performances on set were lovely and natural.

You can see their first auditions on our 'Making Of' film on the DVD.

did you have a full script for the cutting room, or was some of it improvised?

It was about 90% scripted I think and a bit of ad libbing thrown in. I'm never precious with scripts. I'd rather actors felt natural with dialogue as long as the point gets across by the end of the scene.

what are some of your favourite horror films?

I'm a fan of the classic 70's horrors like The Omen, Rosemary's Baby etc. They evoke an unease that modern horror doesn't seem to do.

Oh and a mention for An American Werewolf in London. A classic of my youth. The tunnels stuff in TCR was my little homage to the London Underground scene in the movie!

did you have any issues or take any special precautions to record the sound? it seemed really clear throughout, which is impressive considering how much the camera is moving around.

Just a great sound recordist. It's one of the areas with low budget film that seems to always get forgotten, yet it's something an audience won't accept. So hats off to Kirstie Howell.

where did the idea for the story of the cutting room come from, and was any of it based on real stories?

Not based on any true stories no. Obviously the idea of three students making a film for college and getting caught up in a terrible situation is not a new one (Blair Witch!) So I just tried to give it a dreary British feel. We also didn't use a supernatural element which most FF films seem to fall back on. Our bad guy very real.

the killer has a pretty awesome mask. was that something you had designed for the film?

£8.99 paintball mask from eBay + stage blood and mud...!

what are you working on next?

My next feature is a Psychological Thriller called 'Cage' - due for worldwide release in the summer. It stars Lucy from The Cutting Room. Here's the trailer -

thanks to warren for agreeing to the interview and for providing an insight into the making of the film.

you can follow warren on twitter for more cutting room and cage news @warrendudley

also, check out the cutting room website for information on where to find the film.

No comments:

Post a Comment