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Saturday, 29 October 2016

My chat with Oliver Park.....Writer and Director from London. He loves bringing the HORROR to YOU!

A quote that Oliver loves...."Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting “holy shit – what a ride!”

This looks haunting .....and creepy..."Vicious" promo still
"Palpable sense of dread" -The 7th Matrix
She never left.....

It's Halloween weekend and perfect for an interview with a filmmaker who is into bringing the scares right to your doorstep. Oliver Park, who is from Bath, England but now resides in London is a an award winning filmmaker. His first short "Vicious" has won eight awards internationally, including Gold Award for Best International Film at Toronto After Dark and Platinum Award at the LA Horror Competition. Read more about him and his love of creating films that will scare the shit out of you. 

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing scary stories since I was old enough to pick up a pen. I am lucky in that I have very vivid dreams almost every night. Many of my ideas are lifted almost beat for beat from my nightmares – instead of turning over and trying to forget them, I’ll sit up and try and remember every detail – then write them down.

Was there anyone in particular that inspired you to write horror films or was there a film?
I was born in the 80s, so grew up with stories by M. R. James, H. P. Lovecraft and Stephen King. Then, when I discovered horror films I quickly fell in love with films by Carpenter, Craven, Kubrick, Romero, Cronenberg, Argento, Barker and of course – Hitchcock (to name but a few).
My father is also a huge film fan so he introduced me to the horrors from the 50s and 60s, the Hammer Horror collection – and two of my all-time favorites: ‘Night of the Demon’ by Jacques Tourneur and ‘Nosferatu’ by F. W. Murnau.

What’s your favorite horror film?
The first one that always comes to mind is "Halloween". It was my childhood film, so I've long since had an admiration for Carpenter and that sinister, suspenseful style of horror. I also love Hitchcock, Hideo Nakata, James Wan, Polanski and Takashi Shimizu. 
Other films that truly stuck with me were: The Omen, Ringu, Nosferatu, Rec, Insidious, Candyman, Amityville and the very old BBC version of 'Whistle and I'll come to you' which was an M.R.James novel — I tend to side with novels more than films as they scared me so much more. M.R. James is amazing.

I’ve watched the trailer to “Still”, and I have to say I really am looking forward to watching it. Turnabout Media  said: “Still is what nightmares are made of.” So, can you give my readers more info on the plot and what we can expect?Seriously, will we be able to sleep after we watch it?
Haha, I’m sure you’ll all be able to sleep. It’s nightmarish because it’s something that can actually happen.There are several ways of watching it, depending on what scares you, you may see something completely different. It’s about a woman that is alone one night, waiting for her husband to return. It’s one of the scenes from the feature idea so it feels a little like a teaser short film for the feature.

When will it be released for viewing? Will it be turned into a feature film?
‘Still’ will be released at some point in the New Year – probably at a similar time to when ‘Vicious’ was released last year.
I would love to make the feature version. The feature script is done so now I am hoping to develop it further with a production company. All my ideas are features first and are condensed into shorts so I can make them now.

Where do you see yourself in a year?
Hopefully making a horror feature! I am so eager to get started as my passion for horror has been building for so long. I am a perfectionist so I would never want to rush.
There are also some great films that I am a part of as an actor so I am looking forward to their release within the next year.

Tell me three fun facts about you.
I studied Architecture and still work freelance in this field in my spare time.
One of my favorite memories is trekking the Grand Canyon.
For a horror filmmaker, I don’t scare easily but I jump at anything and everything.

Where do you go for inspiration for your work?
I feel very lucky in that I seem to get inspired by many things. I get new ideas for stories, set pieces and characters almost every day. I love driving and being alone in the car is where most of my ideas slot into place in my mind. I also like to go to haunted and scary places and write, as then my imagination really goes into overdrive!
I prefer working with people. It would be great to have a small team of great people and talk through ideas – especially with horror. Horror is very subjective so I always run my ideas by people to test the waters.

I share motivational and inspirational quotes with my readers, is there one you would like to share?
I live by various mantras and quotes that I tell myself every day. I even have ‘horror’ ones that I use when I write and make films. Here is a good one that I love -
Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting “holy shit – what a ride!”

Tell me, what is your writing process for films like for “Vicious”?
Get a laptop, find a dark corner somewhere at night. Open your laptop so the screen’s light blinds you to everything else around. Look around. Ask yourself, what’s the scariest thing that could happen to me right now?
I've always been able to scare people with my ideas, so with my scripts, I don't hold back. I turn what start out as creepy snippets of ideas into horrifying stories by asking myself "what would happen if this was real? What would I do? What would others do?”

Are there certain places that you like to write or certain software that you use?
I can type very quickly so I prefer to write on a laptop so that my fingers can keep up with my mind. It’s too slow to write by hand.
I have never lived alone so I have trained myself to be able to write anywhere, distractions or not, I find a way to write. You can always find a quiet place to do the re-writes but if it’s an inspired idea that’s just hit me, I write it however and wherever I can.

Who do you look up to in the film industry and why?
Everyone! I have only just begun so anyone that is already working in the industry is someone I can learn from. Those who work on their craft and polish their ideas to perfection. Those that spring to mind are: Ethan Hawk, James Wan, Jason Blum, Mark Duplass and Ana Lily Amirpour. I would love the chance to meet or work with so many people - I could go on and on!

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are two things you would have to have with you?
Easy. I would have a knife and a camel.

What’s your favorite part of Halloween and do you have a favorite candy?
I love the energy that surrounds Halloween. People are excited to go out, dress up and just have fun. There are also lots of horror experiences that come out, horror mazes, rides and places to go which fill my mind with ideas.

I haven’t got a sweet tooth so candy doesn’t do it for me. My weakness is bread. I’ll just knock on doors and ask for a piece of toast or a loaf of bread!

'Still' follows the story of a woman who is visited one night by a statuesque figure and we hope to make it even more terrifying than Vicious.

Teaser for his film "Still"

"Vicious" short...watch now

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About Maria Rochelle

Maria is a writer of multiple genres, and author of the popular children's picture story book series Jasmine Dreams.
Find out more about Maria here →


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