GHOUL GUIDE

Gareth Tun­ley shot The Ghoul in ten days. Here’s his six-step plan to cre­at­ing a no-bud­get mir­a­cle

Empire (UK) - - RE.VIEW - WORDS SI­MON CROOK

1. FAKE IT

“When you’re skint, you have to in­no­vate. Take the night-drive scene at the end of the film. That was Tom [Meeten, who plays un­der­cover cop Chris] in a parked car in Twick­en­ham, with our pro­ducer us­ing two torches gaffer-taped to a box. Stand be­hind the car, sway from side to side and you recre­ate the ef­fect of pass­ing head­lights.”

2. CAST YOUR FRIENDS

“Any­one can make a film us­ing the re­sources you have. The Ghoul cost a fag and a fiver. I’ve known Tom and Alice Lowe [who plays Chris’ for­mer col­league and ex, Kath­leen] since the early 2000s when we were do­ing the Eal­ing Live sketch show, so it’s helped be­ing part of this emerg­ing Bri­tish indie scene. Tom’s fa­mous for his grotesque comedy char­ac­ters, and wasn’t an ob­vi­ous choice to play a muted cop, but holy shit, I was lucky. He’s a bril­liant ac­tor.”

3. INVENT YOUR OWN SHOTS

“The high-an­gles of Tom walk­ing the streets were a poor man’s crane shot — or, more ac­cu­rately, me dan­gling out of the win­dow of my flat with a cam­era. We were con­stantly in­vent­ing stuff on the hoof. I had an elab­o­rate mon­tage planned for a party scene but we ran out of time. So I took the shot-list, filmed it as one scene and cre­ated a new tech­nique: I call it the mono-tage.”

4. GET BEN WHEAT­LEY ON SPEED DIAL

“Be­ing cast in Down Ter­race was a gal­vanis­ing mo­ment for me: Ben Wheat­ley proved you

can make great cin­ema for next to noth­ing. As ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer, Ben helped get The

Ghoul a dis­trib­u­tor but he has this ruth­less edi­tor’s eye. He hacked away stuff I was cling­ing onto that should never have been in the film.”

5. GO GUERILLA

“We stole shots all over Lon­don, con­stantly mov­ing, lest some­body stop us film­ing. The for­est scene was a tiny copse in Wandsworth Com­mon. It’s the magic of cin­ema: we just made the same trees look like a for­est by shoot­ing them at dif­fer­ent an­gles.”

6. AND USE YOUR LO­CAL

“The oc­cult stuff is all his­tor­i­cally ac­cu­rate. I even had a magic con­sul­tant — well, a bloke I met in the pub who was into the oc­cult. The dia­logue about a magic spell to keep Hitler from in­vad­ing Bri­tain is all true but orig­i­nally I got the names wrong. My bloke-in-the pub cor­rected it. My magic con­sul­tant ba­si­cally cost a pint.”

THE GHOUL IS OUT ON 4 SEPTEM­BER ON DVD, BLU-RAY AND DOWNLOAD

Tom Meeten as homi­cide de­tec­tive Chris. Be­low: Alice Lowe is Kath­leen, his co-in­ves­ti­ga­tor in a com­plex case.

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