THE CUTTING ROOM
With so little money available, the actual filming schedule must have been extremely tight? We shot over ten days with one camera, which is incredibly quick. The lighting in the tunnels was a torch! But that made life easier because we could shoot and shoot because we had no set-ups and because the fort is buried into the cliffs we could shoot night scenes in the day, so we shot plenty of stuff. If we’d shot it traditionally with two cameras and lighting set-ups we’d have been there for a month and it would have been out of our range. There’s one startling gory ‘money shot’ towards the end of the film – presumably again for budgetary reasons. What do you think of the trend towards more extreme horror movies? I think the first Hostel and the first Saw were really interesting movies. The later Saw films were just disgusting. I was watching number 4 or 5 recently, and there was a scene where a guy was trying to get a key out from behind his eye with a scalpel in the first minute, and I thought ‘I can’t watch it, it’s too much.’ I’m much happier with tension, you shouldn’t need blood and guts. When the blood and guts does come in ours, I think it’s a little bit shocking. Did you make a conscious effort to try to avoid some of the chaotic clichés which tend to bedevil ‘found footage’ movies? It’s very difficult to avoid all of them, obviously. I think in the first hour you start to forget that it’s ‘found footage’ because I kept the camera quite still and you start to feel a little bit like you’re watching a documentary because the shaky camera stuff can get a bit wearing. In the end, when we get down into the tunnels, we needed to get the energy up a bit so you do end up with lots of girls screaming ‘ Let’s get out of here’ because that’s part of the genre and you need it really, but I think the fact we didn’t go supernatural was probably the biggest thing we did right. Are you intending to stay in the horror/ found footage genre for your next effort? I’ll definitely do more horror because it’s such a big market and there are so many people who are willing to watch, write reviews, and blog so you can make a horror movie and it can be out there with 50 or 100 reviews very quickly whereas if you make a romcom it’s not that easy, because people aren’t that interested. If people trust that you can make movies for hardly any money, that’s a real bonus! If we’d gone into this with £250,000 debt we’d never make any money and we’d be in debt to our investors for the rest of our lives. Some filmmakers borrow quarter of a million from a family member and they can never ever pay it back. We got £12,000 and once that’s paid back, it’s all gravy. So the next movie will again be a horror movie but not ‘found footage’, it’ll be traditionally shot this time, but because of that it has to be kept quite small. If you try to make a big story with fifty or seventy thousand you’re in trouble, but if you’re making a one or two-person horror movie you have to make something that makes people think ‘ Wow, that’s a bit nuts!’ You’ve got to try and do something which will shock. It’s a terrible example because it’s such a bizarre film, but The Human Centipede is a grim movie, but I bet it’s sold a million copies because it’s had so much publicity. I don’t want to make just a run-of-the-mill ‘nothing’ horror movie, I want to try and think of something that leaves audiences going ‘ blimey’ - which is tough because everyone’s trying to do that! THE CUTTING ROOM is available now on DVD and VOD.