Glenn Douglas Packard directed “Pitchfork.” The film was shot in twenty one days with one camera. Glenn took time to speak with Horrornews.net for an exclusive in his new film PITCHFORK! PITCHFORK comes out on the Horror world’s favorite holiday next to Halloween, January 13, 2017 aka Friday the 13th!
Tell us about “Pitchfork” and why you decided to direct the film?
Glenn: I have been in the entertainment business for almost twenty-five years as a choreographer and creative director. Throughout my career working with Michael Jackson, Pink and Ricky Martin. A lot of people in the industry always said, Glenn you should direct films. It has always been an interest of mine. I was recently giving a lecture about following your passion to a bunch of young, inspiring professional dancers. I realized that one of my passions was horror. I love the horror genre, I always have since I was a young boy. I have always appreciated it and understood it. In 2015, I told myself I would fulfill one of my passions and that was to direct a horror movie and I did it.
Glenn Douglas Packard: You know my whole thing is I know a lot of horror people out there want to make movies themselves. I want to tell them to get out there and make it happen. We got one time on this earth to do it and that is what this movie is. It is example to show them that you can do it if you put your mind to it!
“Pitchfork” is a fresh, new take on Horror. What type of ideas were you going for?
Glenn: Thank you, that means a lot to me. It is not like I had a thirty-five million dollar budget, a studio behind me. It was one camera and getting a bunch of friends together with an idea that I have had in my head for eight years and then hope that people would understand where I am going with it so that it could be the franchise that I wanted it to be.
Did you come up with all of the creative aspects and come in as a creative director or as a horror fan?
Glenn: I went in as a horror fan making a Horror movie. I was thinking of the horror fans, I was thinking of a horror person. My favorite genre is the slasher genre so I have always really appreciated and loved the Jason’s, Michael, Freddy and Pinhead. When those first came out there was not a lot of back-story on them. It was a one-time film and hopefully you get this fan base. I wanted to create a character that people would be scared of but also at the same time be intrigued and kind of love and feel sorry for but want to know more about him. That is what I was thinking of the whole time when I was creatively putting it all together. I grew up Michigan on this farm. It was a family farm. The old shed where he takes his victims to is a place I played at in the woods as a kid. It was a perfect location to make a horror movie so I utilized that. When I putting the script together with my executive producer, Darryl F. Gariglio I would have those places in mind the whole time when I was creating all the scenes.
There are so many different scenes that are lit differently (beautifully lit with blue backgrounds and unusual lighting) and the gory scenes are well played. How did you come up some of those incredible creative scenes?
Glenn: You are talking about the scene where Pitchfork is at the top of the stairs and there is a silhouette of his body with the blood dripping.
Glenn: What that all is, that is the build-up of introducing the character. I wanted to show little pieces of him and the imagery. Have the build up to Pitchfork. Here is this new slasher character. It is the reveal of the monster. I am glad that you noticed those things.
You have a great cast. What was it like directing “Pitchfork?”
Glenn: Again, to my years in the industry when I had Pitchfork in my head and start coming up with the ideas. At the same time working with these dancers and I would be like okay I am going to keep this person on-file [for the film] because they would make a great jock or this person would make a great final girl. When it came down to the casting of the eight main characters, I had them casted already. Out of the eight that I wanted I wound getting five of them. I was so happy and one of them is my best friend. Celina who plays Lenox is my best friend. Keith Webb who plays Rocky is one my “Men of the Strip,” from the E show. I did like a “Magic Mike” type of reality show for the E Network and I had a group of good looking guys and he is from that TV show. Three of them are dancers that had worked with me before. I had an elite group of dancers called The Untouchables. I love my cast!
I loved that there is “Janelle” character in the film. To all the Janelle’s who never hear the name. Is she named after a friend?
Glenn: All of the characters names and all of the people in the movie are a part of my life. Rocky is named after my dad. Janelle is named after my roommate in New York City. Flo is named after one of my best friends. They are all connected. I don’t know if you know this but the beginning of the whole entire story up until Pitchfork actually shows up it is actually based on my life. It is my coming out story. It is me coming out to my family. That is what the whole beginning is about. I made my coming out story into a horror twist.
What types of challenges did you face while filming “Pitchfork?”
Glenn: The worst thing that happened was our line producer, the day before we started filming got in a horrible car accident. So the day before, the woman who keeps us all in order and keeps everything in check got in this horrible car accident the day before and she was kind of my right-hand woman. She is doing well now. We filmed for twenty-one days and she was able to show on set on the last day of our twenty one days of filming. That was the biggest obstacle I had to face and luckily I had a PA who stepped it up and he was actually my assistant and he kind of took on the role of line producer. So for twenty one days he didn’t get any sleep.
That is another crazy thing. How do you shoot such a great film in twenty one days?
Glenn: People need to realize that this is an independent film and it was shot with one camera. This movie was shot with one camera.
Okay so when will the sequel for “Pitchfork” be coming out?
Glenn: Oh, there definitely will be a sequel to “Pitchfork.” I can you that when I created Pitchfork I always envisioned a trilogy. “Pitchfork 2” will be five years later, I can tell you that. “Pitchfork 3” we will go back in time and there will be a prequel. We will learn about how Pitchfork became what he became. I am really excited about that. What will determine the sequel is the audience.
What would you like to say to the fans and to the audiences that will be watching?
Glenn: You know my whole thing is I know a lot of horror people out there want to make movies themselves. I want to tell them to get out there and make it happen. We got one time on this earth to do it and that is what this movie is. It is example to show them that you can do it if you put your mind to it! Or if you want to write a horror movie, or a book or anything to do with the horror genre just do it. Don’t wait for something terrible in your life to happen to make you realize that you didn’t get to do it. It will be so rewarding and you will feel so great doing your passion. That is the message I want to give and of course tell everybody about PITCHFORK! It comes out on Friday the 13th (January 13, 2017)
There is a scene where Pitchfork’s in a room and it seems like an homage to “A Nightmare on Elm Street?” Was that an homage?
Glenn: Yes, to Freddy Krueger, “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” Yes, that is what I was going for!
Now that “Pitchfork” is available on DVD and Blu-ray, how do you feel knowing you accomplished this?
I’m extremely proud. I don’t think people realize what goes into making a independent film. It’s a lot of work and I enjoyed every horror second of it. Right at this moment in my career it is my favorite thing I have created. Nobody can take away the feeling I have for Pitch. He is in my heart forever.
Was there anything that you learned that you did not expect would happen making a film?
Always listen to your inner voice, it tells you the truth. Also releasing Pitchfork that had been inside my head for the last 8 years, would actually make me even more obsessed with the character.
What do you want the fans to know about the DVD and Blu-ray?
Well I for sure want them to know that the DVD/Blu-ray that is on Amazon is made for them, it is filled with hours of extra for them. You can see fun out takes, behind the scenes, the making of Pitchfork the monster, bloopers, actors auditions, and much more! I’m really happy to give the fans all of that. Not to mention the beautiful image of PITCHFORK (Daniel Wilkinson) on the cover of the DVD/BLU-RAY wrap, where he belongs. All the extras are a love letter to the fans, cast & crew.
When can we expect to see the next Pitchfork films?
In the next couple of years… you can bet on it!
There are featurette’s, bloopers, behind the scenes. What is your favorite parts of the DVD and Blu-ray?
The fun out takes are great, you can see the love between the cast and crew, and I didn’t realize it till I was going thru all the footage with Tim Montoya that people were having fun, I was having fun. I was so into work mode and had such a huge responsibility I didn’t realize there was some fun being had too.
Also the very end of the Behind the Scenes, you see cast and crew talk about their moments and experience that is really touching and magical, and the last moment between me and Pitch gets me teary eyed every time. Daniel and I, we get each other, love him and will always have such respect for him as an actor.
PITCHFORK DVD & BLURAY AVAILABLE MAY 2ND
GLENN ON IMDB www.imdb.com/name/nm1698245/
GLENN ON IG www.instagram.com/glennpackard/