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Interview: Director Seán Breathnach (Beyond the Woods)

Hi Sean, BEYOND THE WOODS was such a good film. How did you get involved?

Thank you! I wrote and directed it so it’s been my baby from the start.

The cast is incredible! What was it like working with everyone?

They’re great for sure. I had worked with most of them on short films and music videos over the years. Those that I hadn’t worked with I’d seen in short films so I knew what they were capable of. It was a pleasure working with them all – apart from their obvious talent they are also wonderful people so the atmosphere on set was always very positive and fun. It was fantastic to see them bring their characters to life.

This movie kind of messes with the mind in a few ways. How did you prepare everyone for what they had to go through in BEYOND THE WOODS?

That’s a good question. I suppose the main preparation for that, after the read throughs and talks about character, was setting us all up in a couple of houses for the 12 days of the shoot. I didn’t want people going home – I wanted us all to live the way the characters were living. The first day I arrived on set the lady that owned the house (she’s a spirit cleanser, amongst other things) told me that there were three spirits living in the house. So I made sure to tell everyone that the first night of filming. That set things up nicely!

Did you always know you wanted to be in this business?

Not always. I’ve always had a deep love of film and I’d written scripts and filmed stuff with friends as a kid, but I didn’t think it was possible to make it – I thought I’d have to go and get a ‘sensible’ job. It was only when a production company in London offered an option on a script I’d sent them that I realised I could actually be good at this.

Will there be a sequel or are you working on another project?

I’m working on two other projects at the moment, both horrors. One is about a creature that is living in an old house. The second is about a mysterious UFO-style cult.

Are there are any filmmakers that have inspired you professionally?

Too many to mention, though I’ve always had a love of Lynch and Cronenberg. I also admire Jeff Nichol’s ability to create great tension and suspense -essential elements in horror. And Carpenter of course – some of his influence is very visible in Beyond the Woods.

What do you want the audiences/fans to know? What would you like to say to them about watching BEYOND THE WOODS?

Beyond the Woods is a slow burn movie built on character, tension and suspense – but it’s a horror movie through and through. I made this film for horror fans, particularly those who like supernatural and psychological horror – my own favourite types of horror. So my hope is that Horror News fans really love this movie :)

Thank you so much and you did an excellent job with this film. It was everything that warms the heart of a Horror/Thriller/Supernatural film fan!

Thanks a million, Janel – to hear that warms my heart :)

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