Exclusive Interview: Director, Steven M. Smith (DEAD AGAIN)
What made you want to get involved in the film industry?
Ever since seeing Jaws and Halloween for the first time I have wanted to make movies. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was watching two opposites of the spectrum. Halloween, a movie that was super micro budget and shot in only 15 days and Jaws a Hollywood funded blockbuster film that went over schedule and over budget. I think they shot for 126 days! But the end result is both were a massive success and I must have learnt something from seeing these, so I thank John Carpenter and Steven Spielberg for being where I am now. I was lucky to meet John Carpenter and thanked him personally which was a great reward for me. After seeing those two films as a child, I would write stories with a passion. Hundreds of them! I’ve always had a wild imagination and crazy ideas come to me like water flowing off a duck’s back. I think I must have written over 500 stories by now. At 13 I got an 8mm sound camera for my birthday and I’d film everything. I’d get onto films sets in my teens and watch how films were made. You couldn’t do that these days.
From script–to–screen, how close did this movie come to its original vision?
I loved the Edgar Wright Trilogy with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End and I thought, I can do that. I don’t think we changed anything in the script and it was really great fun to shoot from the 1st draft and play with it. I think budget restrictions are the only thing that could have made it any different. Film makers always need more money.
What was your favorite day on set and why?
I loved the manic day of filming all the zombie/Alien deaths. It was mad and the SFX make up was great! It should have been a nightmare scenario as we had children on set too, but it worked out beautifully.
What scene did you enjoy directing the most?
I loved directing the scene in the library where Cooper and Brody meet the two intruders for the first time. It just was so funny and so many shots! It paid off in the final cut.
What is the biggest obstacle you faced while making the movie?
Having only 4 days to shoot it and no money! But I think we pulled it off.
What was your proudest moment during production?
Seeing all the smiling faces on set. They were enjoying themselves so much and this makes me proud, as I know then I have got a good film in the can, if we are happy on set, and we have a great film experience, that then turns into a great film.
How do you get a film to stand out in the crowd in such a vast crowd of independent horror?
I think the fact we shot this in only 4 days is a standout. Imagine what we could have done with 8 days! I love attempting to make the audience go through all the emotions, of being scared, love, comedy, fear, anguish and I think we did this.
What other filmmakers inspire you to do what you do?
Anybody who can go and make a movie with limited resources inspires me. I love the work of films from the 1920’s and 1930’s, even like laurel and Hardy, these all used practical effects, set ups, with limited budgets.
What is your favorite horror decade and why?
1980’s for me, where we had a glut of original horror slashers. But I loved the mix of original material and sadly today the original aspects we think are new, are just borrowed, reworked or reboots.
What is the next step in your filmmaking career?
I have just completed a ghost drama with Doctor who titled THE GHOSTS OF BORLEY RECTORY and a TV series Drama/Doc for Channel 5.