It’s going well. How are you doing?
R.S.- I’m doing good. I’m just in the editing suite taking a little break.
Are you working on a new project?
R.S.- Yes, I’m finishing up this Stephen King adaptation so, we are editing that.
Awesome. Are you going to Panic Fest?
R.S.- No, I wish I could. I’m stranded here in LA editing every single day until they spit me out.
How do you feel about Dashcam being at Panic Fest? And… I’m in my car for this interview.[Laughing]
R.S.- I think it’s incredible that people are going to see this movie with a big crowd in that kind of festival environment, it’s totally how this movie was designed to play. Host was a movie that I think plays better when you’re watching it at home alone on your laptop. This movie, we made it right at the end of 2020 right after we made Host. It was such a joy to be able to go out and work with people face to face. When we were making it, the whole idea was that you’re going to watch it face to face with a bunch of people, and have the energy of the crowd is so important to this movie. I hope the Panic Fest audience gets rowdy, drunk, and yells, screams, and laughs. All that amazing stuff that’s so special about the cinema experience.
This movie is just great. I watched it and in the back of my mind, I’m always thinking I’d love to be an Uber driver…[Laughs]
R.S. Not after this movie.
I said, Nah not right now. I’m good. I’m in my car now. How did this idea manifest for you? I had so much horrible shit happen to me in life but it makes you stronger. But, how did this manifest for you?
R.S.- It was two things. Jed Shepherd, one of the co-writers. he knew Annie Hardy, he showed me a livestream that she was doing. He produces her Podcast, and Annie does the show Band Car where she drives around and improvises rap music while she drives around. I saw that and I was like I want to see that character get chased by a demon. She’s so interesting, I’d love to see what she does in a horror movie. We’re thinking about what’s the next thing we can do after Host, and I wanted to do something that gets us outdoors, I wanted to do something with lots of locations. I wanted to do something that was the opposite of Host. It was an interesting idea to try and do a movie like this after doing a movie about the fear of your own home, a claustrophobic movie. To do a movie that’s more open and expansive, and always on the move. It felt like a challenge and that kind of environment was an exciting new arena to cook up some scares. I can’t drive so I don’t personally know but these scares came from watching Annie’s livestream.
Is it challenging filming in the cars? It’s shot so beautifully too.
R.S.-There are so many little hidden technicalities that audiences don’t realize that go into making a movie like this. When you put the camera on the dashcam, you have to make sure that you’re getting the right frame. There are these little things that you need to think about. It’s made up of hundreds of little shots.
That’s unreal. You did a good job. What are you working on next besides the Stephen King project? Is there anything at all you can say about it? I know you probably can’t talk about it at all?
R.S.- I can’t say much about the Stephen King project, it’s a change of speed after Host and Dashcam. It’s a different kind of horror. It’s more of a conventional mode of filmmaking. I’ve got a project with Sam Raimi that I’m producing. I’m very excited about that. It’s in a similar vein to Dashcam. It’s a fun, scary roller-coaster ride of a movie. Sam Raimi is one of my heroes so I’ve been developing this movie with him for the past couple of years. I’ve got a couple of other things that I’m cooking away at.
Words of wisdom or any advise for fellow filmmakers, writers, producers?
R.S.- The person who makes five movies over five years ends up being a better filmmaker than the person that waits five years to make one movie. You learn more by shooting and collaborating with people.
Thank you so much, Rob. It was awesome to talk with you. Dashcam is a great film. Congratulations on Panic Fest.
R.S.- Thank you, and take care.
Make sure to check out DASHCAM and Panic Fest 2022.