Interview with Ed Hartland, Conor Boru, and Jared Rogers (When The Screaming Starts)
Hello Ed, thank you for taking the time to do this interview for horrornews.net. When the Screaming Starts is such a great film. Please tell us how it manifested for you?
Ed- Thanks, I’m really glad you enjoyed it! When the Screaming Starts began life when I was reviewing The Ted Bundy Tapes for the London Horror Society. I found myself fascinated by this miniseries, but repulsed by the events. I started asking what this said about me and society that we find this sort of thing so interesting. I took the idea to Conor – we’d been talking about making a feature film since we left drama school in 2012 – the concept took hold of both of us and we started developing from there.
You helped write the film, and you portray “aspiring serial killer” Aiden. Did the characters come out how you envisioned them while writing?
Ed- Writing a character that you’re going to play feels really strange to me, so I didn’t let myself think about the performance side of things while we were writing.
We wrote a lot of the characters with specific actors in mind and we knew that they would all bring things we hadn’t thought of to the table.
This movie is amazing. It’s the horror with dark humor, sarcasm, pure comedy and this wild genius homage to horror and this chaotic appeal and fascination with serial killers and documentaries. Was it challenging putting this together?
Ed- A lot of the work on When the Screaming Starts has been a discussion about the balance between the comedy and the horror elements. We knew that we wanted the film to go to some dark places because we were telling a story about serial killers and the fascination people have with them. It was a discussion from day one of developing the script, all the way through to the edit, making sure we got the balance right.
I don’t want to give away spoilers but some of the scenes are so funny, I was laughing and crying. Will the behind the scenes or bloopers/gag reel be featured and how did you even keep a serious, straight face while shooting?
Ed- I’m not sure really, maybe if we get a DVD release at some point – I know there’s footage somewhere of me in Cannibal Death March corpse paint getting my cloak caught in a bush and almost garroting myself…so maybe it’s best for the bloopers to stay buried!
Keeping a straight face when you’re opposite people like Jared and Rob Tofield (who plays Micky) can be really difficult – there were a lot of takes that were unusable because of laughter. I seem to remember Conor being a culprit on a few of those occasions.
What are you working on next?
Ed- I’m currently developing a couple of projects with Conor – he’s not getting rid of me just yet – one of them is a dark comedy and the other is a horror series.
How do you feel being a part of Panic Fest?
Ed -The reception we’ve had from Panic Fest has been brilliant. It’s a great festival to be part of and I think we’re all looking forward to the day when we’re able to bring a film to it in person.
Thank you so much.
Interview with Conor Boru (When the Screaming Starts)
Hello Conor, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. How did this idea manifest? When the Screaming Starts is one of my favorite films at Panic Fest 2022.
Conor- That’s very kind of you and high praise considering the brilliant line-up at Panic Fest! Ed Hartland approached me with the concept back in 2019. We’d been wanting to make a feature for a number of years and just hadn’t found (or written) the right script. The concept for When the Screaming Starts immediately stood out to me as something fresh, exciting and achievable on a low budget. We also had lead actor and producer Jared Rogers on board from the very start (myself, Ed and Jared trained together at drama school). The three of us had this attitude that this would be our first feature, we didn’t quite know how we were going to pull it off, we just knew we’d make it happen!
What was it like for you preparing?
Conor- Whilst we were still developing the script, we had this window of opportunity come up and we knew this was our moment to strike. It didn’t leave us much time to prep, but it was now or never. Nothing like a deadline to add rocket fuel to a production! We just started booking everyone in. We didn’t have the finished script; we didn’t even have all the money in place. We just had blind faith we’d figure it out.
Did you face any challenges while filming?
Conor- Everyday was a challenge. We had to wear so many hats to make up for our limited crew. Myself, Jared and Ed were the lead producers on set so trying to juggle that whilst directing was tricky. At least I was behind the camera, Jared and Ed would be putting out a fire somewhere and then have to jump back and deliver a convincing performance. It was mental but a lot of fun. We also had Alan Rae who became our Swiss Army man. He came on board as an editor and ended up taking on so many different roles, DIT, production design, body double, the list goes on. We also had the pandemic to deal with. But that’s a whole other story!
This movie is so original, it’s funny, it’s smart, the characters are great.
What do you want to say to everyone that will be watching the movie?
Conor- Thank you all for watching! People are spoilt for choice these days so knowing people are willing to spend 90 minutes watching our bonkers film is bloody brilliant.
How do you feel about being a part of Panic Fest?
Conor- It’s a real privilege – The line up is fantastic. It’s always an amazing feeling when this thing that started as a conversation between friends becomes this tangible entity out in the world. The response from Panic Fest has been brilliant and we hope to be back again with our future films.
What’s next for you?
Conor- I’ve just produced a short film which is completely different to When the Screaming Starts. It’s a very powerful story (based on true events) and we’ve got a fantastic cast on board. I’m also working on a number of other film & TV projects with Ed Hartland and the rest of the team.
Interview with Jared Rogers (When the Screaming Starts)
Hi Jared, thank you all so much for taking the time to do this interview. I watched this movie after having
a shitty day and I just forgot about all the nonsense. This is one of the funniest, unique yet terrifying
movie because I can imagine there are people out there just randomly starting all sorts of groups.
Jared- Hey Janel, thank you for having us. Sorry to hear that you were having a shitty day, but I’m pleased the film could help take you out of that. That’s something I’ve always loved about film. If the story is good enough, you can immerse yourself into a whole new world for a few hours.
Hopefully after watching the film, it will deter people from starting such groups, but it is scary to think of what’s going through people’s heads, and what they can be capable of.
How did you keep a straight face working with Ed as Aiden and you portraying Norman?
I loved the sarcasm, the humor. It just makes you want a sequel or a prequel even though the film ended
great. I don’t want to give away spoilers.
Jared- It was tough at times – especially during the Raven scene, seeing Ed’s eyes through the mask, but fortunately or unfortunately, as one of the producers of the film I was aware how much we had to film each day, so sometimes I’d corpse and break into laughter, but a lot of the time we’d be so focused on making sure everything was running smoothly off camera, that we’d bring some of that energy and focus into the scene, which for playing Norman, he wants to put across this “professional” persona, really helped drive me during those scenes.
What was it like working with everyone?
Jared- We’ve known and worked with each other for so many years since training and graduating at drama school. A feature film was always something that’s alluded us over the years. We’ve gotten close once or twice, but just when we wasn’t planning on making a feature this script came up, and all of us were in agreement that this was the feature film to make as our debut feature as producers.
It’s been a real joy to see everyone develop over the course of making this film. Learning new skills that are going to be so valuable when it comes to making the next feature.
How do you feel about being a part of Panic Fest?
Jared- It’s always a great feeling when you see that ‘Official Selection’ badge next to the film, and to be a part of Panic Fest with so many great feature and short films is a real honor. There are a few films I missed out watching at previous festivals last year, so I’m looking forward to being an audience member for those ones, albeit from my own home.
The serial killer speech was great. I felt like this movie was almost this beautiful homage to horror and
how outside the box you can go with horror? How did you feel about making this film?
Jared- That’s very kind of you to say – I’ve always been drawn to films that balance comedy with something a little darker, and reading this script and seeing how interwoven the comedy and the horror can be at points really drew me in.
On the face of it, a film about someone aspiring to be a serial killer shouldn’t be funny, but realizing how much this story comments on wanting to be famous without a care to how it’s achieved, alongside this fascination with true crime over the past years, I thought this would be a great film to make, and hopefully raise a few questions along the way between the laughs and (at times) gore.
Thank you so much. I love this movie.