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Home | Interviews | Interview: Sean Patrick Cannon (The 3rd Guest)

Interview: Sean Patrick Cannon (The 3rd Guest)

What made you want to get involved in the film industry?

Watching films from the ’80s and ’90s with my Dad in the theatre. By the early 2000s I was in college trying to become an actor, which quickly led to better endeavors behind the camera. I also enjoyed narrative PC and video games. Though lacking the technical knowledge of programming, my goal through film was to recreate some of those experiences.

From script–to–screen, how close did THE 3RD GUEST come to its original vision?

Pretty close. As the editor, I shaped what my intention was going for. Certain scenes, sequences, and characters didn’t live up to the original expectation, but as writer/director/producer/editor, I owe all the mistakes as my own. We had two reshoots (for a few days), where I was able to flesh out the backstory further.

Given the extreme budget constraints (I funded half the film), I knew going in what not to try & do, so we’re left with the psychology of the horror, and the relationships of the characters.

What was your favorite day on set and why?

The third day on set, all the crew were gelling well- & all producers were on set. We shot one of the best sequences in the film (the final confrontation between the husband and wife). I thought the performances, lighting, & staging were some of the best we’d do all throughout production.

What scene did you enjoy directing the most?

The singular walking, in the woods, by the lead actress- including our drone footage of the area, & her alone. I was able to really hone in on what were getting across, & with only one person to direct, all of that footage (which ends up in the middle of the film), came across very well.

What is the biggest obstacle you faced while making THE 3RD GUEST?

COVID. We wrapped a few days before lockdowns started. This impeded us from the intended reshoot, & finishing post. I was still able to complete the film within one year, but it could have been more like three months, had COVID not happened. (I had a finished rough cut within 30 days).

What was your proudest moment during production?

Starting. Our (original) lead actress had to bow out 48hrs before production started, so I was in a frenzy to find a replacement, while trying to shot-list & do AD / scheduling. Our (original) makeup artist also had a family tragedy occur the evening before production- so we had to take her back to the airport the morning we started shooting. (subsequently, actors were left without a makeup artist for day one).

How do you get a film to stand out in the crowd in today’s landscape?

Marketing. Hiring actors that will push and market the film. Utilizing social media. Finding a distributor that believes in the project. There is a large amount of pure luck, whether you have a $30,000 film or a $3,000,000 project, it can still be lost in the pack, without people to spear you forward.

What other filmmakers inspire you to do what you do?

I enjoy all of Ti West’s horror films, & I think actors’ dedication to people like Quentin Tarantino and Woody Allen speak highly of their character and style.

What is your favorite horror decade and why?

My personal preference is the ’80s because I was born at the end of 1981, so my memories of that era, society, and culture are extremely nostalgic. It’s also an era (like the ’70s) that have a grit and grime to them, next to extreme luxury that looks quaint and almost surreal by today’s aesthetics and decor.

It’s the decade of The Shining, Day of the Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, Gremlins, Child’s Play, and Friday the 13th.

What is the next step in your filmmaking career?

I’ve shot one feature since wrapping 3rd Guest (another horror film), & formed a production company with my wife, called 2Cannons. We’re aiming for production of new projects early next year.



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