Christmas is supposed to be one of the most stressful times of year, so the prospect of spending the whole day trying to film Mum and Dad's Christmas (a nearly seven-page scene featuring the largest amount of cast - seven - and the biggest prosthetic effect we've got in the film) all in one day wasn't exactly enticing - especially when we also had set visits thrown into the mix. Today we had Sol from Film London who is our (very supportive) exec, plus our Unit Publicist and our Stills Photographer, plus a video documenter from Film London, plus a journalist from Empire and a journalist and photographer from the Times. Because it was raining it meant that we couldn't go outside (our usual lunch space) so every time I stepped off the set - a garish mix of blood and tinsel - I couldn't go more than two paces without bumping into someone. At one point I stepped off to catch my thoughts and try and figure out a bit of blocking and ended up bouncing like a pinball from one doorway to another (all occupied by journalists or photographers) until I ended up bouncing back onto set. So my mind got a bit fried. Calm as I was trying to be, the fact that we didn't turn over until midday (after being on set at eight) really put the pressure on for the afternoon and we had to work like dogs to get everything done in time.
One of the hardest things was not having the time or space to myself, even for a couple of minutes, that I usually get. Over lunch I agreed to sit down and be interviewed by the writer from The Times, who started off asking me about "torture porn" and how I felt about it. As much as I tried to distance myself from 'Grindhouse'/'Hostel' style gratuitous exploitation violence for the sake of violence, I'm not sure I managed to convince him that 'Mum and Dad' was going to be anything different - especially when it does feature a woman being tortured (albeit only really in one sequence). When the photographer took me upstairs and snapped me with a row of torture implements in front of my face I suddenly got the fear that I was going to be stitched up - potential headlines started running through my head - 'Inside the mind of a torture pornographer' or 'face of evil' or 'stop this sick bastard' - but we'll have to wait and see. People keep telling me that there's no such thing as bad publicity, but I'm not entirely sure that's the case. There are also points where I look at what we're filming and wonder - like many people who don't get horror - why on earth somebody wants to put stuff like this on the screen. That's the weird thing about filmmaking - especially when you're a writer/director - it's a little too revealing of the dark corners of your own mind.
ALLEY CAT (1984) - First thing's first! This review originally appeared on my Letterboxd, which I recently birthed (after ~14 months of labor). I don't know how often I'll us...
2 weeks ago