Three’s A Shroud – The Interview
Three’s a Shroud is an upcoming British horror anthology consisting of three short horror films from three directors, Dan Brownlie, David V. G. Davies and Andy Edwards… but don’t let me tell you about it listen to what these three have to say…
Steve: Each director has their own part of the tale to tell but are each of you working completely independently on your own projects or is it more of a group effort with each contributing to the other’s films? The anthology is linked by a narrative, is that a joint effort?
Dan: I gave the other two directors a brief idea of what I wanted their section to be about and then just let them run with it.
They both have such individual styles and ideas that I knew that what ever they came up with would be amazing. We try to be on each others set as much as possible to help out (mainly because we can’t afford anyone else;) but as we’re all so busy it sometimes doesn’t work.
The wrap around story is based on a short film I did called Bear Scary and stars one of its leads (Louie Russo Brownlie) as well as Suzi Lorraine and Dani Thompson
Steve: The movie will consist of Don’t Open the Door, Over Developed and The Time Travellers Knife. Is there a common thread throughout the whole movie apart from the narrative? Can you tell us a little about each of the films and some of the influences that inspired them?
Dan: The stories themselves don’t have a common theme but are tied together by a film-within-a-film called Night of the Pouting Dead that will appear in each section at some point.
Don’t Open The Door is a psychological horror which was based on a weird train of thought I had one night. I lived in a flat above some shops and my fiance was running late, I don’t know why but I suddenly thought “what would I do if she called me up and said not to open the door when she buzzed up, but wouldn’t tell me why”. You can’t see the front door from any of the windows so I wouldn’t be able to tell if someone was with her or not. That thought really stuck with me and one day after watching The Woman in Black for the 20th time I decided to turn it into a script.
Dave: Over Developed has allowed me to explore an element of story telling that I am particularly fond of, that of delving into the darkest reaches of the inner mind mixed with the genre of body horror. We have all fallen victim to one or more of the 7 deadly sins and my segment explores one of those to its maximum potential. As a filmmaker I have always been fond of the works of David Cronenberg and a true believer of practical effects and puppetry, Over Developed has given me the chance to fulfill the goals of exploring them myself.
Andy: I’m rounding off things with a good-old-fashioned slasher movie. It’s very obviously influenced by Halloween and all of the million girls in peril/masked killer movies that followed in it’s sinister footsteps in the late 70s and early 80s. It’s even set on Halloween. But in a desperate attempt to give it some originality, I’ve added a time travel element, so if you think of Halloween meets Groundhog Day or Back to the Future 2 then you’re not really close, but closer than most. I’m also in charge of the film-within-a-film element, Night of the Pouting Dead, which has allowed me to delve into my zombie-women-in-prison fantasies with disturbing results.
Steve: Why a horror movie? How have horror movies influenced your lives and which areas interest you the most? Favourite horror movie?
Dan: Favourite horror movie of all time is Killer Klowns From Outer Space and if you watch it and then watch the micro horror’s I’ve made you can pick out so many scenes and kill ideas I “borrowed” from it.
General influence for the film is old school British horror anthologies, they rock! With a shorter script you can be a lot more experimental as people will put up with a lot of weirdness for 25 minutes that they won’t for a hour and a half.You can really get to the point and come up with some fun ideas. You can also mix up (as in Three’s a Shroud) different sub genres like ghost story, evil toys, body horror and slasher that wouldn’t normally gel in a single story feature length.
Dave: I’ve been a film fan ever since going to see Jedi at the pictures at an early age, from then on I was hooked on finding out about the workings of puppets and fell in love with the Jim Henson films The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. An instant love of horror creatures was born from this, Cronenberg’s The Fly, Carpenter’s Thing and I take a guilty pleasure from the Child’s Play series.
Andy: I make horror movies, because they are cheap, and it’s easier than becoming an actual serial killer – fake blood washes out of your clothes much easier than real blood. As for fave films, I love The Shining, The Thing, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and anything by Takeshi Miike.
Steve: You have all had previous experience of the horror movie industry, what brought you together for this project?
Dan: About 3 years ago someone asked me to help out on a film project they were doing for fun. To give you an idea how much I knew about making films then, a film making friend mine was asking about the people who’s house we were filming. She said to me “Do they have lights?” I replied “Of course they do, they live in a house.”
From then on it was just one big learning curve which has resulted in me meeting some fantastic people. I met Andy and Dave through an actress called Sophia Disgrace who had worked with them on several projects, they both really get the genre so it was obvious who I should ask to help make this project happen.
Dave: I started my horror career when I was approached to help out on Animal Soup, a nasty film that taught me and fellow creator J.A.K a lot about film-making, from there I was noticed by GoreZone Magazine and spent 2 years working with them before moving in a more personal direction. It is while working with GZ that i came across the works of Andy and Dan.
Andy: I’ve been making short zombie films for a few years now – the Houseparty of the Dead series. Dave saw HPOTD V and stuck it on a coverdisc for GoreZone, and Dan helped me out on part 6. It became obvious that we were all society’s rejects, and as we’re all too old to form a band, we decided to make a film instead.
Steve: Give some love to the cast and crew. Who else is involved in making this movie happen?
Dan: Much much love to the cast and crew, everyone is working for peanuts (some peanut shells) and they’re all doing it for the love of making horror. Firstly you have my fiance (Lauren Bushby) who runs “Doll’s ‘n’ Skulls” fx and make up, my DOP James Fisher who has been with me since Bear Scary (if someone’s reliable a good keep them at all costs), Angie and Mark DeSpong, Michael Gyekye (who is doing sound but also acting on Dave’s section, Geoff Guardian-angel-to-my-sanity Crown who is acting as my AD. Mike Peel from Rouge Creations is doing all the creature effects so a massive massive thanks to him.
Cast you have Suzi Lorraine (who was so helpful she actually ended up co writing her section), Amber Erlandsson (aka Morigan Hel, lead singer of goth,punk rock band Nemhain) who is just amazing, The very talented Brad Moore who has also helped off screen as well as on), Dani Thompson (who is really starting to make a name for herself in horror), my long suffering nephew Louie who first died on screen age seven mainly due to me not sending his father the full script while trying to enlist his help and David V.G. Davies and Andy Edwards for helping me out and taking on roles in this project.
Dave: I’ve spent 2 years working with Emily Booth and have experienced her talents as a presenter and have directed her in role that was a caricature of herself so it was only a natural progression we work together on a film and a great pleasure it is working with her, her knowledge both behind and in front of the camera has taught me a great deal. I never wanted to be a director but having worked with her she has allowed me to progress. I also have Eleanor James in my section, Eleanor is an amazing actress who has a very impressive resume and I have interviewed her in the past for a couple of projects and then had the pleasure of directing her in a cameo for my last feature Monitor.
Over the years I have gained an invaluable crew member in Pete Kinman, he knows how my mind works and knows what i want without having to be told. His fx skills have developed so much over the 12 years we have known each other.
Andy: I’ve been busy doing auditions for my section, picking the perfect line-up of girls to be stalked by a killer. I’ve felt like Simon Cowell, but with less repressed homosexuality and high-waisted trousers. I now have my dreamteam of very talented actresses, which includes two of the stars from Zombie Women of Satan (but don’t hold that against them). Crew wise, I’ve got the uniquely-named Eben Bolter on DOP duties. He worked with me on Houseparty of the Dead 6 so is well versed in making schlock look like visual poetry. I must also give a shout-out to the girls of the Pouting Dead, who happily ran around a derelict factory for me half-naked and covered in blood. I haven’t got the heart to tell them that the camera wasn’t even on.
Steve: At what stage of the movie making process are you now? What still needs to happen? When are we going to be able to see Three’s a Shroud?
Dan: We’ve shot the film within a film (Night of the Pouting Dead). We don’t start shooting the main feature until July but have shot a couple of scenes due to stars timetable clashes with other projects.
The film is aiming for a 2012 release but that all depends on post funding, so anyone out there who wants to help out financially on post let me know.
Pazuzu: You have been captured by Dr. Heiter and he is making you three into a human centipede but he gives YOU the choice of the order of the chain. Who goes in which position and why?
Dan: I go first, mainly due to Andy and Dave having shit eating fetishes. And I’m by far the gobbyest so if anyone’s gonna talk him into letting us go it’ll be me.
Dave: I’m not a kiss ass and I’ve dealt with enough assholes over the years to not want to be in 2nd or 3rd but I see Dan answered this first and took the obvious choice of being in the front, so I guess I’d take 3rd position as i’ve seen the crap Dan eats during a day and I don’t wanna be on the immediate receiving end of that, sorry Andy but you can process that shit and hopefully break it down in to smaller pellets for me, hmmm yum, not!
Andy: Being the last to answer, it seems that my position has already been chosen. However, as one of my main roles in this film is dealing with Dan’s crap and processing it into bite-sized chunks for Dave, it seems pretty apt.
All photos used with kind permission of Three’s A Shroud and Altercarnated Photography