Directors talk retro slasher I Scream on the Beach

Taking inspiration from the golden era of slasher movies, British independent feature I Scream on the Beach is currently finishing up production.

We got the chance to quiz Directors Alexander Churchyard and Michael Holiday all about the film.

Tell us why you decided on the beach for the setting of your film?

We (the directors) live in a seaside town – Southend on Sea and it occurred to us that we’ve never made use of the beach in any of our short films. It’s instant production value.

What can you tell us about your main characters?

Emily (Hannah Paterson) the main protagonist is obsessed with finding out what happened to her father. She is plagued by nightmares about what she thinks happened and as she investigates the truth, people start dying.

Around her she is surrounded by friends all of whom could be the killer. There’s also a police element, although Emily probably uncovers more than they do.

We have approximately 22 speaking roles (some very small) but about half of those are main characters. We have some amazingly talented actors such as Dani Thompson, Martin Payne & Reis Daniel.

We also have an extended cameo from Lloyd Kaufman, which was a massive coup for us.

You’ve recently finished filming, how has the shoot been?

We actually have one final shoot day in May. But we are essentially wrapped now.

It’s been a very daunting task as we have a large cast and various locations. That being said it has been amazing to finally film something that we’ve been working on since 2015 and actually the idea had been gestating long before then.

Is your next stop the editing room?

Yes, we have set ourselves a pretty hard deadline so we wont be spending the summer on the beach, we’ll be locked away in a darkened room.

Why did you decide to do a slasher film?
We both grew up on a hearty diet of horror, and when we met as teenagers we bonded over our mutual love of horror. We became a filmmaking team and horror was an obvious choice.

It felt right to make a tribute to something we both love for our first feature.

What about your killer, does he/she have any cool weapons?

We’ll say “they”, they initially have a cutthroat razor as their main weapon. However during the course of the film they lose that and decide to use what’s at hand – and they get progressively more ridiculous and cause progressively grosser deaths.

What slashers have inspired I Scream on the Beach?

I Scream is supposed to be a love letter to the films we grew up with. So talking about what films influenced it would be a pretty long list.

We took influences ranging from Bay of Blood, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Opera, My Bloody Valentine and The Burning, all the way up to more modern slashers like Scream.

The slasher genre isn’t the only influence though, there’s elements of the likes of Evil Dead, Suspiria, Basketcase and even some Fulci thrown in for good measure. But you’ll have to wait and see how that all fits together!

Can we expect many practical effects in the film?

Pretty much all of the effects are practical – we’re going for an 80s vibe and so nothing can be too slick and we didn’t want anything to feel like it was created in After Effects – that would be jarring.

There’s certainly some stuff we’ll manipulate in post production – but 99% of the effects have been done in camera and the post techniques will be based on things you could do in post on film.

The film is scheduled for release next year, is the plan to submit to film festivals?

We’ve created the film with the horror festival circuit in mind – we know those audiences will understand the references and get the humour, as we are that audience and love going to horror festivals.

So as many festivals as we can, we’ll submit to. There’s actually a local one, Horror on Sea which, based on our theme is obviously one we’re looking to submit to.

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