After the success of independent slasher ‘I Scream on the Beach’, UK filmmakers Alex Churchyard and Michael J. Holiday have returned with Mosaic, where a detective investigates a series of slasher killings and attempts to find a connection.
Bloody Flicks caught up with Alex and Michael to discuss Mosaic, which is currently filming.
Tell us where the idea came from for Mosaic?
A: Unlike I Scream on the Beach! Which took around 5 years from when we started writing, to its premiere. Mosaic has come together exceptionally quickly. A couple of the case files are based on ideas we’ve had for some time, but it more or less came together over the summer this year. I came up with an idea that ties all these different stories together in I think quite a meaningful way.
M: We’d been talking about doing an anthology film for a while. Given the current situation it seemed like a project to bring forward as it gives us the freedom to keep shooting blocks short and focus on each segment almost as it’s own short film. Our initial idea for an anthology has changed quite a bit over time but a couple of the ideas we came up with in it’s earliest version have still remained. Alex came up with the initial idea but there’s a total of 4 different writers on this project so it’s a really collaborative one for us.
Were you fans of murder mystery films, and if so, which are your favourite?
A: This is predominantly a slasher with a big procedural element to it but there is also a central mystery. I’d say the influences are more Slashers (a lot of which have a central mystery).
M: I think the mystery element in Mosaic is probably more inspired by Slasher films, I’m a huge Giallo fan as well so that side of things is obviously heavy on the mystery. But in general the film is more Slasher than it is murder mystery. We’ve got a whole host of crazy lunatics on the loose in this film.
Can we expect a mix of mystery and gore from Mosaic?
A: Definitely lots of gore – we wanted more gore in ISOTB, so this is our opportunity to go all out with the gore – we have so many gory deaths planned – drills to the head, nail gun crucifixions and even death by glow stick.
M: Yes! Each of the stories are designed to stand alone as their own little tales but there is a much bigger mystery connecting them all that we keep teasing as the film progresses. As Alex said, we really want to push the level of gore this time around. We’ve already spilt quite a bit of blood on set…
What were your considerations in terms of casting?
A: Well there have been considerations with the current pandemic – for the first segment we shot we really wanted a real life couple and we were lucky that we managed to get that with Charlie Bond and James Hamer-Morton with the added bonus that we had wanted to work with them both anyway.
M: We’ve been thrilled to welcome back a number of cast members from I Scream as well as a host of people we’ve never worked with before. We’re hoping we might have one or two surprises on the horizon as well.
A: Should say as well that our short ‘The Allotment’ features the Baby Masked Killer played by Philip Rogers who returns as that character for various segments in Mosaic and likewise we have Tony Mardon returning from that short in a slightly different role.
How pleasing was it for you, that the crowdfunding campaign went so well?
A: Blown away by everyone’s generosity.
M: Yeah we couldn’t believe the reaction to the crowd funder. We basically poured all our own money into I Scream and were planning to do the same here. But there are obviously limitations and we just wanted to see if we could raise a small amount just to cover the cost of some of the effect shots we were planning. We though our goal was a little ambitious, but if we got close that would be great. We smashed through that goal in just under 24 hours and in the end raised over double what we had planned. Means so much to see people excited about the project and wanting to get involved.
A: I suppose in a way it makes us think that people saw something in what we did with ISOTB, which is really gratifying to see. Feel very humbled.
How has filming been so far?
A: So we’ve shot ‘Baby Babble’ and most of ‘Christmas Shopping’, and it was great to be back on set, but things are obviously a lot harder with restrictions, but we had a lot of fun ruining a sofa with fake blood for Baby Babble!
M: For Christmas Shopping; we basically had an entire shopping centre to ourselves on the second night of shooting so that was great fun. Really interesting environment to be in. So far everything has been running pretty smoothly. The nature of this film means we’re likely going to be shooting for quite a while, breaking it up into individual segments but we’re already planning the next batch.
When can audiences expect to see Mosaic?
A: I’d expect we’ll be submitting to festivals for 2022.
M: Yeah likely a 2022 festival run by the time we’ve completed the film and then hopefully a wider release later that year.
Will this be connected in any way to your previous film I Scream on the Beach?
A: It’s not explicitly a sequel or anything, but it does have several connections. The major one is that Dani Thompson reprises her ISOTB character Paula (even though she did die). We also have the Nun (Andrea Rose) from I Scream on the Beach! popping up in one segment.
Aside from that we have we glimpsed a film in ISOTB titled ‘Striptease Massacre’, but this time we have it’s sequel ‘Striptease Massacre 7: Strippers in Space’ and The Decorator will also be the star of his own segment, this time played by Martin W. Payne and is written by Jamie Anniss who was on the crew of ISOTB and had a small role.
There’s other connections such as Hannah Paterson who was a lead actress in I Scream on the Beach! Wrote two of the segments. Other than the actors mentioned we have Kurt Deed, Jamie Evans, Ross Howard, Tess Gustard who all featured in ISOTB returning, but as different characters.
Keep up to date with Mosaic at TIS Films.