Ahead of its screening at the Soho Horror Film Festival: Pride Edition, we caught up with filmmaking duo Louise Weard and Dionne Copland, to tell us about this chilling feature.
How exciting is it to have the UK premiere of Cold Wind Blowing at Soho Horror Film Festival?
Dionne Copland: I am so excited! We at CyberCraft Video have so many lovely friends and followers in the UK so to be able to have the film premiere at Soho is wonderful, especially during the Pride Event! Being queer myself and getting to play a Pride event, it feels like such a full circle moment!
Louise Weard: I’ve been trying to figure out something to do with Mitch and Soho Horror Film Festival for many years and we knew that we had to do something with Cold Wind Blowing together, so this is a culmination of Mitch and I orbiting each other’s work in film for years. I couldn’t be more excited, especially since this is the first festival our work is playing at since I’ve transitioned so the Pride edition is the perfect fit. And that program? Wow. After you watch Cold Wind Blowing I highly suggest checking out Monsterdyke, also made by Canadian filmmakers.
Do you consider this a Christmas film?
DC: Definitely, for some people the holidays are a nightmare and can relate to how harrowing it would be to be trapped in a cabin with their loved ones, a creature terrorizing them or no! The pressure of the Christmas season is such a rich emotional well to explore for tone and character dynamics. I really love winter set horror so it was rewarding to be able to contribute to that with Cold Wind Blowing.
We have seen many cabin in the woods tales at this point, what makes Cold Wind Blowing stand out?
LW: When Dionne and I were coming up with this story that was the exact question we asked ourselves: how do we make this ours? We wanted to make something that felt classic and followed the structure of not only cabin-in-the-woods flicks but also Christmas Horror movies. It has the DNA of Evil Dead and Black Christmas, but our voice really pushes the movie into a more emotionally horrifying space. Sure, it’s a creature-feature, but for us the real horror is a scene like when the main character is casually outed while hanging Christmas decorations with her friends. We’re using this traditional film language to really explore something deeply personal to us as queer women.
What can you tell us about your supernatural entity terrorising our cabin dwellers?
LW: It’s actually based on a true story that happened to Dionne’s mom!
DC: Yeah! When my mom was in high school, growing up in the area where Cold Wind Blowing takes place, she and her friends were chased by a screaming creature that clawed at their car down the backroads in Saskatchewan. There were a few people in town who had this experience driving a certain stretch of road – the story that Hank shares in the gas station scene is something that happened to a friend of hers following her own brush with this entity. It scared me so much as a kid that it stuck with me and now here we are!
What do you think it is about being in peril that pushes some relationships over the edge?
DC: Many of the characters’ relationships were tenuous at best going into the holiday. Nomi had so many things she would tolerate or leave unsaid to keep the peace. It isn’t that she is a pushover, far from it, but that she wanted to have her holiday go off without a hitch, which allowed her to be taken advantage of by her complicated sibling dynamic with Tommy, who is a shade selfish being the baby of the two. Throw in exes, uninvited roommates, old hurts resurfacing, and then a supernatural entity – it really highlights where this group is fractured and how little she could rely on these people when she truly needs them.
Where did you film Cold Wind Blowing and what were the challenges of filming in colder conditions?
DC: We filmed in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, the Saskatchewan side – as well we shot a couple of scenes in the towns of Eastend and Shaunavon. We thought it was going to be one of those notorious Canadian winters since we shot mid-December, but instead we didn’t get snow until the last day of shooting! The snow you see in many of the scenes we had to scoop off of the lake and drive back to the cabin. During the attack scene, the cast and crew had to drive up into the hills to find a little pocket of snow. It was a lot of creative camerawork and powder dusting in many of the cabin exteriors for most of the shoot.
LW: And that’s part of the reason why everyone looks so cozy in the film! We had all these actors from the Pacific Northwest who were expecting the extremes of a Prairie winter and instead they spent most of their time not even wearing a coat. We were so remote that the only crew members were myself, our make-up person Tara, our sound team of Graham and Colton, and Dionne’s dad, Dave – so when we had to collect snow for a scene, I’d yell to an actor, “Hey Griffin! It’s your scene so you’re coming along to help me get snow! You want to act, don’t you? Here’s a shovel.”
Did the shooting experience bring the cast closer together?
DC: Most definitely! Having been in a cabin with no running water and no wi-fi for over a week in the middle of nowhere leant itself to the performances. Everyone was in character throughout most of the shoot and the cast was incredibly close during production, they ate, traveled, slept on couches, and chain smoked together. The care they gave to one another was inspirational and their commitment to their performances is something that I will be eternally grateful for.
Are you planning to hit the festival circuit with Cold Wind Blowing throughout 2022?
DC: We have essentially wrapped our festival run with the film having been released on home video in March 2022, at least for our North American audiences.
LW: As far as we know this is closing Cold Wind Blowing’s festival run! We don’t have U.K. distribution so make sure you take the chance to see it at the Soho Horror Film Festival this week!
DC: Thank you so much for talking with us! We are so looking forward to Cold Wind Blowing at SoHo Horror Film Festival!
Cold Wind Blowing plays as part of the Soho Horror Film Festival: Pride Edition between 24-26 June 2022.