Welcome to our newly launched Indie Horror Director Spotlight, which will feature interviews with some of our favorite independent horror directors. First up we have England’s Corrie “Coz” Greenop. We recently reviewed Corrie’s movie: Wandering Rose (2014). The film will be titled Demon Baby in North America.
RH: What inspired you to get into film-making?
CG: Having been a child actor since the age of 3, I spent most of my childhood years on film and television sets. It wasn’t until I was 15 or 16 that I realized I wanted to be behind the camera instead of in front of it. I have always been a huge fan of films and film-making ever since I was at school. Most Fridays, at the end of the school day, my friends and I would go along to the drama studio and beg the drama teacher to lend us the Sony Hi8 camcorder they had to film drama exams and let us shoot our own short films over the weekend. After the 2 years at college I had shot well over 50 short films using my mates as cast and crew. I tried everything. Horror films, documentaries, little narratives, comedies, even adventure films of rock-climbing and skiing.
With all these under my belt I managed to get a place at the Northern Film School in Leeds to do a degree in Film and Moving Image. Whilst the academic part of the degree didn’t really enthuse me or excite me about the film industry, the best part of being at University was all the free amazing equipment I could use whenever I wanted. Whilst also at university I tried to get as much real work experience as possible, working on my days off and weekends for free at 3 local production companies in the area. I think it’s fair to say I now make the best cups of tea in Yorkshire, but it got me on sets and people got to know me. Throughout the 3 years at film school I had worked my way up from runner to camera assistant at 3 companies. Impressed with my enthusiasm and editing skills after University, I was given a job at one of the production houses and have been there ever since but I’m also continuing my freelance career.
RH: Which horror directors have influenced you the most, and why?
CG: For me I have always been a huge fan of South Korean and Japanese horror films. The thing I love about Korean and Japanese Horror is that they have actual plots with real meaning. You are always left scared but also with a message. They have something to say in their horror films. Not just a slasher/gore fest that was cool for 90 minutes but once they’re over you completely forget about the characters and the film. I wanted my films to have some resonance, meaning and message and leave the audience feeling more than just scared. Directors like Kim Jee-woon (A Tale of Two Sisters) and The Pang Brothers (The Eye Trilogy) are a huge influence on my film-making style. They really invest in their characters and the plots have real meaning. They want to say something in their films as well as scare the shit out of their audience. I never wanted to make a film that didn’t have a real message or something that got the audience thinking.
RH: What are your favorite recent horror films?
CG: Without a doubt the best horror film I have seen recently, and probably the best horror film I have ever seen, is Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook. The film is a perfect example of how to do horror. We spend the first 30 minutes of the film investing in the characters and their world before we even get a hint that it’s a horror film. Kent also tackles real issues that people can relate to. For me it sets the benchmark of how to make horror.
RH: What are some of your favorite horror films of all-time?
CG: My favorite horror films are movies such as The Eye Trilogy, The Babadook, Mama, The Evil Dead films. Anything psychological really. I’m not a fan of slasher horrors. I think the scariest things in horror movies are the unknown.
RH: What’s the status of Demon Baby? How can our readers watch it?
CG: Demon Baby will be released through Entertainment One in North America in May 2015 and then we’re looking at a summer release on DVD and VOD in the UK. We also have sales in Japan, The Middle East and South Korea.
RH: Do you have any other upcoming projects we should look out for?
CG: I’m currently attached to direct a World War 2 feature called The Border Guide. Written by Eirik Knutsvik, it’s seen through the eyes of a young boy who takes it upon himself to guide Russian POW’s across the northern border of Norway to neutral Sweden. I am also finishing my latest script called The Passing Beacon — a psychological horror set in a remote island lighthouse. I am hoping to begin shooting early 2016.
RH: Thanks for your time Coz. We’re looking forward to the release of Demon Baby and learning more about The Passing Beacon!
For more information about Demon Baby visit: https://www.facebook.com/wanderingrosemovie.