Further to our review on his film “The Last House On Cemetery Lane”, we caught up with Writer, Director and Producer extraordinaire Andrew Jones and asked a few questions.
Q1 – Hey Andrew, Please, let everyone know about yourself?
Basically if you want commercial genre films in the Roger Corman/Charles Band
Mould, that can be made on a ridiculously tight schedule and tiny budget, I’m the man to speak to!
Q2 – For me, watching Nightmare On Elm Street in my teenage years got me into
Horror. Being a big horror fan was there one film, television show or moment,
That has got you into horror?
For me it was also A Nightmare on Elm Street along with Friday the 13th. I distinctly remember seeing the VHS box covers in a local video rental place and spending a long time convincing my parents to let me watch them.
They finally allowed me to and I watched both films in the same night when I was 5 years old. It completely changed how I felt about films and started my interest in filmmaking.
Q3 – Cool, so who is your inspiration in horror? Do you have a favourite Director, Actor or Movie that you look up to and do they have influence on your own films?
Among the mainstream filmmakers I particularly love the work of Wes Craven. His films always had a lot of thought and intelligence behind them as well as a gallows humour. I grew up with his movies and his death remains the only time I’ve ever cried about someone I didn’t know personally.
In terms of independent filmmakers obviously Charles Band and Full Moon Features are a massive influence. I also really love the work of lesser known directors like William Girdler. He died at the age of 30 but left behind a legacy of 9 terrific exploitation films made in the 1970s, including ‘Grizzly’, ‘Three on a Meathook’ and ‘Abby’.
Horror and B movie fans should definitely seek out his work, I know a lot of his titles are available on DVD.
Out of the UK filmmakers I love Pete Walker’s work, particularly ‘Frightmare’ and ‘House of the Long Shadows’.
Q4 – If there was one horror movie that you had wished you’d made?
Re-Animator. It’s such a whacky film I bet they had a laugh making it. I’d love to have been on that set, I think it would have been great fun dealing with that subversive mix of horror and humour.
Q5 – Being relatively unknown compared to a lot of horror filmmakers, for those who don’t know your work, do you have a favourite from your own filmography that would best introduce you to your work?
I can’t really make a judgement on the 12 feature films I’ve made because I’m too close to them. It’s always difficult to separate the experience of making the films from the 1 final result, I only think of them in terms of how enjoyable or difficult they were to make. Based on that I’d say ‘The Last House on Cemetery Lane’, ‘The Exorcism of Anna Ecklund’ and ‘The Curse of Robert the Doll’ are the films I most enjoyed making.
Q6 – Do you have any funny stories from On Set of your films? What happened?
I’m not sure if it was funny to the people who experienced it, but we once filmed and slept in a house which was haunted. I think it was during the making of my film ‘Conjuring the Dead’ which turned out to be an appropriate title considering the haunting! Several crew members saw a ghost independent of each other and it wasn’t until a few days into the shoot that it was discovered they had all seen the same thing.
Then a local cast member who knew the area well turned up and revealed the place was known to be haunted by the spirit of a little boy. Can’t say I saw anything though, you don’t really notice ghosts when you’ve got 40 camera set ups a day to get through!
Q7 – Do you have any advice for others who want to make a horror film on a low budget?
I’d advise them to discuss the project with a distributor before they move forward on production. I think too many indie filmmakers go forward on projects without considering if there is actually a market for their film.
I believe a filmmaker should always ensure that their project is marketable otherwise they’ll end up with a film that never gets released. In terms of the shooting of the film it’s always important to surround yourself with cast and crew who are dependable and who fully embrace the process of working with limited time and resources.
After the film is released it’s important not to get too hung up on reviews or message board comments.
Horror and low budget indie films in any genre are always divisive, some people love them and some people hate them. So a filmmaker must make peace with the fact that everyone is going to have a different opinion of their work.
Q8 – So, what does the future hold for you and North Bank Entertainment? Are you planning to make more horrors? What are you working on at the moment?
We are going to be filming our 13th feature film ‘The Toymaker’ in November. That film is a spin off from the ‘Robert the Doll’ films, focusing on a Toymaker in 1941 Germany who acquires a mystical book which gives life to the inanimate. Basically Killer Dolls vs Nazis! In February we’ll be filming ‘Cabin 28’ which is based on the real life 1981 Keddie murders. We also have three other feature films shooting next year so it’s going to be a very busy time!
Q9 – How do we find out more information about you and your films? Do you have a website? Facebook page?
Anyone who is interested can find out all the latest updates on my projects either via my Twitter account https://twitter.com/AJonesFilmmaker or via my production company’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/NorthBankEntertainment
Q10 – And finally, is there anything else you want to add?
San Dimas High School Football Rules!
Some great answers there Andrew and thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions.
I will definitely be checking out some of your film suggestions as they are films I personally have not heard of.
And yes, San Dimas High School Football does RULE!