04th Dec2017

Horror-On-Sea 2018 Interview: ‘Pitchfork’ director Glenn Douglas Packard

by Philip Rogers

Pitchfork is new slasher style horror from co-writer and director Glenn Douglas Packard, which has been selected to play at the Horror-on-Sea Film Festival on Friday 19th January. I got chance to ask Glenn about creating the character, what makes Pitchfork stand out in the genre and his favorite scenes in the movie.

PITCHFORK-POSTER

What can we expect from Pitchfork?

A new slasher indie horror with a killer you will fall in love with.

How did you come up with the concept for Pitchfork and what were your influences?

Pitchfork had been in my head for 8 years and I was ready to release him. I had seen a rerun of Oprah Winfrey show episode about a boy who was treated as a dog his whole life, and now as a grown man he wrote a book and was helping people that came from child abuse. I thought to myself what if it had gone the total other way, that he became a beast, a feral monster, that only thought like a wild dog with so much anger inside him. Influences would be from the 80’s slashers, I love me some Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, & Jason Voorhees. I tried to create a slasher character with some depth and storyline, so that by the end of this film you have a little heart for the monster.

What do you think makes Pitchfork stand out in the slasher genre, as both a character and a film?

Well we are an indie horror that looks like a multi-million-dollar film. We have a strong LGBTQ character instead of the stereo typical gay character in films, we give a first-time horror film experience but then end it with some torture porn shit.

Did you experience any issues while shooting the film?

It actually went very well, thanks to my great team. There were little things here and there but most all of it I could handle. Our line producer did get into a serious car accident the day before that enabled her to be on set, so that was scary on that fact I was worried about her, and now who was gonna be my ‘go to peep crack the whip line producer’, my AD (Assistant Director) stepped it up and did double duty just great.

Were there any elements in the finished film which were different your original script?

Oh, good question, yeah you look at the first script and then the final script and it’s a big difference. After each of the 21 shooting days, I would go back to my room and start making changes and the actors would get their new pages the next day for scenes coming up. A really big change was one of the main characters that made it to the end of the film, was supposed to be one of the first kills and the main hero of the film, I had killed early in the film. It was a hard decision to make but it was good for the film and the actors handled it very professionally.

Who designed the mask for Pitchfork and what was the inspiration behind the original design?

Well Pitch grew up chained to a kitchen table in a basement pretty much his whole life and treat like a dog. So, he would be dirty almost like a stray not takin care of. He loses his hand which you find out how in the next films, so I would replace it with a farm instrument that would be laying around a farm, a pitchfork was a perfect choice, since it also has the look of a Freddy Claw as well as a popular character in the Marvel Comic Book Film world, Wolverine. And the mask which is supposed to be the skin faced of a dog like leather face taking the face of his victims. Since Ben Holister Jr. (Pitchfork) saw himself as a dog then he wanted his face to look the part, that was where the dog in the beginning of the film getting walked by the ‘Wrong Turn-look’ girl comes into play. A lot of people felt that maybe it was a teddy bear mask, for the innocence of the boy. But it was a skinned dog mask that was executed nicely by the special effects team.

What was your favorite scene in the movie?

Ah I have many… can I give you my 10 favorite Pitchfork things list without spoiling it.

1. The acting of Daniel Wilkenson who played PITCHFORK, he was brilliant in the role.
2. The slow motion and drone shots of the opening sequence of the group of innocents on their way to their possible deaths.
3. The music is quite brilliant by my friend Christie Beu, and the title track ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands’ is just so eerie.
4. I call it the Romeo and Juliet death scene. You will have to just figure out what I’m talking about, but the above view with the fall with the music is perfection.
5. The backdrop of the farm in Clare, Michigan with the old barns to the open fields made for a perfect horror film location, I see it as the co-star.
6. Pitchfork licking an actresses face after a kill.
7. The whole entire ‘pee scene’
8. On a technical side of things, the sound is amazing thanks so my on-location team and my post team, the gore team with very little to work with, & the look of the film thanks to my DP (Director of Photography).
9. The barn dance, with this group of college kids coming from a school of arts and me having my choreography background, and the film being based on my real life coming out story, how could there not be a country barn dance thrown in there somewhere.
10. A character gets pulled into a blood shed and disappears into the darkness and yells ‘RUN’ as he disappears. Gives me chills every time.

Are there any plans for a Pitchfork sequel?

Yeah, when I created Pitch it was always a trilogy, there is a 5 years later and a prequel.

What advice would you give to someone looking to direct their first film?

For a first-time director and creator be prepared, do the work, put in the time. and after it’s all done make sure to do your homework on the people you pass your film over to do the sales and distribution of your baby. You want them to put in the same hard work and passion and be able to deliver.

Pitchfork will be playing at the Horror-on-Sea Festival on Friday 19th January at 12:30pm.
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For more information on the event and to purchase tickets for the Horror-on-Sea please see the website for details: https://www.horror-on-sea.com

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