02nd Feb2018

Horror-On-Sea 2018 Interview: Tony Waghorne talks ‘I See You’

by Philip Rogers

I-See-You-poster

What can we expect from your short film I See You?

Something that is definitely overused by writer/directors, but also something different. I feel a lot of horror films can often lack is an actual storyline and a storyline that can fit into the real world and despite the film only being a short, I still wanted to try and get a real feeling narrative across. I always write my shorts with the thought of, how could this story be developed into a feature, which allowed me to embed enough of a narrative into the short so that it isn’t just ten minutes of scares with no real meaning to them. The short, I hope, delivers some creative scares whilst also providing a plot twisting narrative to provide a new take on the clown horror.

What were your inspirations for writing the film?

I had a couple. My first was the writing style of James Wan. I did a lot of a research on his writing and directing style before shooting to try and understand how he’s mastered horror so well. Wan says that you should always play on common human fears, this helps to give the narrative that real-life feels, which amplifies the scare factor. This is where the clown element came from. It’s a well-known fact that a common human fear is clowns, in fact over 40% of American adults have a fear of them. This is where my second inspiration came from. The ‘Killer Clown Phase’ that started in 2016 in the U.S and spread over to the U.K shortly after gave me a timeframe for which I could set the story in. By setting my clown themed narrative in a timeframe from which clowns were filling up the news and social media helped to punch in that real-life feel I wanted to deliver with the narrative.

How long did the film to complete and did you experience any difficulties during filming?

Filming took place over three and half days spread over a month period, filming around three other University assignments, a part-time job and seven other people’s schedules with just £50 that went on makeup, costume, food and petrol. We never experienced any major difficulties. Something I like to do when planning a project is plan as if it’s going on the big screen, going to Warner Bros. for example. Always try plan big and be one step ahead just in case something goes wrong, which allows you to make sure you’re still producing high quality content.

Were there any elements of the original script which were changed during filming?

Very much so! Scene seven was almost completely improvised and differed massively from the script. This scene is almost the final scene and really needed a big pay off and we didn’t feel as if it quite had that so literally looked around the set (my bedroom) before the scene, looked at what could be used to create an affective scare, which is where the wardrobe came into play and created the scene that audiences have reacted to the most.

What was one of your favourite scenes in the film?

Improvised scene seven actually turned out to be my favourite scene. Looking back at it now there are some elements I would change but the scene also had a great amount of suspense, the score amplified that suspense ten times over and also the scene finished with a great scare to wrap it all up.

You originally created the film as part of a university project, but it has now gone on to play at film festivals in the UK and US. Are you surprised at how the film has been received?

Incredibly! Discovering festivals and submission sites such as filmfreeway.com all came about through a University project that looked into how we could promote out films and attempt to get them out there to a wider audience. However, I also was inspired by Christopher Nolan’s early festival success with his short, Doodlebug. I wanted to attempt to follow his festival success so gave some a shot and was shocked when we actually started getting animated and even more shocked when we won a couple awards. The film also hit my 6-month target of 1000 views in just under 3 days, which was another incredible surprise.

Do you have any new projects which you are working on?

I like to keep busy so currently I’m half way through shooting my next short, Afraid of the Dark (March/April 2018). A short horror (4-5 minutes) about a supernatural being that uses people’s greatest fears against them. I’m also developing a second draft of my first feature, The Watcher for festival submission in late 2018/early 2019 and finally, I’m finalising the script for my next-next short, Message Received – a real life horror about how we’re all pushing ourselves one step closer to danger with the amount of personal information we post on social media.

If someone is looking to make their first film, what advice would you give them?

Be experimental! Filmmaking is all about trying, learning, often failing from trying and then understanding what works and what doesn’t, which is how your individual filmmaking style is developed. I See You was my first horror and through being experimental, I’ve been able to take so much confidence forwards with me when approaching Afraid of the Dark as now I’m beginning to understand what works and what doesn’t work for my style of filmmaking, which develops more and more with each project I tackle.

Credits:

Writer/Director: Tony Waghorne
Producer: Adam Witney
DOP/co-editor: Tony Waghorne
Editor: Adam Witney
Composer: Simon Servida (Canadian based)
Sound engineer: Wesley Matthews
Makeup artist: Albi Dawkins

Starring: Lille Sumun, Harry Parsons and Jay Willoughby

Social Media:

YouTube link to film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12XH1gPfgQw
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eyesforwardproductions/
Twitter: @eyesforwardprod
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eyesforwardproductions_uk/?hl=en

Screenings:

Horror-on-Sea the last screening pencilled in the I See You diary, however, we hear back from a few more U.S based festivals between April and October.  Past screenings: Official Selection Hollywood Dead Film Festival (2017), Award Winner Spotlight Horror Film Awards (2017), Official Selection Fake Flesh Film Fest (2017), Award Winner North American Film Awards (2017), Official Selection Horror-On-Sea (2018)

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