Sunday, May 28, 2017


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If you google or search for St Asaph on internet it will appears an adjective as "The second smallest city in britain" and it also appears beautiful structures, buildings and landscapes, but what we really interests now about the beautiful city of St Asaph is that is the cradle of our interviewee today: Edward Evers-Swindell, a director with inventiveness to the moment to creates a movie, with two films on his shoulders so far, INFESTATION and his most recent movie DARK SIGNAL, which will be out in theaters on June 2nd. DARK SIGNAL pays homage to classic horror films, but is better that  Edward Evers-Swindell himself tells us everthing, so go on and I hope you like this interview.

EFF: Where are you from?

EE-S: I’m from the city of St. Asaph in North Wales.

EFF: This is one of my Common questions to all my interviewees, When did you find out that films would be your life, you would be live of this?

EE-S: This is a very boring answer, but it was ‘Star Wars’. Seeing that for the first time was like a moment of clarity. I was only 6, but I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. After that it was ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’ and, more specifically the documentary about the making of that film. They played it on TV and I rushed to record it on my old Betamax VCR thinking in my 6 year old head that it was the film. However, I soon realised it was about the people MAKING the film. That’s when I found out it was something that people did! And who was this Spielberg guy?

EFF: Why do you like direct movies?

EE-S: Writing and directing a film is like creating your own little universe and all the people and things that go in it. It’s the perfect job for meticulous, egotistical, narcissists…like me! Ha ha.
Infestation (2005) Amazon |

EFF: Now, you have made two features films so far, "INFESTATION" in 2005 and "DARK SIGNAL" just in 2016 which will be out in 2017. Why this big hole time between each movie?

EE-S: The real answer is that "INFESTATION" wasn’t really a film. It was myself and a bunch of friends trying to make a movie on our own camcorders with absolutely no money. The end result was quite fun and watchable, and it got a release on DVD thanks to a sudden interest in the zombie genre. One of the MANY terrible reviews it got at the time was “not so much a low budget film as a high budget home movie”. They were being mean, but they actually hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly what it was. But the experience was invaluable (and enjoyable) and my quest began to do it ‘properly’ next time. It took years and several failed scripts before we developed something that was actually good enough to get made.

EFF: "DARK SIGNAL" Was co-written by you and Antony Jones, plus you directed it... First, when it borned the idea, the script, and then, how was the pitching process in the moment to look for money?

EE-S: I think we started with an image. The idea of being stuck in a car with someone or something. Those eyes looking back at you in the mirror. I love supernatural stuff so it was always going to be a ghost, but through developing the script we came up with the radio station stuff, and the EVP. That seemed like an interesting idea that we hadn’t seen before. Instead of all the characters being together and their phones not working, they would be separated physically, and only able to contact each other through their phones. The film became about different forms of communication. Electronic, spiritual, supernatural, characters who can’t communicate, have no voice. Characters who are only a voice. Antony was really great at weaving all those themes into the script, but not have it get in the way of a scary story.

We were lucky that the script fell into the hands of Jonas Babics, the producer. He really got what we were trying to do and very quickly he got the production up and running.
Dark Signal (2017)

EFF:  What things you looked at the moment to choose the actors, how it was that stage?

EE-S: Casting the film was really fun. Getting James Cosmo involved really kick-started the whole thing and working with him was an absolute joy. He is so experienced; we were all in awe of him. Gareth David-Lloyd is a bit of a genius. He was a joy to work with because he had so many ideas and I used nearly all of them.

Duncan Pow got involved through a mutual friend, and was fantastic. He’s very much a natural actor. He doesn’t over think things, ,you just shout ‘Action’ and boom. He’s the character. He told me that sometimes he doesn’t even know what he’s going to do until he does it. It makes what he does feel very fresh onscreen. Now he’s in Star Wars!! Very exciting!

I have to say, for me personally, the moment Cinzia Monreale agreed to do the film was the highlight of the entire production. I literally punched the air and screamed “YES!” when that email came through. I had been a fan of her’s for years and it was a bit of a dream come true to work with her. I realised when she arrived that she had never done an English language film before. She had always been dubbed in her Italian films. So we were her first! And she was fantastic!

The hardest role to cast was Laurie, I think that’s because I had a far more specific idea of what the character should be like, as she was based on my friend Beverley. We went through quite a few actresses before we settled on Siwan Morris, but she was perfect. She pretty much steals the whole film.

EFF: What production step was most expensive and what problems did you faced in with Locations, shots, any topic?

EE-S: The actual shoot is always the most expensive part. You’re hiring equipment and paying everybody, so every day, every hour is costing you. But Jonas Babics, the producer, was very clever in that he didn’t blow the whole budget on the shoot. That’s something that a few low-budget films do quite regularly I believe. He kept back a sensible budget for post production and music. This meant that we got a great picture grade from Toby Tomkins at Cheat and a superb sound mix by Simon Jones and Soundworks in Cardiff. It’s those finishing touches that really make a film. We lucked out with all the locations as we had an excellent Locations Manager!

EFF: What sensation has gave you "DARK SIGNAL" As director, now that you see the final result. What personal feelings you have about it, how it was the audience response, and how did it go on the festivals?

EE-S: The moment it all came home was seeing it at the cinema. That’s when I had a weird ‘out of body’ experience. It didn’t seem real. It was a moment I had dreamt of for so long and it was actually happening for 90 mins in front of me. I’d like to say I just sat back and enjoyed it, but I sat at the back and thought about changes I could have made to the final cut! Ha ha. That’s the thing. The film is never really finished. The best moment that night was when the twist was revealed and a lady in the audience shouted a disbelieving “Nooooo!”. That was very gratifying as it reminds you that’s why you are making films. To have an effect like that on someone. It’s easy to forget that during the actual filmmaking process.

 I was hoping that we would go to lots of festivals with it, but in the end we got distribution for it VERY quickly and then it was out in the shops and on SKY before we knew it! 
Edward Evers-Swindell

EFF: What did you learn from this movie. What taught you this film on your directing style, personally, new things, experiences?

EE-S: This was a massive learning experience for me. I had to learn how to work with a crew, which I’d never really done before on my no budget stuff with mates. I learnt so much from the crew and the actors especially. Also I learnt some very painful lessons the HARD way. Like when you have the wrong person in a particular role on set, how that can really ruin things.

EFF: What was the best thing about shooting this film?

EE-S: The best thing about the shoot was making new friends and new creative partnerships. .Just being amazed at how talented some people are and what magic they can work given very little time and money. You start to realise why film-makers work with the same people over and over again. We definitely compiled a list of the people to invite back for the next one!
 Edward Evers-Swindell - Jonas Babics
Kelly Maracin Krieg - Edward Evers-Swindell 

EFF: An anecdote to tell, that has happened to you during the shooting process or any time?

EE-S: On one of the night shoots at the Summit Complex in Llandudno, the guy driving the lighting truck was backing it up and accidentally went up a steep grass verge. The whole truck nearly tipped over and was only stopped by the crew rushing up and balancing on it. We then had to stay there for over an hour until the police arrived, and then a tow truck. If we had let go the truck and all the lighting and camera equipment would have been a wrecked! It was night. It was freezing cold. It wasn’t the best moment of the shoot!

EFF: If I ask you to give me five adjectives to describes "DARK SIGNAL" what would them be?

EE-S: Well I can tell you the 3 adjectives we used when we were writing and shooting. They were ‘Cinematic’, ‘Scary’ and ‘Emotional’. Sometimes it helps to have these broad terms when you approach a scene to write or shoot. You can ask yourself, “is it one of these things?”. If I were to pick another two they would be…’humorous’ and ‘Musical’. I don’t mean song and dance numbers, but music is such a big part of film.

EFF: What horror movies from this three years has liked you most?

EE-S: I guess most of the obvious ones like ‘The Babadook’. ‘It Follows’ I absolutely loved. And more recently ‘Don’t Breathe’ was brilliant. However, I think the best surprise was a film called ‘Housebound’. It was a film from New Zealand that was both brilliantly funny and scary. It was what we were trying to do, but about a thousand times better! I’m constantly recommending it to people!

EFF: What classic horror movies  you like the most?

EE-S: My favourites would probably be Halloween, Suspiria, Evil Dead 2, Prince Of Darkness and The Thing! Fantastic films that I can watch over and over!

EFF:  What director has inspired you on your directing style?

EE-S: Well…three John Carpenter films on that list. He’s certainly a huge inspiration to me. It’s difficult to be a film maker and NOT be influenced by Steven Spielberg. Even if you are trying NOT to be like him, you’re still being influenced.
Also, Neil Marshall has been a MAJOR inspiration and influence on me. ‘Dog Soldiers’ was such an amazing film, and then to find out it had been made by a passionate enthusiast, that was truly inspiring. I’ve been lucky enough to go onto Neil’s sets and see him direct, so in that respect he’s had more influence on me than anyone else. You can watch as many behind the scenes documentaries as you like…there is no substitute for a real film set!

EFF:  What equipment, cameras you used for this film making?

EE-S: ‘Dark Signal’ was shot on the Red Dragon by Adrian Brown. People are often very interested in the technical gear that’s used on a film, but the real magic is in the people who use them. Adrian was an incredible director of photography. His visual flair added so much value to the production. Someone else may have taken the same camera and lenses and not got half as much out of them. It’s an art.

EFF: What advice would you give for those want-to-be filmmakers who are undecided about how to shoot their first story?

EE-S: Just do it. Chances are your first attempts are going to be crap. If they aren’t, and you’re a genius, then congratulations. But if you aren’t a genius then you realise it’s all about persistence and hard work. Keep going, keep experimenting and working on your style. At first you imitate your heroes, but soon that drops away and you are left with your own weird obsessions about things. This will develop into your style. If you love filmmaking, then KEEP GOING! Do not give up. Persistence is the word that comes up over and over again. Also…don’t forget that film-making is a collaborative process. You need to surround yourself with talented people!

EFF: What kind of director you are? Do you like that actors stick to the script or you let them improvise?

EE-S: As long as the story points come across and what the actors are doing fits with the character, then they can do what they like! Actors bring so much to a role, it’s really incredible. But they have to make it ‘real’ and logical in their heads, so you end up having lots of conversations about why characters would do certain things. On Dark Signal we spent a week before the shoot where we just hung out and talked about the script, and so much came from that. Siwan and Gareth had invented an entire back-story for their characters, and It’s probably what makes them look like very convincing ‘old friends’ on screen.

EFF: And now if somebody gives you the chance to makes a horror remake, what would you choose and why?

EE-S:  I always thought a remake of ‘Dreamscape’ would be amazing, but I guess ‘Inception’ has probably put a stop to that.
Edward Evers-Swindell

EFF: What is your opinion about the different funding platforms that exists right now via web, have you used one of them? Do you think newbies filmmakers must use them?

EE-S:  I’ve never used them, but they’re great for new filmmakers. Anything that gets your film out there!

EFF: What is new on your career, what do you have in mind?

EE-S: Well the first thing on the horizon is the American release of ‘Dark Signal’. That’s coming out there in June this year. I’ll be very keen to see what American audiences make of it. Then we have a few projects on the go. It’s just a case of which gets made first now.
Edward Evers-Swindell

.**EDWARD EVERS-SWINDELL'S Twitter | Imdb Facebook 

**DARK SIGNAL** Twitter | Imdb Facebook 

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful interview. I´ve got the film, but I´d bought a new DVD with subtitles in English for deaf people if there isn´t in spanish. I loved Dark Signal!