Wednesday, August 30, 2017


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Hello my friends, I've been absent for like a month more or less, and that time is a lot, I've been doing some personal projects and those projects demanded a lot of time, so, for that reason I had to prioritize. I am still working on them but I have more free time now, I hope be at date with all the horror flick I passed back in these times.

Horror short film "HUSH" and upcoming horror film "ALICE: THE HATRED" they both have something in common and is its director Michael Kehoe, a person with long experience into film industry in many roles, an pleasant person willing to explain you everything he knows about movies and multiple anecdotes he has been throught into his career, a talented director who directed an extraordanry short film called "HUSH" and  now his new film called "ALICE: THE HATRED" where both short and feature film are related. He allowed me interview him and here it is I hope it likes you. 

EFF: When did born your love for films, when and how did you feel that your thing was directing, whether films or tv series? 

MK: I wanted to be in film at an early age, probably somewhere around 10 years old. My mother was a theater director in the local theater and I witnessed her work early on. I knew then that this was something that was very interesting to me. I found my mother’s passion for directing to be infectious. 
EFF: Watching your bio, we can see you had acting, producing, writing, and obviously directing, but you also have had a large experience as part of "Miscellaneous crew" on several films. How was your opening into film industry? 

MK: I started out working as an assistant to a director, then a producer and writer. My passion was to create so I wrote a short script and shot my first short film that was titled “SECOND DANCE”, that film went on to Sundance and I was fortunate to get a deal for a feature film. But as an independent filmmaker it is difficult to live on the income making a small film every two years, so I landed in production and created a business.

EFF: Why you took the decision of directing in the first place? I saw that your first feature film it was in 1995 a film called "Dominion" why in that moment you decide to jump out to direction craft?

MK: I had already started my business in craft service and had several people working for me. My business started growing while I was writing and I landed jobs with Tom Cruise and JJ Abrams. This kept me busy and paid bills giving me a little time to develop screenplays, create and shoot short films. However, it was also like having velvet handcuffs because the money was good but it was not giving me the time I needed to give to the love I have for filmmaking. But you also have to stay alive and pay bills!!!!!
Michael Kehoe and Tom Cruise

EFF: This blog centers on horror films, so that, your upcoming film "Alice:The Hatred" is what joins us here, but before to talk about that, tell us why do you make a horror film, when in your former films you never directed something like that, why you changed your usual genres?

MK: I did not think I could provide a proper story for the horror fans. Making a good horror film is a major task, all elements need to be in place. Good story, great location, great cinematography, great actors and the thrills and scares must be timed correctly and you have to be true to your audience. The horror audience is not stupid. In fact, if you mistreat the genre you will be crucified by the fans. When I sit down and talk to a horror fan, they get into the soul of the story, they love the misdirection if it’s done properly and with taste. Horror is not just blood! Good horror takes you on a journey and when you think you’re going in one direction, it punches you into a completely different direction and you are constantly in fear. That to me is great horror. I have always been interested in “thrillers”. I believe the "horror genre" is a close relative to the "thriller genre”, so it wasn’t a far stretch but I was in fear for a while not wanting to disappoint anyone.

EFF: So, "ALICE:THE HATRED" was before a short film called "Hush", one very awarded by the way; how was cemented the idea for "hush”?

MK: I wrote a script titled “THE HATRED”, I had not written a horror script but wanted to write something with thrills and scares but make it smart. After writing the script I took a scene from the script and created the short film which we titled “HUSH”. I got together with my good friend cinematographer John Connor and started collaborating on the idea of shooting this scene and creating a sizzle reel for the feature to get the feature made. John and I developed it over the course of 4 months and I wanted to shoot this scene with no lights, in the dark, at night, in a house! John at first said “No way!” But as we continued to work on the idea we quickly came up with a plan to give the audience a feel that they were there in the dark. The idea for this scene came from my twin sons that would always ask me before they went to bed to check in the closet and under the bed to see if there was a monster. I thought about that a lot as time progressed and made notes to put that in the script. In fact that was the first idea for THE HATRED and I built the story around that. We shot the short film in one day 11 hours and in one location.
Hush (2016) Imdb | 

EFF: Very interesting, so you took an scene from your movie script and converted it in a short film. Now, how was the process to transform a short film into a feature film? What were the challenges?

MK: There’s always a challenge when converting something that you’ve created as a short film into a full length feature. You want the same feel, the same reactions, the same passion. But I had already written the feature and we did some minor adjustments over time while the short film was in the festival world. When the film began to win awards I started to think that we could actually see the feature being made. But I say that with everything I write because you have to believe in what you are doing or else you should give up. We won the Wes Craven Award and that solidified me to continue the journey.

EFF: How was the process to create "Alice: The hatred" pitching to investors, pre-production, shooting and postproduction?

MK: People loved the short film and wanted to see more. Some loved the script for the feature and others took a pass. But when Malek Akkad read the script he actually saw the movie in his head as I did. Malek Akkad is the producer of “HALLOWEEN”, his father created the franchise. Malek and I had met before but I never had anything to bring to him. I never thought I would write a horror script. When Malek and I sat down to talk we both were on the same page as what we wanted for the feature. He brought some great changes to the script and some wonderful scares.

EFF: Is it a “Low Budget” film, right? According to that, what were the commons issues you faced in on the film? Locations, equipment, etc. And do you prefer the term “Low Budget

MK: I try and avoid the term “low budget”, I would rather say “Independent” because with the lack of funds you are on your own making the film on your own and putting your neck on the chopping block. We faced many issues with this picture. As a director, you never have enough days, you’re limited on equipment or locations. We were fortunate because John Connor and I prepped this movie long before we made the deal for the feature. You have to think if each film as a military mission. In the military, you have to take that hill, and you can’t waste time. In the process of making the movie, we have a set goal of shooting time. If you lose time, you lose a day and that’s like retreating or losing ground in the military mission. So each day we have to advance and continue without anyone getting hurt and without ruining the location. There are so many other factors to be considered that I’d be writing for hours to tell you but I think you get the idea.
Michael Kehoe filming

EFF: What does offer "Alice:The Hatred" to viewers? What is the attractive thing of this film to could engaged in the audience to watch it?
MK: Well, the film is mostly a female cast, but I did not want to offer any nudity or sex in this film. I wanted the audience to concentrate on the story and see what lurks in the darkness.

EFF: I saw the short film thanks to you, and in short minutes it gave me a good scene, I felt it specially spooky and in fact I’ve had nightmares about be talking to someone and then I watch that person in other place, so, who the hell was talking to me?

MK: That is what I was going for. When a film makes you think or goes with you after you leave the theater, the filmmaker has done his or her job. My job was to take you on a journey and make you think you were traveling in one direction and then divert you in another and yet another.

EFF: Why you decided change the idea from the short to the feature? I mean, in the short was like a babysitter and in the film are four friends right? Why you added more characters?

MK: I didn’t want to do the whole baby sitter thing in a feature it was done very well in “WHEN A STRANGER CALLS” and several other films. So, I used the relationship of my 4 sisters and created 4 young women just out of college who take a trip to their professor’s new home. The rest you will find out when you see the film.
Alice The Hatred (2017) Imdb | 

EFF: What equipments, cameras, lenses and software did you use for this film?

MK: We shot on the Alexa and used some great tricks by our Gaffer who goes by the name of “Mad Man”. He actually brought a great deal to the look of the film under John Connor’s direction.

EFF: How long was the shooting tier from "Alice:The Hatred”?

MK: We shot the entire film in 16 days. Every director wants more!!!!

EFF: What kind of director you are? Do you like actors sticks to the script or let them be free and could improvising?

MK: I try and do both. I like when actors “act naturally", when they take your words and form them into their language that to me is the key. When I see that a certain scene is not feeling right to me, I will take a moment with the actor and try to get into each other’s head. Then we try and go for it with another approach and improvising but staying within the guidelines of what the script has afforded us. This collaborative effort elevates the scene to a point that I may not have thought of when writing it. 
Michael Kehoe

EFF: Are you a horror fan? What horror films you like the most and why?

MK: Yes, I am a horror fan. But I’m not the blood and guts kind of fan. This script was actually inspired by a film that I saw years ago titled “THE CHANGELING” from 1981 starring George C. Scott. I was so taken by this film. It had a tone that crept deep in your soul and manipulated you into thinking that something was there that wasn’t. I still get chills watching that film. If you ever get the chance to see it watch it at night in the dark. We made a reference to that in a certain scene.

EFF: What directors has influenced on your career? Directly and academically.

MK: I love Alfred Hitchcock for his way of taking you on a journey. I was also greatly affected by Stanley Kubrick and his way of creating a pensive environment with cinematography. I love Walter Hill’s approach to the actors and story. He has a very real take on the action as well as the relationships between the characters. I also have an affection for the way Tony Scott shoots his films and his methods. I like long lenses and movement. All have a different path, yet all tell an engaging story.

EFF: Any reference we could be able to see in your film?

MK: There are some Hitchcock treats that we slipped in. A treat from The Changeling and several others. But you’ll have to see THE HATRED when it comes out.

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

MK: First of all, if you want to be a filmmaker, you have to believe that you are and there is no giving up. No way! Then, write your ass off. Start out by writing short film scripts. Watch the old Twilight Zone series. I made my first short film based on the platform of the original Twilight Zone series. It went to The Sundance Film Festival and was titled “SECOND DANCE”. You can see it on YouTube. The key is to tell a story in a short amount of time. Have a beginning a middle and an ending. Create something that brings the audience in your world. As a director, some people want to make a dramatic short film, and that’s okay. But that short film is for the actor in my opinion. It expresses the actor’s work. Unless of course your making an EPIC short film with wide vistas and incredible locations. But who has the money for that? Make a good thriller. Tell a story that takes the audience on that special journey. Start out with action and explain it later. Keep it under 10 min and use great lighting and remember, cinematography is important. Don’t just shoot with your iPhone. Poverty breeds creativity. Negotiate deals, it’s your first film. Use this as your first step into the business and remember not to kill your crew. If they believe in you they will be there for you, they will be loyal and go the extra way. Be as loyal to them as they are to you. Find people who are smarter than you and surround yourself with them. Do your job and let them do theirs. But your job is to find the best people. Your passion makes you the best. 

EFF: What was your favorite scene in your film?

MK: I have many memorable moments but the one scene that I tend to lean toward is the scene that we created HUSH from.

EFF: If you could make any horror remake what would be and why?

MK: I’ve always wanted to do a remake of ‘WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE” starring Betty Davis and Joan Crawford. However, I hear that Walter Hill is already doing that. I’m sure it will be fantastic as he is another one I respect. If he holds off, I’d love to put my name in the hat to direct!
Michael Kehoe

.**MICHAEL KEHOE'S Twitter | Imdb Facebook Website Instagram |

THE HATRED'S | Imdb | Facebook Amazon |


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