Saturday, April 14, 2018

INTERVIEW - ROBERT CONWAY - THE COVENANT'S DIRECTOR

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KRAMPUS UNLEASHED, KRAMPUS: THE RECKONING and THE COVENANT, they have a common factor each other, yeah, the same creator and director, and he is: Robert Conway, a native from East Coast but living for more tha 25 years in Arizona, an indie filmmaker with with the sharpness, expertise and creativity to create great films such as the ones I mentioned before. In this interview we will tak about general things, his thoughts and a little bit about his latest film: THE COVENANT. Come and join us.

EFF: Hi Robert, is really a pleasure have this talk with you. Where are you from?

RC: Thanks for having me. Originally from the East Coast but the last 25 years, I've lived mainly in Arizona. 

EFF:  I’m always interested in the moment filmmakers knew they wanted to make movies. So, when and how was that moment for you?

RC: I was very young. I made films with my brothers and kids from the neighborhood when I was in elementary school and I still have some of those old films. 
Robert Conway

EFF: Why you took horror genre as your space where to make your features?


RC: I guess I just like exploring the darker side of storytelling. Lately I've been getting into other genres but I will never loose my attraction to a good horror project. 

EFF: I will like to talk about whole your filmography but we are gonna concentrate on your last film "the covenant" but before of it, let me ask you first about your former films; “Krampus: The reckoning” and “Krampus unleashed” , how did born the idea to make these film? In addition, how it was the pitching stage?

RC: Both of my Krampus films were done in partnership with Uncorked Entertainment. The idea was to make make fun films that featured a fantasy monster on a conservative budget. The films were a lot fun and easy to get financed as Krampus was a hot topic last year. 
Krampus The Reckoning Amazon | iTunes |  
Krampus Unleashed Amazon | iTunes |  

EFF: Ok, now let's talk about "The covenant" and making same question : How was that creation process, why you decided first create the script and then direct the movie?

RC: After the first Krampus I really wanted to do something darker and more dramatic. Krampus was a fantasy monster but with Covenant we introduced a demonic possession element that was based on Christian theology. My thought was that with most of the planet  believing in some form of God, a spiritual monster would be a more credible villain for the audience to follow. My brother Owen and Chris Smith also co-wrote that one.  
The Covenant Amazon | iTunes | Vudu |  

EFF: What movies did you take as references at the moment to create the story and at the moment to shoot the film?

RC: It's different on every movie. With Krampus the Reckoning I was heavily influenced by classic Twilight Zone episodes. A monster, a mystery then a twist at the end. With Krampus Unleashed I wanted to have more fun. My biggest influence for hat one was the first Tremors. With Covenant their were a few. It goes without saying Exorcist. Also The Omen but a less known TV film called The Haunted that used to scare the hell out of me when I was a kid. 

EFF: In this film you work again with your brother Owen after the first Krampus, Is it hard work with your brother? Maybe all the differences arises are different to handle if wasn't a familiar? You know what I mean...


RC: Owen is always great to work with. He's one of the finest actors I know and he always brings everything to the part. He's also a talented writer and has helped me in post as well. Owen is a great guy. 

EFF: When you are creating characters and specially for this film "The covenant" what key aspects you wanted to impregnate them?

RC: I care a lot about all the people we meet in Covenant and I hope that the audience will as well. This is a more serious film than I've done in a while so I really hope that people can relate or at least  have sympathy  for the characters. 

EFF: According information, you shot in Arizona, right? Why in that place? Just pragmatism or something in special?

RC: I live in Arizona so there's that of course but I also feel that the South West is an appropriate backdrop to my style of writing. I love making movies here. 
Scenes from The Covenant

EFF: What challenges you faced in filming "the covenant"?

RC: Honestly Covenant was one of the easer shoots I've done. I think because we had a great cast and crew as always but this was a smaller cast that usual and fewer locations so got to work at a really niece pace and I never felt rushed. 

EFF: How did you handle the casting process? Did you handle that aspect personally? What characteristics you looked for?

RC: I'm always very hands on with casting. It's one of the most important parts of pre-pro. For nearly everyone on this I had worked with them before and knew what they could bring. One new addition that I was very happy to work with was Maria Olsen. She's great. A natural talent and a very cool person. 

EFF: What lesson taught you this film, personally and professionally?

RC: Personally the film is about doubt and self judgement turned into self loathing that enables Sarah to be seduced by evil. Professionally I got a chance to show more of my dramatic side as a director and that was very satisfying. 
Robert Conway Shooting

EFF:  Briefly, what has changed from "redemption" to "the covenant" in your life?

RC: I'm older and fatter. Lol. Well I hope I've grown as a filmmaker. I still have very fond memories of Redemption and in many ways, I'm still very proud of what we did there. Someday it would be great to revisit the Old West. 

EFF: Any anecdote you can tell us in the making off of this film? or other film?

RC: I would just say that some films you do for fun and others because you feel you have a deeper story to tell. Covenant was the latter. I had fun making it as we always do but it was also a very sad little film where the cast had to do a lot of heavy lifting and I'm very happy with what they gave me. 


EFF: What cameras, equipments did you use in "The covenant" and why? And what do you usually  use?

RC: I try to shoot everything on Red. I've used a lot of systems but for me Red is the best. I have my own now that I was able to get for a good price and I'm very happy with it. 

EFF: Are you a horror fan? What horror movies you like the most?

RC: I would say I'm a good movie fan and a bad movie fan. This applies to all genres. For Horror I would say that my favs are Silence of the Lambs, Exorcist on the good side. "Bad" films that I think are great are many. I think a Full Moon put out some very entertaining films that I think are fantastic. One of my favs and a true diamond in the ruff is called Head of the Family. It's a lower budget film with a zany story but it's pure fun. The cast seemed to have great chemistry and it looks like the kind of production that would have been a blast to work on. Check it out if you get a chance. It's a lot fun. 

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

RC: Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, David Fincher, Mel Gibson just to name a few. I have many influences. 

EFF: If somebody give you the chance to make a horror remake, what would you choose and why?

RC: That's a really good question and the answer is Dracula. One of the best vampire stories of all time. I would LOVE to tell that story again. 

EFF: By last, for an indie filmmaker who wants to shoot his first feature film with low money, what camera would you recommend him, what he could get highest quality with spending lowest money possible, and others advices if you can?

RC: For cameras that won't break the bank, I am really liking what Panasonic is doing with the GH series. Very good looking pro Rez 4K for something like 3k. If that's too much, I would say Black Magic has some nice options including the very affordable pocket cinema cam. Nice thing with Black Magic is you can record raw files. But honestly the pro Rez is really nice and all you need. As for other aspects of production, I would say have fun with it and shoot what you know, think about where you are located and what cool places and things you have access too for low or no money and be very careful with casting. Try and find people who can handle the parts they are given. Nothing pulls us out of film faster than bad actors.
Robert Conway

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** The Covenant's | Imdb **

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