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Q&A with Aram Sarkisian, Director of “Winston”

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ALTER: Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Horror spirit animal?
ARAM SARKISIAN: This is a tough question! I would have to say Hannibal Lecter. Not because I like eating people, it’s just that I love articulate people. I am a good listener, and Antony Hopkins has an appealing voice. But I wouldn’t say I relate to him on a spiritual level.

A: You’ve gotta go through some bad ideas to get to the good ones. Tell us one of your bad ideas. How do you get past the bad ones to find your spark?
AS: I am a big believer of proper execution over a good idea. Meaning, any bad idea can be turned into a good movie if it is in the hands of talented folks. So, most of my ideas had a lot of mistakes in them and they were poorly thought out, but I wouldn’t call them bad, because somebody better/smarter than me would’ve solved the puzzle. And that’s what storytelling is really, a big, complicated puzzle. The only way to get past the bad ones is to make as many mistakes in the beginning as possible. You will make them anyways, so let’s get them out of the way fast!

A: Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
AS: I actually don’t watch horror films that much. I am not strong enough for grotesque and gory images. What I love is suspense, psychological tension, and mystery. A lot of horror films have all of those things in them, so I would say I hold a green card in the horror community. Maybe one day I will get my citizenship!

A: When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
AS: Most of my inspiration comes from music. A good soundtrack with a lot of atmosphere tends to be my biggest inspiration. Aside from music and sound, I would say other films, short stories, and paintings give me ideas.

A: What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
AS: I would try to escape to a better place.

A: Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
AS: Alien, Dracula, and Hannibal Lecter.

A: Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
AS: Jason.  Stephen King.   CGI.   Pre Apocalypse.

A: And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
AS: Does The Sixth Sense count?