Q&A with Sean McCoy, Director of “The Beaning”

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ALTER: Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual level?
SEAN MCCOY: I’ve always felt close connection to Macready in John Carpenter’s THE THING. We have a lot in common: we both like whiskey, private time, and want to be better at chess.

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?
SM: When I’m conflicted on a particular idea I try to determine if it feels predictable or derivative, and if it does then it will immediately get scrapped. But I’m stubborn and usually try to convince myself (and others) that my bad ideas have the potential to evolve and can ultimately be saved if the correct adjustments are made. I suppose it comes down to trusting my instincts as a filmmaker, if I think an idea is ultimately worth pursuing I’ll spend some time developing the concept, and during that process I’ll keep the good and remove the bad.

A: Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
SM: I didn’t necessarily consider myself to be a horror filmmaker in the strictest sense, but I was pleasantly surprised that my latest film was embraced by the horror community. There’s a lot of freedom to experiment within the genre and I think horror aficionados appreciate the creative effort. I’ve always gravitated toward genre filmmaking and plan to continue employing horror aesthetics and tropes in all my film projects.

A: When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
SM: It varies depending on the theme of the project, but I often listen to film scores when conceptualizing a film. I also reference some of my favorite classic films for inspiration. I try to focus on visual technique rather than the narrative elements, and then attempt to combine those techniques with an original concept to achieve the desired atmosphere.

A: What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
SM: If I were to wake up in 1920 New York City…I suppose I would do my best to acclimate, I’d track down some bathtub hooch and head to the ballgame.

A: Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
SM: I love this question. Severen (NEAR DARK), Angela (SLEEPAWAY CAMP), Saul Femm (THE OLD DARK HOUSE), “Dwarf” (DON’T LOOK NOW), Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (GHOSTBUSTERS). And I’ll throw in a Killer Klown from Outer Space for good measure.

A: Lightning round:
Freddy or Jason? Freddy.
Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? HP
Practical or CGI? Always practical
Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse? Post Apo

A: And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favorite scary movie?’
SM: Eraserhead.