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Q&A with Robert Bryce Milburn, Director of “American Hell”

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Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Horror spirit animal?
Michael Myers. He keeps to himself, does his own thing, and is so misunderstood.

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?
I think my worst idea ever was “Homeless Cannibal” haha. A homeless man who eats other homeless people for the protein and works out 24/7… Basically a horror comedy that’s meant to be stupid, yet serious, like Toxic Avenger. Haha. In most cases, I think of about 10-20 very bad ideas and write them all down in a word document… I then file that away and keep working. Sometimes I will go back and open that file a year down the road and pick out what was successful from each idea and then work from there. Sometimes that allows me to come up with one good idea that I then run with… Or I just text my wife a bunch of ideas and wait for her to be like “i like that one”. Haha.

Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
I do and I don’t. I like to make all kinds of movies, not just horror… But, I just tend to stick with horror, because it’s just so much more fun and creative to film monsters, death scenes, and play with SFX. When I’m writing or collaborating, I tend to focus more on story points that end with horror-related aspects… It’s hard for me to just sit down and write a romance story or drama without someone dying or getting stab. Probably should see a therapist about that.

When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
I love pulling inspiration from all aspects of the real world. I feel like most of my best ideas come from just people watching while drinking a beer with my wife when we’re out on the weekend.

What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
Probably find all the weapons I could and sell them to the cliche victims who need them.

Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
Michael Myers, Leatherface, and Ted Bundy. I feel like those three could take over the world together.

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

How do you go about creating the props and sets for your film? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?
I am very big on pre-visualization. I typically start by creating a look book of actors and movies that I feel closely represent what I am trying to do and then I hire a concept artist. Once we have worked through a series of drafts and have completed concept artwork, I then hire my mask makers, prop makers, etc… I love working with other people in this aspect. I love seeing the process and watching things come to life through the talent of other people… And in most cases, I hire two teams to complete two products based off the top two concept art pieces… From there I then do a film test to see which one fits best and I choose which product I want in my film. This saves me a lot of headache in the end just in case one doesn’t work out.

And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favorite scary movie?’
Halloween