Q&A with Steffen Bang Lindholm, Director of “Less Than Human”
Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Horror spirit animal?
If I could choose any horror spirit animal I would choose Pennywise the clown as we’ve developed a strong bond over the years where he has been stalking me around in my nightmares. Plus he can shape-shift!
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?
Ohh boy..! You know what – this movie could have ended up looking a whole lot different. At one point, early on in the process, the story actually centred around an AA kind off session for post zombies, where the characters were trying to get back on their feet after years of addiction. And I’m not saying that the idea was bad as such, but at the time it felt like the idea was working against me and I had to let it go – you gotta kill some darlings to get to where you need to go, right.
Throughout production we tried rooting out the bad ideas by asking friends and colleagues for honest feedback. It was tough to hear the verdict sometimes, but it was a good way to test out if an idea worked or not – the important thing is then to remember to stick to your gut feeling.
Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
I don’t know if I do, actually. I mean I love horror movies, but it seems to me like I would have to devote more of my time and attention to the genre in order to be able to claim that title. There is a special bloody place in my heart for horror films though.
When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
Everywhere! And there are no wrong places to look. I read, I watch movies, I look at art, I travel, I take pictures and talk to people. Keep looking and something juicy and inspiring will pop up eventually. For the character relationship between Don and Andy I was partly inspired by my grandparents and the way they were always nagging at each other and getting on each others nerves – yet there was also warmth and love to be found.
What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
I would probably walk up to Steve and tell him to wake the fuck up and take a closer look at the world around him! There is a different story there that needs to be told, one that isn’t pivoting around hate and fear but instead compassion and hope. And..! Then I would probably sit down with Don and Andy and chat over a cup of tea.
Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
All the creepy kids from The Brood, led by the rotting naked woman from The Shining – that shit would truly be the stuff of nightmares.
Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Freddy, Stephen King, Practical (if I absolutely had to chose but I prefer a good integration of both) and definitely Post Apocalyptic.
How do you go about creating the props and sets for your film? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?
Well, seeing as Less Than Human is a 3D film and all, we didn’t have to build any of our sets or props physically. We still had to design everything though, and build the 3D models. For that we researched and compiled lots of material on textures, colours, shapes, lighting you name it, in order to get the the right look that we wanted for the film. The attention to detail was very important to us. Everything had to look worn, weathered, dirty, broken, in order to convey the hopelessness of the situation.
And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
Without any doubt The Shining. It is not only a great horror film but a masterpiece of film in general.