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Q&A with James Kwon Lee, Director of “Locksmiths”

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Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Horror spirit animal?
Godzilla. A monster known for mindless destruction taught us something important about the dangers of nuclear warfare. I’m a little wreckless too, but maybe my actions can teach others a thing or two about life. Or so I hope.

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 once had an idea called Hunters vs. Aliens. Aliens crashland on the backyard of a bunch of deer hunters hosting a family reunion. Now that I think about it, that sounds like a great idea. Don’t copy me! I never really discard any of my ideas, good or bad. But it’s the good ones that keep me going until I get myself to set and shoot something.

Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
There’re certain things in the horror community I avoid, but I’m definitely a fan. I feel like I’m a part of it for sure.

When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
Sometimes a great musical track floods my mind with new ideas. Other times, I’m inspired by a sequence of events from my life. For example, I got the idea for LOCKSMITHS when my bicycle got stolen. I wondered what would happen if the thieves stole from someone much more dangerous than me.

What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
I’d feel sorry for myself.

Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
Freddy Kreuger, Frankenstein, Godzilla, and Hannibal Lecter

Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Freddy! Stephen King, but gonna pull a Robert McNamara and say Edgar Allan Poe. Practical. Post Apocalypse.

How do you go about creating the props and sets for your film? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?
In LOCKSMITHS, our main villain bludgeoned his victims with a croquet mallet. My SFX artist created one with sponge and an outer Latex coat that looks like real wood. I love this prop and bop people on the head to this day. I like making (safe) weapons out of objects that look safe.

And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
This is a tremendously difficult question! I can’t pick just one. The Exorcist is still the scariest horror movie for me. Most recently, I really enjoyed The Wailing.
The Shining is unforgettable.