Q&A with Jamie Delaney, Director of “MJ”

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Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Horror spirit animal?
I think it would be Patrick Bateman. Bateman is a product of his environment, albeit an entitled, overly inflated environment. He’s the perfect totem for today, a cautionary tale that seemed to usher in this current age of social media politicians high on the cult of self. Bateman offers a pitch-perfect sounding board; for me, he contains all the neurotic elements we need to understand in ourselves. Not to the same extreme as he, but if left unchecked who knows!

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?
Oh, bad ideas I’ve had so many I can’t even remember. But that’s the funny think about ideas, what may start as bad, can with a different spin or further developed turn into a great videa. I think bad ideas are essential, they help you learn. A bad idea is way better than no idea. The idea for a short serious I made recently, came from an idea I had about an inappropriate acting workshop, on paper you would think it would never work, but once we started to think about it and workshop it, it was really strong, and poignantly chimed with specific events of late.

Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
I do, but I also like making stuff that would be considered more straight-up drama. But I always try to put in some element of horror or genera. I love horror, always have, I think one of the first movies I remember was Nightmare on Elm Street 2, I couldn’t sleep for a month. That led to an obsession with 80s video nasties. And all of those movies in some way are a huge influence on what I make today.

When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
Inspiration can hit me from anywhere. Usually, it starts as an image, something will pop into my head, and I’ll think, wow that’s cool and start to develop a story around the image. The idea for MJ came from watching old slasher movies, and I was struck by the image of a female slasher and the thought that I’d never seen one. From that, I started to hang a story around a girl that’s sick of it all, and why she’s sick of it. But it all came from that one image of this girl with a blood-stained scalpel.

What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
I think I wake inside one of my films every morning. How I write is very much an extension of what I experience day today, I am very much influenced by who and what is around me. That’s an essential part of my films, and I like to bridge the gap between ordinary and extra-ordinary. I feel there’s nothing there that you wouldn’t think could be in some way part of reality. I think some of it comes from Irish culture, and storytelling. A lot of the folklore you grow up hearing in Ireland almost suspends disbelief, so the idea of a world of the unseen and fantastical intersecting with your own isn’t something foreign, it’s practically a given.

Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
Would have to be Jack Torrance the Shining, and previously mentioned Patrick Bateman, Hannibal Lecter and Carrie.

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

And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
The Shining