Q&A with Jed Hart, Director of “Daddy’s Girl”

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Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Horror spirit animal?
Danny from The Shining.

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 have to block all the hundreds of bad ideas from my memory for the sake of my own sanity.

Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
Not really, to be honest. I’m just a filmmaker who happens to be interested in horror, amongst a wide range of other genres. I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a “horror director” as such.

When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
In the case of Daddy’s Girl I used Dartmoor as a backdrop as I’d grown up in a small town in it’s shadow and always found the moorland had this wild and sometimes bleak atmosphere. There were various local folk-horror tales set on the moors, but in this case I wanted to do something that felt a little more modern and everyday, so that the supernatural element of the film really crept up on the audience.
In general I look to set my horror stories in places that feel real, where people are living or working. It’s far scarier to me that the horror could be spawned on your very street, the place you work, or even inside your very own home. I never want it to feel like you would have to make some crazy un-feasible set of decisions to come across the horror.

What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
I’d probably wander into the same trap that Vince did.

Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
Hannibal Lecter. Michael Myers. Leatherface.

Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Freddy. Stephen King. Practical! Err…I love both, and both are pretty terrifying right now.

How do you go about creating the props and sets for your film? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?
If you’re on a restricted budget then the key is to use or find places that already have the atmosphere you want. In the case of Daddy’s Girl, we got a lot of value just from open moorland and woodlands, but we also managed to find a really dilapidated house with peeling, smoke-stained wallpaper and out-dated furniture that was perfect for the interior and really didn’t need a huge amount of dressing to get it how I wanted it.

And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
Ah, I’m awful at picking favourites… I refuse! Halloween was probably one of the earliest films I taped off the telly as a kid, and watched it over and over again. So it has that nostalgic place in my heart. I think The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has basically the darkest and nastiest atmosphere ever put on film. That generator constantly running off in the background somewhere just wears you down. I probably find The Blair Witch Project the most genuinely terrifying. And The Shining has to get a shout for it’s vivid, surreal imagery that lingers on in your subconscious. And then there’s Alien which is better than all of them…are we counting that as horror or sci-fi?