Q&A with Neville Pierce, Director of “Bricks”
Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?
Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby, wondering if I’m going slowly insane or if the devil is really after me.
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?
Bad ideas are the ones you don’t remember, the ones you don’t complete. Anything that goes from idea to completion – whether it’s a script or a film – qualifies as good, in some way, for me, because it means I never lost enthusiasm in it. So even if no one else likes it, at least I’ve explored the thing that seemed worth exploring.
Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
We have a good community of filmmakers in Bristol and I also help run The Pitch, a short film fund for ideas based on Bible stories (which have, believe it or not, included horror). Luke Walton at The Pitch is hugely supportive, while I’ve always found Paul McEvoy at FrightFest to be lovely. Horror filmmakers tend to be – in my experience – a very kind, supportive bunch.
When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
Bricks is based on an Edgar Allan Poe story, but it ended up having more of an element of class warfare than the original material, I think. That’s something that just happened – an organic thing. In terms of films, we looked at Alien – how Ridley Scott established the ship and sense of foreboding. I’m always going to be influenced by Fincher – I’ve watched his films obsessively – and I explicitly looked at the Fight Club basement scene and also The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (when Lisbeth tattoos Bjurman). I’m not an art expert, by any stretch, but a few years ago I was in Madrid for work and decided to pretend to be cultured and visit the Prado museum. There I saw a painting by Jusepe de Ribera, of Saint Bartholomew holding a knife and… his own skin. The image really stuck with me – and I somehow wanted to capture that. That ended up maybe less in the visuals than in the music. David Julyan (who did Memento and The Descent) was kind enough to score Bricks and my only request for the music was: ‘I want it to get under my skin.’
What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
Lord Summerisle, Leatherface, Nurse Ratched and Jay from Kill List.
What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?
Rage. Failing as a parent or a partner. I didn’t realise these were inspirations until looking at old screenplays and realizing, ‘Oh, it’s in everything.’
And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
Rosemary’s Baby, when it’s not The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.