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Q&A with Brandon Espy, Director of “We Follow You”

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Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?

Ben from Night of the Living Dead. Duane Jones carried himself like my late father, we both are educated and try to do what’s right, no matter the race. But at the end of the day, he still a black man and was shot that next morning by being mistaken for someone else by police/townspeople.

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?
“Cluck Cluck”, an abused chicken escapes from a chicken farm to seek vengeance on humanity. I shot that if y’all wanna see it lol. I get past the bad ideas by experiencing life, tapping into what truly frightens me, watching films from countries I typically wouldn’t think to look for horror. There are so many urban legends within various cultures that haven’t been presented on screen so I hope to find the one that makes me the most uncomfortable.

Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?

Yes, I do. Horror was my first love as a child ever since I couldn’t sleep at my grandparent’s house after watching Tales from the Crypt episode “Fitting Punishment” for the first time. I never felt that feeling before and it sparked a huge curiosity ever since.

When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?

I look to our real world. Working in digital content, I see some crazy characters and how platforms control our world. I approach the events/happenings of our real world with a sinister “what if?”.

What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?

I would be happy because I’m not an influencer so I wouldn’t be hunted. OR if I wanted to be like Ben from Night of the Living Dead, I would take the protagonist Jane, give her a megaphone, and drive her around town while she expressed her feelings out loud so that any “followers” of her would take their own lives until they were all eliminated?

Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?

Daniel Robitaille (Candyman), Freddy Krueger, Tim Curry’s Pennywise, The Thing, Asami Yamazaki (Audition), Nana (The Visit), Cops who killed Breonna Taylor, George Zimmerman, Kane (Poltergeist II)

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

Stephen King and would love to say fuck H.P. Lovecraft and I hate the resurgence of his work. Someone who wrote “On the Creation of Niggers” and who named their black cat “Nigger Man”, I can’t support a man who would’ve thought of my people as less of a human.
Practical effects.
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?
Typically, I will visit prop stores such as Dapper Cadaver (if you’re in LA) or I watch DIY vids on how to create certain props/sets online. I typically give my SFX makeup artist inspiration images/video clips and she hasn’t let me down yet. This short was shot in my apartment where majority of set pieces I already owned.

What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?

Big deep sea creatures. I’m not an amazing swimmer. I ain’t even in the water like that to explore aquatic horrors for storytelling inspiration.

And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’ Candyman. Tony Todd looks like he could be one of my uncles. His grunts during his kills used to deeply disturb as a kid. It was the first time I saw the heart of a villain worn on his sleeve. I love that film from beginning to end.