Q&A with Stephen W. Martin, Director of “Dead Hearts”

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

It was kind of a combo punch of Sean and Horace (Monster Squad) growing up, wishing one day to be a Rudy…. yup still waiting….

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?

My wife is my first line of defense against bad ideas– I pitch her concepts all the time and she doesn’t hold back in telling me to burn that one.

Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?

Yes – without the help of the horror community Dead Hearts couldn’t have been made.

I.E. After seeing The Soska Sisters’ ‘American Mary’ I reached out to their Vancouver crew to see if they would be interested in helping make my short.  After reading the script – their amazing production designer and incredible costume designer signed on!

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

Comics and classic films outside the horror genre. The opening shot of Dead Hearts, for example, is an homage to the opening shot from the French crime masterpiece La Samurai.

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

Try to make friends with Lola!

Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?

Of course, the Universal Monsters!

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


I agree with the Monster Squad on that one 😉

Practical with CGI help

Pre Apocalypse – because people want something different than what they are living in.

How do you go about creating the props and sets for your film? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?

All the interior scenes in Dead Hearts – Milton’s room, the funeral parlor, the autopsy room, were shot in one single room! We dressed the left, right, front and back of one single room – then all we had to do was turn the camera and, bang, we were in a different place J This saved us soooooo much time!

What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?

Death… and YUP 😉 It’s in the title

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

A tie between ‘The Thing’ and ‘Fright Night’