Q&A with Jack Benjamin Gill, Director of “A Life Hereafter”
Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Horror spirit animal?
Hannibal Lector. I’m not sure how much I relate to him on a spiritual level. But Silence of the Lambs absolutely sings. I caught a cinema re-release last year and those straight down the lens eye-lines are incredible on a cinema screen. Iconic.
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?
Most bad ideas have no grounding in character. You’re never going to get a story off the ground if you can’t find a character for the audience to relate to. I had a horror-esque longline kicking around for a while about a Google mapping team that have to head out to an isolated village to re-map it after the area started glitching online. It was promising but I couldn’t connect the premise to any sort of lead character arc. It stopped the idea dead in it’s tracks. Maybe it’ll click one day. If anyone thinks they can help then hit me up.
Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
Not exactly. I had a fairly active imagination as a child and so I avoided horror films. I distinctly remember The Faculty frightening the life out of me. So I’m playing catch up. It does mean I have a de-attachment from the fandom of it all which is exciting. I watched The Texas Chainsaw Massacre without any pre-conceptions recently and it blew my mind.
When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
I look for inspiration from the story itself. I try to see what it’s offering me thematically and go from there. I’ve never said to myself I’m going to set this one in a post-apocalyptic future – now let’s look for a story. The idea with A Life Hereafter was to keep it self contained, present this character going through cold turkey and build the narrative through images and sound design. If you know enough about the folklore of the genre, then you slowly start to realise what genre you’re in.
What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
Open the curtains. Don’t invite anyone in.
Freddy or Jason? Freddy.
Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Stephen King.
Practical or CGI? Practical. But unfortunately we didn’t have the resources to let our actors spontaneously combust practically in this one.
Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Pre Apocalypse. Just as it’s all falling apart.
And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’Pfft. Impossible to choose.
Favourite recent horrors – It Follows & Us
Favourite classic – maybe The Omen. Or The Others.
Depends what day you catch me on.