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Q&A with Stas Santimov, Director of “The Surrogate”

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

This is definitely Jack Torrance from S. Kubrick’s Shining. I also go crazy in COVID-19 lockdown.

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 still don’t think I’ve gotten really good ideas.

But there is no unambiguous assessment here. What works well today may look ridiculous tomorrow. As well as some underappreciated “bad” old ideas, can work great today.

Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?

No, I do not like to limit myself to anything. I love it when genres are mixed in the most unexpected ways.

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

In the crime column of news feeds.

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

I would just draw an exit door. Because this is animation and everything that surrounds me is drawn in Photoshop.

Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?

Someone very sweet, calm, but unpredictable and cruel.

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

Both, Lovecraft, Practical+CGI, Apocalypse now

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

Since I am an animator, I don’t even need to go anywhere and negotiate with anyone about props. I do not need to pay for the trip for my film crew or negotiate with Elon Musk to rent a SpaceX. The cost of filming on Mars or in Alaska is the same for me. This is just the price of my time, for which I will draw this location and all related props.

What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?

I am inspired by mysterious, inexplicable things and life situations that are not directly related to horror. I just find in them something weird, illogical. I exaggerate this and the story turns out.

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

Eraserhead