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Q&A with Andrew Rose, Director of “When the Howls Find Us”

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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 write everything down no matter how silly the idea. Everything is valuable. You never know when you might call on an idea in the future. Even if it’s a small moment, image, line of dialogue – sometimes small ideas on their own don’t feel very special, but when coupled with the right character or story, they become something very interesting. That’s why I write everything down: Story ideas, sound ideas, titles, names, dialogue, lighting and shots ideas – I find it enormously helpful to catalogue everything creatively so it’s very easy to find. I find it very helpful to have a track record of ideas previously explored so I know where I’ve been creatively.

Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?

I do. But if I’m being honest, the horror-thriller* community is where I see my home. Some of my favorite films of all time come from this genre. I think horror films on their own sometimes get a bad rep sometimes – often because so many devolve into guts and gore – which isn’t really my favorite thing to explore. James Cameron has a good quote: “You don’t create fear with gore. You create disgust.” I’d like to consider myself part of the horror community that doesn’t create disgust.

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

I look to everything around me – films, photographs, paintings and music – anything that can help put something more tactile and concrete to what it’s in my head.

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

I would probably do what the main character does in Howls – try to look after the people I love.

Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?

I’m not sure if I would want to hang around villains. That would be stressful. But if I had to pick my favorite villains – maybe they’re not villains – but they scare me the most: That rage virus in 28 Days Later OR those wispy alien things in Invasion of the Body snatchers OR the thing in…The Thing… Anything that can take over someone you love. That’s really scary.

Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Shockingly I never really grew up with Freddy or Jason so I’ll need to do some more research here before I take a vote here.

Stephen King is great. But I think Howls leans a little into Lovecraft so I’ll say Lovecraft for now. Practical 100%.
Post, pre, and mid-apocalypse.

What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?

Usually it comes from sounds. Sounds that, if heard alone, might not mean anything, but in the right context are spinechilling. There are too many to list… and they absolutely inspire my storytelling. I can’t tell you how many “Things That Scare Me” ideas I have in my notes app. At least once a week I’ll see or hear something in everyday life that’s just slightly off and sparks an idea.

And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
My mind usually goes to The Exorcist or 28 Days Later.
But I just rewatched the 1973 Invasion of the Body Snatchers and that might be my favorite… for now. But my favorites change.