I’m a filmmaker, musician, and artist living in Salt Lake City Utah. I was born in Utah but spent my formative years in a very rural and very beautiful part of Idaho, where I had plenty of time to pursue my creative interests. I was raised Mormon and spent two years as a missionary in Argentina before getting a degree in Media Arts Studies from Brigham Young University. This religious background often informs my ilm Outer Darkness as does my love of surreal horror and nasty-looking practical effects.
Q & A
Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?
Norman Bates because I love my mom! :)
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?
The script for Outer Darkness went through many iterations that included a whole bunch of different ideas, many of which were pretty terrible. I find that annoying my wife and my close friends by endlessly bouncing ideas off them and letting them tell me what they hate and what they like works as well as anything else. On top of that, I think it was important for me to kind of hone in on precisely what ideas and emotions I wanted to communicate with this film, and cut out the ideas that weren’t servicing those things directly.
Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
I’m part of a small group of frequent collaborators who all enjoy horror if that counts!
When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
It depends on the film, but usually there is a singular thing that kicks off the initial inspiration. Often it’s an image I find compelling, or maybe a piece of music, and that one thing will kind of set the tone for the film, and I will continually come back to that thing and spend a lot of time with it throughout the process of making the film.
What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
Probably power through until I finished the mission and then make a movie about it later.
Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
I’d have a Big Three of Leatherface, The Baby from Eraserhead, and Butterball the Cenobite
Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Freddy. Stephen King. Practical. Pre-Apocalypse.
How do you go about creating the props and sets for your film? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?
I generally go to second hand stores gathering stuff that seems like it might be useful in some way, and then I usually don’t have enough patience to approach whatever I’m trying to make in a very methodical way so I just start crafting and kind of do a process of trial and error while I turn wherever I’m living into an absolute disaster.
What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?
I think the thing that scares me the most is the idea of reality as I know it suddenly breaking in some way, whether that’s because I lose my mind or due to some external factor, so that things suddenly stop being the way they should, and the laws of nature as I understand them cease to apply. I definitely think it inspires my storytelling, as I often feel like I’m trying to introduce some sort of reality-bending or breaking strangeness into my stories, and to evoke the panic and disorientation that occurs as a result.
And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
Texas Chainsaw Massacre!