Paul Gandersman

Paul Gandersman is one half of Arcanum Pictures. Along with Peter Hall, he writes and directs films and fiction from Austin, Texas. His background includes Producing narrative features, directing documentaries, and co-writing the novel The Dead Friends Society with Peter Hall.

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Alter Films


Q & A

Name a Sci-Fi or Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?

The Blob. Mindless, gluttonous, and all consuming. But only when drinking.

Do you consider yourself part of the sci-fi or horror community?

If they'll have us.

When you’re creating the props and sets that make a new world, where do you look for inspiration? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?

Usually by finding something similar in another film and trying to understand how they created it. The ideal prop is something that does exist in our world, but has been modified just enough that you can recognize how it became what it is in the movie.

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?

Our initial idea for the summoning pool in GIVERTAKER was a literal pool of blood, and that was a terrible idea. On paper it sounded cool, but there's just no way we could have done it on our budget and made it look good. A lot of times, finding the good idea is just acknowledging when something is a bad idea. The only way to get past the bad idea is to admit it's bad in the first place-- which is really just admitting you still have work to do.

If the world you created in your film became a reality, is that a world you would want to live in? What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?

A world where dark magic was real? And people can summon demonic forces to punish their enemies? Pass. Too easy to abuse that power. Now, if we woke up in that world? I guess we'd seek out the people who use dark magic to stop those who abuse it. Hey, that doesn't sound like a bad premise for something...

Who would be in your ultimate sci-fi or horror villain squad?

It's already been created: The Monster Squad versus Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Creature, and The Mummy.

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

The Blob.

Freddy or Jason? Lovecraft or King? Practical or SFX? Pre or Post Apocalypse?

Freddy. Stephen King. Practical. Pre-Apocalypse.