Shane Bannon is a Writer and Director based in Los Angeles by way of San Francisco. His work focuses on characters who yearn for connection in a world that encourages isolation. His favorite art is stylistically distinct, emotional, and often somewhat morbid. His first short film, “Only Strangers Sleep in my Bed” premiered on Alter in August 2021.
Q & A
Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?
I relate to Norman Bates, because I too am afraid of letting down my mother.
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 don’t know about bad ideas, but I know that my good ideas usually come out of thinking about my limitations. Considering a specific setting, specific actors, and a specific budget really helps to get the gears turning in all the right ways.
Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
I’m feeling more and more like I’m part of a horror community all the time! A huge part of that has been my experience in person at genre festivals like FilmQuest and Another Hole in the Head, but I also love connecting with the horror community on Youtube!
When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
For the design of our world, we looked to modern, earthy, minimalism. We wanted the house to be immaculate, with a somewhat pagan relationship to the natural world. For our alter design, we actually talked to two art historians about religious iconography and the different methods that cultures have for displaying their holy artifacts.
What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
If I woke up inside this film, I would roll my eyes at everyone competing for their meaningless stones, but would probably end up counting mine daily within a week or two.
Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
My dream horror squad would be all the people from the Exorcist because I’ve been really curious about Catholicism lately.
Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Jason (he just needs somebody to be nice to him), Lovecraft (kinda have to choose him this time what with the elder god inspiration for this short), Practical (haven’t ever had the budget or know-how to make CGI look that good), Pre Apocalypse (I like having access to ice cream and stuff).
How do you go about creating the props and sets for your film? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?
We wanted to connect all the spaces in the film through the repetition of materials, so we reused concrete and sand all over the place. For the Offering Room, we found a concrete garage and poured like 200 pounds of sand into a pile to echo the reliquary that our characters keep out in front of their home.
What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?
I’m scared of death, and I’m scared of loneliness. Both of those fears drive pretty much everything I do in one way or another. I like creating flawed characters who really just need some love. When we see a character’s full humanity, their unconscious needs and their anxieties, we can’t help but empathize.
And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
Climax, because I love to dance!