Tag Archives: Malcolm McDowell

A Man of Many Talents: An Interview With Douglas Rath

MV5BNDIxMjc5MDAxM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODE2ODUwNw@@._V1_SY317_CR6,0,214,317_AL_In a business as fickle as film making, in many cases it is imperative to wear many hats and possess many different talents. Douglas Rath is a prime example of a man that wears many hats in the industry. He is a well known editor, but he is also a very impressive director, producer and writer. He has been a part of many prestigious projects including the title of editor of SyFy’s hit series, Face Off. He is now flexing his directorial muscles as director of the new horror/thriller film Shock Value and the upcoming, shocking thriller, Monster Butler that will star Malcolm McDowell and Gary Oldman.

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Little Blog of Horror: What got you interested in this field of work?

Douglas Rath: I hate to have fallen victim to cliché but…it was Star Wars, at least in the beginning. I saw it in a theater when I was a toddler and knew I was going to be a Jedi when I grew up. I’ve since found out, rather disappointingly, that light sabers are hardly ever used in film production…unless you are making a Star Wars movie. By the age of 6 I was on an absolute bender watching films…I remember watching ‘Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer,’ ‘Phantom of the Paradise’ and ‘Naked Lunch’ when I was in grade school and just being amazed, fascinated. From there my influences became Lynch, Wilder, Kubrick, Tarantino, Scott, Coppola, Gilliam, Kurosawa, The Brothers Quay…it’s endless. I have a lot of respect for a lot of people.

LBoH: Out of all of the projects you have been associated with, which are you most proud of?

Rath: Apart from Shock Value, I’d have to say Monster Butler. It’s still in development but I am very proud of the short I did with Malcolm McDowell. The process of putting that feature film together has been extremely challenging but also afforded me some extraordinary experiences. We did 12 weeks of pre-production in the UK with a large crew building sets, gathering props and making costumes…we came within four days of filming but were forced to push the production. During that time I was given the opportunity to work with some legendary actors and ridiculously talented crew. I’m very excited to be focused on it now that I’ve finished Shock Value.

LBoH: You directed the new film Shock Value. Can you give a little insight into the film?

Rath: Absolutely. Shock Value is a project that started with my long time friend and collaborator Anthony Bravo. He and I had been trying to come up with something we could self-finance. Anthony wrote the script to be produced on a small budget with minimal cast and crew. On the strength of the script we had gotten a couple of offers to do the movie at a larger scale but passed on them in order to maintain creative control. We were about to begin pre-production when our friend Russell Barrett gave Greg Goodman the script thinking he would like it – he was right. Russell subsequently became one of the Executive Producers and also did all of our computer generated effects (you probably won’t notice the effects shots though because they are so well done – but there were more than a hundred of them). Greg had been searching for something small that he could do independently and said it was exactly what he’d been looking for. Amazingly, Greg took it on faith that I could direct and that Anthony could carry it on- screen (he is fantastic in the film by the way). Anthony and I were both a bit surprised that a studio producer at Greg’s level would want to make a small indie film – in between producing ‘Captain
Phillip’s and ‘The Fantastic Four’ reboot – but he did.

LBoH: You are best known as an editor, but you are also an incredible director. Do you prefer doing one over the other or are they equally a passion for you?

Rath: I consider editing to be part of directing. It’s been said (I think by the druids or Aristotle) that a film is directed twice: first by the director then by the editor. Many of my favorite directors also edit. Editing is story telling and therefore a fundamental tool of directing. I feel it should be part of every director’s skill set. If you don’t have the ability to edit, or have at least a comprehensive understanding of the process, then you are missing one of film’s most important tools. You are also giving up a great deal of the creative process to someone else. I love editing when I like the material, but it can be a grueling marathon! Paradoxically, although I’m not terribly social and prefer being in a dark room by myself for weeks on end, directing is the most gratifying thing I’ve ever done – at least from a creative standpoint. Scuba diving with sharks is pretty fantastic too….

LBoH: One of your most noted works as an editor is SyFy’s hit series Face Off. How excited where you to be asked to be a part of such an amazing project?

Rath: It was great to be asked onto that show. The crew behind ‘Face Off’ are really wonderful people. When I worked on that show I cut many of the super tease show-opens for the series and the producers gave me a lot of freedom to make them as dark and crazy as I could. When it came time to hire a makeup artist for Shock Value I actually headhunted one of the ‘Face Off’ contestants, Tara Lang. She did an amazing job with very little time and money creating realistic and – when necessary – corny effects for the movie.

LBoH: Shock Value and Monster Butler both fall into the category of horror/thriller. Would you consider yourself a fan of the genre?

Rath: I love the Horror genre but lean more towards psychological horror than slasher. My favorite horror film is ‘The Shining.’ I also really admire ‘A Haunting in Connecticut,’ ‘Audition,’ ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ and ‘Cabin in the Woods.’

LBoH: Speaking of Monster Butler, it is set to star some pretty iconic names such as Malcolm McDowell and Gary Oldman. What was it like to be hand picked to work on a project with those two amazing actors?

Rath: It is hard to explain the joy one experiences when standing behind a camera saying action to a film icon. I hope my career continues on a trajectory that gives me opportunities to work with legends and that that feeling of joy never goes away. I’ve seen a lot of folks, particularly in Hollywood, act like they are too cool to be impressed by people…but for me it comes down to respect for the work that they have done and when I am working with someone like Malcolm McDowell I never forget about the impact his work has had on cinema and the world. In between takes, I think: “Who the hell am I and why the hell are you listening to me?”

LBoH: When can fans expect to see Monster Butler?

Rath: Malcolm and I hope to get it up and running within a year. There is still a lot to do but we are moving forward very quickly and it’s really exciting to get back into the material again.

LBoH: Do you have any advice for the up and coming writers, editors and directors out there?

Rath: Definitely, though I am not by any means an authority and I still have a great deal to learn, hopefully I can offer a few pearls from my limited wisdom. First and foremost: practice your craft. Focus on the work, become as skilled and knowledgeable as you possibly can. Write, direct or edit anything you can get you hands on. If you have the ability the opportunity will present itself eventually. Know what your motives are, otherwise you might end up going down the wrong path or chasing the wrong projects. Forget about ego and vanity. I’ve seen a number of people who focus all their energy into networking or marketing themselves but forget to hone their craft. A great deal of “directors” just want to march around telling people what to do and shout action. They put little thought into what directing actually is. If you think that it’s all about power and control then you should be in middle management.

LBoH: Are there any projects you have coming up that you would like to plug?

Rath: I have a number of different projects in different genres but right now I’m primarily focused on Monster Butler. I also have a strange website that I’ll be launching soon. It’s basically a dumping ground for weird ideas, photographs, short films and music. It’s not quite ready to go but when it is I’ll let you know.

LBoH: Thank you so much for taking the time out to do this interview. It really is an honor.

Rath: The honor is mine, thank you for your time as well.

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More on Shock Value:

Synopsis:

Miles Fowler makes horror movies. Cheap, perverted, blood-soaked schlock-fests that few see and fewer enjoy. Wallowing in obscurity and desperate to make a name for himself, Miles happens upon a bizarre opportunity when he’s the sole witness to a brutal, real-life murder. Sensing a once-in-a-lifetime chance at artistic (and financial) glory, the z-level auteur decides to build his next project around his new “discovery” – serial killer Nick. But when he finds that Nick is in no way ready for his closeup, Miles must resort to that grandest of Hollywood traditions: blackmail. Pushed from the shadows into the spotlight, Nick has no choice but to learn his lines, hit his marks, and contain his homicidal urges. When cameras roll, however, “creative differences” might just put everyone’s life in turnaround.
Directed by DOUGLAS RATH, produced by GREGORY GOODMAN, written by ANTHONY BRAVO.
Starring Anthony Bravo, Zak Hudson, Malcolm McDowell.
Trailer:

Malcolm McDowell To Star In Giovanis Brothers’ Film ‘BEREAVE’ With Your Help

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Malcolm McDowell
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Neve Campbell

I recently received an email from Evangelos Giovanis about a new project from the Giovanis Brothers called ‘BEREAVE‘.  This film is set to star the icon Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange), the lovely Neve Campbell (Scream) and the talented JJ Feild (Captain America), but first they need your help.

BEREAVE’ has become Mr. McDowell’s passion project.  Malcolm believes so deeply in this project, that he has become the Executive Producer of the film.

Before I get into how you can help, here is a bit about the film.  ‘BEREAVE‘ is a feature length drama/romance.

Synopsis:

Fatally ill and unable to reveal this secret to his family, Garvey thinks he has figured out how to die alone. Suffering the mortal fears, Garvey’s behavior becomes erratic. But when his beloved wife Evelyn mysteriously goes missing on their anniversary – he must live to save her! In that short time, Garvey realizes what life still has to offer and in following his journey; we do too.

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JJ Feild
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Evangelos and George Giovanis

For those of you that do not know who the Giovanis Brothers are, they are Evangelos and George Giovanis.  They have self-financed all of their film projects by building, working and selling small restaurants.  Critics compare them to early Scorsese, Tarantino, and John Cassavetes.

This may not be a horror film, but the incredible cast is enough to put me behind it.  The Giovanis Brothers have created a KICKSTARTER campaign to group fund this project.  Much like all other campaigns on KICKSTARTER, there are benefits for each level of donation.  You will only be charged if the film reaches its funding goal.

BEREAVE‘ is currently at $38,112 pledged of the $100,00 goal.  This campaign will only be open until October 5, 2013 which leaves only 16 days to help bring Malcolm McDowell, Neve Campbell and JJ Feild together for this incredible film.

If you can not donate, please spread the word! Every little bit helps.

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Below are links to keep up to date on ‘BEREAVE‘ and where you can contribute to this piece of history.

KICKSTARTER Campaign: Click Here

Facebook: Click Here

Twitter: Click Here

A brief video from the Giovanis Brothers and Malcolm McDowell

My Experience at Scarefest 6

sf6-logo-300x145 I had the opportunity to have a Press Pass for Scarefest 6 this past weekend.  I was at the event on Saturday September 14 and this was my first Scarefest.

DSCF8016When you enter the Lexington Convention Center for Sacrefest, you are greeted by an amazing entrance way that leads you down a corridor and into the hall where the DSCF8020convention is held.   The first stop for many fans was of course, the Scarefest backdrop where you and your friends could take a nice commemorative together or with one of the many amazing cosplayers that were walking around.  After you pass the backdrop, you enter the room where all of the vendors and celebrity guests are set up.

DSCF8007The cosplayers that were on hand to entertain and take photos with fans were some of the best I have ever seen.  Aside from the Star Wars and Silent Hill group that were taking pictures with fans by the Scarefest backdrop, there was the king of horror himself, Jason Vorhees.  The man behind the mask was one of the most intense cosplayers I have ever met.  He never broke character and he did not speak.  One of the best takes on Jason I have ever seen.   Absolutely amazing!

First stop made in the sea of amazing guests was none other than Sean Clark, writer/producer of TheDSCF7995 Black Waters of Echo’s Pond, writer/host of Horror’s Hallowed Grounds and owner of Convention All Stars (many know him as @malfuncsean on twitter).  Sean is a sweet, down to earth person.  He took his time talking to his fans and was very humble about his work.  I would highly suggest saying hello to him at the next convention you see him at.

DSCF7997We made our way through the path of vendors and met the amazingly talented icon, Kane Hodder.  In his appearance, he is very intimidating, but he is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.  Kane was also very appreciative to his fans and loves meeting them.  For those of you that have yet to meet or be choked by Mr. Hodder, yes he really does choke you, it is not an act.  He saw my Hatchet Army DSCF7998tattoo on the back of my neck and was so blown away by it, that he asked me if he could take a picture with it. Kane is a real class act and one of the best human beings I have had the opportunity of meeting.

DSCF8001Next, was a short walk across from Kane to the lovely Danielle Harris.  Danielle is so sweet to all that visit her.  She is as adorable in person as she is on screen.  She is also quite funny.  Despite what some people think about her, she was nice to her fans and more than happy to take pictures with them and sign whatever they asked her to.

After meeting Danielle, it was time for the Malcolm McDowell Q&A panel.  Mr. McDowell DSCF8013was all about having fun with the people that asked him questions.  He was serious about discussing his work, but had his guests laughing almost the whole time.

DSCF8017Aaron Goodwin of the hit Travel Channel show, Ghost Adventures, was on hand having fun with his fans and making people laugh. He ran his own “Big Steppin” booth while he signed for fans.  He still took the time out to meet ant talk to each and every one of them.  He was next to his adorable, talented sister Amy.

All of the celebrity guests were just as excited to meet their fans as their fans were to DSCF8002meet them.

DSCF8004There were some random things at Scarefest like the Mystery Machine and the Scooby Gang and of course some mannequins and Halloween props to entertain the guests walking around.

There were a ton of vendors!  All of them were incredible.  My personal favorite was a vendor called Terror Gloves.  They make replica Freddy Krueger gloves.  These had to be some of the best gloves I have ever seen.  Much like DSCF8006other conventions, there was a lot of DSCF8005one of a kind jewelry and other horror collectibles.  There were more vendors at Scarefest 6 than I have ever seen at any other convention I have previously been to.

Everyone was nice as can be and the “staph” was helpful and very well organized.  I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Scarefest even though I was only there for one day of the three day event.  I will more than likely be making the 4 1/2 hour trip to Lexington again next year for Scarefest 7 1185665_10201285120283365_1760803024_nand hopefully be there for the whole weekend.  I hope all of you that made it out this year enjoyed your time there as much as I did and I hope to see you there next year!

Interview with Jennifer Kirkland, Administrator of ScareFest Horror and Paranormal Convention

sf6-logo-300x145This year is ScareFest 6.  It begins on Friday, September 13, 2013 in Lexington, Kentucky.  ScareFest is a 3 day horror and paranormal convention that features some of the most elite names in the horror and paranormal scenes.  This years roster of horror and paranormal icons is quite impressive.  It boasts names such as Kane Hodder, Danielle Harris, Tony Todd, Sean Cunningham, Malcolm McDowell, Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin, Josh Gates and many more.

I have recently been granted the opportunity to interview Jennifer Kirkland, the Administrator for ScareFest Horror and Paranormal Convention.

Interview:

LBoH: How did ScareFest get its start?

JK: Sometime around 2005-2006, Owner Patti Starr was approached by a former ghost hunting student, Jeff Waldridge (now the ScareFest Event Manager), with the idea of creating a horror convention for Kentucky. After some thought, Patti agreed ON ONE CONDITION. The event had to incorporate both HORROR and PARANORMAL. At the time, there was no other event mixing the two genres. ScareFest was born!

LBoH:What makes ScareFest so unique in my opinion is the mash up of horror and paranormal.  Where did that idea come from?

JK: Event Manager, Jeff Waldridge is an avid horror fan from way back. He met Patti Starr when taking her ghost hunting course. Patti has many years experience in the paranormal. She has taught college courses on the subject, teaches her own ghost hunting certification class, as well as regularly conducting paranormal investigations.

LBoH: The next ScareFest begins on Friday the 13th.  Was that planed or a total coincidence?

JK: We tend to choose our dates a couple of years in advance, based on what dates the Lexington Convention Center has available around this time of year. When choosing dates for 2013, there were a couple weekends available. Of course, we wanted Friday the 13th! What better day to kick off the event?

LBoH: How do you choose what celebrity guests you invite to each year’s convention?

JK: We get a lot of suggestions from fans, but unfortunately we can’t always accomodate ALL of them. However, we try our best to keep people happy. We like to look at celebrities that typically don’t do conventions, or haven’t done one in the area in quite a while. We also like to book guests that have co-starred together in movies or TV shows. It’s always a bonus for fans when they get to meet an entire cast at our event. We also try to get a wide variety, from old movies, new movies, horror, pop culture, etc.

LBoH: How many vendors will fans see at this year’s ScareFest?

JK: We have approximately 130 DIFFERENT vendors this year. We have a ton of new ones, in addition to many that have been return vendors for several years. There will be no shortage of unique items to check out!

LBoH: Many fans that have not been to a convention are not sure about convention timing.  How long would you say fans should prepare to be in line (to get in/autograph lines)?

JK: It’s hard to pin down an “average” wait time. There’s a variety of factors that contribute to line waits. The best option is to get in on the Golden or Platinum ticket packages. These ticket holders get into the convention one hour before the general public, so their line waits are usually extremely short. In addition, Platinum Ticket Holders are given a Line Skip Pass, which allows them to skip to the front of the line on 3-4 pre-determined stars. (One skip per listed star) Also, line length can depend on what day you’re at the show and what stars you are wanting to see. Sunday, of course tends to have the shortest wait time. Saturday is the busiest. Friday is typically fairly busy, too. Our STAPH does an excellent job of keeping the lines moving fairly quickly.

LBoH: Are volunteers still needed?  If so, what help is still needed?

JK: At this time, our volunteer staff is full. We require all volunteers to attend regular monthly meetings throughout the year in order to prep them for the event. That’s why it’s crucial for volunteers to live near the Lexington area. Year after year, our STAPH gets more compliments than any other aspect of our event, from stars, fans and vendors alike. Training of volunteers is an absolute MUST to make the show run smoothly.

LBoH: Who are some guests you would like to get for future conventions?

JK: We want to get stars that fans want to see. Some of our most requested guests are Robert Englund, Bruce Campbell and Norman Reedus. These are all guests we’re hoping to pull in for future shows.

LBoH: Some conventions have 1-2 events a year.

JK: Any plans for ScareFest to add another event during convention seasons in the future? We get this question a lot. We’ve been approached by convention centers all over the country asking us to bring our event there. For now, we’ll be staying in Lexington. For us, it’s best to focus on one show per year and make it as near to perfect as possible. Once your focus starts to drift, it easy to get  pulled away from the key aspect of any show: “MAKE FANS HAPPY”.

LBoH: Can we expect to see ScareFest outside of Kentucky any time?

JK: Lexington, Kentucky is our home. But, who knows what we’ll see several years down the road!

A huge thank you to Jennifer Kirkland for taking the time out of her busy schedule to do this interview!  Let’s keep our fingers crossed for guests like Bruce Campbell,Robert Englund and Norman Reedus!  Who also wouldn’t love to see more than one ScareFest a year in more than one location?

To keep up with all things SacreFest, like them on Facebook, follow them on twitter and visit the official ScareFest site.  Be sure to follow Jennifer on twitter as well!

*All links are functional and take you to their describes destinations*