I recently got the chance to talk to writer and director Lance Patrick about his new film ‘Exorcism’. Here, Lance talks about how the idea originally came about, what movies have affected him as a visionary and what’s coming up for him in 2011…
Hey Lance. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. ‘Exorcism’ is in selected UK cinemas right now.
What made you want to tell this story in the first place? Obviously you must have been inspired by stuff like ‘The Exorcist’ and last year’s ‘The Last Exorcism’…
The real inspirations for this were obviously, ‘The Exorcist’, ‘Blair Witch’ and ‘REC’. Me and my friend Lee both thought about films that hadn’t been done for awhile, things that we felt were really creepy; we came up with things like ‘Omen’ and ‘Poltergeist’. During pre-production there wasn’t any word of any other exorcist films coming out, the last one we knew about was ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’. We started filming, but then I saw posters coming up for ‘The Last Exorcism’, and soon others followed. Just our luck!
As both writer and director of ‘Exorcism’, was there a specific style you were trying to put across in the film? Did you want to follow the safe trend or try something new?
I wanted to get the ‘Blair Witch’, ‘Cloverfield’ live-camera feel going on as I thought this would add to the realism and would be a strong selling point.
In your mind, what makes a good exorcist / horror movie?
I love all genres, but horror is my favorite. You need gore, good special effects, you need to be able to make people jump and scare the hell out of them, originality is good but it’s hard in the horror field. Can’t think of the last original horror film I watched, the first ‘Saw’ was quite good, but then you could say the nastiness of it is a bit like an old film called ‘Snuff’, where they cut bits off. That got banned in the 80’s as they weren’t sure if it was real or not.
What was it like on-set working with the cast and crew? Did anything spooky happen?
The cast and crew were all great fun, the main room we filmed in had an old eerie four poster bed where two people slept also, they got the creeps and heard some noises. One of the actors jumped up screaming in the middle of the night after a nightmare, and in my room there was a lot of “we should not be filming here” talk. Also, the Jaffa Cakes kept vanishing, some demon must have been eating them all, I only saw one Jaffa out of about 15 packets!
Do you personally believe in ghosts, possessions and the supernatural?
Yes I do believe in ghosts, possessions and the supernatural. A lot of strange things used to happen in my Dad’s old house. Plates flying off the wall and a few other things I won’t go into detail about.
Let’s talk a bit about you Lance. What made you want to get into the director’s chair in the first place?
I love films, been a big movie buff since I first saw a video recorder back in the late 70’s early 80’s. I watch tons of films, not just horror – all genres. I write a lot, and have lots of great ideas for movies; I don’t think I am the greatest writer, but I have some great ideas for original stories not seen before and think these would be great hits. Unfortunately, you need a lot of money behind you and it’s a case of who you know 😦
Who has inspired you as a writer and director? Any favourite movies?
Ridley Scott is great, one of my favorites. I pretty much like all his movies, ‘Blade Runner’, (please don’t remake it), ‘Gladiator’. Love the ‘Star Wars’ movies; ‘Evil Dead 2’ is a classic in terms of horror. Then I love such films as ‘Dances with Wolves’, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. James Cameron has done some of my favorites also, ‘The Terminator’ (first one), ‘Aliens’. I really like Jason from ‘Friday the 13th’ also – I would like to do one of these with something a bit more different. Also really like Danny Boyle, he’s done great for himself in all genres and Neil Marshall, these guys give us UK dudes hope!
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to pursue a career in directing?
I would say go for it, it’s not hard, I was quite nervous and not sure about certain things, it’s all a learning process. If you want something you can achieve it, but you have to fight for your right (to party) as you will get many obstacles on the way.
What does a Lance Patrick day usually consist of?
Comic books and films, I’m a massive comic fan as well as a movie buff. I watch at least one movie a day. Bit of writing when I can fit it in! Living and getting by as we do lol.
What’s coming up for you in 2011?
Looking to get ‘Exorcism’ out there and start pre-production on another project in the producer’s chair. Always looking to get in on projects in any capacity! Keep your eyes out I have a few special projects in the line up 😉
Thanks for the interview!