24Framespersecond Interviews 'Human Residue' Director Chris Bouchard

Independent film Director Chris Boucard (pictured left) kindly gave up some of his time whilst deep in midst of pre production preparations, to answer some of our quesions on his upcoming Zombie Flick 'Human Residue'



Human Residue (Official site)


24fps: Have you always wanted to be a Director. Your principal experience in film has up to now been as a composer. So how did the transition to becoming a director come about?

CB: Well everybody dreams of being a director really don't they! This is my first shot at directing a feature film, but I'm confident we can pull it off with all the enthusiasm from our fantastic volunteer cast and crew. Especially seeing what we've achieved already with the concept trailers on a non-existent budget. Of course I've been making smaller films for years, crewing and directing my own shorts before I got into film composing. So I'm kind of going back to my roots but taking with me what I've learned as a composer about cinematic storytelling and the intricate relationship between performance, picture and sound.

24fps: Can you tell us about some of your influences. Are there any horror filmmakers in particular that you admire? And what kind of horror films did you grow up watching?

CB :Actually I didn't used to like horror films very much - they gave me nightmares!! I think I used to get more nightmares than other kids. I was always imagining horrible creepy things with huge teeth! The great thing is that now as a film maker I can put my scary dreams up on the screen and let the audience inside my nightmares. Horror films which I love are the Alien series, 28 Days Later. I also really love Jurassic Park for its horror/fantasy elements. I love the sense of intrigue and mystery of David Lynch, also influenced by Neil Marshall, Danny Boyle, Ridley Scott, David Cronenberg but of course really I'm just doing my own thing.

24fps: How did you become involved in the project to make Human residue, and what attracted you to the story?

CB :Well I actually started the project off as a simple zombie survival story like 28 Days Later. Then it morphed into a bigger more intricate plot. When we realized just what we could do on limited budget.

24fps: How long your shooting schedule was and what sort of budget did you have to work with?

CB: Well, we're shooting over the 3 months of July - Sept 2006. What sort of budget? Virtually nothing. We still hope to raise some funds to build one of the ambitious sets so we're looking for sponsors at the moment. The rest of the movie can be shot on virtually nothing as luckily everyone is so keen to help out donating their time and equipment. It really is a big volunteer collaboration, and we're very lucky to have that. Did I mention that anyone can donate through our website. This is the only way to get a DVD copy of the film, and all donations will go 100% into improving the quality of the film.

24fps: Has it proved difficult to persuade investors to contribute to the project. And has your film being covered in some of the online horror press, such as the recent article in Fangoria been helpful in persuading people to donate to the project?

CB:Absolutely. It has been difficult, because most people don't yet appreciate the power of the internet as a film distribution medium. Also it's difficult to explain our non-profit stance. We're just doing it for the love of it, and to make a film people can download and watch for free. Hopefully it will compete in quality with the big studios and maybe get some exposure for those involved.

24fps:I read you will be using the grounds of York University for some of the filming was it easy to persuade them to let you film there?

CB: Many of the cast and crew have come from the university which has a student film making society. So the university is quite open minded to creative projects like this, particularly over the summer when things are quiet and we don't interrupt things. The campus has a wealth of fantastic locations some of which seem purpose built for a film such as this!

24fps; Will you be using film or high definition video for the shoot? (If hi def, is that to save money, and what are a few other tricks you are using to keep costs down?)

CB : Aye we'll be using hi def to shoot, as we really can't afford film. Also digital is much more practical and quicker meaning we can take the time to get it right when shooting. The main trick to keeping costs down is by having a cast and crew of volunteers, and only writing for locations we can shoot. Nobody is getting paid, everyone is kindly donating their time and effort for free because they believe in the project. We're very lucky to have so many talented people ready to give their time to the project!

24fps:Two of your lead actors, Rachael Blyth and Ben Anderson, are relatively new to film. What do you think they will bring to the characters they are to play?

CB: Actually Rachael and Ben have several short films behind them (which they were excellent in by the way). They have this rare screen presence and a talent which is very hard to find. Also they're used to working on screen together which makes their relationship on screen much more magnetic. We're very lucky to have them and I hope they go on to bigger things.

24fps: We'd like to know if the zombies in the film be fast moving as in recent horror, or slower, in keeping with the early Romero type films?

CB: A bit of both actually. When they're hunting they behave like animals. A bit like Velociraptors actually. When they've eaten they'll be fast as hell and deadly. But they'll be very instinctive and solitary animals. You won't always see them but you'll know they're there.

24fps: You were recently quoted as saying you were "sick of slasher films" does that mean the movie will mainly be a psychological horror, or can we expect a touch of gore as well?

CB: There sure will be a touch of action, and some gore. But it's absolutely not a gore fest. When you see gore it will be very shocking, but we don't want to over gore it. We've seen that all before. It will be more a survival mystery with elements of horror and action. It's also fantastical in that we're creating a whole new post apocalyptic world. It'll be fun.

24fps: Not wanting to ask you to give too much away about the plot .In the film, when the volunteers wake from the experiment they find the world totally empty of human life. Will the disappearance of the populous be for natural, or super natural reasons?

CB: Nice try! That's actually what the characters are trying to find out in the first half of the film. Don't worry they haven't just been kidnapped by aliens or anything silly like that. In the film the majority of the population will have died as a result of the disaster.

24fps: Why do think the UK has such a poor record in recent years for producing good (or any) horror films?

CB: I don't know really, we're only a small country! 28 Days Later and The Descent were great though. Maybe horror is a genre which isn't treated with the same respect creatively as other genres. It should be of course!

24fps: What's your opinion about this current trend in Hollywood to remake some of the classic horrors such as 'The Omen' and 'The Fog'?

CB: It's nice to pay tribute to these films by remaking them, and probably better to remake them than rip them off but then again maybe they could think up something new. It's very hard to remake something that's already been done well and make it any where near as good as the original.

24fps: One of the main intentions of the films production has been to release the film online for free. If the film were to do very well what would be your reaction to a studio if they offered to a distribution deal?

CB: Good question. We would have to say no to a deal except in exceptional circumstances. As a non-profit movie we are not going to sell the film commercially. Instead we want to reach the widest audience possible through the net, screenings, TV, DVD and other methods. If a distributor would let us keep the rights and let us release it online as well then we might consider it as a way to reach a wider audience. However it would still have to remain a non-profit film and perhaps this might mean donating any revenue to charity. Anyway I doubt it will happen, we just doing this for fun.

24fps :Last one. What question would you most like to be asked about the project. What is it. And what's the answer?

CB: My (humble) question is : Can I do anything to help out with Human Residue?
Answer: Yes! Sponsor the film! Donate through our website! We need your support to make this film a reality. 'Human Residue Donors' get on the credits and a DVD copy. Thanks.







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