Interviews 'Human Residue' Director Chris Bouchard
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
Residue (Official site)
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?
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
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?
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?
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
24fps: How long your shooting schedule was and what
sort of budget did you have to work with?
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.
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?
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
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?
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?)
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!
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?
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?
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.
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
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.
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
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?
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'?
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.
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?
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.
:Last one. What question would you most like to be asked about
the project. What is it. And what's the answer?
(humble) question is : Can I do anything to help out with
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.