Horror-on-Sea Interview Writer-Director Tony Waghorne – Afraid of the Dark
Afraid of the Dark (2018)
Director: Tony Waghorne
Writer: Tony Waghorne
Stars: Jay Willoughby
When the lights go out are you afraid of the dark?
Date & Venue: Saturday 12th January 17:30pm
Park Inn by Radisson Palace Southend-on-, Church Rd, Southend-on-Sea SS1 2AL, UK
Afraid of the Dark is a new award-winning short from writer-director Tony Waghorne, which has been selected to play at the Horror-on-Sea Film Festival. I got a chance to ask Tony Waghorne and the crew a few questions about what we can expect from the film.
Writer/Director/DOP – Tony Waghorne
Editor/Sound Design – Adam Witney Producer – Lille Sumun Sound – Wesley Matthews
Make up – Natalie Jayne Simmons
Camera assistants – Jay Willoughby and Adam Witney
Q. Following on from the festival success of the award-winning short I See You (2017), you are returning to the horror genre again with another horror entitled Afraid of the Dark. What can we expect from the film?
We were a little more experimental. We produced this one on the “Black Magic Ursa Mini”, experimenting more with the lighting and sound. We focused our efforts into one scene that could be extended into a full feature rather than starting with a full storyline whilst also eliminating as much lines of dialogue and characters.
Q. It is more contained than your previous effort, concentrating more on creating a tense claustrophobic feel. Why did you decide to take this approach?
It’s the idea of keeping it intense and having it in such a condensed environment makes that more evident. With the use of lighting and loss of space in the room, it became more experimental as we developed more shots and even ideas from the script that escalated and advanced more to when we were shooting.
Q. What was your inspirations for the look and style of the film?
David F. Sandberg. The way he can build an idea into a short that doesn’t need a structured narrative but can also be built into a one piece where it has a beginning, middle and end. It’s the concept or subject of an idea being so small that can be easily expanded but says so much within the shortened time frame. He’s resourceful, his efforts are never made to look like a Hollywood feature but to just simply use with what he has given to him at the time and use those tools to their best advantage.
Q. I See You dealt with a fear of clowns and Afraid of the Dark is self-explanatory, do you find that dealing with irrational fears is a good way to connect with the audience?
To paraphrase James Wan in a previous interview, he said that you should always play upon people’s fears because that can only make the film and its characters that much more engaging and when the audience resonates with the characters, is when they are is the most invested in the story.
Q. What was one of your favourite moments during filming?
Collectively, the experience of making any project is what makes our favourite moments. It’s when we come face to face with a problem and we work together to solve the problem by experimenting and listening to each other’s opinions and options. At the end of the day, we have such a laugh.
Q. What is it about horror which appeals to you as a filmmaker?
It’s the reaction from the audience that drives our enthusiasm to keep making projects in the genre. Being able to work with more interesting and sometimes work with darker themed characters that are sadistic to the world but so appealing to develop from a writing standpoint. Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers and many others are characters we as an audience remember so fondly because we’re so attracted to what they do and how dark they can truly be when they interact with normal people from the normal society. It’s when they’re delightfully evil that they become ever so more appealing to us.
Q. Having made two movies which deal with fear, is there anything which you or the team have a seemingly irrational fear of?
Thankfully none of us has any irrational fears, but we find it interesting when researching into other people’s fears. Large amounts of people fear the dark but it’s the idea of not being scared of the dark, it’s what lurks IN the dark that people fear. That gave us the opportunity from a conceptual standpoint to elaborate more on what lies in the dark.
Q. Do you have any new projects which you are working on?
Individually, we have different scripts that are at different stages of development but collectively we all produce and work out how we’re going to make those a reality. We’re interested in making more horror projects but also that we are making films within different genres with the next genre being a comedy and then onto any genre that we’re interested in making when the right script comes along. We’ve already started test shoots on a new project where we’ve been experimenting further with our techniques on camera, so it’ll be interesting to see people’s reactions when the time comes to release it.
Q. What advice would you give to someone who is looking to make a good horror movie?
Watch and learn. Watch many films, many interviews with directors and crew members and build ideas from that. What can also be applied to not just horror but with any genre, is write what you know. We research into different fears and what scares people and that’s whom you’re trying to scare. The people. We also strive for originality. However, never be afraid to borrow techniques from other projects because ideas can always be expanded and told in a different light. Technical wise, whether it be lighting, sound or camera, learn those techniques and apply those to your work in a situation that can only improve your project.
The horror short Afraid of the Dark will be playing it Horror-on-Sea before the world premiere of the feature film Space Ninjas (2018)
You can find out more about the feature films playing at Horror-on-Sea Film Festival and details of tickets on the website https://www.horror-on-sea.com/
You can find out more about Afraid of the Dark and other films from Tony Waghorne by following the Eyes Forward Productions on social media
You can watch at Afraid of the Dark and I see You (2017) which played at Horror-on-Sea in 2017 below:
Afraid of the Dark
I see You