Case Study: Fester

Director Guido Coppis elaborates on the proces when working on his horror short film Fester.

“I have always made drama films. Even though I love that genre, I always had an interest in horror. I think it is one of the hardest genres. I wanted a challenge so I decided to make a horror movie of my one.”

“Fester was a real challenge for me.”

Making a horror

“I wrote the script and didn’t change much: it stayed the same throughout. In my previous work I have always used a lot of long takes. I just really like the aesthetic of them. Long takes allow the audience to observe your character. It allows them to truly see how something plays out, without manipulating the viewer with cuts. Because of the long takes we couldn’t really cut anything, so the final edit was identical to the script.”

“For Fester I worked with the same crew I have always worked with. I already knew which actors I wanted to cast, and luckily they wanted to do it.”

Challenge

“The production of the film was a huge challenge. Because the film consist of literally two shots, we had the rig the entire set all at once. However, we didn’t have enough lights. We had to move a lot of light whilst shooting, which went wrong quite some time.”

“Another complication was the house we shot it in. The house was getting rebuild so the the entire house was a construction zone. We had to refurnish the entire house, and move all the furniture out the same night as well. We wanted to start shooting at 8pm, however, due to all these complications, we started shooting at 11pm.”

“Because we didn’t have any money, we couldn’t afford to rent a steadicam vest. So all the steadicam work had to be done by hand, which made the entire thing much more complicated. And last but not least, it was also freezing that night, definitely not fun, I can tell you that. But in the end everything was fine, and we managed to shoot it all in one night.”

The importance of sound

“In horror sound is 80% of the film. I knew it was going to be really, really important. I worked with a sound designer named Milan Wijnmaalen and a composer, Tjeerd Nijhof. I had worked with them before, they’re both really, really good in what they are doing. Because the edit was so simple they had the chance to put a lot of work into the sound. We talked about what the contrast between complete silence and complete chaos should be. It took some time to find the right sounds and tones, but in the end they did a marvelous job I think.”

“In horror sound is 80% of the film.”

De premiere van Fester zie je op zondag, 19 maart, tijdens het Euregion Film Festival 2017!

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