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Interview: Nick Box (Director) – Dead Good Films Like (HTF Exclusive)

We interviewed Indy horror maker, Nick Box from Dead Good Films Like. See what he had to say on his influences and latest projects here.

Nick-Box-Interview

Indy horror films seem to be alive and kicking in the UK with an active community and plenty of low budget movies finding their way to distribution, something that does not seem to be as common in other low budget film genres. We spoke to Nick Box, a writer, director and producer from Dead Good Films Like  about his approach to filmmaking and the process of self distribution. Here’s what he had to say…

HTF : Hi Nick, how did you begin you career as an independent filmmaker in the horror/grindhouse genre. Tell us a bit about Dead Good Films Like?

N: I always wanted to make movies, as films were my number 1 obsession right since I was a kid, but whenever I said I wanted to become a film maker people would tell me I couldn’t due to money etc, so as the years went on I attempted a few experimental shorts here and there but that was it. When I was 28 years old I decided enough was enough with the dreaming and took myself off to university, in the hope that when I got out I could get some kind of job in the industry even making tea! but sadly I applied for hundreds of jobs and nothing came back usually down to my age or lack of experience.

At this point Digital film making was at an affordable level so I just went out and did it. My first feature Brutal Jesus which I co directed with Alex Dawson was a christ-ploitation grindhouse film that cost us £10 to make, all our budget on was spent on was a bible and bed sheet. We shot it on a variety of different cameras and then plastered it with film damage effects in post that film went on to sell around the world and developed a nice following worldwide it’s certainly not a film for everyone but those into trashy cinema seem to dig it.

After Brutal Jesus I realized I was onto something with these cheap trashy films with weird titles, so I started to churn them out and before I knew it I had a catalogue of films and I had followers. Through promoting my films I then met other film makers from around the world doing similar things I was doing, so I began working along side them and helping them release their movies through Dead Good Films Like, and by doing that all of a sudden I had become a Producer too.

I love all genres of film but Horror is certainly one of my favorite’s and is one of the easiest to do on a budget. The thing with Horror is it sells; good or bad people still lap them up. How many times have you picked up a cheapy horror film knowing it was going to suck but still watched it? That doesn’t work with other genres. I don’t set out to make bad movies though I just like to tackle strange and different subjects. A lot of my films have a Grindhouse style, it’s a style I like and it works with the nature of some of the subjects I tackle but recently I have ventured into more straight up Horror too like my Award winning feature from last year She’s Dead. I want to move onto other genres too,  I also have a Kids film in the works.

HTF: Is there any particular director or film that has influenced your approach to filmmaking?

N: My biggest Influences director wise are probably Lloyd Kaufman (Troma) & Kevin Smith (Clerks) those where the 2 guys that made me realize you can make it into the industry with no money and show you how it’s done on a budget. A lot of the films like Troma were distributing and were all made on a few grand tops. Budget wise they certainly where a big inspiration to me when i first started out, but recently films like The Taint , Fathers Day, Adam Chaplin  and Night of the Tentacles have really inspired me to keep doing what I do and never give up. They are some of my favourite movies of recent years and all made for tiny budgets and Fathers Day even got some minor mainstream press. So it shows there is hope for us little guys with crazy ideas.

HTF: What projects are you currently working on?

N: We just finished shooting a new feature last week Killriculum Vitae.

– it’s sort of a prequel to She’s Dead. It’s a ‘Horror Thriller Comedy’ set in real time that take’s place around a job interview. I co-directed this one with another local film maker called  Stuart Fitzsimmons. It stars Julian Seager (The World’s End, Thor 2 , Dr Who), Georgina Burford (Dr Who),  Jade Mason, Sihona Robbins and Boyd Rogers. It’s due for release this October.

I also have another trashy one coming out called STD’s : Sick Twisted Ducks. We have shot the first half of that one and it just needs finishing up and also a ‘Family Friendly Horror Anthology’ called Monster Watch.

HTF: What kind of budget do you usually work with?

N: Budget what’s a Budget? ha-ha well like I said before Brutal Jesus cost us £10, Violent Vicar was about £100, She’s Dead clocked in around £1000 so the budgets are tiny but slowly rise with each project, although I shot a 40min mini feature MRFD earlier this year for nothing. One day id love to work with a real budget but then I also think if someone gave me a million quid to make a film I would want to go out and make 50!

HTF: What do you think of the current UK indy horror scene?

N: The UK and the European scene is very strong at the moment and growing all the time, when I first started out I knew of about 3 guys in the UK doing underground horror; all my other contacts where in the states. Now loads of great people on this side of the pond are going out there a making great films-people like Peter Murfet & Liam Reagan, these guys are making amazingly professional films for tiny tiny budgets

HTF: Any tips for aspiring indy horror filmmakers?

N: Just go out there make a film, don’t worry about money and effects just write a good story you can make with what you have around you. Use the internet to promote the hell out of it, get an artist friend to make you good cover art; you can sell a film with a good cover. You don’t need distribution, you can do that yourself online, and hit conventions. There are very few horror cons in the UK but some great ones in Europe and it’s cheap enough to go over there for a weekend to promote your work and make contacts. Distribution deals and festival screenings aren’t the be all and end all of film making. You can make it without either of them and read these books:

Make your own Damn Movie by Lloyd Kaufman

F*ck Your Audience – A Business Plan for the Rebel Indie Filmmaker by David Anthony

HTF: What’s next for Dead Good Films Like?

N: Next for us is to finish up Killriculum Vitae. We have a Premiere for that in October and a tour of conventions around the world. We hit Cinema Wasteland in the states in October, we also have Scardiff and Movie Days / The Dark Zone in Germany coming up. We are releasing a bunch more films from other film makers including another action movie and a Sci-fi flick. We are working hard on raising a half decent budget for my Horror Comedy ‘Cannibal House Party’ which is a homage to films like Weird Science and Beetlejuice with a bit of Chainsaw Massacre thrown in. This will be my biggest project yet and will actually feature some recognizable faces. You can also help us by Pre-ordering Killriculum Vitae. All profit goes to audio mixing the film and promoting it at conventions and festivals.

Check out Dead Good Films Like shop and the trailer for Kirriculum Vitae below.

http://deadgoodfilmslike.bigcartel.com/category/pre-orders

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