Welsh Demoness talks to independent genre director Geoff Hamer of British film company Fraught Productions. Harmer’s creepy short “Selfie” is still winning awards across film festivals but now it’s time to unveil his latest project, “Dead Air”.
“Dead Air” is a rock-infused, female-centric homage to those creature features we all love from the 80s and 90s. Hamer has recently set up a Kickstarter campaign in order to fund the ambitiously awesome project. In this exclusive interview, we talk crowdfunding, the status of women in horror, music and of course, love for all things horror movies.
Welsh Demoness: What can you tell us about your new short film, Dead Air?
Geoff Harmer: Dead Air is a horror comedy proof of concept film, about an all-female rock band heading to their next gig. Whilst on the plane, one crew member is bitten by a small creature that is being secretly stowed on board, turning them in to a human sized version of the creature. Then all hell breaks loose. The film will be very British in humour, but with a New Zealand sensibility.
Welsh Demoness: It sounds like you are going for an 80’s creature feature vibe with it. Are there any movies in particular that influenced you when creating the concept for this film?
Geoff Harmer: We are definitely feeding our love of the mid 80’s to early 90’s horror films. Both myself and the writer Peter Hearn grew up watching movies like Peter Jackson’s Braindead, From Beyond, Re-Animator, Return of the Living Dead, Critters, etc. We also read the same magazines like Fangoria, Gorezone and FEAR. So that’s where we are coming from. Films like Demon Knight, Fright Night, and Vamp are also playing their part in our conscience when putting this together too.
Welsh Demoness: Dead Air is very female-centric, focusing on kick ass rock chicks, do you think that women are generally still underrepresented in the Horror genre?
Geoff Harmer: I think Women are certainly underrepresented in the Horror genre for sure, they tend to get the role of the damsel in distress, etc. Not that there is anything wrong in women playing those sorts of roles, as long as the playing field is balanced. There are a number of awesome individuals that are doing great work for Women in Horror, like Kate Marie Davis, The Soska Sisters, Emma Dark and Jessica Messenger. In Dead Air, we purposely made the women roles strong and completely kick ass! Initially, we started with a half male/half female rock band, but as the drafts progressed, we realised that there were no strong reasons to keep it that way. So we made the band all female and it actually works better.
Welsh Demoness: Tell us a bit more about your Kickstarter Campaign. What made you choose Kickstarter as your crowd-funding platform and what is the overall goal?
Geoff Harmer: The cost of making Dead Air is £20k, it’s a lot of money and a big ask for people. With that in mind, we decided to go with the Kickstarter all or nothing approach. Simply put, if we don’t reach our target, we cannot make the film. So we need as many people to back us as possible. We’ve got lots of perks on offer, so make sure you go take a look and do what you can!
Welsh Demoness: What was the casting process like for the film?
Geoff Harmer: The casting on Dead Air has been the most fun! We’ve met some amazing people, all of whom i would have loved to have cast in the film! For some of the roles, we approached people directly because we knew that they would be suitable for the role, etc. For some roles, we held a casting call, which in turn went to auditions in person and via Skype/Self-Tape, etc. We are now fully cast, and i couldn’t be happier! We even have a Hollywood Genre Legend on board! But sadly we are not allowed to mention their involvement until we are fully funded! So get backing us to find out who this is!!!
Welsh Demoness: Music is going to be a prominent element in this film, what style are you going for and why?
Geoff Harmer: The name of the band in Dead Air is called Monster Kitten, and the sound of the band is being provided by Erica Nockalls. Erica is an amazingly talented woman who plays in bands like The Wonder Stuff and The Proclaimers. She also has her own band under her own name, and it’s this that is the sound of Monster Kitten. Check out one of her videos HERE. The score to Dead Air is being put together by the musician Dan Hall. He scored the feature film Scrawl, and the short film Smile. He’s done some amazing work, and we’re really happy to have him board.
Welsh Demoness: Your previous short film, Selfie has done exceptionally well, what has it been like hearing the reactions from festivals?
Geoff Harmer: Selfie has done really well for me! I’ve been completely humbled by everyone’s reaction to it. It’s over 2 years old now and it’s still doing the rounds on the festival circuit! Still amazes me. 🙂
Welsh Demoness: Are there plans to turn Dead Air into a feature film if the short is successful?
Geoff Harmer: YES! We are putting the final touches to the feature script as we speak! The whole point behind Dead Air has been to make a stand alone film, but with the ability to turn it into a feature if it’s successful. Our film is a shortened version of the middle act in the feature script.
Welsh Demoness: Finally, tough question! What is your favourite horror movie and why?
Geoff Harmer: Oh Wow! I have lots of favourites!!! There are different types of horror movies and I have favourites in each area… For scary horror movies, it would have to The Exorcist III, so underrated! It has in it thee most scariest moment in film history. I was working in the cinema when this was being screened… i would have to walk out the theatre a few minutes before the scene, then walk back in 5 minutes later. Terrifying stuff! For Zombie movies, you can’t beat Romero’s Day of the Dead. In the Vampire genre, i love Near Dark, Dracula 1979, and Fright Night. I’m also a huge fan of Peter Jackson’s Braindead, and Stuart Gordon’s From Beyond. Although not a true horror, but at Halloween, i always watch Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Visit the Dead Air Kickstarter Campaign for lots of cool stuff: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/deadair/dead-air-1