After talking to director Steve Barker about Outpost II: Black Sun which premiered at FrightFest 2012 we quized writer Rae Brunton on his movie the upcoming third film in the Outpost series and his favorite zombie movie.
Lovehorror: Have you always loved horror and how did you get into script writing?
Rae Brunton: Absolutely! As a little boy my two favourite stories were Hansel & Gretel and Rumpelstiltskin, which are, when you think about it, both really dark. And I don’t think I’ve ever grown out of that thrill of being scared.
I got into script writing as a teenager. At school, I always wanted to draw comics for a living, and I spent all my spare time practising. One summer though, I broke my arm and couldn’t draw. I could still type though, so I took to writing all the stories in my head instead. It was after that that I switched disciplines and started writing more and more. Years of practice later, here we are…
Lovehorror: How did the whole idea for Outpost come about?
Rae Brunton: The original idea for Outpost came from our producer, Kieran Parker. He approached us with the very simple high-concept of a bunch of modern day soldiers who find themselves surrounded by an army of undead Nazis. Within those parameters, Steve Barker and I were invited to do pretty much whatever we wanted. I came up with the idea of this weird machine that became both the treasure our characters were hunting for and the reason our monsters existed. From there, the whole thing grew and grew.
Lovehorror: How long did each film take to write and how many rewrites did you have to do?
Rae Brunton: The first film was written fairly quickly, from treatment to shooting script inside a year I’d say. There were still numerous versions though; some minor rewrites, some much bigger overhauls. On one draft Steve Barker took the reigns and did a director’s-draft, shuffling the structure around to give the film the shape he felt it needed. In total, I’d say we completed maybe six or seven drafts.
The second film, which was co-written with Steve Barker, was a great deal more laborious. I think we took almost two years to write it and I can safely say I lost count of the number of drafts and rewrites we went through.
Lovehorror: With this part two and a third instalment on the way did you always plan Outpost as a series and has it followed the path you originally set for it?
Rae Brunton: No! When we made the first film, I don’t think any of us really imagined that we’d get the chance to revisit that world and open a second, let alone a third chapter. Given the opportunity though, our main aim now is to make each film as exciting and different as possible.
Lovehorror: Can you tell us more about part three, Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz and without giving too much away what we should expect?
Rae Brunton: Well, we’re very keen not to retrace the same ground; we want to give our audience something new and unexpected with each new film. So, if Outpost: Black Sun is different from Outpost, then, hopefully, Rise of the Spetsnaz is different again.
For one thing the next film is a prequel, set in WWII, so we get to a see a bit more of the Nazis dark plans in action. Kieran Parker has taken over as director for this outing as well, and he’s brought a whole different type of energy. Besides horror, Kieran is the type of guy who breathes classic war films. If I was to tell you to expect anything, I’d tell you to get ready for something stripped-down, action-packed and bloody.
Lovehorror: Steve Barker has directed both Outpost movies, what working relationship do you have with him?
Rae Brunton: In the space of two films, I have taken out and cancelled three separate contracts on Steve Barker’s life. I have also designed and build a time-machine in an effort to travel backwards and strangle him at birth. Aside from that, we get along just fine…
Lovehorror: And finally what is your favourite zombie movie apart from your own and why?
Rae Brunton: What a horrible question! Can I elaborate slightly, because I’m a big fan of all kinds of zombie fiction? I absolutely love Max Brooks’ World War Z and I can’t get enough of The Walking Dead comics. In terms of movies, apologies, but I’m definitely a bigger fan of the new stuff than the vintage. As an absolute favourite, I was going to say REC, but I’m going to be controversial and potentially offend everyone by saying the remake of Dawn of the Dead – simply because it was the first time I ever saw a running zombie, which just changed the whole genre for me by making it ten times scarier!