Indie Horror Online recently caught up with Chad Archibald, the director of I’ll Take Your Dead. We asked him about his new film, and talked about filmmaking…
Q: Tell us a little about your new film, I’ll Take Your Dead…
A: It’s a Thriller/Horror about a man (William) and his daughter (Gloria) who dispose of bodies for inner city gangs. They don’t want to, but it’s the only way for William to keep his daughter safe. After a couple bodies are dropped off one day, William begins his process when one of the bodies wakes up. A young woman named Jackie. Now William has to decide if he gives her up to be killed (again) or helps her get better.
Q: How is I’ll Take Your Dead different than your other films for Black Fawn?
A: We usually create straight up horror films where this is far more of a family thriller. A lot of festivals even call it a crime/thriller. This film really relies on the characters and their relationships to drive the story opposed to a plot device leading the narrative. It’s also rare that we work with a cast in this age range. Another factor is that we had a little higher of a budget than usual which was nice.
Q: You’ve battled extreme elements while making films in the past. What about this time?
A: We shot this film in the middle of the Canadian winter in Orillia, Ontario in the middle of the snow belt, so that was a huge challenge. We filmed in a house that has no heat so we had to bring in a giant furnace. Heat management became a part of everyday production and even as cold as it was, there were days where we were shooting outside and all the snow had melted… Oh Canada… It was a challenge.
Q: You’ve worked with writer Jayme LaForest before. What’s it like collaborating with him?
A: This is the third script Jayme and myself have worked on together. We have a great system. I generally come up with an idea and turn it into a full treatment, run it by the studio, then reach out to Jayme and pitch him on it. If he likes it we chat for a bit and he turns that treatment into a script. He’s a crazy smart guy and a fast writer. I think we’ve always had a great communication and workflow. Funny thing is that I see Jayme face to face like, once or twice a year because he lives on the other side of the continent.
Q: What led you to making horror movies in the first place?
A: I grew up on horror films so it was an obvious choice. They are so much fun to make because you can create your own reality. On top of that, I think horror fans are the best fans in the world. I spend a lot of time at horror conventions and the community there is so unique, interesting, and supportive. It’s just awesome.
Q: You’ve also been a producer on a number of films. How is that different from directing?
A: Producing is the business and directing is the art. I became a producer out of necessity. My passion is directing, but I also love being on set and organizing a shoot. We work with so many amazing people to make these films happen, so whether I’m on set producing or directing, it’s just great to be around creative people on and off screen.
Q: Black Fawn Films has an eight picture deal with Breakthrough Entertainment. How’s that going?
A: Breakthrough has been our partner for 5 years now. We originally did an 8 picture deal, but it’s evolved into an amazing partnership that we’ve stopped putting a number on. We have so many irons in the fire together right now that we’ve turned our 8 picture contract into an open ended relationship. It hard to find partners you can trust and people who will always have your back in the film industry and with Breakthrough we found that and we have some awesome stuff coming down the pipe!
Q: What advice do you have for anyone hoping to make an independent horror film?
A: Get out there and make something. Gear is so accessible that there’s no excuse anymore. Go learn to make movies so when you are ready to make one with other people’s money, you know how. And also make sure you have a script worth making. Bad scripts make bad movies. There’s no hiding it.
Q: What kind of movies do you like to watch? Do you have some favourite horror films?
A: I watch everything and I never answer the favourite horror movie question. It always changes for me. There are so many great films out there and depending on the weather that day, my taste changes.
Q: Thanks for your time! Anything else you’d like to share with us?
A: Go check out some indie horror films! There’s so many amazing movies out there that don’t get the wide release they deserve. Also, a huge thanks to everyone and anyone who have checked out our films and supported us over the years. It’s because of you that we get to keep making movies so we can’t thank you enough!
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