With British horror making a
strong comeback of late, I was delighted to discover that I had the chance
to sit down and chat to British Director Andrew Weild, about his
directorial debut the British slasher movie 'Hacked Off'. Read on to see
what inspired Andy to make the film and for more info on the latest
British horror movie.
What is your background in
I started at college, and then progressed to film school. I got fed up of
film school, left and went on to work on lots of shorts, which was the
best thing I could have done. I enjoyed it more than sitting in a
classroom and learned more than I could have done through a text book.
Why did you decide to make a
The decision was made years ago. Actually doing it’s a different thing. It
takes a lot of time, a lot of effort and, however much you budget, a wedge
Who came up with the idea to
make Hacked Off and how did you go about securing financing
It was a joint idea between myself and Fraser Barsby (Producer). We were
on holiday a few years ago and developed the idea then. It seemed simple
enough, and definitely possible. How wrong we were! Financing came partly
from a private investor who injected a few grand into the budget but
mainly it came from Fraser.
Are you a fan of the horror
I’ve been a fan of the horror genre since I was a kid. I grew up watching
horror films such as the Omen, The Changeling and old Hammer films etc. My
friend’s father had a huge collection of horror on Betamax (which I’ve now
got 20 years on)which we used to stay up late watching. Films such as
Tales from the Crypt to TV programmes like Hammer House of Horror ‘the
house that bled to death’. Fantastic stuff.
"The response was overwhelming and each day we were flooded with post".
How much time did you have for
We only had a few months prep time and it went really quickly, just
snowballed. Once we got back from holiday I locked myself away for a week
and hammered out the first draft. I then passed it over to Fraser who went
through it. We worked together up to the final draft. Whilst doing that we
started sorting out the casting arrangements, rehearsals and the rest of
pre production and, before we knew it, a slot opened for the location and
we were preparing to shoot. The concept came in around July 2002 and we
were shooting early November.
How did you find your
We found our cast by placing a small ad in The Stage. The response was
overwhelming and each day we were flooded with post. After trawling
through them all we made a shortlist, about a hundred I think. The
auditions where held at a college in London one day and we set the actors
tasks such as monologues, interviews and, as a group exercise, two scenes
taken from the film in potential roles. It worked really well but was an
exhausting day. Luckily we where sponsored by Red Bull which kept us, and
the actors, going.
How long did the shoot last,
and where were the locations in France and England?
Initially the shoot lasted 1 week. However, two of those day where taken
traveling to France and back so it was more like 5. Completely insane but
on the budget we had it was all that was possible. In hindsight I’d have
definitely pushed towards 2 weeks. A month would have been fantastic but
we would have all gone totally mad isolated like that. I think I left the
cottage about twice during that week and slept about once. We had a couple
of days of pick ups a few months later. Scenes, such as the finale, which
we simply ran out of time and knew we could shoot them in Norfolk and not
look like it was shot anywhere other than France.
Any funny stories from the
There are probably loads of funny stories but, unfortunately, you’re
asking the wrong person. It was one of the most stressful weeks and I
spent the week pumped up on coffee and trying to get through the hundred
or so scenes. I did look through some of the documentary footage once and
the cast did look like they had a laugh.
How long was the film in
The film was in post for a long time, almost 2 years, but for most of that
it was just sitting there doing nothing. We kept having to break whilst
waiting for more bits to the edit suite, such as bigger hard drive, better
software etc…which all costs money. We did stick it in a few film
festivals and held a premiere (cross test-screening) during that time
"In the same way the rest of the film was financed…with his plastic friends".
How did you go about
distributing the film?
We decided to distribute the film ourselves, another reason for the film
being in post for such a long time. Fraser comes from a distribution and
marketing background so it made sense and we got to learn a lot about new
fields such as DVD authoring, duplication and distribution, which was fun.
We also had full control over the cover design, which a lot of companies
out there seem to neglect, and I wanted it to look good on my shelf in
between Friday the 13th and Halloween.
Who financed the
Fraser did, basically. In the same way the rest of the film was
financed…with his plastic friends.
Are there any plans for
It’s still doing the festival circuit at the moment so there’ll be more
screenings. Outside of that it’s readily available on DVD. Ask at your
local stockist or visit the site www.hacked-off.com.
Has the film made a profit
Not yet, but it’s definitely getting there. Regardless of how much profit
it makes, the film was a valuable experience for all those involved,
especially me. I thought I knew a lot about film but I probably doubled my
experience making ‘Hacked-Off’ and can’t wait to take that experience on
to another film. Obviously I hope it makes money though, for all those who
invested, especially Fraser.
What can you tell us about the
Not a lot. There’s been a few ideas kicking about, all quite good, but we’ll
have to see. There are lots of areas in this genre, outside of the slasher
theme, I’d like to explore first. The majority seem to prefer a prequel to
‘Hacked Off’ rather than a sequel and I think I’d agree.
"Thank you ever so much for taking part in this interview
And we wish you the very best of luck in the future."