Emptyhouse Film began in 2001 with the production of 'The Pumpkin Man'. Founders Andy Davis and Scott Morabito had previously worked together under the banner Zero Doomsday Productions, an experimental film company. In 2002, the duo produced 2 shorts 'The Dark', and 'Beneath the Frost Line'. Both films entered festivals in 2003, and they hope soon to make a feature. This interview was conducted during the 'The Dark', and 'Beneath the Frost Line' publicity.
For the benefit of our readers how about we start with a little background information on Emptyhouse and of course both you guys?
We've been friends since eight grade, and are now 10 years out of high school. It really started as a love of film and movies for us both. Early on, before we even knew each other it was there, of course when we met, it was like "Right on" because there just was nobody else around period that had the same affection towards film. Early on we did alot of one-upmanship against each other, be it in stories, or in backyard battles. Eventually we realized the power we had in working as a team, and just kept on from there.
Apart from horror tales remembered from childhood what else has inspired you to write some of your previous/upcoming works?
Homage to films we've loved is a big one that we're pretty much done with. Situations we've found ourselves in is another, incredible stories other people remember, it's all out there, finding stories and talent has been very easy for us, we're very grateful.
Who have you enjoyed working with both in front and behind the camera in particular since you began?
It's been a thrill to work with each and every cast and crew member from the beggining, and I imagine with our attitudes it always will be. We're very loose on the set in terms of meeting the needs of others, and making sure that priority one is keeping everybody happy. Every member seems to like this method as they keep coming back!
How do you go about financing your productions and raising your budget?
In the past it has come directly from our pockets. One of the methods I used was EBAY, which funded the entire shooting of THE DARK. Other methods are striking deals with people and companies to get discounts on things we need for the production. We're hoping that all that will change and some investor types will bump into us in a dark ally...hahaha
What are you favourite movies in the genre? And from recent years has there been any particular stand-out movies that have impressed you the most?
I always get excited by this question...only because I find myself saying some titles that are on my list every time, but then there are a few others that are new to the list, so it's always growing. Some of my favorite genre films are The Shining, The Changeling, Night of the Living Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Deliverance, Taxi Driver, Straw Dogs. I've really been liking M. Night's films as of late, Fight Club, 28 Days Later was great, Freaks, Eraserhead, The Deer Hunter, Fargo, Apocolypse Now, I really tend to like it all man.
Scott on camera.
How influenced are you by more mainstream directors and/or writers of those working within the genre?
Hmmm, not so much, it's more like..well, an example, went to see 28 days later the other night, and I was just amazed at the begining shots of the lead roaming around the empty streets of London, and how amazing the control of environment had to be for that all to work right. So instead of trying to take props, I try to give em now. If you havent seen it, 28 days later pays some great homage to the Romero trilogy whilst remaining it's own film.
What actor(s) would you love to feature in one of your movies the most if
you could get them to agree to it?
Hmmm, lately I've been thinking about the following people, and in no particular order: Corey Haim, Todd Bridges, The Honky Tonk Man (Wayne Ferris), Brad Pitt, The Reading Rainbow guy, Tiny Tim (if he were still alive), Danny Lloyd from The Shining, pretty much a colorful selection of people, and just take them and give them a real shot at some good material.
Has the support you have received since you began been surprising to yourselves at all and do you receive positive responses at various festivals you go to?
The support has been crazy! We never expected to get as much support for a short film like THE DARK. It's a great community of people in this network of websites and fanzines, etc. Lots of great people out there. We just started submitting to festivals for the 3rd and 4th quarter of this year, so we're awaiting feedback as we speak!
What ambitions do you have in this line of work, and where do you hope to see yourselves within say, the next 5 years?
We really want to make the scariest movie ever, that's the goal. It's the first priority, money, fame, that all comes after. We really love to twist a good tale, ya know?
What can we expect for the future of Emptyhouse Films? We hear plans for a feature, but do you have any ideas on what it may be about?
As I said, expect the scariest that 2 scary guys can come up with. If it doesn't feel scary, we'll trash it, and keep trashing it until we feel that we have something that scares even us. Look for paranoia, and social commentary along with dark humor to play a big part of whatever we decide on next.
"Thanks for taking part in this interview guys,
and we wish you the best of luck in the future for Emptyhouse Films!"
Visit the official "Emptyhouse Films" website for more details on new and upcoming projects: www.emptyhousefilm.com