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Simon Cathcart

Simon: "My life is like an ever changing
genre movie".

Conducted by Phil Davies Brown
September 8th, 2006

Meet Simon Cathcart, director of the new British horror movie StagKnight, which has been garnering much online buzz of late.

Read on for the scoop on this forthcoming horror flick.

What is your background in film?
At 20 with a one way ticket from sunny Australia, via Tokyo (for a year) I landed in London with the express purpose to get depressed. Falling into Drama I went on to perform in theatre productions in London. I toured with my own production of Sam Shepherdís True West across Nth America notching up 127 performances to great reviews. I then obtained a degree in Media from Westminster College and merged my theatre skills with film skills to develop a performance technique for film actors. I have worked with over two thousand actors all in front of the camera, some feature in Sex and the City, Matrix 2 & 3, Lock Stock, Mission Impossible, Tomb Raider etc. This work and training set me up for my first short film Black Velvet.

Can you tell us a little about StagKnight and the ideas which led you to write it?
I like genres, my life is like an ever changing genre movie, I also want to talk about guys issues in my movies and a bachelor party seemed to be the best place to kill people and discuss being a man.

How long did it take after the script was completed to get the film rolling?
Usually takes me about 3 months to write a script, it was getting the money together which is where the delays took place. Maybe two years of work. Then about six months getting the pre-production done.

How was the film financed?
By a group of very wealthy and very brave men and women.

Simon: "This is what gives it the cult
look and edge".

How did you find your cast?
I have worked with a lot of actors. So I had a lot to hand.

How long was the shoot, and was it as much fun to make as it looks like it will be to watch?
It took six weeks to shoot. And we had a rule, aside from the kills; every scene must have a gag in it no matter how small. This is what gives it the cult look and edge, because it is a film that you can see again and again and find more gags in each scene you missed before.

The cast ranges from newcomers, to working actors, to familiar faces, did everyone work well together?
Iíll put it like this; they functioned like any other group of men out in the woods together. The girls were very brave especially as they had to run around the woods at night with practically nothing on.

What are your thoughts on the state of British horror?
I would say what is the state of British cinema? Iran made more films last year than we did. Stagknight is leading the pack as far as UK horror goes and I have three other scripts ready to roll all in the teen genre, which I canít wait to share with you. But I doubt any of the money will come from UK. I think UK finance left with the Mayflower.

Many horror comedies have begun to appear thanks to the success of Shaun of the Dead. What makes StagKnight different from any other horror comedy?
Simple: Better babes, better kills and better gags.

Has the film been doing the rounds at festivals and such?
Not yet, we had a little private screening at Cannes for friends, which was great fun, it was so good to see everyone laughing and then screaming minutes later, we are in the middle of post production so we will send out to festivals soon.

Simon: "Better babes, better kills and
better gags".

What kind of reactions have you been getting from horror fans, critics and potential distributors?
We have had over 3 million hits on our site to date and it is just the holding page?! Our new site, up in three weeks, will be a first person shooter style site which will host clips, pics, stories, the works for you guys. But no one has seen it, except the clips we have leaked. But all in all the vibe is huge.

What are the current plans for release?
It will be festivals, firstly for sure, so I will keep you posted when it comes to its first festivals to let you guys out there know.

Whatís next for you?
Oohh! Monsters on mass that we have not seen for 50 years!

"Thank you ever so much for taking part in this interview Simon.
And we wish you the very best of luck in the future."

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