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Steve Isles

Steve: "The Torment is not a "found footage" movie like Paranormal Activity".

Conducted by Steven Davies
August 3rd, 2010

Filmmaker and producer Steve Isles has taken time out from promoting his latest Brit horror project 'The Torment' to speak with us here at the Horror Asylum. 'The Torment' (AKA 'The Possession of David O'Reilly' in the US) hits UK DVD shelves on 9 Aug 2010. You can check out the full interview below and don't forget to enter our 'The Torment' DVD giveaway here.

How did the idea for 'The Torment' come about?
I read a script called Inside, written some years ago by Andrew Cull , which was a super scary ghost story. We'd done some work together on a Youtube series he and another writer called Steve Smith had made, called In The Dark, which was hand held POV blogging and the first real time Youtube horror series. I felt that if we could bring the energy of that approach to the scripted story that was Inside, it would make a great horror story.

What was it like to work with Andrew Cull on this project?
It sounds like a cliche but we met in a vid store, and got talking, discovered we both shared a love of classic horrors like The Omen, The Shining and others. I had wanted to get into production for a while and when I read Inside, it was very scary and I felt definitely do-able. We worked together well to make it happen.

How do you feel about the movie being referred to as 'The British Paranormal Activity'?
The Torment shares some superficial similarities, specifically hand-held documentary style shooting and POV shooting, a supernatural theme, and one location. It's a marketing comparison that's easy to make, and possibly drive people who liked PA to check it out. But The Torment is not a "found footage" movie like PA, it's a narrative drama and utilizes other more conventional cinematic techniques. That the film is out to be seen though is hugely exciting.

How did the small British cast deal with the guerrilla style filmmaking?
It was a scripted drama, and used a lot of traditional filming techniques as well as POV shooting. The cast were extremely professional, and delivered great performances on a tight schedule. This was helped immensely by the shoot being in one location. But we had a full camera team, gaffers, production designers, set designers all the usual crew for a larger shoot, and credit goes massively to our line producer Katherine Carter, and Ist AD Olly Robinson for pulling off a hectic schedule.

What horror inspirations or other such influences do you feel have been bought into the making of 'The Torment'?
Movies such as The Shining, The Thing, The Omen, plus more modern fare like Rec, Tale of Two Sisters, The Ring. The tension of Hitchcock, and stylistically thrillers like Gomorrah, and Hidden.

Do you feel ready to take on a bigger budgeted feature in the future?
Yes I think for the right story I feel passionate about, if a bigger budget is demanded, then it's something I'm ready for.

What's next for you?
I have several projects in development, including two new horrors. As always, raising finance takes time, but plan to be back soon.

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

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