As mentioned in the preceding article, we were lucky enough to interview renowned film director Howard J Ford at the Cannes Pre-Festival. Despite the success of his horror movie ‘The Dead’ he was also celebrating the launch of his newly released book ‘Surviving the Dead’. We went behind the scenes and interviewed Howard about his book release and other upcoming projects.
PV: How were you pleased with the release of your new book ‘Surviving the Dead’?
HOWARD: I was more pleased just to get the incredibly bizarre story of what happened to us whilst shooting ‘The Dead’ in Africa onto paper. Quite honestly I never even expected it to become a book, I just had to get down all those events; the near death from Malaria, the muggings, the gunpoint corruption, the encounters with real cannibals and witch doctors and all the other unbelievable things our cast and crew encountered to get the movie in the can, to now actually have ‘Surviving The Dead’ as a book out there on shelves and on Amazon etc, is just a bonus. I don’t care whether I sell many copies or not. I thought I might even burn the finished document after I’d finished writing it in some sort of attempt to exorcise all those traumatic events from my mind but having got it down on paper, I then realised it was actually pretty amusing in hindsight, so I was encouraged to get it out there as a book and maybe that was it’s destiny. I also ended up adding little sections of advice and outlandish anecdotes for anyone interested in this crazy world we call the film business. I wanted it to be the book I wish I could have read 10 years ago. Now, having a legendary writer such as Irvine Welsh read that very book and actually call it ‘a must read’ and ‘astonishing’ is frankly off the scale. I was just happy to have survived the shoot!
PV: Can you tell us more about the upcoming horror movie project ‘The dead 2’?
HOWARD: Well, I’ve got another movie in the offing first but there were SO many things my brother Jon & I had to compromise on whilst shooting ‘The Dead’ and so much demand from fans and comments online asking for a sequel that we have already been moving forward with the script. Also, the fact that ‘The Dead’ went on to be the fastest selling Blue Ray and DVD in horror this year in the US has created additional demand for a part 2, possibly even part 3! Jon and I sat down after Cannes this year to just lay out the framework for it and where we could take part 2 and the ideas were just flying out of us. Again, we want to surprise people and make another movie in the genre that takes people on a journey rich in culture, keeping the spiritual thread of ‘The Dead’ but a good few scares on the way! People were quite surprised at the emotional aspects of ‘The Dead’ and for me it was rewarding to actually see some people with tears in their eyes during the theatrical release as they probably just expected a bog standard Zombie flick. Even then, we feel there is so much we can do with Part 2 and it will likely go into production early next year in yet another far flung location…
PV: Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
HOWARD: I have a supernatural thriller called ‘Indelible’ which has been taken on by a Hollywood based company and is being cast right now. We are due to shoot that in the US later this year on a $6M budget so that’ll be my US directorial debut and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into that as it’s a story I really want to tell. For me, I want all my films to have deeper meaning and tap into the cerebral side of the audience, no matter what the subject matter is. With ‘Indelible’ there is very much a haunting aspect and I intend to take people to a place where they feel fear and are on the edge of their seat, but also I want them to get to the end of the film and feel something in their heart. Something they were not expecting when they first sat down to watch… I want all my films to surprise and provoke and the moment that ceases, so will my films!
Howard’s book ‘Surviving The Dead’ is out now on Amazon and as an E-Book at www.surviving-the-dead.com
A trailer and more information about the movie can be seen at: www.thedead-movie.com