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Reborn – Harrison Discusses Horror Legend Barbara Crampton, Casting the Right Person for a Role and The X-Men with Director Julian Richards

By HOME ENT

Reborn – Harrison Discusses Horror Legend Barbara Crampton, Casting the Right Person for a Role and The X-Men with Director Julian Richards!!!

What was the first scene written and what was the first scene you filmed and why were they first?

Julian Richards – Michael Mahin wrote the script and I assume that the first scene written would be the first scene in the film, when Ken Stern (Chaz Bono) is working in the hospital morgue during an electrical storm and discovers that a stillborn girl has been brought back to life by a lightning strike. However, I did add a few scenes when I wrote the directors pass and the first scene I wrote was the Carrie homage scene at the end, which is not only a dream within a film, but also a film within a film. I made this change to the script in order to focus the point of view of the story onto the mother rather than the daughter. In the original script equal time was spent between these two characters, so it was difficult to indentify who the protagonist was and therefore whose story were were following. It could have been the daughter, but I chose the mother, as I think in a horror film its better to keep the so called “monster” in the shadows and keep it mysterious.

The first scene I filmed was the meeting between Lena O Neill (Barbara Crampton) and her therapist Dr Hecht (Monte Markham). It was a simple two hander, so a good opportunity for the cast and crew to break the ice and ease their way into the production. The first two days of a shoot are always the hardest, as cast and crew get to know each other, so it’s always a good idea to shoot something simple.

Generally, I like to shoot in script order so that changes can be made to the script during the shoot. Often, problems in the script only become apparent when you are shooting them, so ideally you need the opportunity to adjust and change on a day to day basis. If you shoot out of order, such as shooting the end scene first, you can lock yourself into the script and lose the ability to work organically. That said, shooting in script order is a luxury that you can rarely afford, because a production schedule is based on the availability of key actors, key locations and minimizing the amount of moves between one location and the next. So for Reborn we shot all the hospital, therapist and police station scenes in one location (LA Film School on Sunset Boulevard) in the first week of the schedule, all the Ken Stern house scenes (Crenshaw) in the second week of the schedule and all the Lena O Neill house scenes (Hollywood Hills) in the third week of the schedule, but still, where possible, we tried to shoot in script order.

Reborn really feels like a dark X-Men film. Would you want to direct an X-men movie and are there any other Comic Book characters you’d like to direct on film?

Julian Richards – My inspiration for REBORN came from classic horror films of the 30’s such as Frankenstein, and 70’s/80’s paranormal horror films such as Carrie, Scanners, The Fury and Firestarter. I did read a few marvel comics as a kid,  but they didn’t have the same impact on me as classic monster movies like King Kong, etc. If I was to adapt a comic book character to film it would probably be 2000AD’s SLAINE, the mythical celtic warrior and his war against the Romans. I grew up in South Wales near a Roman Barracks called Caerleon which has its own amphitheatre rumoured to have been built over Camelot where the Knights of The Round Table resided. So, being of Celtic ancestry, SLAINE would be a good fit. But I also have a prison set horror script called THE MONKEY FARM which is loosely inspired by Arkham Asylum.

Julian Richards on the set of Reborn. Picture: Julian Richards.

Barbara Crampton is Horror movie legend. Did you have a fan-boy moment during the making of Reborn and what is your favourite story or moment with Barbara while filming?

Julian Richards – When I first met Barbara Crampton I didn’t realise how significant her career had been in horror. It was only when I looked her up on IMDB that I realised which of her films I had previously seen. I got to know Barbara because I was involved in the distribution of two of her more recent films BEYOND THE GATES and REPLACE, and I had also seen her on the festival circuit promoting those films. So, I was very much a late-comer to the Barbara Crampton fan club. When I read the screenplay for REBORN, she was the first actress to come to mind and I was really pleased that she agreed to be in the film. Actually, we had already started shooting REBORN with a different actress playing the mother and after 5 days of shooting I realised it was not working out, so over the weekend I sent the script to Barbara and asked her if she would like to take over the part, and start shooting on Monday. Barbara read the script and agreed to be in REBORN, but she only had a couple of days to prepare before we resumed shooting. So my favourite moment with Barbara was our first day of shooting, because she was like the cavalry coming to the rescue. She must have been under enormous pressure (as I was), but she didn’t let it show, she just breezed in and played the part as if she had had weeks to prepare. But I did have a huge fan-boy moment whilst shooting REBORN and that was the hour I spent shooting the scene with Peter Bogdanovich. I’m a big fan of American films of the 70’s, films like The Last Picture Show, so to be able to say that I have directed Peter Bogdanovich means a lot to me.

Artist Spotlight on Julian Richards (Reborn) — HORRIBLE IMAGININGS ...

Kayleigh Gilbert really looks like she could be Barbara’s teenage daughter in the movie. What scene during filming did you know you had definitely cast the right person for the role or Lena’s daughter?

Julian Richards – Casting director Valerie McCaffrey assembled 10 contenders for the part of Tess Stern and after an audition I whittled them down to two very talented actresses. Initially I thought that Kayleigh might be too tall and too extraordinary looking, so was leaning towards the other actress who was more of a girl next door type, but I was still torn about the decision and so asked the opinion of several collaborators and they all voted for Kayleigh. It turned out to be the right decision for many different reasons. Kayleigh is a very focused and saensitive actress and she brought a great deal of empathy to the part. She also has a very striking appearance and in the film, she often reminds me of a young Elsa Lanchester (Bride Of Frankenstein) or female version of Edward Scissorhands. Despite the fact that Kayleigh is taller than Barbara, and she is dark whilst Barbara is blond, the common ingredient that sells them being mother and daughter is their eyes which are windows to the soul.

I realised I had made the right casting decision whilst shooting the scene in Lena’s acting class where Lena and Tess perform a scene together. Writer Michael Mahin had constructed a very strong, emotionally charged scene and both actresses rose to the challenge 100%. It’s one of the strongest scenes in the film because it is so full of emotional sub-text.

Tess has electricity for powers in Reborn – if you could have any element as a power what would it be and how would you use the powers?

Julian Richards – Probably to be invisible, which is a subtle power that wouldn’t attract too much adverse attention, but could be used to my advantage in so many ways. The possibilities are endless.

Available on Digital Download 4/5/20 and DVD 11/5/20 (15) Review CLICK HERE!!!

The Host – Harrison talks Horror Classics, Scary Situations Abroad and Burgers with Mike Beckingham, Ruby Turner and Writer/Producer Zachary Weckstein

By INTERVIEWS

The Host – Harrison talks Horror Classics, Scary Situations Abroad and Burgers with Mike Beckingham, Ruby Turner and Writer/Producer Zachary Weckstein!!!

Where is the best place you’ve ever eaten a burger and what was in it?

Mike Beckingham – Well I’m a pescatarian so am I allowed to say a ‘Lobster Roll’?! Does that count as a burger? When I was out on the East Coast of America a friend of mine Tim Abell took me to the coast and we ate this freshly made (literally just out the sea) Lobster Roll with this incredible sauce. The Lobster roll with these gorgeous New England surroundings made it the best I think.

Ruby Turner – The best burger I’ve ever tasted was from Burger King. One night after seeing the Lion King in London, and making our way back to the train station we decided to grab a burger for the journey. It was the best I’ve ever tasted. That Double Whopper had just the right amount of everything!

Zachary Weckstein – The best burger I’ve ever had was at the Amsterdam Burger ‘n Shake. It was while we were filming the burger scene of the feature film THE HOST. The meat was so tender, the bread was amazing, and all the toppings were crispy fresh. They have over 10 organic flavours of milk shakes, too!

What is the scariest situation you’ve ever been in while being abroad and what happened?

Mike Beckingham – As you’re still a teenager Harrison I’ll keep it PG13. There was a time I was in Spain with some friends, and we thought it a good idea to buy a couple of dingy’s to use in the sea. We went down to the sea on an out of the way path, got in our dingy’s and just relaxed under the hot sunshine. Little did we know but we had all fallen asleep and when we woke up we had drifted quite far out to sea. We had to jump out and paddle with our feet back to shore, which I think took over an hour with a sort of relay thing going on. Safe to say I stick close to the shore nowadays.

Ruby Turner – Many years ago doing a recording session in Switzerland for Culture Club, we had a day off from the Studio. So myself and the other session singer, Helen Terry, decided to take a train up to the mountains. It was terrifying! The sheer drop from the outside of the train was horrendous to see. We couldn’t wait to return to the ground level.

Zachary Weckstein – When I was snowboarding in Austria and went off-piste, and found myself getting close to a waterfall. There was all this barbed wire fencing and I had to try and climb up the mountain in heavy powder. Lying on my stomach , I used my board to pull myself up the mountain. I hit the top of a cave, the snow poured in, and I fell into the cave. I prayed, and eventually after an hour of trying to get out, I found the right position to get out. I’ve been more careful since.

What is the worst Hotel experience you’ve ever had and why was it so bad? 

Mike Beckingham – I won’t mention any business name but I did once stay in a place that seemed very lovely from the outset. Gorgeous building, really lovely room. However during the night, I couldn’t sleep and kept feeling like a pin prick at different parts of my back. After just a couple of hours sleep it was morning and when I woke up my entire back was covered in bed bug bites, it was scary and painful at the same time. Due to be being in America I wasn’t sure which medication to take. I then had a reaction to a medication and an awful night the following night as well. Not fun times! 

You perform in an underground Triad club in ‘The Host’ – where was the toughest place you’ve ever performed and why was it so tough?

Ruby Turner – I have played in some amazing venues over the years, but this particular venue was different. A small tent in Ireland. There was no room for anyone to move. Getting on stage meant climbing over all sorts to get to the microphone. Then it was having to lean on the piano to sing so half the audience couldn’t see you. We have great sound engineers so the people got to hear us even though they couldn’t see who was singing.

If you found yourself in either Robert or Steve’s position would you do what they had to do?

Zachary Weckstein – If I was Steve, and was having an argument with my brother, I wouldn’t end the argument with him walking away. I’m one who has to conclude disagreements and sort things out at the time, not later. That being said, I would still have searched for him, and followed the cookie crumbs to wherever they lead to find him.

Like Robert, we have sometimes made the wrong choices and have gone down that wrong road. I believe and have been taught to learn from any mistakes, and think before doing. First mistake of Robert’s was the affair with his bosses wife. Instead of then choosing the road of stealing money to remedy my problems, I would get off the slippery slope and on to the path of hard work with better days ahead instead of looking for the impulsive quick fix.

The Host takes some inspiration from classic Horror’s – what’s your favourite horror movie of all time and why do you like it? Mike you’re allowed to say ‘Shaun of the Dead’ if you want to keep your brother (Simon Pegg) happy!!! 

Mike Beckingham – Lol! Harrison I have been reliably informed you’ve seen SOTD, and whoever showed you, they have great taste and I really hope you enjoyed it. Of course SOTD is my favourite horror but if I wasn’t allowed to choose that then my favourite horror has to be ‘The Exorcist’, nothing comes close to it for me. Released in 1973 they had priests walking up and down cinema queues blessing people, the film had that big an impact and still does in my opinion. It’s the ultimate Good Vs Evil and some incredible performances to boot. I would strongly recommend you give it a watch if the time is right and you’re parents will allow it, and when you do let me know what you think.

Ruby Turner – I think Psycho has to be the most terrifying film I’ve ever seen. I was very young when it first came out into the cinemas. I can say it’s still the most scary film that first comes to mind every time.

Zachary Weckstein – My favourite horror film would have to be Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Mama’. If I choose for a darker film, I normally choose a psychological thriller for the richness of the story. This horror is a true exception with an amazing impactful story, with so many twists, really dramatic, amazing colouring and very well produced subtle special effects. This ghost story offers cinematography and sound that the audience will never forget.

What scares you most in real life?

Mike Beckingham – Might sound silly to most but probably letting people down. I set myself high standards and much like in The Host sometimes even a good person can make a bad decision and when this happens it’s tough to take, I’m hard on myself. I try to be very aware of how I impact others. So probably that… oh and Spiders.

Ruby Turner – I don’t like Creepy Crawleys Spiders, toads and such!

Zachary Weckstein – As a child, I was afraid of so many things, and it was wonderful and so empowering to get over each fear one-by-one. Now I don’t have fears and can share those past nightmares in stories and films.

Available on Video on Demand 17/4/20 (15)