Friday, April 29, 2011

Deviant Interview: Drew Daywalt


Our lovely Fangirl Sarah was given the dubious task of nailing down Mr. Drew Daywalt long enough for a little 10 minute conversation about all things horror. He's a master of scaring the holy ghost out of you and he will soon be bringing his terror to the small screen via MTV's upcoming Death Valley.

Mr. Daywalt is best known for directing short horror films for the horror troup, Fewdio...as well as his current Daywalt Fear Factory. You may have seen some of his stuff on his YouTube Channel. To say that the man is busy....is a severe understatement as he is currently working on several projects with the intent of frightening you....but, we finally caught up with him in time for Daywalt Horror Week (good thing, huh?).



Drew Daywalt: Hi...this is Drew Daywalt of Daywalt Fear Factory.

Film Deviant: We are very excited to talk to you...thank you very much for talking with us!

Drew Daywalt: Absolutely! Thanks for having me on.

Film Deviant: What is your favorite horror film of all time and why?

Drew Daywalt: Aw man...this question changes every week. This week it's a movie called Scream of Fear from the late 50's. It's a Hammer Horrors film with Christopher Lee. I just discovered it a week ago and it's an incredibly creepy...I don't wanna give anything away...but, it's a very creepy mystery. It's total early Hammer Horror...they haven't really gotten into that style yet. It's a really strange black and white movie.


Film Deviant: What do you love most about this genre compared to other more mainstream genres?

Drew Daywalt: I think the main thing I like about it is that it's a genre that's driven by story and it's a genre that driven by a director and a writer as opposed to a genre that is driven by stars. Most horror...and alot of good horror doesn't need a movie star to get it made which is kinda nice because what ends up happening is you can hang it on the hook or concept and that's why I like it...it's a real storyteller's medium. Aside from the emotions of fear and dread and horror...ummm...which are the real reasons I love the genre. I like to explore those aspects of my personality and other people's personalities. But, I think the nice thing about it is it's a true storyteller's medium...that's one of my favorite things about it.

Film Deviant: What annoys you about today's world of horror?

Drew Daywalt: That's a loaded question. (laughter) I think right now we're going through a period..and they say it every 5 years..."horror is dead". Actually, they say it like every year...someone telling us that horror is dead. Of course horror is not dead. That's like saying comedy is dead. Comedy is not going anywhere. Horror is not going anywhere. Thrillers, mysteries..these are genres that've been around since the dawn of time..so, they're not going anywere. I think that when people say..."oh horror is dead"...what they mean is horror needs a new face...and horror needs a pick me up. We're now 10 years into torture porn...and I liked it. I actually think it was a cool subgenre of horror. But, we're looking now toward into things that are creeping into our lives and I think that rather than dealing with torture...horror is going to change. We're at that apex of this particular genre and I think things are going to change.

Film Deviant: You think that you're gonna be a revolutionary leader in that change?

Drew Daywalt: (laughter) Oh...I don't know...I'm just doing my own little thing. I would like to be a part of it. But, I think what I do is so old that it's new, hopefully. All of my role models have all been dead for a hundred years now. I look to Poe and Lovecraft quite a bit for my inspiration. They really tapped into that anticipatory dread. To me the horror happens 5 minutes before the scare. It's that lead up. The horror foreplay. To me that's alot sexier than the creature appearing or the outburst or the doors thrown open...I mean those are the jack in the box part of it all. But, it's the pop goes the weasel winding of handle that is most frightening to me.

Film Deviant: Which director do you admire the most and has the most influence in your work and why?

Drew Daywalt: Ummm...there are a couple. If I go way back...I actually tend to look at authors more than directors. I find authors who inspire me...and as far as modern authors, I would say Clive Barker is a big inspiration for me. I like the fact that he goes into sort of very dark painful and allegorical mind-blowing places and he creates new mythos. And in that thing where I live and drive...Guillermo Del Toro...because I think he's a world donor.

Film Deviant: We think it's cool that you sometimes put your own daughter in some of your films...how does she feel about being in your films and do you think she will be in the genre some day?

Drew Daywalt: You know...for her...at her age right now...it's all play time. I always let her make the decision whether she wants to do it. I'll tell her what the story might be and if she says..."yeah daddy...that sounds like fun"...then I'll put her in it. She really liked making Jack...she thought that was great.


Film Deviant: She's so cute!

Drew Daywalt: (laughter) She's my little monkey. I would never force her to be in anything that she didn't wanna be in.

Film Deviant: Speaking of the future...what do you see for the future of horror? Are all these remakes killing the genre?

Drew Daywalt: Well...you know...it's funny...Frankenstein has been remade 26 times in 30 years. From 1920 to 1950. So...remakes are nothing new...they're just a way the studios feed for easy money. The real innovation are going to come from people who are not doing werewolves and zombies and vampires...although everybody loves those...I like them and I'm doing them...the innovation comes from writers and directors of horror that are world-builders. And if they're building their own worlds and their own technologies and new creatures and demons and monsters...that to me is much more interesting and innovative. And creatures that are like ghosts and demons...where you can sort of make your own rules every time...they're not as hardened fast as the werewolf or vampire or zombie it gives you more latitude to create new kinds of fear...new rules. And I think when people see a new world with new rules...it's fresh and inspirational...and I think that's the kind of thing that horror needs right now.

Film Deviant: Do your have some favorites in terms of today's film makers?

Drew Daywalt: Yeah...I do. I always looked to David Fincher as one of my favorites. I like Danny Boyle's sort of go-to-guirrilla spirit..even tho he's doing bigger films obviously. He's always had a do-it-yourself guerilla style which I've always enjoyed. I've always liked the work of Peter Jackson...and I think he's a great storyteller and a great visionary as far as of world-building.

Film Deviant: We really like how you've managed to make your short films look really good in terms of quality and special effects and I get excited at the prospect of seeing what you do with a bigger budget. Do you have a bunch of stuff that you can't wait to do...in terms of special effect ideas and scary scenes?

Drew Daywalt: Yeah...one of our goals with our short films is make them look like a feature...but, they just happen to be 5 minutes long...but, they have to be feature-quality...as much as we can get. So, production value is always been really high on my list...it's right after story. I have some things on the horizon that I can't really talk about anything quite yet...but, it promises to be very good...I hope. I'm finally going to have a longer time to tell some stories and with more production value at a feature level...so, I'm really excited about that.

Film Deviant: What is your ultimate goal as a film maker in the genre?

Drew Daywalt: Ummm....keep working! (laughter) I'm not out to redefine the genre...I just wanna tell good stories. It's a genre that's been the red-headed step child of Hollywood for a long time. I just wanna make films that are literate and intelligent...that pull it towards the literature and intelligence of horror. There's some really good dramas and comedies that have been told within the genre.

Film Deviant: I like that...that's deep!

Drew Daywalt: (laughter) Well...you know...it's a smart genre.

Film Deviant: It is! And alot of people don't see it as that...they just see it as hack and slash...but, we do have different elements of horror that people don't notice.

Drew Daywalt: Yeah...there's definitely a reaction from non-horror fans...like "oh...you do horror".

Film Deviant: Thank you so much for doing this interview with us!

Drew Daywalt: Anytime!


We here at Film Deviant are happy that Mr. Daywalt "does horror"...and we're excited to see what else comes out of that dark mind of his. Keep checking back for more news on the Death Valley stuff as well as Red Clover and anything new from revolutionary horror director, Drew Daywalt.


A special Thank You goes out to our very own gore whore, Fangirl Sarah for conducting the interview...and to Mr. Drew Daywalt for allowing us the opportunity to talk to him.



Read more Drew Daywalt at his School of Fear and subscribe to the Daywalt Fear Factory Channel.

Watch more Fangirl Sarah on her YouTube Channel and follow her here.

Thanks for reading,

-Film Deviant

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