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Courney Solomon Interview - Impulse Gamer Interviews Courney Solomon (After Dark Originals - Husk, Seconds Apart, Fertile Ground, The Task, Prowl, Scream of the Banshee, 51 and Re-Kill) - -


Courtney Solomon Interview

1. What brings you to Australia? I’m here to promote transmission’s theatrical and DVD release of our 8 horror films (Husk, Seconds Apart, Fertile Ground, The Task, Prowl, Scream of the Banshee, 51 and Re-Kill) which we produced under our newest Horror Brand, After Dark Originals.

2. How did you get into horror films? From a very young age I was fascinated with horror films. I first watched The Exorcist and The Omen at the age of 5.  Both films really shaped my views on what a good classic genre film should be.  I followed those up with 80’s classics like Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street and loved seeing how much an audience could really sink into the alternate reality of horror….plus, those films make great date movies.  Also, my mother worked as a production co-ordinator in Toronto and often had me on set with her from the age of 4 on. Basically, films became my babysitter. 

Courtney Solomon Interview

3. What is it that you enjoy about this genre? I like the intensity that horror films have.  Being able to create suspense and really shock people has always been a passion of mine.  And with horror, you can have fun with the technical side too.   The make-up and special effects are a blast in this genre.  The lighting is extremely interesting, and always gives the set a spooky vibe.  This genre has always been a personal preference of mine, and I just really enjoy making these types of films. 

4. Most challenging aspect of this genre? I would have to say the most challenging aspect of this genre is scaring the same people over and over again.  We constantly have to come up with new ideas, and always have to stay one step ahead of the game to make sure we choose the most original scripts.  Horror fans today are so desensitised from the genre, and it’s an enormous challenge to always have to create new ideas that will suffice with today’s audiences. 

Courtney Solomon Interview

5. How did you come up with the idea of After Dark Films? Originally it started when I wrote, directed, produced and self-distributed, An American Haunting with Sissy Spacek and Donald Sutherland.  Theatrically it did quite well in the US, coming in #2, against Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 3. We had previously made a deal with Lionsgate to distribute the DVD for us and they were so impressed with the Theatrical showing they suggested a longer term deal, with us becoming a mini-studio, almost a horror arm of Lionsgate, distributing films theatrically while they put them out on DVD for us. As the year’s progressed we’ve now moved out of the Acquisition/Distribution game and back into the Production distribution role, which is really where our passion is…creating the types of films that our fans have expressed interest in.

6. Tell us a little about Husk and Seconds Apart…  In 2005 or 2006 we saw Husk as a short film in Sun Dance.  It was such a good film that we talked to Brett Simmons about expanding it into a feature length film.  We then actually had to grow an entire cornfield in Iowa to shoot the film.  It took about four months for the corn to grow to the right height so we could shoot the movie.

Courtney Solomon Interview

We were excited about Seconds Apart as soon as we read the script.  We had a huge casting session for the film, and it was actually Brian Singer who suggested our stars.  The Entin twins were amazing.  They are A-list talent, and their work ethic is just top notch.  The creepy characters that they play in this film really add to the original premise the story. 

7. As a movie maker, which actor would you most like to work with? Well, there’s a different talent out there for every movie.  I’d have to have the perfect script in mind before I could tell you who the perfect actor would be, but of course I’d love to work with De Niro or Pacino…who wouldn’t? 

8. What about which actor would you most like to “kill” in one of your movies?  I’m not a violent person, and I would never want to “kill” anyone.  But, let’s just say I could have fun writing a Twilight parody where everyone dies at the end.   

9. American Haunting helped establish you in the film in industry, why do you think this film was so popular?  My favourite types of scary movies have always been the ones that are based on true stories and actual events.  We visited the town of the Bell Witch and walked the same floors, and slept on the same beds.  Everywhere we went there was this creepy aura surrounding us, and all the locals we met were believers in the legend.  This, in turn, made us believers as filmmakers.  All we had to do was put this truth on film, and let the story tell itself.  Audiences respond to the truth, because it something they can truly believe in.   

10. What was it like working with two of Hollywood’s greats in American Haunting?  I really wanted them to do the film but I didn’t actually think I’d ever get them!  Don was on my wish list for John and he worked out perfectly.  His agent actually represented Sissy, and that’s how we got her on board.  What can I say, it was a dream come true to work with such amazing talent. 

Courtney Solomon Interview

11. What is your favourite horror movie and why?  Growing up, it was really The Exorcist, The Omen, and Halloween.  But there was this one ghost story from the early eighties that really resonated with me called The Changeling.  It had such a creepy feel to it, and it scared me more than I thought any movie could scare at the time.  I will never forget the rush I got from that feeling. 

12. Do you believe in the supernatural? (If so, any stories?)  I love the supernatural genre, especially the ones based on true stories and actual events.  When we were filming American Haunting, we visited the original cabins that the Bell family lived in back in 1818.  It was the middle of the summer and about 90 degrees inside and out.  We noticed a closed door in one of the cabins, and asked the locals what was on the other side.  They chuckled amongst each other, and told us that we did not want to know.  So, of course, being the horror characters that we are, we had to know what was on the other side!  We opened the door, and as soon as we stepped through, it was like BAM!  Freezing cold air just slapped us in the face.  It was 90 degrees on one side of the door, and ice cold on the other.  We asked the locals why it was like that, and they just shrugged and told us that the room has always been like that.  And that was their explanation.   

13. What is one concept that has NEVER been done in the horror genre before?  After Dark Originals.  You’re looking at it.  We are now the number one horror brand in America because we are the only company to produce eight horror films in one year, much less for several years in a row.  I hope we continue to set ourselves apart and make the horror genre proud. 

Courtney Solomon Interview

14. Dungeons & Dragons the movie… it was a pop culture hit. Did you play the dice game before making this movie?  I used to play the game and loved it.  I’ve had the idea of making this movie since I was a young teenager.  Believe me, it was no easy task making this project happen.  A lot of producers laughed me out of the door.   

15. Will you do a sequel to this film?  We have done smaller Straight to TV/DVD sequels….in fact we are working on D&D 3 and 4 right now, but yes we are always open to the idea of doing a larger budget Sequel or Remake to the 1st film. 

16. Any spoilers that you can tell our readers?  Ha ha.  Nice try, but you’ll just have to come see for yourselves!


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