Interview by Joshua T. Gravel
Since exploding onto the genre scene in 2004 with the critically acclaimed socio-political-zombie satire, FEEDING THE MASSES, Richard Griffin has gone on to complete nine more features (eight from the horror genre). Richard takes a moment to discuss his cinematic career, and his contribution to Shock Festival, DARK NIGHT OF THE DEMON HOUSE.
Richard, tell us about your background in film or the arts in general?
I started making short films on Super8 when I was very young, and then after awhile I began working at a local television station in Rhode Island. We did a little bit of everything.... from commercials, to PSAs, to shooting concerts and other events. As much as it was a video sausage factory, it taught me a great deal about virtually every aspect of production.
After leaving the television studio in the mid 2000s, I started Scorpio Film Releasing with my partner Ted Marr in 2004. Since then I have directed over nine features.
What brought you to this project and what drew your attention to DARK NIGHT OF THE DEMON HOUSE?
I was very fortunate to have Stephen Romano create the posters for two of our features -- BEYOND THE DUNWICH HORROR and NUN OF THAT. When it came time for the SHOCK FESTIVAL DVD, Stephen asked me if I would be interested in directing one of the faux trailers. Originally he asked me to make a specific trailer, an homage to the Luigi Cozzi STAR WARS rip-off, STAR CRASH, but I was right in the middle of shooting a feature and didn't feel like I would have the energy to devote to an epic sci-fi trailer, so I picked something a little more low-key.... and that was DARK NIGHT OF THE DEMONHOUSE.
Your trailer truly captured the seventies feel complete with period roto-scoping effects, were there any particular films or trailers which influenced your trailer?
Before shooting the trailer I watched a hell of a lot of Independent-International Pictures, especially NURSE SHERRI, for a general look and feel. I also viewed a bunch of EXORCIST rip-offs like BEYOND THE DOOR and ABBY. It was the most entertaining "research" I've ever done for a project!
Independent-International Pictures’ NURSE SHERRI
Can you tell us a little about the actors you worked with?
I rounded up a number of actors who were involved in NUN OF THAT at the time. Sarah Nicklin, who's been in every film I've made since SPLATTER DISCO, Michael Reed, who I know would have no problem having sex scenes with Sarah.... since they are now husband and wife! Also in the cast are Brandon Luis Aponte and his uncle Alex Aponte, (You can never have too many Apontes in your movie.), the beautiful Alexandra Cipolla, the regal Nolan Kerr, and to add to the movie's cool factor, David Lavallee, Jr., who is a brilliant up-and-coming actor and fight choreographer.
Who worked on the technical end of the production, specifically cinematography, music, and special effects?
Seeing it was very small production, we kept the crew very light. I directed, shot and edited it. Ted produced and ran sound, a brilliant FX artist named Alan August handled the blood, and finally my regular composer Daniel Hildreth composed and performed the score.
Are there any current or future projects you would like people to know about?
We currently wrapped shooting a sci-fi horror film set in 1957 called ATOMIC BRAIN INVASION, which I'm very proud of. In 2010 I'll be directing a dark comedy called BIRD TALK, as well as another feature that is currently untitled - but I promise it'll be our most shocking film yet!
You can keep track of Richard’s cinematic output by “friending” him on Facebook as well as visiting myspace.com/scorpiofilmreleasing
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