Hey creeps, as ya know I gave my two cents on the action adventure romp (with strong horror biz roots) CAMINO a few columns back (click here if the use of a search function is too much for ya). Anyway, I’m bringin’ this whole thing up because none other than that films die-rector Josh C. Waller just strolled into the Crypt o’ XIII!
Famous Monsters. Welcome to my humble hovel Josh! How did CAMINO come about, and were there any ass-paining elements to the shoot?
Josh C Waller. The original idea came about while shooting THE BOY in Colombia, but the project itself came together as a result of Daniel [Noah] and I having a last-minute gap in our production schedule and needing to fill that gap. The challenges that faced us aren’t necessarily ones unique to our film. They were the same types of obstacles that all independent filmmakers face. The balance of vision and budget. Ambition and restrictions.
The only hurdle that we hadn’t dealt with before was having Zoë [Bell] called away from the production very early on in the shoot. We ended up taking a “pause” for a few months and then regrouped to finish the movie. It was taxing, to say the least, but led to what we all feel is a stronger film. “What doesn’t kill you…” and all that stuff.
FM. Parts of CAMINO, like the score for instance, had an almost slasher flick vibe to them, at least to yours cruelly.
JCW. We didn’t necessarily aim to give it a “slasher” vibe, but I did recognize that we were using a lot of knives in the film. Kreng and I also discussed the score at length. We were trying to avoid any “electronic” feel, or anything that stood out as digital or synth. Much like the organic nature of the jungle, and the characters plummeting further into their natural, animalistic state, it made sense to keep the instrumentation of the score as full of “life” as possible. We were influenced by Bernard Hermann, Johann Johannsson, Hauschka, Jon Hopkins, and some of Kreng’s own previous work. At one point I just told him, “Peter and the Wolf’ on crack.” He took that and ran with it. So you have some old school instruments like oboes, flutes, heavy strings, timpani drums, and we really pushed what those can be used for. For me, the film really comes together when I can “hear” it. Then, and only then, do I become fully immersed. When Pepijn (Kreng) read the script, he sent over a few tracks that he was inspired to write. Solely from the script. There was one particular piece that he did (“Guillermo and Squad find Alejo“), and within those 90 seconds, he helped to solidify the film in my imagination. Fortunately for us, Kreng’s style leans towards the darkness. I just think the image of a blade combined with that music will automatically take the brain to “slasher”. Which is good!
FM. As someone that has worked in the horror biz before, you gotta be a fan… what are some of your frightful favs?
JCW. First off, I would say that at this point in my life I definitely reside comfortably within the Horror and Genre universe. Since 2010 I’ve been gradually “digging in” and making myself at home, surrounded by my friends. It’s such a wonderfully rich environment to play in. So, yes. I’m a fan.
I didn’t grow up watching horror (or anything that remotely resembled horror) because I had an overactive imagination. I would have terrible nightmares from simply seeing an image of something dark. My mind would just take the ball and run with it. But the more I learn about filmmaking, which is always a constant, the more I realize that the boundaries that we call “genres” don’t always apply and, in fact, are usually quite limiting. My partners and I are always asking the question, “What is Horror?” From a production standpoint, Horror is a tool. To not utilize every tool in your chest would be a mistake. All of that said — JAWS. THE THING. RAVENOUS. PSYCHO. THE SHINING. ALIENS. MAGIC. SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (and RED DRAGON). LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. SOMOS LO QUE HAY. JACOB’S LADDER. KILL LIST. HABIT. BLACK SWAN. JEEPERS CREEPERS. BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF. THE ORPHANAGE. To name a few.
FM. Do you have any upcomin’ horror biz you want to discuss?
JCW. SpectreVision has several things in the horror pipeline. While we have opened up the doors a bit more to cover all “genre,” we still have a deep love for horror. It will always be on the menu. For myself as a director, I’m working on a feature version of a short I did called “The Collection.” About a photographer who uses his camera to steal souls for the Devil and the woman he falls in love with. Kind of this BLOW UP meets ANGEL HEART type of world, with just a sprinkle of VERTIGO.
FM. Where can we keep up on all of your horror happenings online?
JCW. Probably the best place to “follow” me would be by following SpectreVision on Facebook. The company was always meant to be about community, so it would be the logical place to meet up.
FM. Fangs Josh!