An unsuspecting robber chooses the wrong bar to hold a stick up.
"With Pleasure" by Maxwell Nalevansky & Carl Fry
Check out our Q&A with the filmmakers below:
Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?
M: 6 letters, F E S T E R.
You’ve gotta go through some bad ideas to get to the good ones. Tell us one of your bad ideas. How do you get past the bad ones to find your spark?
M: What's worked for me is writing a few projects at once, you usually know once you are a good 10 pages in which is a stinker and what has potential. Workshop it with friends or family, do some table reads or say fuck it and make it anyways!
What tools do you have to create a distinct tone?
C: Once we heard the first pass on Cherry’s song from our wonderful composer, Germán Suane-- genuinely the sweetest person on Earth-- it definitely influenced the approach to camera- looking with our cinematographer, Taylor Camarot, at how to weave in and out of these character vignettes with as much elegance as possible. Our sound designer and mixer, Dave Rennick, mixed the music beautifully and added an ethereal, dreamlike quality that really elevated the tone, especially when combined with the unconventional, surreal techniques he implemented into the sound design.
Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
M: Freddy, Toni Morrison over King and Lovecraft any day of the week, Practical but only if it’s totally safe, Pre Apocalypse (I like to remember how it was).
C: Well, for practical vs. CGI, as a general rule I think you should try to implement as many practical elements to your effect as possible on set, and use VFX afterwards to beef it up, which gives you the most options to still pull off an effect if mistakes are made. On WITH PLEASURE, we had rigs for the gore moments, when the foot is shot at as well as the suicide, which didn’t quite do the trick, but ended up being really helpful when integrating the VFX elements later on. As much flack as VFX get in movies, I think it’s an extremely valuable and necessary resource to amplify the production value, aesthetic cohesiveness, and atmosphere of your film; every single shot in WITH PLEASURE is a VFX shot-- from rotoscoping individual pieces for color grading, to subtle adjustments to people’s faces, to removing bathroom and exit signs, etc.
Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
M: Tough question, honestly I would like to be part of any filmmaking community I just don’t know if I am yet! The horror community hasn’t embraced this film as much as I would have hoped, it's been a bit divisive, which is totally fine! That being said we did play Fantastic Fest,
Fantaspoa, Beyond Fest and SITGES, all festivals we love so much which champion horror films as well as genre bending films like us! We are going to make some terrifying films over the next few years, hopefully we can scare some people into loving us. One thing for sure is we are thrilled to be part of the ALTER community now!
When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
M: Paintings, photography, songs but mostly inside jokes.
What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
M: Take my shirt off, order a drink, recite some proverbs and say goodbye to the love of my life.
C: In the film, if you look at the bar you can see they’ve got local IPAs on tap; I’d probably go for one of those. I’d also be pretty sure in this situation that I had died and ended up in some form of Purgatory, so I don’t know if I’d suddenly believe in God but I can imagine I’d start praying.
Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
M: Martin Brody from Jaws, that Johnny Bravo/ Scooby Doo crossover episode cast, Captain Spaulding, Teddy Perkins and that awesome chubby blonde kid from Monster House.
How do you go about creating the props and sets for your film? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?
M: I come from a background in production design so I often think of how the set will look and feel before I even have a concept for the project, for better or for worse I'm sure. I like finding pieces that are rarely seen on film but are still authentically made, like 16th century beekeeping tools I used in an older film, that were authentic, but very off-putting because it's hard to place. Best case scenario the audience is asking “What the fuck is that?!”.
What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?
M: Producers, and definitely not.
And finally, Ghostface would like to know, ‘What’s your favorite scary movie?’ M: HIGH TENSION by Alexandre Aja.
C: I tend to be most inspired by the horror of the seventies; Wicker Man and Suspiria would definitely make my list but that whole era is cinematic gold.