In 2019, director Ari Aster released one of the most popular contemporary American horror films, Midsommar. As with all films, the stories on the big screen are typically an accumulation of the best ideas from multiple brilliant creative minds. In this instance, one of those people happens to be producer Patrik Andersson. Patrik is the Head of Development for B-Reel Films. He joins us to tell us more about his journey as a young filmmaker through the censorships of Sweden to gaining some experience as a festival programmer, working in distribution then eventually stepping foot into the world of production.
HorrOrigins mentor Angela Mancuso, producer of the Happy Death Day films, has a long and impressive career working in the film and TV industry, a career that she calls “accidental.” She worked for HBO in its earliest days and was eventually the president of Universal Cable Entertainment, before leaving to begin producing. Her credits include the Emmy winning series Monk and Battlestar Galactica, among many others. Despite a wide and storied career in the industry, she will always be drawn to the horror genre for its ability to evoke vicarial emotions. Mancuso talked to us about those early days at HBO, producing Happy Death Day, and the importance of mentoring young script writers and filmmakers.
David Desola and his writing partner, Pedro Rivero, are the screenwriters of the film The Platform, which is currently streaming on Netflix and has been featured on the streaming platform’s top 10 list within the United States. Both David and Pedro have a friendship that spans almost as long as their careers. During that time, they’ve written short films, features, and plays. The Platform, originally produced in Spain and winner of the People’s Choice Award for Midnight Madness at the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF), is the first time that a work of theirs has garnered international attention. Both currently reside in Spain, continuing to do what they love: writing.
The Platform, or El Hoyo, in Spanish, literally meaning ‘the hole,’ is about a vertical prison in which the cells are stacked on top of each other. Each cell has two inmates. A platform, starting at the top, makes its way down, with a plethora of food. However, the inmates on each cell underneath the first can only eat what the level above them left behind or didn’t have time to finish. After a certain amount of time, the two inmates will stick together as they wake up in another cell. The thing is, they don’t know whether the next level will be lower or higher than the one they’re on now, making it either easier or harder for them to survive and remain sane.
(Photo Courtesy of Aislinn Clarke)
Aislinn Clarke made history by becoming the first Irish woman to direct and write a feature-length horror film, The Devil’s Doorway, currently streaming on Hulu. The film focuses on the real horrors of Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries, where, from 1765 to 1996, women were put away if they became pregnant out of wedlock, had mental issues, or were scorned by any male family member who said they should be put away. They were then placed into forced labor by the Catholic Church.
Alberto Corredor's short film Baghead has made its rounds on the festival circuit. The 15-minute short features a wrinkled, decrepit witch who can manifest the dead and bring them back into our world for a short period. Haunted by grief, Kevin (Oliver Walker) walks into a bar, determined to schedule a one-on-one with Baghead in order to commune with the recently deceased. The short was acquired by StudioCanal and will be turned into a feature-length film. Corredor spoke with us about his filmmaking process, Baghead, and his love of the horror genre.
Jennifer Trent is the Head of Post-production at Blumhouse Productions. With the extensive roster of movies she has been involved with, horror is definitely the dominant genre on her list. Some movies she’s overseen include Insidious: The Last Key, Truth or Dare, The Happytime Murders, and Get Out. As a longtime horror fan, it makes sense that she ended at Blumhouse. We were able to get an interview with her about her work at Blumhouse and what exactly being a post producer entails.