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David Matheny
Horror Interview by The Gravedigger

Q: A DARK PLACE is an interesting zombie movie in that it doesn't attempt to explain where they are coming from or how it all started. There's just this pervading sense of creepiness. How did you come up with the idea for the short movie? And why zombies?

In most cases I find monsters that don't have explanations for their origins are scarier than monsters with a big scientific explanation. I also think it's cheesy. I didn't want A DARK PLACE to be very cheesy so I kept out all explanations and punch lines. I chose to do a movie about zombies because it gave me a chance to put together some cool fight scenes and the costumes were cheap. We just used mud and old clothes.

Q: Why a short rather than a feature-length movie?

I didn't intend A DARK PLACE to be a short film. But I didn't think it was going to be a full length film either. I just wrote the script and filmed it. In the end it was around 45 minutes long.

Q: Tell us what has influenced you as a filmmaker.

I would have to say ELEPHANT, directed by Gus Van Sant Influences me quite a bit. Along with Alien, Aliens, Terminator, Terminator 2, Primer, Memento, The Evil Dead trilogy and a lot of other movies. Some music from Aphex Twin, Pink Floyd, NIN, A lot of stuff by Danny Elfman has influenced me. A band that has been influencing me lately is the HEAT soundtrack.

Q: What equipment was used in the production?

I filmed the movie with a Canon GL2. It's a wonderful camera to film any kind of movie with. I will use it for my next couple films. My tripod was in use sometimes but not very often. I used a condenser microphone that plugged straight into the GL2. That increased the audio quality a little but I wish the audio would have been better. I used Adobe Premiere 6.0 for editing. My dad has one of those lights that you put x-rays over and that's what we used for most of the indoor scenes. And I used my light that went above my basketball goal for the outside scenes. I just wrapped bluish green cellophane over it.

Q: Talk about the actors in the movie and how you went about casting the parts. Was it difficult for you to act in the movie as well?

I wouldn't really call it casting. I just took my friends who wanted to be in the movie and filmed with them. It wasn't really difficult to act in the movie, but I'll probably not do it again. I can't stand seeing myself act. Especially when my friends are around to make fun of me.

Q: What was the most difficult scene to shoot?

The scene where Matt and Jon had the conversation by the fire place was probably the most difficult. The fire is all the lighting I wanted so I would have Chris and Mango (the actors) sit as close as they could to the fire to get some good contrast of light in the camera. To make the fire bright we would throw cups of gasoline on it. After thirty seconds or so the fire would die down so we would have to film in thirty second intervals and keep throwing gasoline on it. That took us about eight hours to do. It sucked. Everyone was sweating their balls off.

Q: How long did A DARK PLACE take to complete?

All in all it took about ten months. The first few weeks of filming went as planned, we got about three scenes done a week. But after that people just stopped showing up. Nobody wanted to put any work into the film. So we only got about one scene done a week after that. During the holiday season we practically didn't do any filming. And every minute of a fight scene took us about seven hours to do, so that was time consuming. After filming was done I handed it down to my little brother to do the soundtrack. He was always telling me he could have it done in two days. So he waited until the day before we sent the movie off to get pressed to finish it. He started at 11: 00am and worked until 7: 00am the next morning getting it done while I was finishing the DVD menus.

Q: Your next project is going to be a werewolf movie. Talk about that.

Filming has been pushed back to December 1st. We have all but two of the actors ready to go. And the final draft of the script should be done in a week or two. I'm rushing things, but I can't wait to get things started. I finished the wolf mask about a month ago and the rest of the costume will be done in a week. The movie is going to be pretty intense and scary. I'll try and keep everyone updated.

Q: Website info, contact information.

My website is down right now. I should have a new one up in the next couple of months. I'm guessing anywhere between Jan. 1st and Feb 1st. If you need to get a hold of me you can give me an e-mail at Drcrow1@aol.com. If you want to purchase a movie you can e-mail me or go on eBay. DVD's are $10.

find information about David Matheny at imdb.com find horror stuff by David Matheny

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