This Friday, May 5th, sees the release of the horror comedy, ANOTHER EVIL, from director Carson Mell. In anticipation of the Dark Sky Films' release, Shannon spoke with Carson about his latest movie, what it was like directing his first feature film, as well as his love for the horror genre.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Hi Carson, thanks so much for speaking with us today! To start things off, can you tell those who may not be familiar with ANOTHER EVIL a little about it?
Carson Mell: It's a ninety minute supernatural comedy about the spirit world and the inherent fallibility of human beings.
NC: I've noticed that this is your first feature film as a director. Can you tell us a little bit about that process and what type of challenges you faced?
CM: Well, the whole thing is a challenge. I was lucky enough to do the Sundance Director's labs in 2012, so that took some of the edge off and made me feel somewhat familiar with a film set, but making a movie is tough. I ended up very happy with the final product, but the hardest part for me is post, when you have a rough cut and you've yet to get the whole thing clicking and harmonizing. There's a few weeks before you start to polish the movie when you feel like it's just going to feel clunky. Then you polish and polish it and it starts to sing, and that's a really good feeling.
NC: What made this film work so well was the chemistry between Steve Zissis and Mark Proksch. Did you have them in mind when writing the script?
CM: No, I didn't have any actors in mind when I wrote the script. I sort of imagined my friends and I acting the thing out, though I knew I was going to cast professional actors. Mark and Steve got along very well right away, and like so many aspects of filmmaking, I just ended up being lucky that they worked so well together. I had a feeling they would, obviously, but you never really know until you start shooting the scenes.
NC: Your background seems to be more within the comedic realm which translated wonderfully into ANOTHER EVIL. What inspired you to want to do a horror film and did you know you wanted it to have comedic layers to it?
CM: Horror is just a genre I'm very interested in, especially anything having to do with ghosts. I've seen a handful of ghosts in my life, and they've been some of the most profound experiences of my life. There's something so great about having your belief system challenged in such a severe way. You have to sort of throw up your hands and say, "I really have no idea what is going on in this world." It's humbling to have to admit your ignorance like that. ti hink there is something very, very dangerous about people who behave as though they've figured it all out, as though they have some kind of macro view of this very messy experience of being a human being. ANOTHER EVIL, and all of my work, ends up being about that in some way.
NC: When it comes to horror, have you always been a fan or is this new territory for you?
CM: Always been a fan and always will be. However, the funny thing is, I don't like most horror movies. There are a few standouts, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, ROSEMARY'S BABY, THE SHINING, but for the most part I find the aesthetics of horror movies, especially new ones, kind of bad. The monsters just look too "cool." I've actually started just watching the first two acts of horror movies, then turning them off. Those third acts are always so weak, I just can't handle it.
NC: Last but not least, what can fans of yours expect from you in the future? Any more horror films in the works?
CM: I will definitely be making more horror movies as soon as possible. Right now, I am making ten half hour episodes of my web series, "Tarantula" for TBS. I am working with Rough Draft, who did "Futurama" and worked on THE SIMPSONS MOVIE. They are an amazing, top-of-the-line animation house with tons of talented artists working there, so it's really bringing my work to the next level. I can't wait to share this show with the world, it's by far the best thing I've done.