Tuesday 14 June 2016

A Short Interview with Pablo Raybould, director of The Snarling

Pablo Raybould
Following on from my review of new werewolf/zom-com The Snarling, I managed to ask a few questions of writer/director Pablo Raybould. 

DEoL: The Snarling is clearly indebted to loads of horror films, not least An American Werewolf in London but also The Beast Must Die and many others. Are you a dyed in the wool horror fan or did you have to watch a number of these movies in prep for the film?
PR: I’m not a big horror fan really and only watched a couple of films during the run up to this just to make sure that the references were right. All done from memory I guess really – but all prepared well before the shoot. All the little things like the signs e.g. ‘Bracken Trails’ which had the first part covered by a copper’s jacket later to just read ‘…en Trails’. The puffa jackets in different colours were bought with the similarity in mind, the red riding hoodie worn by the cyclist was very tenuous but he was going to have to wear something anyway so we really didn’t go out of our way to shoehorn anything in. We wanted Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, American Werewolf in London etc in there as loads of Easter eggs, hence Albert’s appearance in the hospital bed (a character from AAWIL). The same lines he delivered to the ‘Kessler boy’, were now delivered to him by his real life son wearing a replica of Albert’s porter uniform. 

DEoL: There's been a bit of talk about the 'product placement' in the film which may make it difficult to secure a production deal on DVD. What thoughts do you have on this - would you be prepared to re-shoot scenes to get wider exposure, or are you a guy who, if you'll pardon the phrase, 'shoots and moves on'?
PR: Yes – product placement! That was my naivety really.  The chicken box that the finger comes in could be pixelated maybe but I’d hope that others that can just be seen in the background in the bar etc wouldn’t be a problem. No brand is brought into disrepute – but yes, we’d be happy to re-shoot if necessary. No, I don’t think either of us are ‘shoot and move on’ really. We always need to move on but not at the expense of the shot so happy to spend a little more time to get it right…if we can.

Filming The Snarling
DEoL: Can you tell me a bit about the cast? I know you mentioned at the Derby Film Festival that you'd worked (in panto I think) with Julie Peasgood, but did you know the others as friends? I ask because there seems to be a great sense of camaraderie on set.
PR: Ben (Manning) and I have been lucky enough to work with lots of different people whilst doing hundreds of corporate training jobs and so have met and worked with lots of people, so we have built up a large list of friends that are all actors. I totally agree with you about the camaraderie. We spent most of the time in an empty shooting lodge in the middle of nowhere and everyone loved it. The lodge was just an empty brick building with a wood burner in it that is used by the farmer for drinks and food after pheasant shoots. I collected a bar from Leicestershire and built the pub in it as the set. The woodburner was a lovely thing as it was so cold filming. The ‘family’ feeling was made even more so by this too. We had food there, a generator, warmth and even a few drinks at the bar! Laurence I have filmed with before and Ben had worked with Chris (Simmons) and Joel (Beckett aka Lee from The Office) in a play in Stevenage. Julie – yes, panto in Grimsby and it was through her that we got her friend Julia Deakin (who plays a reporter) which made that lovely connection to the Edgar Wright films (Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead). 

DEoL: Are you happy with the final film? Anything you'd do differently?
PR: Yes – generally I am very happy with it. Would I change anything? Well yes, but those changes would have come with a better money and time budget. There is one scene that I am not too happy with and that was a result of not having ‘options’ in the edit. The small scene was taken in one shot so there was no point at which to edit and no other complete takes. Again, more time – more options.

DEoL: And what's next? I think you mentioned something about witches and some sense of continuity from The Snarling in your next picture?
PR: Well – next. The script has been written for a while now and yes, there is a witchcraft theme running through it, an escapee from the local institution for the criminally insane and some horrific murders. This new script is darker and quite possibly funnier than The Snarling. There is some continuity from The Snarling but I certainly would not say sequel. It is a totally stand-alone piece but will have some of the village’s locals moving over to this one. The three boys and the two coppers. 

The Snarling will (hopefully) be out later this year, lawyers permitting. Thanks Pablo!

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