Friday, 23 August 2013

interview: Amanda Gusack

Amanda Gusack directed the extraordinarily effective and spooky In Memorium and kindly agreed to a short e-mail interview in September 2006.

What was the initial spark of inspiration for In Memorium and how close is the finished film to what you initially envisaged?
“The initial spark came after I bought my house. I looked around and realised I could write a horror film to shoot inside. As far as I remember, the film is pretty close to what I’d envisioned. Then again, sometimes my memories are clouded by wishful thinking and a heavy lunch.”

What are the advantages and disadvantages of shooting a film in your own home?
“The advantages are that it’s cheaper and that you don’t have to drive anywhere in the morning. The disadvantages are that your house-mates lose sleep and your bedroom becomes a common area for electrical equipment.”

How did you select your cast and crew?
“We put ads on and craigslist. I interviewed the creative keys and the producers interviewed the schedulers/organisers. We called every reference we were given and ended up with the most dedicated and talented group of people I could have asked for.”

In a ghost story like this where we hardly see anything, how do you judge the fine balance between letting the audience see that something is there and showing them too much which might spoil the effect?
“I generally believe that less is more, because when you’re subtler with visual elements, the audience fills in the blanks with their own fears. To me, that’s so much creepier and more potent than anything I could’ve put on film.”

What has the response to the film been like so far?
“Happily, people have been really unnerved by it.”

What other projects do you have lined up?
“I just finished writing a thriller that I’m really excited about. I can’t say too much now, but I’ll let you know more when it’s finished.”

interview originally posted 4th September 2006

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