Saturday, 7 April 2012

Exclusive : Interview with THE LOST COAST TAPES Director, Corey Grant

I've made no secret of my rabid enthusiasm for the upcoming Bigfoot themed horror movie, THE LOST COAST TAPES. In truth, it had me at 'Bigfoot', yet as time's went on, it's grown to become my most anticipated movie of the year. The dedication of it's cast and crew, the found footage angle, (which you all know I'm a huge fan of), the mythos behind the legend of Sasquatch, and the authenticity-drenched location shoots in the awe-inspiring redwoods have all conspired to fuel my horror-fan fire.

When the one-sheets were released, it tipped me over the edge, (you can view those bad boys here!). The images, like the whole production, screamed professionalism, and showed a real understanding of what us horror weirdos are looking for in a Bigfoot movie. Atmospheric, creepy, and in the case of one of the posters, downright nasty.

The world needs more Bigfoot movies. Of course, there are now a few in the works, but THE LOST COAST TAPES Director/Producer, Corey Grant, and his fearless band of lunatics, have got their first, and look to have carved out a unique take on the legend. This is the one I'm waiting for.

Despite his hectic schedule, Corey has returned from the wilds of the California redwoods with both his sanity, and energy to spare, and has been gracious enough to grant yours truly an exclusive interview.

In our interview, Corey talks shooting, location, upcoming projects and, of course, the legendary Bigfoot himself. Enjoy!

Horror Hotel : The subject of Sasquatch/Bigfoot has been strangely underutilized in the horror genre. What made the myth so appealing to you?

I think one of the things that really scares people is reality. Things based on true stories. Things that are based on some fact. Things that probably could happen. There have been thousands of people who have said they have encountered Bigfoot. Some of the stories have very credible witnesses so it puts out a thought that this phenomenon could possibly be true. That's very scary. That alone I thought would really get audiences behind a project like this. I also felt that as a director, it's much more effective to get into the audience's mind through the use of manipulating their imagination, than having the typical horror ingredients with a creature just running around killing everybody. Not to say we didn't take things in a traditional horror direction, it's just we took it a bit further. 

Horror Hotel  : The process of bringing such a ambitious idea to screen must have been an arduous one. What obstacles did you guys have to overcome to get this baby onto the screen?

Well one major obstacle was making this moving as authentic as possible and that would include actually shooting on location in Eureka, California and Bluff Creek. This is Bigfoot central in the world - where the Bigfoot legend was birthed. We wanted to shoot deep in the RedWood forest and it was very difficult.  Our main location was a 90 min drive into the forest every morning (or night) to get to set. It was so secluded that we had a hard time getting all our trucks and equipment in. It was a very dangerous drive that at one point takes you high into the mountains and then down into a valley.  We actually had to find an alternate route in that would support our trucks. We were lucky that one of the locals told us of a logging road that we could use that would support our trucks.  Of course we had to pay for its use but it was the only way... Shooting on location is always harder but it always is worth the production value you get in return.

Horror Hotel  : If you could sum up quickly, what advice would you give to young film-makers looking to embark on their own project?

Don't wait for it. Go out and shoot, shoot, shoot! Make your own movie and get noticed. Technology allows this. Also, make sure your script is great. Bad script equals bad movie. My first feature I made for $8000 while I was still in film school and that's what got me going and noticed. Cameras are so much better today and affordable than when I started but great writing is key.

Horror Hotel  : It's become well known that you guys shot the film on location in the beautiful Redwoods of California. That must have been a wonderful experience. Do tell?

Yes it was! Most of our crew are city people and never had seen anything like that in our lives.  It really inspired me to see nature up close and personal and it helped me creatively.  Although it was frightening during our night shoots, half way through we got used to it.... Those trees are so large and tall, they don't seem real. We shot not far from where they shot Return of the Jedi. I'm a big Star Wars buff so that really had me excited to be there.

Horror Hotel  : Any real-life horror stories you'd like to share from filming out there in the great outdoors?

One of our producers who was a big skeptic of Bigfoot said she saw one while driving to meet us on a second location that we added to the schedule at the last minute.  What ever she saw it was on the side of the road and she said it froze in place when she looked at it as they drove past. This is in broad daylight, by the way.  When they made it to us she was balling, crying and terrified. She's a believer now. Whether she saw a Sasquatch or not is still debatable but what ever she saw, scared the hell outta her. We have video of her telling us what she saw that we may release at some point... Spooky stuff..  Even skeptics can be turned into believers. lol

Horror Hotel  : What brought you to the decision to film using the 'Found Footage' technique?

My Dp, Richard Vialet, and myself are fans of "Found Footage" films and we thought it would be an effective way to tell the story if done right.  The one thing I always hated about those films was that the camera work always wanted me to see more.  So when we started conceptualizing the style, I wanted it to feel and look like a traditional movie when it came to composing shots but still look very random and true to the found footage style. I blocked extensively with my actors so I could capture various angles and composition all in the "oners" (long continuous takes) but have it still look very organic and spontaneous.   I also wanted to make sure that we actually had some good stunts and special effects that would work hand in hand with the style and look very realistic.

Horror Hotel  : Buzz for the film is really starting to spread as the release draws nearer. Were you surprised at the overwhelmingly positive attention the project has received at this early stage?

I would be lying if I said I didn't expect a good response and that's all because of the legend of Bigfoot. At the same time you are never 100% sure until it happens. For that, I personally am very humbled and grateful for the growing support.

Horror Hotel  : I just learned that 'Bobo' from Animal Planets popular show, 'Finding Bigfoot' has been endorsing your movie. On video no less. How the hell did you guys cross paths, and had he any involvement in the actual filming?

Yes BoBo was a good friend of one of our co-producers, Renee Todd. She had produced a documentary on Bigfoot previously and went out on several expeditions with him.  She reached out to him and he signed on as our Technical Advisor for the movie. BoBo is great. He's as much fun as you would expect but at the same time he is very knowledgeable and  professional. He knows his stuff. He told us some stories that had our skin crawling and I believe him 100%.  We brought him on because we wanted to be authentic and technical to the Bigfoot Legend. We wanted to make sure we didn't piss off  Bigfoot experts, enthusiasts and the Bigfoot community as a whole. BoBo made sure we stayed on point. At the same time, this is a thriller, horror movie. I think we stayed true to Bigfoot lore as well as gave horror fans what they are looking for as well.  We took our movie in a different direction than the others who are just now starting to do Bigfoot movies.  I think people will respect us for this direction and enjoy the movie.

Horror Hotel  : Now that THE LOST COAST TAPES is in the can, and ready for release, whats up next for you guys?

My partner, Chevez Frazier, and I have several projects in development. I'm a fan of Horror films so we have another one called "Incident at Bridgewater High" that we are pushing as well as another comedy called "The Misguided Adventures of Dating in Hollywood."  We also are preparing a sequel for the "The Lost Coast Tapes" as well as a film that takes us into the world of UFOs.

Horror Hotel : And finally, I have to ask, do you yourself, Corey, believe in the legend of Bigfoot?

After doing all my research to prepare for the shooting of THE LOST COAST TAPES, I met many people, talking with college professors and spoke with many locals. So the answer is yes. Im a believer.

Horror Hotel : Thanks for taking the time to fill us in on your journey, Corey. Can't wait for the release!

My pleasure! Hope you enjoy the show!

Special thanks to Keri Anne Mellot, (TLCT Marketing), for helping me set this interview up! Verry much appreciated!!)

So there you have it folks. Corey's moving onto some very interesting projects, and for now, all we can do is sit tight and wait for the release. I for one, will be front row for this little number.
And as for the aforementioned sneak peak, (and a few words from Bobo)..... just hit play! You know how this works...

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