I have an extra special treat today for those of you who enjoy movies, especially horror films. I’ve made it no secret on this blog that I love the horror genre, and it holds a distinct place in my own writing projects.
I’ve had the opportunity to meet a talented writer, producer, editor, and director by the name of Andy Palmer. Take a moment to remember that name, because I think moviegoers and the movie-making industry will be seeing a lot more from him in the near future. I was able to chat with him recently and get some behind the scenes experiences of the new/upcoming horror flick Hide or Seek.
Jennifer Chase: Welcome Andy! Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share your moviemaking expertise with us. First, tell us a little bit about your background.
Andy Palmer: I moved from Colorado to Los Angeles in 2003 to pursue my career in filmmaking. I had been editing documentaries and that lead way to assistant editor work on reality shows for every cable network under the stars, and eventually to editing those shows as well.
Jennifer Chase: I’ve always wondered who worked on all those reality shows. That sounds like one big job. What happened next for you?
Andy Palmer: At the same time never losing focus of my goal to direct, which I do as much as I can when I’m not working on shows. After several projects came close to being made, only to fall apart for one reason or another, Hide or Seek ended up with my producing partners, Warner Davis and Levi Ellsworthand and I, and my sole investors said yes to financing it. And, in the end we returned to my hometown in Colorado to shoot it. It was in fact one of our failed projects “Boxed In”, which allowed us to obtain the rights for Hide or Seek to shoot.
Jennifer Chase: What’s Hide or Seek about?
Andy Palmer: Hide or Seek was one of the best horror scripts I have ever read. It took the simple haunted house style premise and really elevated it in simple but compelling ways. Our protagonists Emily and Tim, move back to Emily’s hometown after Tim serendipitously lands a new job in a school nearby. And before the boxes are empty Emily begins realizing that there are some things happening in the house that were not mentioned during the “walk-through” with the realtor.
Jennifer Chase: I love this spooky premise. What made this script different?
Andy Palmer: Where most haunted house features would then pit Emily against not only the ghost, but also her husband who thinks “she’s stressed” or “crazy” or just “seeing things”, he loves the idea of a ghost in the house and the two of them along with Emily’s longtime friend Claire, begin this amateur ghost hunting quest to discover the source of the haunting. A little thing, but that’s what I loved about the script, little jabs at the standard template of a scary movie and then taking those things in a different direction. The writers Kat Ryan and Cameron Bender, also both play Tim and Emily, and it was a real pleasure working with them on this project. Both fantastic writers and actors, and along with an amazing crew, we formed a very tight knit family and knocked out a little micro-budget feature in 12 days, and had too much fun doing it.
Jennifer Chase: I can sense the tight relationships and great experiences as you describe the making of the movie. What a great project for everyone involved! So, what is your favorite aspect of movie making?
Andy Palmer: Two things. It is the kinetic energy, and close bond that my partners and I try to create on set. We really were like a family, we shot, ate and lived together, there was very little drama, because we not only find incredibly talented people to work with, but very nice people to work with. There was really no ego on the set, just a collection of people working very hard to tell a good story, and the energy that is created by that level of talent makes a 12 hour day in the bitter cold of Colorado fly by in a flash. And, the 2nd is in the edit. I’ve made my living as an editor for the last 10 years and that is where the magic happens, where the movie takes on a whole new life and perspective, and to get to create those moments is really something special.
Jennifer Chase: What attracts you to the horror genre?
Andy Palmer: The simple fact that horror movies scare the crap out of me.
Jennifer Chase: That makes me laugh! Do you go to a lot of horror movies?
Andy Palmer: My wife won’t even go to see horror movies in theaters with me, because I hide my eyes the whole time, I get into it and I feel like I am right along for the ride with these characters, and I love to do things that scare me, so here we are.
Jennifer Chase: What should movie-goers expect when watching Hide or Seek?
Andy Palmer: Horror is a funny thing, because horror fans are the most fanatical and finicky fans I know, but they are also the most passionate. I can’t tell you what they should expect, I just hope that enough of them like it, that we can suit up and go shoot another one.
Jennifer Chase: I can’t wait to see it! Finally, if you feel so inclined, please share with us a funny or interesting story about the shooting of Hide or Seek.
Andy Palmer: There are a ton of them and luckily we shot really extensive Behind the scenes, so people are really going to get to see what goes into a micro-budget horror movie. But one that stands out was during one of the big scare scenes of the film, and Emily and the ghost come face to face for the first time. Emily screams and then ghost mockingly screams with her. That first take, with the creepy lighting from my DP Josh Gibson paired with the talents of our actors, scared the entire crew. They let out that scream, the hair on the back of my neck stood up and there was collective silence for what seemed like 10 minutes before I could squeak out a “cut”. Then everybody erupts at how scary that moment was, and I said to myself….”We got something here”
Jennifer Chase: Now I really, really want to see this movie. Thank you so much Andy for sharing some moviemaking magic about the upcoming horror movie Hide or Seek.
For more information about Hide or Seek and Andy Palmer, please visit:
Twittter: @petriandy and @petriwarner
Great interview! Agree so much with Andy about liking horror because it scares the crap out of you, and with his opinion about horror fans. While some people believe that writing or filming horror is something anyone can do, that’s bogus. Horror fans are truly the pickiest ever, but also the most loyal once you’ve delivered. And earning their trust takes a lot more than just splattering blood and guts around. You have to be creative and throw in major league scares. Can’t wait to see Hide or Seek!
Thank you! I never really thought about it before until Andy described the loyal horror fan. It makes total sense. Thank so much WPotocki for stoppy by! 🙂