HORRORMOVIESANDSTUFF Chatted recently with Filmmakers Soran Abdulkarim and Lucas Sosnowski! Directors of the Short Horror Film, "2 to 8". The 4 Minute long Chiller turns on a woman who is leaving work for the evening. Unfortunately, she might be "clocking out", for good! The film is a well-done blend of the a Supernatural, Zombie, and Occult Subgenres. Read on for the Interview!
Mr. Horror: After watching the film "2 to 8"... I noticed that the directing style resembles a blend of American low budget horror films of the 80's (Terrorvision for example)... but also contains some strong elements of British Indie Horror as well. Was this the original goal for the look and visual-theme of this production?
Soran: I tried to make a horror film with zero budget. I was inspired by horror films of 70's, especially by the Alfred Hitchcock style. I'd say our short is more like a thriller movie based on suspense, showing especially the victim's point of view. To me, horror is more about showing murders or tortures. In our short there's no blood or brutal killing.
Lucas: One of the first horror movies I saw in my life was "Child's Play" (1988) directed by American director Tom Holland. I think everyone must know the killer doll called Chucky. I was born in the beginning of the 80's. As a teenager I used to go to a local VHS store and browse all the film covers and posters. If you have a look at the theatrical release "Child's Play" poster, you will see where my visual inspiration came from. I think I've had these kinds of images somewhere deep in my mind since I was a child, and now they've come out.
Mr. Horror: I've seen the film but for those who haven't... tell our readers out there about the basic plot/storyline of the Short Horror Film "2 to 8".
Soran: Here's the synopsis of the film:
Anna is a 21 year old woman who works at a Law firm. She always stays there late but there was a particular night that made everything different. It is a dark night with fierce lightening racing down from the sky. John is the night shift security guard who watches Anna be the last one to leave every night. It is 2 minutes to eight and right before Anna exists the building she decides to stay back in because it is pouring outside. As Anna turns back to the lobby but she feels like she is somewhere else or maybe a different dimension. The lights go out transporting the security guard out of her presence, as well as bringing other beings into this world. When Anna decides to look deeper into this mystery she finds herself trapped into a building that is possessed by unknown forces, and as much as she tries to make sense to what she's seen and felt, she won't be able to. There are many unimaginable secrets revealed in this creepy building right on 2 minutes 'till 8 PM.
Mr. Horror: Another thing I noticed, is that "2 to 8" had at least I felt, an urban - Gothic tinge to it. The characters, the environment, the overall feel of the production... felt very Gothic very urban Decay-ish. Was that what you guys wanted to convey to the viewers as they were watching this film?
Lucas: Urban Gothic was pioneered both in Britain and in the United States, for example the "Dracula" movie. This style was developed also in British novels such as "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde" or "Jack the Ripper". We live in London and everyday we have a contact with these kind of urban - gothic stories and environment. I think this influences us a lot.
Mr. Horror: "2 to 8" is a very original yet cryptic title for this particular movie. It really keeps the events that unfold secret to the viewer, and taps into a sort of mystery element. I feel if I had walked past this film in a video store on DVD, and saw the title and cover art... it would definitely pique my interest. Because you can't really guess from the jump what genre it fits into, or what ghouls, beings, etc will be featured in the film. How do you guys think your title will ultimately play into the wider marketing of the short?
Soran: The title represents the time when something mysterious is going to happen. This movie is more like a thriller full of suspense motives.
Lucas: I think you are right that it's not so powerful and it doesn't suggest that this is a horror movie. We didn't want the title to sound like "Voodoo Killer" or something like "Creepy Office". That would be too obvious.
Mr. Horror: Where did the idea for "2 to 8" originally come from? Was it something you guys had collaborated on for a while? Why tell "this" particular story for a short horror film?
Soran: When I first met Lucas I knew that he specialized in visual effects. I asked him if he would like to help me in post production, using his creativity, both in filming and video editing. At first we collaborated together to write the whole story and the screenplay. Lucas liked the Idea and we started to produce it together. After that we spent some time filming and editing.
Lucas: I didn't mention that before but this short movie was our film school project. I first met Soran in LCCA - London College of Contemporary Arts. We both were studying creative arts there. The film "2 to 8" was our first year short film that we made together. We developed a story and a script together. It was very quick and spontaneous.
Mr. Horror: For our readers who are just meeting you two guys, tell us about your respective backgrounds... what got you guys into film-making originally, and where'd you get your starts?
Soran: My full name is Soran Abdulkarim. I'm a Kurdish-born, actor, director and cinematographer. I have been involved in the film industry since 1991 mostly as an actor. When I moved to UK, I followed my dream professionally since 2007 as an independent Cinematographer in Manchester. When I moved to London in 2012, I started making films as a director. I participated in many documentaries, short films and music videos as a director, first AD and DOP.
Lucas: Originally I come from Warsaw Poland, I grow up there and moved to England in my late 20's. At that time I already knew that I want to make films and I already had some experience and friends who helped me to start to do what I'm doing now.
Mr. Horror: Is "Horror" your favorite or one of your favorite genres of film to explore storytelling within, if so why?
Lucas: Personally I like sci-fi movies that are very close to the horror genre. I mean there are lot's of similarities, like special effects or even stories that come from deep imagination of a screenwriter. I like to watch movies that are far from real life. As a filmmaker I like to make movies that are very imaginative, full of special effects and even I would say that look realistic. I think this is what people these days wants to see when they go to the cinema. It's like a cut away from their everyday normal life.
Soran: To be honest horror is not my favorite genre to explore storytelling within. However I decided to play around a bit in that field to see what I am capable of ? I asked myself: Can I make a horror film to impress my audience? It was an experiment. When people saw my film they had a very good response to it and they liked it. Before this film I wasn't a horror fan, and this genre was my last choice to watch, but since I made this film "2 to 8" I started to watch horrors to see how other filmmakers explore storytelling within this genre.
Mr. Horror: Tell us about the two main actors who appear in this film, Shizella Rose and Yaw Kyei. How'd you hook up with them, and what were their opinions on the project when you first came to them with the idea?
Lucas: Production began in 2014. Me and Soran started to write the story and a screenplay. Casting began in late march 2014, with the first cast member being Shizella Rose as Anna, and then Yaw Kyei as John a security guard who turns into a creepy voodoo magician.
Soran: Well, while Lukas and I were looking for actors for this film, I already knew Yaw Kyei who has auditioned for my previous short film. I liked the way he acts and I discovered the neutrality in his appearance. I promised him that he will be in my next film. Later I met Shizella Rose when she was with a bunch of her friends. I called them and asked if any one is interested in the lead role for a short horror film? I saw Shizella was a very energetic, passionate, and clever girl. I noticed with her facial expressions and body language that she was the right one for the role. Right there I said to Lucas I'm done I don't need to look for any other actors because I know Shizella and Yaw will kill it, that was what I was looking for.
Mr. Horror: I'm sure as filmmakers you've watched other short horror films or horror films in general to see what other filmmakers are doing and such. What approach did you guys take to doing "2 to 8" based on other horror shorts you've seen? What did you guys want to do differently, or what fresh ideas and perspectives did you as filmmakers want to bring to this project to sort of set it apart from other shorts?
Soran: This was the first horror production I've ever done. I just wanted to do something new, something I've never done before, to see what it would look like and what would be the audiences opinion about this production.
Lucas: I think we were inspired by horror movies like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula or Werewolf. You can easily notice similarities to those movies motives in Yaw Kyei's role as a security guard who turns into a voodoo magician. Also the title "2 to 8" is a time when everything happens. It's like a full moon in horror movies. It's like Dracula who wakes up at that time or a werewolf transformation. Both of us, me and Soran, we made this short film just for fun and to get a new experience in film-making. This is a no budget production. Even our actors are young talents that we found through an actor department in our school. I'm sure it was a great experience for them as well as a great chance to show and practice their acting skills.
Mr. Horror: Not gonna give it away or spoil it, but "2 to 8" ends on a rather ambiguous note. Is a potential sequel, second part, or follow up in the works? Perhaps a FEATURE LENGTH version of the film, picking up where the short left off?
Lucas: This is a very short movie, it's just 4 minutes long. I would say it could work very well, we could use a couple of scenes for a feature length version of this. This short is just a pitch. If we had a reasonable budget to make this movie again I think it could be very interesting.
Check out the very creepy trailer for Lucas and Soran's "2 to 8" below...