By Christopher Waters @cwaters488
On episode 20 of the Good Horror Bad Horror Podcast Stephen and I had the lovely opportunity to chat with the incredible movie directors of the film Nina Forever Chris and Benjamin Blaine. Hailing from the United Kingdom the BIFA Best Debut Director nominees movie Nina Forever reached the United States at the South by South West Film Festival where it was picked up by Epic Pictures Distribution Company. Nina forever took best film at the 2015 Frightfest Film Festival and stars Abigail Hardingham who won Most Promising Newcomer, and Fiona O'Shaughnessy whose performance is nothing short of amazing.
I had the pleasure of enjoying this film last night due to its U.S. release on February 12, 2016 and I was blown away by all aspects of this film. From the casts impeccable performances, cinematography, to the dark and disturbing story that explores a whole new level of death and love, this is truly as Chris and Ben would say "A Fucked Up Fairy Tale". Just in time for Valentines Day and Women in Horror Month, be sure to give some support to these debut film directors, and head to any video on demand platform and watch it now! This film will also be showing in select theaters head over to the Nina Forever website for more information.
Blaine Brothers Interview
GHBH Podcast: where at exactly did you guys grow up?
Blaine Brothers: So we grew up just north of London in the sort of nowhere'sville that you get to when the town is basically there for old people to die in and for everyone else to go to work into the center of the city, and so it's basically one big car-park. A car-park and a supermarket, that's where we grew up.
GHBH Podcast: How did growing up there influence your film making, or did it really have any kind of an impact?
Blaine Brothers: It definitely had an impact on us. It just seems like a really ordinary place but at the same time really special in terms of how bleakly wonderful it can be in just that really weird sense where, you know , so often you're looking at a space and go, “If you were actually intending to live here, you wouldn’t have designed it like this.” But it’s quite magnificent.
GHBH Podcast: What made you want to get into film in the beginning?
Chris Blaine: It was kind of by accident in the way that we started making films because I always wanted to be an artist in some way and had started getting excited about doing animation and I bought this camera to do animation with.
Ben Blaine: So my mate Keith at school is a devout atheist and really kind of passionate. He would like go to churches to pick fights with people and I used to tease him that he was also the son of God and he just didn't have any faith in himself, and that kind of joke turned into this idea that we should adapt the whole of the Bible starring Keith and so one summer we did that.
Ben Blaine: So Chris had this kind of VHS camcorder that he was doing his animation with, he was kind of roped into the film and then increasingly roped into play some of the characters. The movie is like two and a half hours and it covers pretty much the entirety of both the Old and the New Testament and that was then banned by our school because it was considered blasphemy, which was great, really because it then created this fantastic black-market for this thing. So for a long time it was our most commercially successful project.
GHBH Podcast: So you two are brothers. What is it like working with each other? Did you two ever disagree on things on set or kinda anything along those lines?
Blaine Brothers: We used to, once upon a time, but it has been a really good collaboration and I can see how because of our kind of shared history, that collaboration is really honest and it's much easier for us to kind of cut to the chase and be kind of like, “What you're doing there, I think that's crap.” Without that being, “That's it! I'm never work with you again!”
GHBH Podcast: Whose idea of Nina Forever was it between your two or was it kind of a full collaboration? Did one of you kind of walk up and say “Hey I have this idea for a movie that maybe we should do?
Chris Blaine: Ben told me about this idea that he had about a guy and the parents of his dead girlfriend and this relationship with the three of them, and that basically didn't really go anywhere for year.
Ben Blaine: Yeah, well much later on Nina started talking to me, I think that was a real kind of turning point. I just was walking on the road and then this voice started talking to me, she just appeared pretty much in the way she does in the film except thankfully not quite so viscerally in real life.
GHBH Podcast: How long did it take from getting the idea of Nina Forever down on paper to the first day of filming?
Blaine Brothers: Pretty quick actually. We hadn't written it for ages, it was like a decade or something and then when we actually wrote it, we kind of knocked it out in about a month and sent it to our producer Cassandra basically just to say to her, we are really sorry, we have not written the next draft of this rom-com we are supposed to be writing you. Instead we've written this weird dark thing you’re going to hate and you’re never going to allow us to make, and that’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to be making it in January with our own money, with our own cameras and we’ll find three actors and away we go, and Cass, the producer, she jumped at it, she loved it, she loved the script and wanted to make it on a slightly bigger scale than what we were talking about. In September we finished the first draft, and we were shooting in March (2015)
GHBH Podcast: Were there any particular difficult stays on set?
Ben Blaine: I think my favorite most difficult day was the B and B scene which was mainly shot on the set that we could only have for a single day. Abigail who plays Nina rang, she had this vomiting virus, she had just come down with this vomiting bug and she was like “I am really sorry.” We were like “It’s fine, we’ll reschedule it.” She was like "No, no, I know we can't reschedule it, it's fine. So then she was there on set and between takes was running to the bathroom and puking and brushing her teeth, coming back and kissing poor Cian in a very romantic scene.
GHBH Podcast: Do you guys have any new projects that you're working on right now that you can talk about?
Blaine Brothers: Yes, we are writing at the moment a thriller which is kind of as much a thriller as Nina Forever is a horror. It's a slightly weirdly shaped thing. It has got another character I think is really interesting one that isn’t the usual person that you would expect to be in that lead role. And so, yeah, that's a lot of fun for us at the moment, it's a really contained thing, pretty much within two buildings. So yeah, we are doing that.
GHBH Podcast: So, being a horror podcast we have to ask what are your guys' favorite horror movies?
Ben Blaine: I think probably a favorite of coming to my mind is...which is just an outstanding movie...but then also actually seeing some stuff during the film festival. So “Green Room” was amazing and “ Bone Tomahawk” also “Baskin” which is truly horrific and it gave me huge nightmares but at the same time it's just really well made.
GHBH Podcast: Ben and Chris, we really appreciate you coming on to this podcast and doing this interview.
Blaine Brothers: Thanks for having us. Cheers.