Saturday, March 14, 2009

Going Down Under To Speak with Brett Anstey Director of Damned By Dawn: An Interview

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Brett Anstey the writer and director of horror, short "Atomic Spitballs," stops by to answer a few questions about the terrorific "Damned by Dawn." Groundbreaking and thrilling the first movie stills of the film are available at along with the first theatrical trailer. Moving towards an April release date in Melbourne, Australia, North American fans with have to stand by, in anticipation until distributors can be found. Check out some highlights from the interview with this up-and-coming film director.

Hello Brett thanks for participating in an online interview here with us...

From your Fangoria interview "Aussies are Damned By Dawn," the central villain/antagonist is a wailing Banshee who "...terrorizes a family." Can you give fans a little more background on how this character enters the story/film?

Brett - "In Irish folklore, a Banshee is a spirit, a messenger of death, who is wailing signals that a family member is going to die. She appears in a number of different guises - the most popular are as a beautiful young maiden or as a ragged old woman. And her eyes are always bloodshot from centuries of weeping. So within our story, the Banshee appears during the night as our protagonist's grandmother dies, then the crap hits the fan!"

Mike - Also, from Michael Gingold's article Dawn Klingberg, from recent horror film "Prey," and "Storage," takes part in the filming along with Danny Alder. How were you able to manage so many personalities on a relatively arduous twenty-six day, outdoor shoot?

Brett - "It's all in the timing, I think. We shot our film when all of the actors had breaks in their schedules, so essentially we got lucky. Also, not all the actors were required for the twenty-six shooting days. I'd have to double check, but Dawn for instance was only required for 4 or 5 days."

From viewing your science fiction, thriller "Atomic Spitballs (had me laughing)," there is a comedic undertone to this award winning independent short film. Will "Damned by Dawn," also have comedic elements or will the film be mainly in a horror, scary tone?

Brett - "The short answer is no. I think it is very tricky to mix comedy and horror successfully, without it becoming too cheesy. Mind you, "The Howling," and "An American Werewolf In London," are two of my favorite films and they are both exceptions, rather than the rule. So we elected very early to keep the tone in "Damned by Dawn," very serious and creepy."

Mike - Oh, oh sounds like this one will be a shocker.

It seems like there were a lot of insects on the set with "...950 of them (cockroaches)...," crawling around on the environments and wailing screams "...for the banshee's shrieking...," scaring the crew. Can you relate any other anecdotes while filming in Ballarat, Victoria?

Brett - "Thankfully the entire cast and crew were really into it. They were up for the challenge and were willing to accept any of the obstacles I threw at them! For the most part, making these types of films is a blast. You get to do things that you would not normally get the opportunity to experience. I mean, who would not want to spend their nights running around through spooky woods, or getting covered in blood, or exploring old caves/mine shafts, or dealing with hundreds of cockroaches, or walking around creepy old houses? These things are fun to do! Well to me at least. We spent two days & nights shooting in an abandoned mine shaft. This place was not easily accessible, as in we had have to carry the camera equipment/unit gear/generators etc., at least two kilometers; over creeks, through waist high thistles & blackberries, and up hills which were almost vertical, it was insane. All of this JUST to reach the entrance of the shaft. Then we needed to venture deep inside the shaft to shoot. And without a torch, it was pitch black. And incredibly spooky! By the end of the two days, everyone became a victim of the low hanging ceiling - I have never heard more expletives within a two day period! "

Mike - Wow, that sounds exciting and adventurous I wish I could have been there.

Finally, can you provide some insight, for fans of the horror genre as to where "Damned By Dawn," will premiere at and what film festivals you would like to partake in through 2009?

Brett - "The film will premiere here in Melbourne, Australia, in May. Then the film will be entered into the major genre festivals, so fingers crossed. Distribution isn't finalized yet, so I can't really say anything further on that at this stage."

Well Brett it was a real honour to interview you for my site. I hope your film garners a lot of attention for your premiere and please get in touch with me, in the future when you pick your North American distributors.

A full theatrical trailer for "Damned by Dawn," here:


"Brett Anstey Director of Damned by Dawn." Damned by Dawn (2009): 16 March 2009.

Damned By Dawn Homepage

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rockbot said...

Great Interview bro. This movie could be damn good.

Michael Ross Allen said...

I think it looks visually good. I want to see the film to find out a little more about the story.