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UK-based actor-turned-director Darren Lynch is currently finishing up his filmmaking debut Ouija, which he’s hoping will be hitting theaters across the pond in time for Halloween.
The supernatural tale centers around nine friends who go on a camping trip and unknowingly unleash a horde of demons after a round of shenanigans with a Ouija board goes horribly awry.
Dread Central recently caught up with Lynch, who also co-stars in his first-ever feature film, to hear more about how his career transitioned from in front of the camera to behind it, the inspiration behind Ouija and balancing a career as both an up-and-coming actor and director.
Lynch also shared with Dread a gaggle of exclusive stills from Ouija, which you can check out below. Look for more news on Ouija down the road as well!
Dread Central: Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, what got you interested in filmmaking and more about your career before this project.
Darren Lynch: Well, I got into acting about four years ago now, starting with gaining as much experience as possible. I was doing small walk-on parts, and from then on I craved acting. I wanted to do as much as I could possibly commit to. I then gained enough experience to attempt bigger opportunities, speaking roles in various short films, with my big break coming in a cinema-released film called Screwed starring Adulthood’s Noel Clarke. I originally went to do a walk-on role but was picked out to do a small speaking line in the film and was credited for my role.
It really opened up my career from there, enabling me to get an acting agent. I was thrown various small speaking roles in several cinema releases, one being the new James Bond film Skyfall. I breathed acting, and wanting more, I decided to direct and write my own film – a horror film – which is actually my favorite genre of film.
DC: Can you talk about what inspired your script and the idea for your film? Were you a huge fan of the Ouija board movies of the 80s? Did those influence you at all?
Darren Lynch: It’s strange; a few weeks before I started on the script, I actually attended a Ouija board session at a local bar. I was curious to see if it really worked since I had tried it a few times through curiosity with a few friends and never had anything to convince me happen. But I have heard numerous stories that warned me enough to keep me away from the art. Since the film I never have touched a Ouija board and don’t think I would, and after seeing this film, I don’t think anyone will want to dabble in the arts of Ouija either.
DC: Since you do also act (which I think is a good additional perspective to have going into a project as a director), I was wondering if you could talk a bit about the challenges of balancing an acting career with a directing career. Also, do you feel like having the actor perspective allowed you to work more with your cast on Ouija than if you hadn’t? Did you and the cast do a lot of prep work ahead of time?
Darren Lynch: I find it quite easy to balance the two to be honest; directing has given me the opportunity to experiment with both and build up my career as an actor and director. I’ll still be working through my acting agent and expanding on my acting career, too. Ouija actually happened kind of fast, and with the actors living locally, it was quite easy to get them ready for the film and prepared with their lines. I worked with the actors closely, and also being an actor, I gave them advice that I’ve had over the years, and it worked extremely well.
DC: You had a five week shoot- can you talk more about how that went; did you face any challenges while filming? How is the post-production process going now?
Darren Lynch: Yes, of course every film has challenges, and I definitely feel it brings the cast and crew together more when everyone’s facing them head-on as a team. We all became very close, and I will be working with them a lot more in the future. Post-production is going fantastic; I’ve had a look over the film and it looks fantastic and will be expecting to debut a trailer very soon.
DC: Being located in the UK, can you talk a bit about the indie filmmaking climate there? Was it difficult to get Ouija up and running? How hard is it to get an independent horror film made there?
Darren Lynch: Not at all, actually. There are various sites and places you can meet young and ambitious filmmakers and start working on a project almost immediately. The hardest part is finding the budget, but there are a lot of sources out there- you’ve just got to keep trying.
DC: So what’s up next for you and Ouija?
Darren Lynch: The next step is to get Ouija out there and create a good buzz about it so we can get as many people excited about it as possible. Then hopefully we can negotiate a deal with a distributor for a cinema release this Halloween.
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