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Director Corey Grant Talks Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes

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Director Corey Grant Talks Bigfoot: The Lost Coast TapesCorey Grant is an African-American director with such titles as Hip-Hop Task Force and its follow-up, Studio, on his resume. Stereotypically speaking, he’s not your typical horror director.

But this fearless filmmaker recently trekked to Northern California with his crew and brought back Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes, which opens this Friday, October 19th.

“It’s about a disgraced television host who was hoaxed by a fictional UFO story on a previous show, and it killed his career,” Grant said in describing Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes. “Now he stages his comeback when he finds out there is a Bigfoot hunter who supposedly has an image of Bigfoot. So he figures he can do a show, but this time do it about people who pull hoaxes. Then he can bring his career back. So, of course, they travel up to Northern California to find this Bigfoot hunter, but when they get up there, everything is not what it seems.”

In keeping with the Bigfoot legend, Grant hoped to really bring some of the key elements of the tale to his film. “Basically, we tried to make it as authentic to the Bigfoot legend as possible but, at the same time, add some core elements to it,” Grant said. “I think it gives a lot of accurate information about the legend of Bigfoot, but at the same time it’s entertaining, with some fictional elements added to it.”

Adding to the realism of the film is the fact that one of the writers had an intimate knowledge of the region. “[Co-writer] Brian Kelsey is a native of that area of Humboldt County,” Grant said. “He remembered seeing a Bigfoot print outside his home when he was growing up. Then over the years he’d owned this cabin in Humboldt County, and he would go up there by himself. It’s very secluded, and he would write. And he’d admit to being scared in this cabin, hearing the craziest noises outside. It spooked him. And that’s where the inspiration for the story came from. Before we shot the film, he took some of the crew up there in the night and we saw the environment in which he was writing, and it freaked us all out.”

To help capture the atmosphere of a television shoot, Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes was done as a found footage project. “Before this film I wasn’t really into the found footage style,” Grant said, “but in the story that was written by Brian Kelsey and Bryan O’Cain, the found footage style was a very intricate element to the actual script. I wrestled with the thought of not doing it that way and doing it traditionally. That’s what I like, that’s what I’m used to. But the more I looked at the script, the more I realized found footage was the best way to do it. So we tried to have a hybrid between that and a traditional style film.”

Grant also felt there were other advantages of the found footage style. “I really wanted to capture the atmosphere, to get the feeling that they’re up there on this journey, and I think the found footage element wasn’t so much for scares, but to make the audience feel like they’re along for this journey.”

Although this film is set in the woods of Northern California and another infamous found footage film, Cloverfield, is set in New York City, viewers of Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes may find similarities between the two movies. “Other than The Blair Witch Project years ago, Cloverfield is the only found footage movie I’d seen before shooting this. And what I liked about Cloverfield was they had special effects, but it was very subtle. That was one of the influences. We all watched Cloverfield… and [REC].”

Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes also has its share of effects and stunts, but Grant prefers to keep them as an accentuation to the film instead of the driving force behind it. “Eric Chen was our stunt coordinator,” Grant said. “He’s done a lot of Jackie Chan movies and is one of the top stunt coordinators in the world. He was gracious enough to come on board to help us. And we did a lot of special effects, but we did try to minimize it a bit to keep it more organic. We did a lot of neat effects that seem subtle in the movie but were pretty elaborate to put together.”

And certainly this was no easy shoot as the cast found themselves right in the region that the film was based on. “We shot an hour and a half into the forest every day,” Grant said. “No cell phone service or anything. And where we were shooting is referred to as ‘Bigfoot Central.’ When we initially got up there, we realized we couldn’t get our trucks the entire way up, but we found a logging road that we had to take as an alternate route, and we pulled it together.”

And Grant had nothing but stellar things to say about his cast. “They roughed it up there in the elements, and they were in it 100 percent,” Grant said. “No one ever complained at all, and I’m very happy with all of them.”

Grant continued on some of his stars, “To work with Frank Ashmore was a dream. I’m a big, big fan of his, and he’s probably the only guy I’ve been star-struck by in any of the films I’ve done. He brought a really sophisticated element to the way he attacked his character. Sean Reynolds is an excellent actor who’s very quick. He worked well with his co-star Rich McDonald, and I think the audience likes those guys. They’re really fun, and I thought they brought their characters alive.”

So just how does an African-American director with no horror credits on his resume find himself working in Bigfoot Central? “I’m a fan of movies,” Grant said. “I watch everything. I’m a big Star Wars buff, I work in a little horror. But I don’t consider myself a horror director as much as a storyteller. And I feel if you’re a director or a writer, you should be able to tell a story in the best way possible. And this was a story I approached in a different way just from being a fan of various different types of movies. I’ve done other movies that are completely different from this one. And then we have another supernatural film we’re going to be doing and then more comedy. I’m just a fan of movies. I’m a fanboy.”

Director Corey Grant Talks Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes

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Friday the 13th: The Game Welcomes Back Shelly Finkelstein This Monday!

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Earlier this past year, all of us Friday the 13th Part 3 fans we delighted when “Friday the 13th: The Game” added in Fox (Gloria Charles) as a playable character.

And now we have the announcement that another beloved character from Friday the 13th Part 3 will be joining the game this December.

Yes, Shelly Finkelstein (Larry Zerner) will be coming back to Camp Crystal Lake!

The Shelly playable character will be available for free with the latest patch. The new update will be coming for PS4 and Steam on Monday, Dec. 18th. The Xbox One patch to follow shortly.

Below you can watch the announcement trailer which was posted on Twitter earlier tonight.

After giving it a watch make sure to let us know how excited you are to see Shelly (aka the man who gave Jason his mask) back in action below!

Shelly Finkelstein hits Friday the 13th: The Game for PS4 and Steam on Monday, Dec. 18th.

Welcome Back Shelly!

The man responsible for 'handing' Jason his mask, Shelly Finkelstein will be coming back to Camp Crystal Lake to troll his fellow counselors…that is until Jason shows up! Get Shelly for free with the latest patch!The latest update will be coming for PS4 and Steam on Monday, Dec. 18th with the Xbox One patch to follow shortly!

Posted by Friday the 13th: The Game on Friday, December 15, 2017

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Graham Humphreys Reveals His Poster For An American Werewolf In London

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Graham Humphreys continues to cement his position as one of the top horror artists in the business with his stunning new poster for An American Werewolf in London. This piece was created as a private commission, and fans of John Landis’ 1981 classic are going to love it. You can view the final design of this incredible poster below.

Final design with text.

Graham also provided us with a detailed statement about the creation of the piece, along with a bunch of screen grabs taken throughout the process. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you can see how the final image looks before the text was added. In case you missed it earlier, you can also check out our extended interview with Graham here.

Exclusive Statement from Graham Humphreys
As a commercial artist and illustrator, there is only limited scope to make a job entirely your own – so with each project you are answering a brief in order to fulfill the needs of a client. Of course, the client may choose to give you free reign, though this is with the understanding that you are acknowledging their needs and thus expected to work within certain unspoken parameters. Mostly, these confines are defined by how a product is to be sold, licensing instructions and an understanding a market. With this in mind, the client is paying and thus nominally always right… though it would be unprofessional not to make them aware that other options might work better for them!

Without these commercial constraints, a private commission can remove the barriers because no market is to be met and there is only the artist and the private client to answer to. Creating a poster for a familiar and heavily licensed title is an entirely different prospect if it is not going to be generating money in the public domain and is thus essentially ‘fan art’. Unlike say, a T-shirt company ripping off someone elses art and charging money for the printed image, or perhaps a poster reproduced without permission by either the license owner or artist, then sold for profit.

Here, Dread Central have asked me to talk through one such commission, ‘An American Werewolf in London’, painted as a private commission for an individual that wishes to own a unique image that they themselves have made happen. NB: All likenesses and specific imagery (including the title and names etc) are subject to license and copyright and not for any use other than as examples of a work in progress (and of course, all rights are reserved!). Just need to make sure that it absolutely clear!

The client had commissioned two previous posters from me (as well as numerous poster designs from fellow artists), so a basic understanding of expectations had already been established.

My work begins by watching the film from beginning to end – to re-establish my own connection to the film (if one already exists). I saw ‘An American Werewolf in London’ (in London!) on it’s first run and the proximity to many of the locations (Tottenham Court Road tube station, Piccadilly Circus, being the obvious ones) made it instantly impressionable for me. Existing posters, in particular the official theatrical versions and various home-entertainment sleeves, focused on a limited image pool. My job was to find new ways of representing the film, free of the past baggage, but also to listen to my clients requirements.

Looking for a fresh perspective means avoiding the familiar stills that have defined the past marketing, this is achieved by making screen grabs from the DVD or blu-ray. As with most commercial jobs, I generally make a selection of about 40 images, then review these reducing the number to about 15 that have the best narrative potential, including a good visual range of actor expressions and reactions. My client required the Werewolf, London references, the moors, David and Jack, a full moon and the ‘Slaughtered Lamb’ pub sign… then whatever else I chose to include.

On the basis of the selected screen grabs, I make necessary light and contrast adjustments in photoshop, make them greyscale (removing the distraction of colour) and print them out at a size I can easily trace in pencil onto paper. All the pencil sketches are then scanned into photoshop, so that I can rearrange, resize and move around in order to determine the best layout, one which tells a story and has a visual impact. (I find it’s better to present sketched layouts rather than a photocomp’s, partly because the photographic material is usually of varying quality, but also because a pencil rough is more fluid and does not dictate the final impression).

Selected screen grabs.

Selected screen grabs 2.

My first idea involved a portrait of David looking lost and frightened (I felt this was essential to the story), the Werewolf with it’s head bursting through the cinema shutters/signage (the idea of breaking the fourth wall), the decomposing Jack (a perfect metaphor for David’ s own life falling apart), his nightmare of the home invasion (one of the most effective and horrific moments in the film, I felt), plus Brian Glover’s ‘Slaughtered Lamb’ local – a look that defines rednecks and racists the word over when confronted by ‘other’!). I also wanted to add the tube attack victim to open up the carnage. Although Jenny Agutter’s nurse added the romantic dimension for an audience that expects the convention, I wanted to concentrate on David’s story, so chose to only include her face as if she were painted on the shutters, ie. a film poster element.

I was surprised that the client didn’t want the home invasion creatures, nor the reference to the sleazy cinema hordings (which I thought made a good location gag – obviously not!), they also did not want the rotting Jack. It was disappointing to lose these great horror elements, especially as they’d particularly wanted ‘horror’! But a compromise was reached by including the transformation scene at the bottom, and reinstating the moors (which I’d thought unnecessary).

Fortunately, my second sketch was well received and the painting could commence.

On the basis of the selected screen grabs, I make necessary light and contrast adjustments in photoshop, make them greyscale (removing the distraction of colour) and print them out at a size I can easily trace in pencil onto paper. All the pencil sketches are then scanned into photoshop, so that I can rearrange, resize and move around in order to determine the best layout, one which tells a story and has a visual impact. (I find it’s better to present sketched layouts rather than a photocomp’s, partly because the photographic material is usually of varying quality, but also because a pencil rough is more fluid and does not dictate the final impression).

Once I have my sketch approved I reintroduced the photographic source material over the sketched parts, so that my layout remains exactly as approved and so that I’ll have the best possible likenesses to trace onto the watercolour paper.

Early sketched elements.

I usually have a basic idea of what colours I’m going to use. In this instance I knew that I wanted a silvery blue moonlight to bathe the entire image, but also the contrast of the orange glow of artificial lighting, the pub and cinema foyer. I knew the big splash of red in the wolf’s jaw would jump out, becoming the focal point. This painting took about three days to complete, the sketch process (including the grabs) about a day upfront.

Composition design.

The final painting was scanned and all the text added in photoshop.

My client will now make a full size poster print, to be framed, from the file I send him. Next up, ‘The Thing’!

Final painting before text was added.

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Syfy Renews Z Nation for a 5th Season; Season 4 Finale Airs Tonight!

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Syfy’s popular zombie series “Z Nation” just keeps shambling on, and tonight the two-episode Season 4 finale, “Mt. Weather/The Black Rainbow,” airs. If you’re a fan of the show, we have good news for you… it’s not over yet as David Latt of The Asylum has announced on Twitter the pickup of “Z Nation” for a 5th season! So you can expect lots more adventures with the gang in 2018.

Below is the official word from David along with a brief synopsis of what’s ahead tonight in the finale, which kicks off at 9/8c.

Synopsis:
In the mind-bending two-hour Season 4 finale, Warren and the team must stop Zona from launching operation Black Rainbow, which will cleanse the landscape of both zombies and humans. In Part 2 the secret of Warren’s Black Rainbow dream is unlocked when they reach their final destination. The cast includes Kellita Smith as Roberta Warren, Keith Allan as Murphy, Russell Hodgkinson as Doc, Nat Zang as 10K, Gracie Gillam as Sgt. Lilley, DJ Qualls as Citizen Z, Ramona Young as Kaya, Justin Torrence as President Donald Trump, Michael Berryman as The Founder, Micheal Daks as Mr. Sunshine, Anastasia Baranova as Addy, Sydney Viengluang as Sun Mei, Joseph Gatt as The Man, and Natalie Jongjaroenlarp as Red.

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