Exclusive: Kelley Mack and Wendie Weldon Talk A Knock at the Door

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I really enjoyed the short film A Knock at the Door in my review, so I was honored to be able to discuss the project further with the film’s co-star Kelley Mack and co-director Wendie Weldon. In the following interview, they break down how they were able to create some of the scariest eight minutes that you’re likely to ever see.

If you’re hoping to catch A Knock at the Door, details for two upcoming screenings are listed below:

Pasadena International Film Festival
Laemmle Playhouse 7
673 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91101
Friday, March 10th @ 8:30pm
Block #6

NewFilmmakers LA
South Park Center
1139 S. Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Saturday, March 25th @ 7:15pm
Shorts Program #2: In Focus: Female Directors

Dread Central: How were you able to make such an effective short from a relatively simple premise?

Wendie Weldon: Truth be told, we kind of fell upon this idea. It was a collaboration of artists and this was the way we were able to include everyone that we wanted to work with. It was a bit of a happy accident.

Kelley Mack: Some of the central ideas were ones that happened to a couple of us in real life. And to develop those ideas into the horror genre even further, we asked ourselves, “What would be the most terrifying thing that could happen in this moment?” The story fell into place quite organically, and then we had some very talented people working in post production who really brought our vision to completion.

DC: As audio plays a large role in A Knock at the Door, can you talk about the sound design process?

KM: The sound process was actually the toughest part of the project.

WW: We ended up having to go through multiple post sound people. Because our film is so driven by the atmosphere, we had to be very careful to select the sounds that enhanced that and had the right tone.

KM: It took a long time. I think the main sound of our “entity” stemmed from Wendie, actually. We were just sitting in a meeting one time, and she made this really loud creepy noise that she apparently likes to make randomly, and first, we were like, who is this crazy person we’ve decided to work with? But also, let’s definitely use that noise in the short. She ended up recording that noise in my closet and we played around with it in post.

DC: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I got the impression that loneliness is a central theme of A Knock at the Door because Nick seems to be isolated from humanity. Was this something you wanted to tackle?

WW Yes. It was a by-product of us tackling trust and questioning how much you can trust those around you. As a result of that, it left our lead character isolated.

KM: Yeah, agreed. With a lack of trust comes isolation, so it’s really one of the more depressing results of what a threat like this can cause people to do.

DC: What else are you working on?

WW: We’re in development on the feature version of A Knock at the Door. We’re all avid filmmakers, so individually, we all have our own projects that are consistently being made.

KM: I’ve also got a couple short films and a play coming up that I’m acting in and Wendie made a web series that’s in post production. One of our actors, David Sullivan, has a ton of projects coming out right now – he was just at Sundance for a movie called Deidhra & Laney Rob a Train and is one of the leads on the Netflix show Flaked.

DC: Would you open your door if you heard a knock late at night?

KM: Yeah, after checking to see who it is. If it was a friend or family member, I would definitely open the door. Well on second thought, maybe not now, after working on this film…..

WW: I would look through the peephole, like Nick. If it was someone I knew, I would probably open it unknowingly.

About A Knock at the Door:
A Knock at the Door is, at its core, a chilling and self-reflective exploration of trust that avoids the blood and gore typical of the genre. It has been described as a cross between popular horror flicks Invasion of the Body Snatchers and It Follows.

The female directing/writing duo, Katrina Rennells and Wendie Weldon, would agree. Despite this being their first time working together, they “saw eye-to-eye on almost everything. We’d wanted to direct for a while, and to have each other’s back through the first-time directing process was cool.”

Kelley Mack, the main producer and a co-star of the film, is proud of the team that’s come together. One of the lead actors, David Sullivan, was in the Oscar-nominated Argo; their composer, Ryan Stratton, did original music for Hum, a Student Oscar-nominated short; and their final colorist, Rick Dalby, is known for his work on “Friends,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Wonder Years,” and more.

A Knock at the Door won the Jury Choice Award at the Atlanta Horror Film Festival.

Logline: Moments after a bloodcurdling scream disrupts Nick’s normally peaceful neighborhood, a frantic knocking at his door triggers events that unknowingly alter his fate forever.

Directors/Writers: Katrina Rennells & Wendie Weldon
Producer: Kelley Mack
Cast: David Sullivan, Drew Jenkins & Kelley Mack

Website: www.aknockatthedoor.com
Facebook: @knockatdoorfilm
Twitter: @knockatdoorfilm
Instagram @knockatdoorfilm
For more information or to get in touch, email the team directly at: knockatdoorfilm@gmail.com.

Jury Choice Award Winner: Atlanta Horror Film Festival
Official Selection: NYC Horror Film Festival
Official Selection: Knoxville Horror Film Festival
Official Selection: IMAGINE Film Festival
Official Selection: Pasadena International Film Festival
Official Selection: NewFilmmakers LA
Official Selection: Women’s Independent Film Festival
Official Selection: Tri-Cities International Film Festival
Official Selection: WorldCon 75 International Film Festival
Official Selection: JRS Short Film Festival

a knock at the door poster2 1 - Exclusive: Kelley Mack and Wendie Weldon Talk A Knock at the Door

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