Tonight’s episode of “Paranormal Witness,” entitled “The Coven,” looks to be pretty damned spooky, and right now we have an exclusive director’s pick clip from the show as well as a quick Q&A with said director, Sam Hobkinson.
Check out the episode synopsis and the director’s pick clip below!
A ramshackle Southern plantation house harbors a dark secret – spirits trapped inside by a witches’ coven.
Q: Why is this your “director’s pick” clip?
A: Hobkinson: I like this scene from a director’s point of view because the tension builds very satisfyingly to the final payoff. I like it from a writer’s point of view because that payoff foreshadows what’s to come and the experience also provides a character crisis for Matt – “Do I really tell my family? They’re gonna think I’m crazy.”
Q: What was the most challenging aspect of filming this particular scene?
A: Hobkinson: The challenge of this scene was to give it a climactic moment. After a door flying open, seemingly of its own accord, has scared us half to death, you need to take things to the next level. I knew I wanted to follow Matt out into the hallway, it’s great drama – the tension, what’s out there? The hallway’s dark, the floorboards creak, classic horror. But then he sees nothing. I wanted this scene to climax on more than a false scare and the line that allowed me to do it was Matt’s: “And then I had this sinking feeling…It’s behind me now.” What we see dramatizes his worse fears and hints at what’s to come in the story.
Q: What was the trickiest part about filming this episode?
A: Hobkinson: The most challenging part about shooting the episode as a whole was creating the mood and atmosphere of the Deep South in Toronto where it was shot. The only elements of the film shot in the South were a selection of general views [that were] shot in South Carolina when I did the interviews. Luckily we were able to find a fantastic farmhouse just outside Toronto with a large tree next to it on which we could hang Spanish Moss. We shot all the exteriors at the end of the day so they had a warm, low-lit look, which I think contributed to the Southern mood.
Q: Why are witches so scary?
A: Hobkinson: The strength of belief in the Deep South is palpable, you can feel it in the air. This goes for belief in witchcraft too – the culture of African witchcraft mixed with European and Christian beliefs to create a very unique type of magic: Hoodoo. What makes witches so scary in this case is that they are more than just archetypes from folk tales or camp costumes on Halloween, they are part of the living culture. It makes it that much harder to disbelieve them.
Q: What do you think is the scariest/most terrifying part of the whole episode?
A: Hobkinson: For me, the end is the scariest scene because it makes you reassess everything that’s gone before – but I shouldn’t let on what happens in the end! For pure fear factor, the idea that something is playing on your worst fears is hard to beat, so the spider attack scene always sends a shiver down my spine.
Q: Since it’s almost Halloween…what’s your favorite scary movie and why?
A: Hobkinson: My favorite horror film is “Don’t Look Now” (Nicholas Roeg, 1973) for several reasons: Firstly for the mood of foreboding created by the misty canals of Venice during winter, secondly for a terrifying deformed dwarf in a red duffel coat who still stalks my dreams, but mostly for Donald Sutherland’s central character who is haunted by the gift of premonition and the way the editing reflects his character’s slow realization that he has foreseen his wife’s own death.
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