An Interview with Roadmap's 78th Signing!
Congrats on your success! What's it been like since your Dare to Scare success and getting signed with Schemers Entertainment?Dan
: Thank you so much. It’s always nice to get recognized at competitions so it’s been a lovely and encouraging compliment. We wouldn’t be here without it. Getting signed with Schemers has been huge for us. Those guys are great; we’ve learned so much already and we’re excited to learn more. We know the hard work starts now!Colin
: Thanks! Yeah I agree with Dan: the entire experience of Dare to Scare was really great: communication with the organizers, I thought the way the contest was structured was great. The idea of offering a practical outcome, representation, is a very good one. And absolutely it is a huge compliment to be recognized in that way. As far as Schemers goes, we’re so excited. Dan’s right: such a learning experience. Even going through initial meetings with them was very educational. They’re great to work with, and we are looking forward to the creative work to come.Tell us a little about God's Acre. What was the genesis of the concept?Colin
: So the concept came from a couple of different places. The initial idea was mine, which is typically how Dan and I work: one of us has the idea and takes the lead, the other one works to help flesh it out and refine the idea.
First, I’d always been interested in writing a period horror. Combined with that, I saw a very closed-in slow-burn story about a community fearing The Other, or the Outsider, while really turning on each other and becoming their own worst enemy. In the world we live in now, that seemed like a story worth telling. In addition, I’d recently gone down a research rabbit hole and come across the phrase “God’s Acre,” which was an 18th century term for “graveyard.” I read about a place in Connecticut where a section of a town was known as God’s Acre. The locals tended to believe that this was because there were three churches in the same block, but in fact that part of the town used to be an old graveyard. THAT felt like a story HAD to be in there somewhere, and it kind of developed from there.Dan
: Well, I mean… what he said. It was important to tell a story that reflected the world today. Seemingly ‘free’ and welcoming lands are actually pretty oppressive and dangerous; a lot of people are scared to just exist these days.How long have you been writing together? What made you want to write in the first place?Dan
: We met when we were eighteen, at university in Wales. We’ve been doing it ever since then. For me, seeing Jurassic Park at like seven years old started it all. As soon as I realized that someone actually wrote this stuff down, it was all I wanted to do.Colin
: Similar story for me, though the movie for me was Jaws. I was enthralled with the storytelling, couldn’t think of anything else I wanted to do more.Is horror your preferred genre? What draws you to it?Dan
: Not particularly. For us, the story we want to tell dictates the genre it’s told in. For a film like God’s Acre, where the current political landscape was the driving genesis, a horror film was a no-brainer. Colin
: We have some grounding and background in the horror world. Our first produced film, Lost Creek, was in the horror orbit to some extent. And I personally LOVE horror films. I think there’s something primal about the imagination that goes into horror. It’s the same uncontrolled imagination that made you scared, genuinely scared of monsters under the bed as a kid, and that’s very compelling. But Dan’s exactly right: as far as our writing goes, the story drives the genre.What are your favorite horror movies (series or books too)?Dan
: Growing up it was Alien, The Thing and Scream. The first two REC films still scare the shit out of me, and I love Sleep Tight and The Untamed too.Colin
: There’s a lot out there, but Alien, The Thing, The Evil Dead trilogy, The Babadook, Jim Mickle’s remake of We Are What We Are, The Shining, The Witch are some that come immediately to mind. Who are the writers that inspire you?Dan
: The short fiction writers Daniel Alarcón, Amy Hempel and Raymond Carver are all genius. In the screen world: Michael Haneke, Taylor Sheridan and, of course, Phoebe Waller-Bridge.Colin
: Like many many writers interested in horror, I enjoy some Stephen King. I have a huge soft spot for JD Salinger’s work (stuff that isn’t Catcher in the Rye), I like the short stories of Breece D’J Pancake. I’ve always enjoyed the playwright Anthony Minghella. Screenwriters, yeah Michael Haneke and Taylor Sheridan (loved Sicario), I loved PT Anderson’s Magnolia.Tell us three things you're currently digging.Dan
: My Dad Wrote a Porno (podcast), Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (book) and Rina Mushonga (singer).Colin
: Lore (podcast), Gregory Crewdson (photographer), The Mountain Goats (band).Where can we find you?Dan
: I’m just “thewitherall” on Twitter and Insta. I’m too old for Snapchat. Does that still exist, actually?Colin
: I’m worse than he is with technology. I’m @AdamsToomey on Twitter.Dan
: I actually had to set up his Twitter account for him!