Sunday 18 November 2012

Die Laughing - an interview with Adam Dunning

Independent film maker Adam Dunning was kind enough, not only to send me a copy of his new film horror flick Laughter for review but also to take the time to talk to me extensively about the film. Please read on for our a great interview with Adam who shares his insights on the film and lots of other stuff.  With Adams permission I have also included production stills, the official movie poster and some pics from the recent Laughter premiere, held on the 28 October!

Hacked in the Head: Hi Adam! Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I have just had the chance to watch and review your feature length horror film Laughter which is the second independent horror film you have written and directed. Firstly can you tell us a little bit about both films and any influences behind them? I haven't yet gotten to see The Infected, but thanks to your kindness, I have now had the chance to enjoy Laughter.

Adam: Mark, I want to thank you for taking your time and reviewing LAUGHTER! I will also get a copy of the inFected to you, so you can see the difference between both films. Well both films are two different horror genres. Laughter is about a killer clown, where the inFected is about a zombie infected town. Influences on the films is just the love of the horror genre. When we watch horror films today its remakes after remakes, and I know we are all getting tired of classics being ruined. The independent world of film maker is a huge influence on any film. The best part about it is your getting actors, producers, writers, directors, editors and so to work on something because they love the genre, or love the field of film making. If I was to choose influences on the films itself I would have to say this about the inFected. Since the film is based on zombies and its a huge subject today, Romero is a reason I got into Zombie flicks and why a lot of people are making them is because of that guy. Romero would definitely be the biggest influence in while i chose a zombie flick. Then LAUGHTER i was influenced by my father when I wanted to write another film I was trying to thing of something that people are scared of. My father looked over and said do a clown movie! So I then looked into my DVD collection and saw "IT" and "Killer Clowns from outer Space" and those are my two favorite clown flicks and gave me some inspiration on how to write LAUGHTER.

HitH: Awesome I look forward to checking out inFected! Now Laughter is a fun slasher film with the distinct selling point of a very creepy looking killer clown. Where on earth did that costume come from?? The mask makes for one of the most volatile looking clowns I have ever seen. It's lucky I'm not as scared of clowns as I was as a child (I ruined a kids birthday party with my hysterical screaming when I was very young....)

Adam: The clown was a challenge to come up with a look to make the clown scary. I went to our local costume shop "Taney's Costume Shop" I was looking at mask and could not find anything I liked that made the clown. So the owner said hold on and let me show you this foam latex mask that I just got in. So we talked about it and once he held it up to his face and showed me how it moves with you face structure, I said that is it. So that is where the mask came from and then I went home and painted up the face and then had to order a few more incase one tore in areas. The costume that he wears was another challenge! I had a blue and yellow costume that did not fit the part once we shot the teaser trailer. So My fiance and her Aunt Jan and myself took a drive to a local fabric shop and looked for an hour or two for something. I went down one way and they went another and I came across this fabric buried under others that was just black and red and torn and bloody looking. I was thinking to myself "This is it". So we went looking for more of it and then found the other half and bought it real cheap I think fifteen dollars for the entire costume to make. So that is how the look of the clown begin which was made by my Fiance Aunt Jan that did an awesome job on it.

HitH: Well it was a job well done, I love the costume! I don't want to spoil anything for readers but there were a few interesting death scenes in Laughter. Did you set out making the movie with the intention on 'raising the bar' with the kills? I'm sure you are aware of how much slasher fans love their creative kills!.

Adam: I tried to set a bar limit on this for the death scenes. Its hard when there are so many out there and trying to come up with something new. There are a lot of cool deaths, and some deaths that are just quick and easy like a neck snapping "Spoiler right there but not a huge one!" Some deaths were tough to do, because when I wrote them it was easy to turn around and come up with something. When you are creating them it is way different because now you have to figure how the hell do i make this. The ones who enjoy Independent horror films I do think that they will love the death scenes in this movie.

HitH: Are you also able to talk about the budget for the film and any particular challenges you may have faced while making it?

Adam: The budget I will come right out and say was very low! We did indie gogo to raise money, a pasta dinner, and then money right out of pocket and the total budget was $3,500.00 to make the film. That was used for the make-up, the build of the shack, food, the costume and props, and anything else needed. Equipment I already had so nothing had to go into that. Challenges we had a few, like i said time was taken with the death scenes, the crime scene outside we has no lights so we were going to call it for the day, but we all turned our cars on and put the heads on to give us the lighting we needed. Which the scene still came out dark, but hey we did it! There were never really any hard challenges in this film, Everyone was great and came and did what they had to do! So for that to happen everything went a lot smoother during production.

HitH: How about the casting process for the film? Are there any memorable performances you want to share? I particularly enjoyed Erin Rovin's performance as Kate, I thought she came off extremely well.

Adam: The casting process for the film was different because I have never held a casting call before. The inFected was just all family and friends that made that film. Since the inFected was all a project to complete so i could Graduate from College. The process for the casting was fun, we got to meet a lot of new people and see all the talent that was in the area. A lot ask that question about memorable performances and its hard to answer. During the casting call, the actors got a few minutes to look over everything so didn't know what was going to happen. Everyone did a great job when reading and going over everything. During the casting there were a lot of funny moments that went on. The production side of performances everyone was good and did a great job pulling their character together. Also everyone talked with each other and said why don't you try this to make it better, or look that way when you say your line. So you can't pick one, because everyone did great and also helped one another make their performances better.

HitH: Thats great, you certainly can tell that the cast were working hard to bring their characters to the fore. Now you recently had your premiere of the film on the 28 October - great stuff. How did it all go? Were you pleased with the turn out and reception of the movie?

Adam: The premiere went well and was shocked with the turn out for the film. We had over two theaters sold out, plus some that couldn't make it because of the storm that came up that weekend. We had our backdrop with the sponsors, and the clown standing there to take pictures with, DVDS and poster to be sold. Then the film began and now I was like well in the next few hours we will find out what everyone thought of the film. Well we found out and they enjoyed the film, they were pleased to see someone from the area doing something like this, the storyline went quick and didn't drag much. So we were all pleased on the turn out and how the entire event went that night.

HitH: What's the overall plan for general release? Can horror fans expect to see laughter officially out on DVD by the end of the year or the start of next year? Also for anyone reading interested in buying a copy, do you have any copies from the first run left and if so how do people go about grabbing one?

Adam: We are not sure about being released yet to other theaters and stuff. We are working on trying to get it picked up right now! If anyone was to buy a copy we have them and they are ready to be shipped out. They are $15.00 a copy and have the film, features with over 2 hours of stuff and the soundtrack. They can contact me at and then we will give them the information on how to get their copy.

HitH: Hear that folks? Get in touch with Adam now and grab a copy!

So I already know from a recent online interview that you are a horror fan Adam. Tell me a bit about your favourite horror films and also anything you don't particularly enjoy within the genre?

Adam: I don't like remakes in the horror genre because they away from the story and add in areas that ruin it more. Although there are areas of the remakes that I do like. My favorite horror film is the Halloween series, then texas chainsaw, freddy, jason and so on with the classics. I just like the story lines and the gore and acting that goes into making a horror film. To make a horror film is just fun and thats what all productions are for horror film makers. I just like all horror films and will keep on going to see them even if they are remakes.

HitH: Whats next for Adam Dunning? Could we see a Laughter sequel in the future or are you planning a different film for your next venture?

Adam: I am writing a sequel right now for LAUGHTER, I also wrote a sequel to the inFeceted, but not pleased with it so that got tossed aside. I am also talking with some one about a script, which I am not going to give a title away or who that person is, but it's a great story and if you were to read the script it puts you right into the story of it. So there are some areas of a sequel in the future and even other projects. Not sure on days or years that it will start production, but for now I am going to give LAUGHTER it's time to travel to the viewers who want to see it.

HitH: Sounds exciting and I cant wait to hear more in the future! Finally Adam - is there anything else you would like to tell readers or share with them?

Adam: Thank you to everyone that loves horror films! If not for you then we would not have a job or passion to make these films for you. Also any other film makers out there keep pushing to get yourself out there. I made a film with no big budget, and not big time equipment and made a successful film. So when anyone says you cant make it and can't do anything, thats not true you can do what you want and you can make that choice to succed. Hope you enjoy Laughter and hear back from you and your thoughts on it.

HitH: Adam thank you so much for talking to me and all the best with Laughter and your future work - stay in touch!

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