“Welcome to the house where evil was born…
When a podcaster calls together a medium, a young woman with a dark secret, a former scream queen and a faded horror film star to Marlow House – the location of his favourite horror film from yesterday – the visitors awaken the dark shadows of the house’s gruesome past. Did the film’s director really hang himself the day filming ended, or was he murdered by the house? Why does the spirit of a little boy keep reaching-out to one of the guests? There’s something evil that has lied dormant in Marlow House for nearly thirty years… now it’s hungry for visitors again.”
Anthony D. P. Mann and Bill Bossert have teamed up again…. November 2012 I was lucky enough to visit the set of The Ghostkeepers, A Canadian film written, directed and acted in by Mann and produced by Bossert The setting was impressive, a beautiful and dark setting in Southern Ontario, Canada.
Upon arrival I was greeted by Anthony D. P. Mann and met the cast who all seemed to share the same passion for The Ghostkeepers that Mann had. It was a pleasure to be around the cast and crew for the day. Proceeding the introductions we explored the house where the filming was taking place. Full of weathered rooms, dreary hallways and great textures all around. I found myself unsettled by the atmosphere and looking forward to seeing how the entirety of it comes across on film.
While the shoot moved forwards, us on-lookers took our places outside of a small room used for a complicated scene. Listening to the actors and crew back each other up and working together to get the best results they could achieve was an excellent experience, and truly nice to see people come together for the sole purpose of creating art.
The Ghostkeepers looks like a good supernatural horror, one I am anxious to see. Luckily, Mann took the time to answer a few questions on the film and his own creative process:
-Where did the idea for the storyline of The Ghostkeepers come from?
The Ghostkeepers came to me first in the form of a stage play – it was a celebration of horror films and horror icons of yesteryear. It was originally set in the early 80s, and was heavily inspired by William Castle and Vincent Price. When the opportunity of tossing-off a quick, single-location film came up, I dusted off the old play script and revised the setting to present day… it adapted marvelously to the medium which it celebrates, and has evolved into so much more than the original concept ever could have been. It’s a horror film, yes – but there are great moments of mystery and drama… I’m quite proud of this, as it’s my first entirely original production.
-How would you describe your writing process?
Writing comes in dribs and drabs to me. When I’m inspired, times are good and I am voracious – I fall in love with my characters, and enjoy taking journies with them…. I’ve been known to mourn the loss of characters when storylines / scripts come to an end! But there are dry times, too… tediously dry times. I have abandoned SO many writing projects over the years, and I am a terrible procrastinator (as evidenced by the delay in responding to your questions here . I work best under pressure, and seldom proof-read or do re-writes…. thank heavens I have a great proof-reader and writing partner in my business partner, (producer) Bill Bossert!
-What is it about The Ghostkeepers that brought you to the decision to put it on film?
I’d like to think I’m an accommodating director for actors, as I’m primarily an actor myself…. although the writing / directing is all an extension of being a storyteller, I suppose. I think actors should have freedom to create and interpret – they know their jobs, and most do the job well. It’s always a fascinating process to watch a film evolve from script to screen — it’s never the final product that one imagines, and that’s (usually) a great thing! I’d like to think I’ve developed and matured as a director, too – patience is an important skill to acquire, and I do work hard at it…. but any of my actors will likely agree that I can get a little cranky from time to time —- I usually compensate by doing a coffee run… coffee heals all wounds
-If you met someone who has never seen a horror movie before, what three movies would you recommend they watch first?