Delivering more of the independent goods: David Sherbrook by Greg Tiderington

I met David at the Weekend of Horrors in Burbank, California as he seemed to be quite an enthusiastic filmmaker as he made some horror shorts that went to film festivals titled 'Theodore' and 'The Morning After'
He also did a horror anthology titled Closing Costs as well as planning to do an upcoming slasher flick paying a tribute to the old school time periods titled Project Discharge.
During the beginning while he was a student he worked as an integral member of TV-10, a student run television station at North Farmington High School, where he was the editor, CG supervisor and director for their weekly news program, "Live at :45".
He also created and starred in his own segment titled "Restaurant Review", which has survived his tenure and is still going on to this day. His first experience with filmmaking came as a result of TV-10, when he and his classmates wrote, directed and produced a vampire short titled "Center of Evil".
He has travelled to many different countries and then moved to Los Angeles to attend Columbia College Hollywood, where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree. While there, he took part in a number of film and TV productions
The rest is history and let's hope he makes a good success here. On with the interview


How old were you when you decided that you wanted to make horror films?

The first horror movie I remember seeing was 'The Shining' when I was about 10, and it scared the shit out of me.  To this day it is one of the only films that still gives me chills.  I realized I wanted to make movies in high school, when I was head editor and director for a local TV station run out of my high school.  We made a really terrible horror movie for halloween and ever since then I've wanted to be a filmmaker. 

What was your first horror project?

My first "official" horror project, aside from the joke films my friends and I made for years, was 'It'll Clear Up By Morning' that I shot in 2006.  It's actually a prequel of sorts to 'The Morning After' about a guy who, while checking his mail, is bitten by a mutant bug and proceeds to go through a violent night of terror as his head slowly turns into a cocoon.  The movie, like 'The Morning After', is heavily inspired by early Cronenberg films (most notably, 'The Fly') as I've always been intrigued by the concept of body horror.  

What brought up the idea to make your horror short 'Theodore'?

'Theodore' is a concept I came up with when my friends and I were throwing around the idea of doing a series of short films that were very tonally akin to 'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark'.  I envisioned a crashed car on the side of the road with two decapitated bodies in it and began to flesh out how they got there.  That's where the character came from and the story evolved naturally from there.

What is the story all about?

It's pretty simple.  Two young executive types walk into a bar after a long day of work and find the place empty, save for an esoteric bartender and a mysterious "man" in a cloak.  After pissing off the bartender, they are kicked out of the bar and hunted down by Theodore, who we later find out is a sort of modern day headless horseman.  It's eerie and deliberate and I think we pulled off the 'Scary Stories' angle pretty well.

What was it like shooting this film?

The shoot was a lot of fun but also very stressful.  It was my first time shooting on location and with a "known" actor, so it was a very good learning experience.  The most strenuous aspect of the film wasn't the shoot itself, but the pre-production process. Because I was shooting this film for almost no money my choice of locations was very limited, and I went through at least half a dozen places and was unable to find one that fit my budget and ideal look.  We actually ended up securing the desert location the day before we were set to shoot it, through a friend who lives on a ranch in Lancaster, CA.  There certainly were a lot of obstacles in getting this film made but overall we pulled it off and I am very happy with it.

How did you find people like Lloyd Kauffman from Troma Team or Andy Gates to be in your film?

Andy had approached me at Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors in LA a few months before we shot and expressed his interest in acting in one of our films, so when it came time to cast 'Theodore' I went back to his head shot and thought he had the perfect look and enthusiasm that I needed, so I gave him a call and he jumped on board.

Lloyd was a whole different story.  Our Special FX artist, Scott Dawson, had actually worked with Lloyd years before on the independent horror feature 'The Janitor'.  We ended up running into him at Weekend of Horrors and he remembered Scott and said he'd love to act in one of our films as long as we paid for his cab ride.  Oddly enough, we were planning 'Theodore' so I gave him a copy of the script and he loved it.  Everything else just fell into place at the right time.  It was a lot of fun.  Lloyd is a riot!

What kinds of feedback did you get when you showed it at the Fangoria Convention or the Tromadance Film Festival?

The overall feedback has been very positive and I'm grateful for that.  Everyone has seemed to really latch onto the idea and the character of Theodore, and of course Lloyd's outrageous performance.  It's been great.

Do tell us about your following horror short the 'Morning After'?

'The Morning After' was actually shot 6 months before 'Theodore', but because of its length and reliance on effects, the editing process took a lot longer.
It's basically about a group of kids who find one of their roommates dead the morning after a party.  As they investigate the story takes a wild turn as they try and stop an infestation that spins out of control.  It's very tongue-in-cheek and absurd and a throwback to the greatest decade of horror films, the 1980's.  The whole idea was just to have fun and make people laugh and grossed out at the same time. 

Was this film a challenging one to do since it ran over a half hour to make?

The length wasn't so much of a challenge as the effects and camerawork.  For example, the opening shot of the movie, where the camera cranes down from the trees and into the house, took an entire day to shoot.  Choreographing the party scene with the precise camera moves took a lot of work and time, but in the end we got one hell of a shot that was deemed impossible by some of the people we talked to about it.  
Other than that, just the sheer amount of effects and appliances that were used in the film took a lot of time to prepare, apply, and execute, which ended up taking up most of the shooting days.  But Scott did an amazing job and it turned out way more absurd than I'd originally planned.  I'm very happy with it.

What was the whole environment like while working on set with this one?

The environment was awesome.  It was a very relaxed and fun shoot and everyone involved just jumped right in with both feet.  We all had a blast.  It was probably the most fun we've ever had shooting.

What was the cast like to work with?

The cast was great.  They went so far above and beyond what was expected of them that I couldn't have asked for more.  Most of them had never done a horror film before, so their willingness to get covered in blood for hours on end just made the whole process a lot more fun.  I still remain in contact and continue to work with most of them.  If you recall, Nicholas Leonard reappeared in 'Theodore' and Zack Fahey did as well in 'Freddie and the Goblins'.  

Did it go to film festivals yet? If so which one?

It hasn't yet but you will be able to see it in our upcoming anthology film 'Closing Costs', which will be out early this year.

Now you co-directed a chapter titled "Freddie & the Goblins" as well as produced, directed, composed and were a stunt double in a horror anthology called "Closing Costs". How did this come about?

'Freddie' was a script that our F/X artist Scott Dawson had written years earlier and we'd always been planning to shoot that after 'Theodore'.  By sheer coincidence we were approached to use 'Freddie and the Goblins' in another anthology that ultimately ended up falling apart.  Because of this, we at Infested Films decided to move forward and create our own anthology using Freddie and the Goblins along with 'The Morning After' and a third segment that we just shot in December called Father Land.  

What is the story all about?

The story revolves around a realtor who is having trouble selling a house because of some dreadful events that have taken place within its walls.  Each short film tells a different story about the house's lurid past, eventually leading us to ask the question "Is the house cursed, or the people who inhabited it?"  It's a lot of fun and the ending will blow your mind!

Would you compare this to films like 'Creepshow' or 'Tales from the Crypt'?

Yeah, like those films it is an anthology film, with three short films all contained within one wraparound story.

Were there any difficult moments while filming "Freddie and the Goblins"?

Some aspects were difficult, yeah.  The story revolves around 3 puppets that were created and brought to life by Scott.  We'd never worked with puppets before so it was a bit trying at first.  But the anticipation ended being more grueling than the actual shoot.  Puppeteering went pretty smoothly overall, but because of the amount of time it took to coordinate everything the days were pretty hectic.  In the end the film turned out great and we couldn't be happier.  It's a lot of fun.

Who did you enjoy working with the most?

There was no one person, really.  The entire cast was a blast to work with and it's always fun to work with our buddy Zack Fahey.  He dove head first into the character of Freddie and nailed it perfectly.  He's bat-shit insane we love it!

Now you are doing a slasher film this summer.  What is the film called as well as the story about?

The film is called 'Project Discharge' and it's my own unique take on a slasher film.  I won't divulge much more than that, other than it will be shooting in the summer and released at the end of 2011.

What will you compare this one to?

At its core it is a balls-out slasher film, with a twist. It's definitely influenced by the greats, 'Halloween', 'Friday the 13th', 'The Burning', etc.  It takes everything we love about slashers and amplifies it.  Slashers have been done to death so many times so this one's going to be fresh and different.  It's gonna be one violent and scary ride.

Do you have any new years resolutions for 2011?

To make more movies!

Now here's some fun stuff: What are your favorite horror films?

All time favorite is 'The Shining'.  The tone and atmospheres created in it are extremely unsettling.  It's the ultimate horror film in my opinion.  I'm also a huge fan of early Cronenberg ('The Fly', 'The Brood', 'Videodrome') and Dario Argento is a big influence as well. 

If you were a famous horror filmmaker whether he was alive or dead who would he be?

David Sherbrook.  He's awesome.

What film did you do that you cherish the most?

Probably 'The Morning After'.  It's a ton of fun and a wink and a nod to the horror films of old, the ones that inspire me most.

What film have you done that you weren't proud of and would like to change?

Everything I've done has led me to the point I'm at right now.  I wouldn't change a thing.  

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Making movies 24/7.

What are your ambitions in life?

To be able to continuously make movies until the day I die.