Director Brian Cunningham was nice enough to answer some questions about the newest movie, "Monsters Wanted." The movie is a documentary about the haunted house industry. So read on to hear about his film, his love for horror, and how the idea came up for the horror documentary.
1. For the anyone who doesn't know, can you explain your movie, "Monsters Wanted?
Monsters Wanted is an in-depth look at the haunted house industry. We follow a guy named Rich Teachout as he quits his job and invests his life savings to make a "haunted theme park." We follow Rich's story from the first day of building the theme park until the last day of the season. Along the way we visit other haunted houses, haunt conventions and other horror events to try to really understand the culture of haunting and why people dedicate their lives to it.
2. What gave you the inspiration to direct, "Monsters Wanted?"
After I finished my first movie, my girlfriend told me that she was going to go meet this guy Rich about stage managing a haunted house. She asked me to go with her to the meeting, so I did. Rich was camped out at a Denny's at 10pm at night working furiously on his laptop. The waiter kept refilling his coffee every fifteen minutes and it was clear he'd been here for hours working. Within five minutes of meeting him, he introduced himself to me and told me he was planning to quit his job that week and invest his life savings to make a haunted house. I remember wondering if this guy was for real. He was such an interesting character, so full of passion for haunted houses, that I decided I wanted to see what it was all about. So I called up Joe Laughrey, my co-director, and asked if he wanted to give up the next six months of his life to follow this story.
3. How long did filming take?
We started shooting in June of 2011 and wrapped up in March of 2012. We weren't filming every day that whole time...the biggest chunk of shooting was August through October in 2011.
4. Where there any difficulties while filming?
The actual shoot went pretty smoothly. The hardest part was just being there for 15-17 hours a day, shooting anything that might possibly turn into an interesting storyline. We refused to stage anything or ask the asylum crew to change anything about what they were doing, so we really just had to shoot constantly to make sure we captured as much as possible to find the best story ever.
5. How many festivals has "Monsters Wanted" been in?
We've screened at three festivals so far and are about to screen at 5 or 6 more. So far we've gotten a really positive reaction.
6. Where can people buy a copy or rent "Monsters Wanted?"
You can get Monsters Wanted on iTunes and Google play and you can buy the DVD on Amazon. Links to all those outlets can be found at our website, http://MonstersWanted.com.
7. Since your documentary deals with horror, were you a horror fan growing up? What was your first horror movie(s) that you remember seeing?
I was a huge horror fan growing up, and I still am. I remember begging my mom to rent the Nightmare on Elm Street and Child's Play movies even though I was way too young to be watching them. I'd always catch the Friday the 13th movies on cable when they did their Halloween marathons. My favorites at this point, though, are movies like John Carpenter's The Thing and The Exorcist. I love horror that is just downright scary with no tongue-in-cheek ulterior motives.
8. Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to talk about?
Right now I'm focused on getting Monsters Wanted out there. After that, there are a few projects I'd love to do in a number of different genres. My business partner, Matt, is wrapping the first draft of a really fun action/comedy script, so that might very well be the next project.
9. Do you have anything else you that would like to share about your movie?
We're so happy that people seem to enjoy it. We made the movie to be accessible to people outside the horror culture and industry, and it's really resonated with a lot of people with different interests. I've had people say "I don't like documentaries, but I love this because it's a great story and doesn't even feel like a documentary," and that's really flattering because we want people to forget about the format and just get sucked into the story. If people want to let us know their thoughts on the movie, they can send us a message on facebook...our page is http://facebook.com/MonstersWanted. We love getting feedback.
So I want to give Brian Cunningham a big thanks for answering these nine questions. Once again you can check out the movie here at the official website: "Monsters Wanted."