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Friday, June 22, 2012

My Interview With: All Things Horror Contributor (Chris Hallock)

Let's chat some horror shall we with one of New England's best on the subject.

Chris: Chris, Please tell us where your from?

Chris Hallock: Hi, Chris. Thanks for considering me for the interview! I'm originally from the hills of gorgeous West Virginia, but my home is now in the Boston area because I wanted to be closer to my Celtics.
 Chris: You're a multi-talented artist, you've been a producer, a screenwriter and a film festival director- how do you manage  your time?
Chris Hallock: I don't know if it's management of time so much as management of my ADHD. I've always had my hand in multiple projects, always been extremely active and interested in so many different things. When I was younger I'd write comics, play in some bands, make improv horror videos with my friends. There wasn't much going on in my hometown, so we made our own fun. The seeds were planted there. I never feel comfortable unless I'm working hard on something I really love, whether that means I wake up at 3 am with a hankering to polish a film review, or skipping my lunch break at work to knock out a shot list. I'm not satisfied unless I'm completely exhausted at the end of the day. The key for me is that I don't beat around the bush when things need to get started.

Chris: I know you just finished a film recently, can you give us any details about it?

Chris Hallock: There are two short film projects that I worked on in the fall that are still awaiting editing. One of them is tentatively called "Anmoore at Night" which is a relationship drama that happens to have a monster in it. It was shot by James Carr, and stars Alexa Panico and my good friend Stef Snyder who went above the call of duty for me when another actor pulled out at the last minute. I went home to West Virginia to shoot that one.
The other project is called "Residue", another relationship drama in which one half of an estranged couple might or might not be a ghost. This was also shot by James Carr, and stars Emily King. Emily is a real trooper and a seriously great talent. She endured hours of being tied to a chair in a basement. This one is also still being edited, mostly because I couldn't afford extra space for the HD files.

Chris: Your a columnist for the internet site All Things Horror, how did that come about?
Chris Hallock: All Things Horror started up a few years after I met my good friend Mike Snoonian. When I first moved to Boston, I met Mike through a music messageboard. He was hosting "horror movie nights" at his apartment in Allston and I sorta invited myself over. I fell in love with that whole crew, and still hang with a lot of those folks. Everyone would bring a movies, we'd put it to a vote, and  project the winner on the wall. It was really fun! We did a zombie walk together when Land of the Dead came out, which was a real highlight at the time.
After a few years of going to shows and films with Mike, he approached me about writing for a site devoted to the horror genre. I jumped at the chance. We've expanded to doing our own screenings of independent film. It's something I take a great deal of pride in. We've been at it for about three years.
Chris: Your an indie comes first guy, but i have to know if Hollywood knocked on your door would you answer?

Chris Hallock: Haha, I'm not holding my breath on that one. I have no interest in pursuing that at all. Everything I need is right here in Boston. I don't compromise very well, and would not fit in. I'm not receptive to dumb ideas.
Chris:  What are you're thoughts on the current state of horror in Hollywood right now?
I'm going to try to refrain from being overly negative here, but it's not good, Chris. It's not good at all, haha. There are several things that tick me off about Hollywood. One is the lack of creativity and originality. But that's always been a problem in the entertainment biz, whether it's movies or music or books. I'm not a fan of producing a few dozen bloated mega-productions when that money could fund vast amounts of smaller-scale, higher-quality work. The whole model, the whole monopoly Hollywood holds over everything needs to go. It's not enough that they own all the theaters. Now they want to own all the projectors. Next they will want to own and control the very air we breath. Occupy Hollywood, I say!

Chris: Who inspires both as a filmmaker and as a writer?

Chris Hallock: I don't know if there's one particular person who inspires me. My girlfriend Sarah absolutely encourages me in all my pursuits, and is always there to lend a hand on anything. I'm inspired by people who are out there in the trenches, those folks that work 9-5 jobs, raise families, and still manage to find time to make a short film or write a novel. People who overcome odds to create inspire me.  

Chris: What horror movie started you're love for the genre?

Chris Hallock: I can cite a couple of movies that were catalysts from when I was really young like The Brain That Wouldn't Die or numerous Godzilla movies on Chiller Theater out of Pittsburgh. However, my clearest memory - the spark of it all - was absolutely John Carpenter's Halloween. I was in first grade, and I remember it being on cable or possibly network TV, and I was hiding under a blanket on the couch pretending to be asleep. I kept peeking through the covers and I was TERRIFIED. My mom would leave the room periodically to do laundry in a remote laundry room of our apartment complex, and I was just petrified that Michael Myers would get her. Ever since, I've tried to recapture that feeling and have come close only a couple of times. Halloween still scares the hell out of me!

Chris: What is your ultimate goal?

Chris Hallock: Still figuring that out, Chris. I'd like to be a really good drummer someday. I'd like to finish everything I start, but that's not likely to happen, haha. I guess just to keep passionately
doing what I'm doing until I die.

Chris: Do you have any plugs you'd like to make?
Chris Hallock: Well, since you asked, Chris...
I'm very excited about a number of events we have planned for All Things Horror Presents. We're hosting the premiere of the Etheria Film Festival, a festival that features the best sci-fi and fantasy films created by women. The idea is to increase awareness and expand opportunities for women working in film as directors, writers, and producers. That event will be held on Saturday, September 15 at the Somerville Theater from 4 pm - 10:30 pm.
In October, Mike and I do a larger event for the Halloween Season called Shudder Fest. Last year we screened some great indie films Absentia, I Didn't Come Here to Die, The Corridor, and Ashes, as well as a lot of cool short films. That event will take place at the end of October.
Thanks for the interview, Chris!

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