Fatal Pictures are an independent production company based in Toronto, Canada. The company was founded in 2007 by Richard Powell and Zach Green, who wanted to focus strongly on genre films.
To date they have been responsible for three short films: Consumption (2008), Worm (2010) and Familiar (2012), all of which have been praised by many critics as well as winning short film awards. You can read my own review of the fantastic Familiar here.
Richard Powell (left) and Zach Green (right)
SM: Take us back to the beginning. How did Fatal Pictures come about?
RP: Fatal Pictures’ unofficial start was our meeting in film school. I had posted an ad for an editor and Zach replied. From then on we have been partners learning the craft and trying to make our way into the industry. A few years ago we officially formed Fatal Pictures and got to work on Consumption.
SM: When did you realise you wanted to be involved in film-making?
ZG: Well, what first caught my eye and interest was post-production (editing). That’s what I attended film school for and ended up meeting Richard Powell. Over the years of working together I naturally started producing our projects.
SM: Your new film has certainly been a hit amongst critics. Where did the idea for Familiar come from?
RP: Familiar is actually a companion film to my previous short film Worm. Although it operates on its own and tells a very different story, the film works better when viewed before or after Worm. The films enrich one another in a way that becomes clear after viewing both. The concept of blending drama and horror was another inspiration on this film. I feel the best horror films also work as dramas.
Official promo artwork for “Familiar”
SM: Where did Familiar premiere?
ZG: Familiar premiered in Toronto via “Fangoria Fright Nights”. Familiar played before the extremely controversial Japanese film Battle Royale. After that the film went onto play roughly 30 International Genre Film Festivals across the world, picking up 3 awards thus far. Familiar is still currently on the Film Festival circuit so look out for it in 2013!
SM: Robert Nolan has recently won an award for his role as John Dodd in Familiar. How did he prepare for such a complex character?
RP: Robert and I spent a lot of time discussing the character. We also had great rehearsals and most importantly a previous collaboration on Worm. I encouraged Robert to ask questions about the role and over time he came to understand the character as well as I do, and when that happens a character can come to life.
A behind the scenes photo of Robert Nolan in “Familiar”
SM: You deal with some very dark issues in the film, yet they are delivered in a subtle way. Do you feel that this was more effective than showing a lot of gore?
RP: As the film operates as a drama for the first half I approached the darker elements with a bit more restraint. I wanted to make it clear real evil is quiet and insidious and operates best unnoticed. I find the betrayal of sacred trusts such as that of the family unit, very unnerving. In Worm it is the mentor/student relationship that is betrayed. I find these kinds of subtle attacks more disturbing as they signify a larger failure of societal constructs (family, career, law etc.) as opposed to the individual violence depicted in most horror. When it came to the films finale I wanted an over the top, cathartic release that purges the earlier tension in a fun, gory way. Doing the right thing is always more difficult and often times painful, in Familiar that couldn’t be truer.
SM: Does Familiar currently have distribution?
ZG: Familiar is very proud to be coming to “FEARnet” in (2013) via TV, VOD, & ONLINE, in The US this spring (2013). “FEARnet” is your #1 TV, VOD and web destination for horror, suspense and thriller programming. Available on TV and On Demand across the US,they serve up the best horror, thrills, and chills in entertainment. For more information please request “FEARnet” now 877-FEAR-247 or visit http://www.FEARnet.com
A promo poster for “Familiar”
SM: Where can people find Fatal Pictures on the web to find out information about films, screenings, press releases and such?
ZG: I would urge everybody reading this to visit www.fatalpictures.com to find out where and when all the latest Familiar screenings are and/or press regarding Fatal Pictures. Also please follow us on Twitter @FatalPictures
SM: Where do you see yourself in 5 years, along with Fatal Pictures?
ZG: I see myself producing Feature Films and developing new creative original dramatic genre films for the world to enjoy.
SM: What was your favorite part about making Familiar?
RP: I personally enjoyed all of the FX scenes. These were fun but also the most difficult to shoot. Seeing all of the weird and gory stuff I wrote come to life was incredible and a rare experience at that. I also love the writing stage of any film. It’s during the writing I get the most excited and charged up. After the writing is done its all logistics.
Behind the scenes of “Familiar” with Zach, Robert and Richard
SM: Which directors inspire you the most?
RP: Ingmar Bergman, Roman Polanski, Micheal Haneke, Todd Solondz, David Cronenberg, John Houston, Alfred Hitchcock and Akira Kurosawa to name a few. These directors tell stories I especially respond to and find most interesting. I enjoy films that are deeply personal and intimate as much as larger scale, broad entertainment and these filmmakers span the spectrum.
SM: What are your favourite films?
RP: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Seven Samurai’s, Winter Light, Cries and Whispers, There Will Be Blood, Rope, A Knife in Water, Goodfellas and many, many more, too many to name!
SM: If you could work with any actor/actress in the world, who would you choose and why?
RP: At the moment it would be Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I appreciate his versatility and fearlessness and I feel he would fit perfectly into my own aesthetic of film-making. I prefer actors who look like real people, not models, as this lends to the audiences ability to relate in human way as opposed to watching a star. Movie stars are larger than their characters and character actors usually disappear into their roles. I feel Hoffman has a unique combination of the two.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Richard’s ideal actor
SM: What can we expect from Fatal Pictures in the future?
RP: Currently we are in the process of tracking down financing for our feature-length version of Worm. There are also talks of a new short to keep us busy until the feature happens. Aside from that it’s just lots of writing and promoting Familiar!
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us about your work. We wish you the best of luck with the distribution of Familiar, the feature-length version of Worm and any future projects!