Horror upstart Eric England talks about his first film, new projects and more.
By Jacob Engels
A few weeks ago we chatted with indie filmmaker and horror wunderkind Eric England about his stunning hits Madison County, Contracted, and what he has next.
For those that don’t know… tell us a little bit about yourself. Isn’t that always the toughest question to answer?
I’m a pisces. I’m about to turn 28, but I feel like I’m 58. I’m a filmmaker originally from Arkansas, now living in LA. Even though I’ve lived in Hollywood for 9 years, I still say “Yes ma’am” and “No sir” and wear Bass Pro Shop hats.
Madison County was one of the first films I watched on Netflix’s streaming service. It hit all the right notes. What was your favorite part about making that film?
Oh wow. Very cool! Thanks for watching it. Um… I would have to say the shooting process. We shot it back home in Arkansas, actually on my Grandfather’s farm, and every day was like camp.
The cast/crew had this unbreakable bond and still to this day, we pretty much all keep in touch and still work on stuff together. It was amazing.
Contracted has been harassing me on Netflix for 2 years. I finally watched it a few weeks ago and loved it. How did you hold true to your vision, while being making an ultra low-budget film?
Thankfully, I knew we didn’t have the money to make the film I had initially envisioned, so I reverse engineered the film to fit the budget. So I designed it around locations and resources we had access to. For instance: we used the real actors houses and where they worked at the time and their real cars and things like that.
So thankfully, pretty much everything that ended up on screen was meant to be there. Also, I wrote the screenplay very bare bones and wanted it to have a very artistic/low-fi type of feel, so that aesthetic was really conducive to an “on the fly” type of shoot.
There are so many horror films that Just. F******. Suck. When developing an idea, for the horror genre, and films in general, what core components do you focus on?
I look for a few things and they all kind of have a DNA that links them, but the main thing is emotion, or reliability. The things that resonate with me most are things that evoke or provoke a feeling from me. So if I’m able to tap into something that speaks to me on a universal level, I feel it might type into the audience in a similar way as well.
I think “event films” that are just meant to be pure entertainment are great — but I try to anchor my narrative in something emotional as much as possible.
You have a new film coming out, Get the Girl, catch us up. The cover art is awesome.
Thank you! GET THE GIRL is a bit of a departure for me from what I’m known for… But that’s kind of been my trend. All my films are very different from one another. So with GTG, I wanted to do something that had elements of a thriller, but was funny at it’s core… with a dash of creepy romance.
So the basic plot follows a wealthy young man that’s head over heels in love with this emotionally closed off girl and in order to confess his undying love for her, he is conned into staging a fake kidnapping involving him and her by this suave ladies man he meets at a bar. Of course everything goes wrong and he winds up ACTUALLY having to try and save her life, while not revealing that he set this up from the very beginning.
It was a ton of fun to make and it’s a ton of fun to watch. It has elements of a lot of my favorite movies in it, so I’m anxious for audiences to see it.
How can people keep up with your new film Get the Girl and upcoming projects.
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org