With a background in television production, several years of which spent writing/directing the comedy series THE JAQUIE BROWN DIARIES, Gerard Johnstone received the necessary funding in 2010 to helm his debut feature-film, HOUSEBOUND. After roughly four years in modestly budgeted production, the film premiered in March of last year at SXSW and immediately became a cult classic. Its perfect cross-stitch of humour and horror has proven a refreshing and successful blend for genre-enthusiasts worldwide, winning acclaim with audiences and critics alike. We caught up with Gerard recently to discuss the film, the filmmaking process and even a revelation or two, all this ahead of the February 11th home entertainment release of HOUSEBOUND in Australia.
Spolier!!! Yes, People under the stairs is a big subconscious influence. I checked The Frighteners out before filming, but I also checked out every ghost movie from the last 50 years, so while there wasn't an intentional homage at play, again, it could've been subconscious.
I've read that HOUSEBOUND was shot at 25fps, given the majority of cinema is shot at 24fps, was there a particular reasoning behind this?
No we just fucked up.
Given that you're a jack of all trades being the writer, director and editor behind HOUSEBOUND, what was your favourite part of the process? Pre, Pro or Post?
It's post-production by a mile. You're able to sit in a relaxed environment and look at what you did wrong with complete clarity and objectivity. Writing is 90% banging your head against a wall, feeling like an intellectually-challenged fraud, offset by a 10% gap where you have an inflated sense of achievement because you made a funny or a thought of a plot twist. The actual on-set experience is just long periods of waiting around and constant frustration. It's uncomfortable. There's nowhere to sit. There's usually an odd smell. Everyone's complaining that we don't have any money. Myself included.
What's next for you creatively, do you have anything in the pipeline you're allowed to mention?
Nothing I'm allowed to mention, no. But it's all super exciting stuff.
Finally at FakeShemp.Net we love discussing guilty pleasures on our podcast and in our online interviews. Do you have a guilty cinematic pleasure you're willing to admit?
Most of my favourite films are guilty cinematic pleasures - The Last Dragon is easily in my top ten. I spent an unreasonable amount of time tracking down the composer of the training montage for No Retreat, No Surrender so that I could use it in my last TV series. It's mostly Karate movies that are my secret shame but I also have a soft spot for c-grade sword and sorcery flicks. Deathstalker 2 has some pretty great one liners. I'm always endeared to films that shouldn't be any good because of the circumstances and restraints in which they're made, yet they somehow punch above their weight. Into the Sun with Michael Pare and Anthony Michael Hall is another one. The writers of that went on to do some decent studio movies.