Interview with director Harry Crossman
Updated: Jan 15, 2019
How did you get into film making?
I've always been deeply in love with cinema and I've never not wanted to be a film director. Since watching Alien when I was six, there has been a non-stop motion towards achieving that dream, watching as many films as I possibly can (the underrated learning technique that it is!) before going out and trying to make some of them! That's the best way, right? Just make something! A lot easier said than done however!
What directors have influenced you? And how?
There are so many phenomenal directors out there, it's hard to pinpoint only a few that have developed, changed or challenged what I thought film making was or could be. Shion Sono has a fantastic way of telling stories with unique themes and structure; the likes of Kubrick and Hitchcock and the consistent masterpieces they concocted; the way the Coen Brothers write and piece together their stories. Every film from every director, good or bad, teaches you something different about film. What to do, what not to do. It's all a wonderful learning process.
What was it like to direct a child actor?
I loved working with Ruby Donovan (Rosie) and having to develop my skills as a director to work with a child actor. Trying to work out what or if anything should be done differently to get the desired result, alongside developing a sinister horror character without giving the whole plot away, due to her age! It turned out to be a fantastic experience, and one of the best performances in the film! And she had by far the most energy and commitment on set. She was a joy to work with!
What do you think makes good horror?
That's kind of an impossible question! I think it completely depends on the type of horror, whether it be emotional/psychological, supernatural, slasher; each sub-genre brings their own elements to the table. I don't even think a good horror film needs to be particularly scary in the traditional sense. Perhaps the key is mood or tone. Making sure you strike dread into the heart of the audience, whatever techniques you use.
Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
I've just finished directing Scuttle, another horror, albeit one slightly shorter than Unicorn. I don't want to give too much away but there are some fantastic prosthetics involved, we had an awesome cast and crew and it hopefully should be a scary, little film! I can't wait for everyone to see it!
Do you have any advice for other young filmmakers like yourself?
Watch as many films as you can. It's the only way to find out what works best or not, and how a whole film can come together. Then go try making one. Beg, borrow, steal all the equipment, people and knowledge you can beforehand. People are willing to help and give advice so just ask! And believe in yourself. It's hard not to doubt everything and anything, no matter how big or small. But don't. Questions all your decisions but don't doubt them. You got this!