The Arrow interviews John Bowker
John Bowker has acted in “Monster In The Garage” and “Crimson Heather”, his directorial debut was the low budget ghost/tits fest “Evilmaker” and now he’s coming out with a new grisly film called “Dreamwalker”. Indie horror fans rejoice, a new talent has arrived. Arrow chit-chatted with the man and here it is.
1- Have you always been a horror fan? What’s your favorite horror movie?
I have been a big horror fan for all of my life. It started out with movies like The Exorcist and Phantasm. My best friend in high school and I would spend Friday nights over at his house watching scary movies. It became a ritual of sorts. My favorite horror movie, that’s a tough one. My all time favorite would probably have to be John Carpenters Halloween. It still gives me the creeps.
How did the script for EVILMAKER come about in your head?
I was sitting down at the computer trying to think of something to write. It’s so hard to predict what will scare people, so I went with what scares me. The spirit realm. It just freaks me out. Things that go bump in the night…you think you see someone out of the corner of your eye and when you turn and look, no one is there. Whispers in the air. Things moving by themselves. Gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it. So, I went with it and The Evilmaker was the result.
3- The film is being compared to Amityville. Did any horror flick inspire you in terms of the look and feel of EVILMAKER?
As a matter of fact, Amityville was an inspiration along with The Shining and The Entity. All cool and scary flicks in my book.
4- How long did you guys shoot for? Any spooky things happen on the set?
The shoot was for nine days. We would get up in between eight and nine in the morning, go over what we were shooting that day, run lines etc. We would start shooting about noon and sometimes we would go into the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes until 4:00 AM. It was a crammed shoot, but we made sure to take the time to ensure things were right. (lighting, sound, blocking, etc.)
The entire shoot was creepy. But the funny thing is, nothing would really happen while we were shooting. It was like a strange vibe and everyone on the set felt it. Sometimes things would be so still and quiet...it was unnerving. I made sure all of the locations were down right Erie to add to the atmosphere of the shoot. It really helped people stay in character. We even slept out at the location out in the middle of the wilderness.
This is by far
Stephanie Beaton’s best performance. Did you have anything to do
with that? Are you an actor's director?
I am. My Director of Photography Joe Sherlock is a wizard behind the camera. I would tell him what I want it to look like and then he would set up while I worked with the actors. I would like to think I had something to do with her performance. But, the performance comes from within the person. All I can do is help guide it along to come out right.
What was the hardest
scene you had to shoot?
By far it would be the scene where a bloodied up Tyler comes bursting through the wall. It had to be a one shot wonder. It took days of preparation. My SPFX guy Rob Merickel built the wall and we installed it the day of the shoot. We also had to lay down new carpet in the room. It was a small room for the shot, but it had to be done in there. We got everything ready and covered her in blood and locked her behind the breakaway wall. It came off beautifully in the one shot. It was the hardest to shoot in the sense that it took a lot of work for a 10-second shot.
Looking back at the
film now, what would you change?
You know what? I am happy with it. I guess if I had to change something, it would actually be adding a scene that I decided not to shoot. It involved Stephanie drowning in the tub and she comes up out of the water gasping for air.
we gonna get an EVILMAKER sequel? What’s next on your plate?
Yes, there are currently two versions of a sequel in the works. Which script I will use, I haven’t decided yet. Next I am finishing up editing another feature called DREAMWALKERS and I start shooting one called THE SEEKERS in August. I am also filming a segment for Kevin Lindenmuth’s ALIEN AGENDA series. In 2001 I have four projects I want to get out. That’s an incredible task, but I’m going to give it my best shot.
What does John
Bowker do with his free time?
Enjoy spending time with my family and friends. To me that’s the most important thing. Then there’s spending time at the coast…the most relaxing place on earth to me. Of course, I rent a ton of movies and go to the Movie Theater as much as possible. I am also writing all the time.
favorite aspect of filmmaking?
I know this sounds like a generic answer, but EVERYTHING. From story conception, to green lighting a project, to filming and finally to editing. I love starting out with nothing and finishing with something that hopefully people will enjoy. At heart I am a writer and director, but am in love with it all.
Thanks a lot big guy, come back anytime.