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INTERVIEW: John Carpenter drops by to yap The Ward!

06.08.2011by: Joe Hui

After nine years since his last film JOHN CARPENTER comes back with THE WARD (READ ARROW'S REVIEW HERE); a story about a girl (Heard) sent to a mental institute for burning down a house and finding herself haunted by the lurking darkness within the joint.

Releasing on VOD and by way of a limited theater release on July 8th, John is coming back strong with this film starring five sexy Hollywood up and comers. This lucky reporter got to speak to the legendary film maker and here's what came out of it.

What made you choose The Ward as your latest movie to do?

It was a small confined and isolated ensemble cast, beautiful talented Hollywood starlets in a mental institution. What’s wrong with that?

Nothing, it’s great! I’m just used to seeing your creating your own ideas and franchises over picking up a story from someone else’s script.

Why not though, I can do what I want now.

So The Ward was a step further into your foray of the digital process. Did you enjoy working digitally?

Well, it was shot on film. But we finished it, I edited digitally before but I never worked on a D.I. before; Digital Intermediate, in terms of color correction and all that stuff it’s fascinating.

And will you be transitioning to a full on digital set up? Like shooting on a RED in the future or do you plan on sticking to film?

I don’t know, if I have my druthers, the best looking image on any screen is film shot through an anamorphic Panavision lens. There is nothing more beautiful.

So The Ward is coming out on [VOD] June 8th, have you ever used a Video On Demand service?

Well it’s a form of distribution, the exhibitors hate it, and I don’t blame them.

Do you like the way that the movie industry is heading with this digital distribution model or do you prefer the theater experience?

Listen man, I always prefer the old days. It was great when there was some sort of anticipation about something. You couldn’t wait for it to come out. Yes I wish it was the old days and everyone didn’t know everything. All these magazines come out that describe exactly how things are done. So everyone is a little smart ass now. Everybody know… I didn’t want to know I wanted everything to be magic. I wish it was back like that again. See when I was a kid this is all magical shit to me. Wow look at that! Now it’s like… Ah… ok… fine. We’re all cynics. I’m an old guy now, bitching about where are the old days, where have they gone? Don’t pay any attention to me.

Ha ha… So you’ve created some of the most iconic movies and characters in cinema history. Do you plan on creating more character and stories in the future?

Well yeah sure, I’m always working on something, that’s not really true, I have to be frank with you. I’m really lazy… as a person. I got to the point where I allowed myself to be incredibly lazy and to do exactly what I wanted for a while. I ended up playing video games and watching basketball. (Joe: Nothing wrong with that) but you know what? I’m starting back, my son and I are working on music together. I’m developing a couple of projects. I haven’t thought about sitting down to write, writing is real work, that’s hard work.

What’s next on the plate?

The NBA playoffs. Every team that I love is not going to be in the playoffs. But it would be fun to watch what’s going to happen. In terms of scripts, I have a couple in development, which means anything from, they’re being written, worked on, to them they’re trying to raise money, get a budget, that kind of thing. But I have several projects.

So you play video games. What have you been playing?

I just finished Lego Pirates of the Caribbean; hilarious! It’s great and I’m thinking about doing LA Noire next and looking forward to the hits that are coming out.

Any hope you’ll ever revisit the They Live franchise? It’s one of my personal favorites growing up and it seems like the perfect vehicle for a 3D film.

I think they’re going to do remake of it and go back to the source material; “Eight O’Clock in the Morning”.

What’s your thoughts on the latest trends of horror movies being pushed for a more PG-13 crowd?

Most of the movies I grew up with were G, horror films were rated G in those days. Eh and then they began to push the envelope. I think if it’s a good movie it doesn’t really matter. That’s all that counts.

Finishing up; (because I was being told this was my last question) how was it working with Amber Heard and have you seen Drive Angry?

I have not seen Drive Angry yet, she promises me she is going to send me [a copy] of it. But she hasn’t yet of course, cause all actresses are flakes. I loved working with Amber. Amber is wonderful, she’s ferociously smart and just wonderful to work with.

(Sneaking another one in) Any movies you seen lately that you particularly enjoyed?

I had been most excited by those three movies that were made [based on] The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, they were made in Sweden I believe, I loved those movies. I couldn’t get enough of that and I love that actress and her character is fabulous. I know they are going to redo it here, which depresses me a great deal, but I just loved that.

Thank you very much for talking with us today, John.

Thank you.





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