Luther Bhogal-jones is the auteur-in-training. Yeah, he’s got the sort of name that an English director in Hollywood should have. Luther currently lives in Brighton, England. He’s paying his dues.
We got to chatting via email about Creak and his production outfit. Luther reminds me of Ricky Sprague – talented with a vigour and ambition. Christopher Nolan started off with the 3 minute Doodlebug4. Three years later he directed Momento 2000. Where will Luther Bhogal-jones be in three years time? He’ll be making films that’s for sure.
Horror was what eventually led me to film. When I look back it was buying a book on horror films from a discount book store - I flicked through it and an old man passing behind me said "That stuff'll give you nightmares!" So for some reason I bought it. I think that book lead me to reading Stephen King, which lead me to other things and wanting to be a writer. So basically that book was the starting point.
As for why now, I never really attempted a horror before as I was always felt they needed a certain level of technical skill and other factors, such as lighting, sound design, music...elements I could never completely rely on before. Only now do I feel a bit more confident to try and do horror/ fantasy type films, as I think something pretty good can be achieved with very little these days (especially if you know someone who is a whizz with After Effects etc).
Yeah, we had a video player when I was about 6 or 7 - first video I saw was Enter The Dragon uncut (pre-BBFC days) then saw quite a lot of action trash which I loved and in later years I'd discover was Italian (Bronx Warriors, Atlantis Interceptors) which would end up referencing the horror when I started getting into Italian horror. But mostly it was action stuff I ended up seeing as horror was never of that much interest to me until I came across that book, though I did see stuff like Nightmare On Elm Street...and I remember seeing Prince Of Darkness.
Master of Horror or Filmmaker?
Film maker. I think the most influential film makers on me, in terms of attitude towards it all, are Roger Corman for his drive to get films done with limited resources, as well as creating memorable films in a variety of genres and most importantly George Romero. I had the Romero episode of Jonathan Ross "Son Of The Incredibly Strange Film Show" on tape and I watched it over and over and over, pretty much knowing the documentary off by heart, even though I couldn't get hold of his films for some time. In the interview with him, Romero is asked about being typecast in the horror genre and he said "No one grows up saying I want to make war movies, or cowboy movies - I just wanna make MOVIES!" and that line has really really stuck with me.
Well, Creak was inspired by a true event. My wife and I were in bed at our old house and we were both wakened by a very distinct creaking noise which sounded like it was right next to your ear. We had no house on one side and we rarely heard the neighbours next door, so it was just really really odd. And disconcerting. We ended up getting up to search the house and my wife's fear started rubbing off on me, so much so that I was scared to pull the curtains back just in case someone was actually there.
That was the starting point. I wanted to do something which ramped up at the end and I knew I wanted a crash frame zoom like when the woman is discovered with the red death in Corman's "Masque Of The Red Death."
Finance and time, or lack of both was also a factor, as with our young family it doesn't leave a great deal. So I knew this would have to be a minimal cast, in one location. So knowing that at the back of my mind I honed it to keep it small.
Creak is the starting point of mostly concentrating on horror shorts and features for now - I'm in pre-production on the next short and just started the casting process - with a view that once I've got the first 3 Disposable Screams finished I'm going to go looking for funding on a feature length horror which is in development. Then I've got some more feature horror ideas I'd like to try and keep doing, keep the momentum going and continue doing the shorts as a sideline to keep interest in Sincerely, Psychopath up. Probably inviting other directors to get involved with Disposable Screams too.
Assuming that's it, thanks for the interview and support! Hope it reads okay - will no doubt require some judicious pruning!
Luther can be contacted via his facebook page.
Read more Thrill Fiction: Babycall (coming soon)