Having recently shared a life-changing secret with his family, Hunter recruits his friends to come with him from New York City to the farm where he grew up as he faces his parents for the first time. As the college students enjoy the fresh air of Michigan farm country, an older, more dangerous secret slowly emerges. While Hunter navigates a new place within his conservative family, a vicious creature from their past descends on the farm, putting the unsuspecting city kids in mortal danger as they start being stalked by a twisted, dark, and disturbing beast, Pitchfork.
Did Pitchfork start with the script or the character?
The character came first – he had been in my head for over 7 years, after seeing an episode of Oprah Winfrey Show about a young man who was treated as a dog during his childhood – believe it or not. He later in life turned his life around, wrote a book, and inspired others that were abused as young children. I thought “what if it went the other way, what if it drove him mad!”?
I recently moved to Las Vegas for a show I created for the E! network call Men Of The Strip, a Magic Mike-like reality show, and my childhood friend Darryl Gargilio had been living there, he was the owner of the best-rated tours grand-adventures.com , yet he had gone to college for writing, so we sat down started the collaboration, and the script for Pitchfork was created.
Did the villain evolve?
Well a couple things evolved during the process. He always had the Pitchfork hand for sure. I mean I am a huge comic book and horror fan, and I knew he would have this Wolverine/Freddy Krueger look to him. But the dog skin mask, I did at one moment in time think of a teddy bear mask. But the big thing I went back and forth about was body type, I knew he was going to be animal like so I wanted him not clothed, but I couldn’t decide if I was gonna give him a JASON VOORHEES/MICHAEL MEYERS big frame body type or the CREEP 2004 more lean and hungry look. Daniel Wilkinson prepared and nailed the body type.
Why did you choose to go the horror route on your first film?
I LOVE HORROR, always have since I can remember at 13yr old after watching THE EVIL DEAD. I knew my first film needed be something I was familiar with, the horror genre, not to mention my own personal story of coming out, and of course I had to put a choreographed number in it as well. My horror film is inspired by my favorite directors Sam Raimi and John Hughes. I didn’t want the 1st Pitchfork to be to serious, I wanted some Hughes like moments in it. I’m leaving the ‘all out that shit was scary’ horror for part II, Pitchfork knows the monster he is now.
Is it hard to write a horror movie? Do most of the scares happen organically on set or are they written in?
Hell yes it was hard to write, that’s why I was lucky to have Darryl, he went to college for it and I may have the creative gene but writing not so much. I think the scares where just as good on set as they were written, but what was scary was I had the actors not see Pitchfork on till their scene with them, so imagine seeing this slasher for the first time, he had never been on the big screen so they only knew him from the pages of the script, that was fun to film as it unfolded between Pitchfork and the cast.
Was it always a farm in the script? Where did you find it?
For sure, it was always a farm. Because that farm was my family farm in Clare, Michigan where I grew up. I asked my mom and dad if I could kick them out for a month as I filmed a horror movie. It also made it so much easier to write the script because I could image all the locations to shoot because it was the place I grew up as a child. Actually Pitchforks bloodshed, where he brings his victims was the place I would play as a child ‘Friday The 13th’ with my friends and family, yeah I was that kid.
How long of a journey has this been for you? When was the film completed?
It has been a year and a half of my life. It has been such a blessing and amazing experience, really a dream come true. So these 500 something days haven’t felt like work. It’s been literally blood sweat and tears to bring you this film. Everyone in every department worked their best to give you this monster, I am so proud of. 21 days in the summer of 2015 have been the highlight of my career, more than dancing for the king of Morocco, more than working alongside the King of Pop Michael Jackson, I have had a child yet, but man, I think it feels like I just gave birth to Pitchfork and I am on horror cloud 9.
Get Pitchfork on iTunes : https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/pitchfork/id1181779327
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