an exclusive interview with Doug Turner & Stacey Edmonds,

How did you get into making movies?

Stace - I guess I started off on stage, acting and directing plays back in my teens. Only really started getting into films since moving to Australia from the UK 10 years ago.
Doug - We met about 6 years ago on the set of a TV commercial - we were extras (how romantic). Found out we had a common interest, and made our first short a year later, "Tender Words", it was fun to make, won a couple of awards and really spurred us on to make the feature film.

Being partners in both senses of the word, is it a plus or can it get tense when working together?
Doug - Definitely a plus especially when the going gets tough.
Stace - You know each other's strengths and weaknesses - trouble is, you know how to wind each other up too!
Doug - I'm more of a technical person, so I concentrated on camera work, effects, fight scenes etc, and Stace could then really concentrate on directing the actors.

How did Runs come about, and why cricket?
Doug - I made a short before meeting Stace called "Swerve it Like Merv", a mockumentary based on a cricket-obsessed Phil Philips. So that character was the real catalyst for Runs.
Stace - Doug came back from work one day and said "I've got a great name for a film, I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer" - I said that's lovely, dear - cup of tea? Thought he was slightly mad, but as soon as we started fleshing out the story, it made sense.
Doug - I'm a massive horror fan (and cricket fan). As far as I'm concerned there aren't enough sporting horror films out there (if any!). We knew it was an original idea, and it would be fun to make - so hopefully we'd attract a decent cast and crew, and get distribution, which we have.

How has the movie been received?
Doug - Whenever you make a genre film, you're opening yourselves up to the most extreme fans out there, and I guess I'm one of them. We either love films or hate them - and that's what we've found.
Stace - I'm just chuffed we've had excellent reviews from sites like Fangoria, it's been screened at film festivals around the world and got UK, Australian and US DVD distribution.

(Runs will make its African debut at the 2009 South African HORRORFEST)

Cricket is a sport mainly popular in countries like England, Australia, South Africa and the areas around India - has the reaction differed from those countries to ones like the USA where it may not be as commonplace?
Doug - England was the first country to pick it up - it's a huge sport there, and our timing was perfect with the Ashes... so we knew that would be our biggest market.
Stace - Feedback from South African distributors was "what are the US sales like", so I don't think they were willing to take the gamble on an unproven low budget film making couple from Australia!
Doug - And India... I think we have far too much T&A and gore for them. But the US distribution deal was a surprise - I think they just saw it as a quirky indie slasher... the market is awash with low budget horrors, so maybe the eccentric angle helped!

What was the most challenging part of the production?
Doug - Post-production definitely.
Stace - Pre-prod is creative, the actual shooting is exciting, and the adrenaline gets you through the long days, but the post-production just drags - especially when you're doing all the editing yourselves.
Doug - We had our kid in the middle of post-prod, pretty much delayed the film by a year! But looking back at it, I think the delay helped with the timing of the release during the Ashes.

Not shooting on film, were you happy with the visual outcome?
Doug - We were always going to shoot digital, I don't have any experience with film - and we simply didn't have the budget for a crew, film stock and developing. One of the best pro-sumer cameras out at the time was the Sony HDV Z1 (remember we shot it a while ago, before the RED existed!). In pre-prod we'd done some tests with the Z1, used Magic Bullet for grading - and were really happy with the results, and in post we had the luxury of taking our time with re-framing, grading, adding camera shake and colour correction.
Stace - We've explained some of the techniques we used in the Extras on the DVD, shameless plug - but definitely worth checking out if you're an indie filmmaker.

(DVD copies of the movie will be part of the give-aways during the S.A. HORRORFEST)

How hard was it finding distribution for the movie?
Doug - Australia is a tricky one to crack, as they don't seem to ever be there first on board, even when it's a home-grown film. But once the UK deal with Anchor Bay was signed, Aus followed. The deal with Lono in the US came from the screening at the Freakshow film fest in Florida.

Do you feel there were some cricket-related deaths you should've included?
Doug - Was discussing this for the possible sequel, so don't want to give too much away! Suffice to say, a roller was involved.

How did you get Arianna Starr to feature in the movie?
Stace - Well, the shower scene is deliberately out of place, gratuitous and uses an obvious body double, but you'd be surprised at how many reviewers don't get that! I auditioned a couple of girls before Arianna was suggested to me. She's a fair bit shorter, but her skin tone was perfect. I think it was just dumb luck that she happened to be Miss Nude Australia, but we're milking it! Hopefully we've increased her fanbase from the horror community and some of her fans go out and get Runs.

(The possibility of Arianna attending the S.A. HORRORFEST is currently pending - check the website for updates)

Is the Horror genre alive and well in Australia?
Doug - If you'd have asked me 2 years ago I'd have said NO. But for some reason it's really taking off now... if you get the chance, check out Family Demons, The Dark Lurking, Damned by Dawn, Carmilla Hyde and El Monstro Del Mar - all just about to be release, and all very low budget indie films. Maybe the increase in interest around the world in the Ozploitation classics of the '80s has helped - partly driven by the Not Quite Hollywood doco and partly by Tarantino!
Stace - People seem to be saying "bugger it" - I'm not waiting for funding, I'll make it myself. The quality you can produce with a 5 grand high def camera and a home editing suite is amazing now too - so the barriers are coming down.

(Family Demons will also screen at the 2009 S.A. HORRORFEST)

What's next up your sleeves?
Doug - We've got several projects in the mix. At the moment we're deciding which one (or two) to run with and start pre-prod on.
Stace - Most likely project is a The Fly meets Primer, but we can't give away too much more than that!
Doug - A sequel is always on the cards of course, desperate NOT to call it "I Still Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer" though!!



- Paul Blom

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