In this podcast, Andy Mitton talks about The Harbinger, sleep paralysis, composing film scores, and much more.
About Andy Mitton
Originally from the Boston area and a resident of Los Angeles since 2001, Andy Mitton is a writer, composer, director, editor, and designer across multiple mediums, but his primary focuses are the disparate worlds of horror movies and musical theater. His films include The Witch in the Window and The Harbinger.
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The Bonny Swans by P.L. Watts
Coming soon from Cemetery Gates Media and Mother Horror.
The Girl in the Video by Michael David Wilson, narrated by RJ Bayley
Michael David Wilson 0:28
Welcome to This Is Horror, a podcast for readers, writers and creators. I'm Michael David Wilson. In every episode alongside my co-host, Bob Pastorella. We chat with the world's best writers and creatives about writing, life lessons, creativity, and much more. Today we are chatting with the filmmaker Andy Mitton. Now when the wet in the window was released a few years ago, it instantly became one of my favorite films of the last decade or so, for an independently put together film on a small budget, it accomplished more scans and tension than many films made for 10 or even 100 times the budget. So when I heard the Harbinger was coming out, I had to watch it immediately. Now, the hobbit here is also a great film, and it makes use of but never exploits, the pandemic that we've been living through. And it was a real delight to chat with Andy about these films and a lot more. But before we get to that conversation, it is time for a quick advert break
Bob Pastorella 1:43
Coming soon from Mother Horror and Cemetery Gates Media, the debut novella from P.L. Watts -- The Bonny Swans. When Anne O’Donnell arrives on a dock in 1789 France with no memory of her past, she allows herself to be renamed Marguerite and taken in as governess for Mellian, the petulant daughter of a rich merchant. But the chateau holds many secrets, some deadly. Wendy N. Wagner says: “The Bonny Swans brings together all the best of the Gothic tropes – a troubled family, a struggling governess, an unhappy child – and stews them in magic, the French Revolution, and queer vibes. For more information visit CemeteryGatesMedia.com
RJ Bayley 2:16
It was as if the video had on zips my skin, slunk inside my tapered flesh and become one with me.
Bob Pastorella 2:24
From the creator of This Is Horror comes a new nightmare for the digital age. The Girl in the Video by Michael David Wilson. After a teacher receives a weirdly arousing video his life descends into paranoia and obsession. More videos follow each containing information no stranger could possibly know but who's sending them and what do they want the interest may destroy everything and every one He loves The Girl in the Video is the ring meets fatal attraction for iPhone generation available now in paperback ebook and audio.
Michael David Wilson 2:54
Okay, well with that said, here it is it is Andy Mitton. On This Is Horror. Andy, welcome to This Is Horror.
Andy Mitton 3:07
Thank you for having me. It's such a pleasure to be here with you guys.
Michael David Wilson 3:10
Yeah, we're both very excited. I think I said before that the witch in the window was one of my favorite horror releases of really the last decade. And I'm happy to say that I've just watched The Harbinger. And that is amazing, too. So very, very good.
Andy Mitton 3:36
Thank you. I appreciate that.
Michael David Wilson 3:38
Now, I wondered to begin with, I want to go all the way back to the beginning and talk about what some of the early life lessons were that you learned growing up. And this doesn't have to pertain to write English storytelling, just anything that you learned in your formative years?
Andy Mitton 3:59
Hmm, well, I grew up, I grew up south of Boston, Massachusetts, in the suburbs. And I mean, I learned I guess what what my kids are learning now I've got kids now that are seven and six years old. So when I think about my childhood, I was someone who developed internally first I was like tending my, my inner world, I think before a lot of people and not comfortable with the outer world probably lagged behind in terms of like, you know, how I dealt with everything and everybody else and how I you know, being comfortable in my own skin. And all of that was something that stories and storytelling in the storytelling community really saved me from I didn't really come into my own until I found the theater kids. And the theater kids saved me the drama club, at my school and and in That was the moment when I felt sort of saved and with my people and and I, I've just latched on to that, from that point on, it's changed over time. I mean, I've wanted to be a writer since I was three or four since I could remember. But how that manifested, has changed over time from probably wanting to write books when I was really young, and falling in love with scripts, in the margins that exist in the scripts for other ideas and other people to come in. And, and that's how a lot of introverts I think, can discover community. When you discover collaboration and things you want to be passionate about together. I was really lucky to have that as a kid, I had a great drama director, I actually had lunch with him last week. You know, they're like, getting on 30 years later. So it's my formative years were important to me, and I am someone who goes back and tries to reconnect with those feelings as much as I can I stock my childhood home. Like it's no one's business.
Michael David Wilson 6:06
Yeah, yeah. And I mean, you said that you had aspirations to be a writer, as young as three or four years old. So I'm wondering, in terms of story, what were some of the early stories that you were reading or experiencing? And again, was your introduction to story through books? Or is it films or was it the tradition of oral storytelling?
Andy Mitton 6:32
It was a little bit of all of that combined. My parents did take me to some like oral storytellers. We had some like local people that would like gather people in an auditorium. And so you'd feel that that sense of congregation but certainly films, you know, I grew up not to just be on the bandwagon, but I was a kid of the 80s so I grew up with Spielberg and all the movies that sort of defined the sense of wonder that was so strong in that decade, largely because of him. And so, you know, I think about my first experience as being like, seeing the Goonies or seeing et or Ghostbusters in Gremlins both being stacked I think on top of each other. The fresh from the video store when I was about six I always loved horror, so whatever version of it was appropriate for me at whatever age whether that was like going from like the are you afraid of the dark stories to graduating to like RL Stein and like fear Street to getting a step up to like Christopher Pike in those books. But I was just begging my mom for a Stephen King from very inappropriately young ages until finally wore her down. I think she bought me the Dark Half when I was like, nine or 10, like should not have been reading the Dark Half. But you wear him down. Yeah, you know, long enough. Your way. So I always felt like I remain a very timid, squeamish, sensitive person with everything nonfiction, my guy, and if I see actual violence, I like I'm haunted. I take that like to my grave, like, I'm really like, but I've always felt the safe, warm blanket of fiction. I've always understood that like, something about it, if I know it's fiction is like, people making it together. Like there's love and it's the kind of sort of the opposite of violence. I've always connected to that idea and found security in that.
Michael David Wilson 8:33
Yeah. Yeah. And I would say that a lot of your horror whilst it is incredibly disquieting. It is hopeful there is always a hopeful message within it.
Andy Mitton 8:48
I appreciate that. There's some debate or some debate around that, I think with the Harbinger. Yeah.
Michael David Wilson 8:57
Yeah, I'm thinking of something very specific with the hobbing. But the problem is that for me to mention, it would basically be to spoil it, which, you know, I don't want people to go out and to watch it. But all I'm saying is for people once they have watched it, I would hope they would see some hope. There's certainly some bleakness as well. Yeah, maybe we'll have to talk about it or for him when it's not. Fair enough. And this is a challenge that I find with talking about story in general it is almost the difficulty of you know, conducting one of these conversations that I don't want to ruin the magic but then particularly when you have like such a tightly constructed film, it's like, oh, god damn what what can I say about it? Because I'm a person too, who loves to come into things cold. The unless I know the better.
Andy Mitton 10:02
Yes, yes, that's important to me too. And here I am, of course walking that line with my own stories like I have spoiled my own stories accidentally, because I get so into talking about sort of the architecture. Oh, yeah. But the they are the moment you dig into that. You'll just have to help me police myself on that. Yeah. Not not railroad. My own work.
Michael David Wilson 10:23
Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, that's where, you know, the whole editing comes into play quite nicely. Yes. When it's like, Oh, you just literally gave away the end. We're gonna cut that bit for now. But I mean, you said that you read the Dark Half at nine or 10. Well, was that the first Stephen King novel that you read?
Andy Mitton 10:49
Yes. Yes, it was. That's a kind of a heavy way. And
Michael David Wilson 10:54
Andy Mitton 10:58
But it left its mark. Yeah, some of those early I mean, I'll never forget reading the descriptions of like some of the further early murders in that story and the way the bodies are left and certain details that I'm sure I just took it in joyfully into my classroom and educated my, my classmates on the following day. But I think it was, it was the Dark Half, which disturbed me and kind of tantalized me, but I'm not the first time I was really afraid, like, badly afraid was the shining was reading the shining, which I did read it before I saw the movie. And I love the movie to death. Yeah, I've never been more scared still than I was as a kid reading the scene. I don't even what is it? Room? 2234. I think that's yeah, that that famous name was like, I was I was not right. for like, days after reading that in a glorious way. So yeah, I've tried to foster the same in my kids, it has to be some push and pull for what's appropriate. But also, you know, I feel like even in just mainstream kids entertainment in the 80s, like horror was there when it shouldn't have been right, like Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Like, I have to skip large March when I show my kids that movie, like, that's horror, like, what happens to Christopher Lloyd's eyes at the end of Roger Rabbit? Is, is horrible. Let's I don't know, the very few things are scarier than whatever's going on there. So it's funny, I think we were exposed to a lot more, they were a lot trickier with how they introduced horror and things marketed to family entertainment. And now it's like the opposite. So it's like trying to find acceptable doses, for my kids to experience that. Yeah,
Michael David Wilson 12:48
it's a really tricky line to walk as well. Because I mean, when I then look back at my Coyote, who it is, like almost some of the best moments, were watching the things that were clearly age inappropriate. But, you know, you don't want to actually psychologically damage your children. And you know, it can go either way. It depends on the personality, I guess, on the individual.
Andy Mitton 13:14
Yes, well, my kids are in a particular situation, because they know what I do. I mean, yeah, they're in this movie. So they, they, you know, they, they at least have a window into like, when, when we're watching Star Wars or whatever, and someone gets, you know, zapped or lasered, or anyone dies in anything. I remind them of what it feels like on set, and that that person is now free to go to craft services, and get a sandwich. So now whenever someone dies in a movie, my kids turned to me and they're like, he get he's getting a sandwich. Right, that just getting a sandwich. Really nice sandwich. Yeah.
Michael David Wilson 13:51
Yeah. And, I mean, so I know as well that you also do a lot of composing. So I mean, which came first, was it more than music or the writing or there's two things that simultaneously you would do in at the same time.
Andy Mitton 14:10
The writing came first, I didn't realize I had any musical ability till a little later, maybe 12 or 13. And then I started since I was in the drama club, we were doing like musicals and stuff, and I got into singing and I was always in singing groups, but I started just writing songs because I was learning the guitar. Like most nerds in high school, I was like, I'm gonna get myself out of this, you know, I'm gonna I'm gonna like learn to play the guitar and I'll just do a little better than I'm doing. And songs just started to come out of me and and I never had ambition to be like, I've had bands but I never wanted to be in that industry. That industry always felt so jacked up to me in terms of like, all my music two heroes. Not all of them, but more than half of them have failed. The people I literally think are the best songwriters in the world, like their bands didn't make it. So I saw that happen and was like, oh, no, I don't trust that industry at all. I've gone into an industry that's also has its problems. But um, to me, it was always like a diary, like writing songs was a diary. And then one day, I had a professor that was worth doing good at write a musical for the stage. He talked me into doing music for this stage musical. And we developed it over a lot of years. And since then, every now and then I'll go back and do a musical the last couple of we've done out of the Kennedy Center, the Kennedy Center in, in Washington, DC, and their family musicals about like squirrels and chickens. And you know, like, literally, when I was making which, in the window, I was working at the Kennedy Center writing songs about squirrels and chickens for this Jane Goodall musical we were doing and that at night, I was editing a horror movie. And I, I just made no sense as a human being. But it was a lot of fun.
Michael David Wilson 16:05
Yeah, yeah. And I imagine with that kind of schedule, I mean, what kind of sleep will you get in? Not a lot by the sound.
Andy Mitton 16:13
It was not a lot of sleep. My wife was also pregnant at the time. And we were like living in a hotel room with two cats. It was like a crazy. It's one of those periods of time you look back on and it was hard at the time, but it seems sort of romantic now.
Michael David Wilson 16:26
Yeah. Does your wife share the same sentiments? Did she find that romantic? She's pregnant? And off making that which in the window? Definitely
Andy Mitton 16:37
not at the time, but I think, yeah, I think I think every year that goes by where like, we can we can have the right perspective on that. I think it was a it was a strange it was it was in a transition. You know, after my first two movies, I moved from LA, back to the east coast, where I grew up to New York. And we were in that transition at that point. And I thought I was done, I was going to be making a shift to music actually to writing musicals. Because I didn't think I could, you know, like, it was a hard experience on the first two movies. And I didn't have a co director anymore, which I did on the first two. So you know, I had to come around getting myself back on my two feet. So music saved me during those years. And yeah, I do instrumental work, too. I've certainly composed the scores for the last several movies, but that's not something I need to do going forward as much fun as I've had doing it. I just have too many heroes that I'd be excited to work with who are better than I am. Right.
Michael David Wilson 17:41
Well, that begs the question, then who are some of the composers you'd love to work with?
Andy Mitton 17:47
Oh, yeah. So Nicolas Bertell. Who you know, like the succession theme, and I like the Justin Horowitz. Certainly, Reznor and Ross are nearing the top of any list I would be making there. Clint Mansell, Cliff Martinez. Yeah, I could go on on this topic for a long time. But there's a lot of exciting people. I think Reznor Ross more than anyone with they did when they did the social network, beginning of the century, sort of, I think it changed how we view things, especially in the digital sort of synthetic space. And that it didn't have to sound cheap for being synthetic, like, if you like the amount of precision with the layers they work with, like It amazes me every time so I'm really, really inspired by that, especially as someone who when I do compose, I've never had the money to go into like an orchestra room and be one of those dudes like Hans Zimmer in the orchestra, like that would dream. I can't wait if that ever happens. But no, I'm, I'm home with this keyboard you see behind me and so I I need all those tools and tricks and things that they've brought into the space, you know.
Michael David Wilson 19:01
Yeah. Yeah, Reznor and Ross. I mean, they they can just open up a weld in a story in a way that, you know, you didn't even think was possible. It's like they. Yeah, I mean, they've almost changed the game. We're film composing, I think. I think so. Yeah. And man sell and market finance. I mean, yeah, I'm obviously in most people's top 10. I would say,
Andy Mitton 19:28
I hope so. Yeah. I mean, there's so many Yeah.
Michael David Wilson 19:32
Well, I mean, let's talk a little bit about the Harbinger. So, goodness, if I were to even start with this, I mean, often when I'm watching a film, I kind of think like, yeah, what would be the tagline if I were to put this together? I don't know why I do that thing that I do, but it was kinda like Jacob's Ladder. and meets the exorcist for the COVID-19 generation. So I came up with. So I don't know if that's something you'd go along with.
Andy Mitton 20:10
Or you've you've, I mean, not only would I go along with it, you've picked my favorite movie of all time, The Exorcist with Jacob's Ladder, which was the literal tonal touchstone for the Harbinger. Like before I wrote it. I was on the phone with my producer and we that's the movie we talked about, because of the it's my favorite dreamscape movie that, you know, that isn't Nightmare on Elm Street that is Ryan and sort of grounded and, and Tim Robinson, that movie is so warm, that's what I really love about that movie. He's like a really warm hearted character in this super old ugly world that you know, that, that he's wandering through and going through all this. And I love that it's the same friction I wanted with with, with my protagonist and infusion of, of hope in a world that feels hopeless, you know?
Michael David Wilson 21:02
Yeah. Seems like I did quite well comping
Andy Mitton 21:09
you could not have done better.
Michael David Wilson 21:13
Excellent. And I mean, in terms of, you know, setting it during the pandemic, was, was that an easy decision for you? Because I mean, it, it's there, but you could have done it without it. But I think it obviously adds a layer to it, because you've then got the juxtaposition of, you know, this real nightmare happening in the world COVID-19. And particularly, because it's right at the start of the pandemic, there's absolute uncertainty. And then you've got the other nightmare of The Harbinger, which kind of blends like reality and dreams. And I would imagine going through that, which luckily, hasn't happened, because I am here, rather than have been wiped off from ever existing it, that's got a mess review, too. So I mean, setting it in the pandemic, was that an easy decision?
Andy Mitton 22:14
No, no, it was not, it was not easy. It's, it's, um, we had a lot of debates about it, I had a close friend who was making the argument that I should set it in a parallel space to take some of the details away. And I really, really considered it I thought, I think even if I did, that, people would have known what I was writing about. So there was a point at which I was like, you know, what, like, if I know this community enough, like, if you are, like, the mistake would be to write about it on the nose, and to try and have some overarching message about it that was more important than the story. That is what I've learned over the years. I just think if I'm, if I'm story first, and I have a story that I love, and you know, could exist outside of this context, but is fueled by this context, then I think if I'm working in that order, the horror crowd is gonna look at anything. They're, they're not, you know, I don't think they're purely escapist. They just have a set of things that they want. And I want those things to, because I'm part of that community. So I get to sort of keep checking in with you know, that, you know, the me from the formative years, sort of that we were talking about, make sure he's cool with what I'm doing too. And that I'm that there's a roller coaster in there that satisfies me, but but that I'm story first in that, like, if we have something that everyone on the planet can tap into in terms of dread, we better go for that, because that doesn't happen very often. And that's, that's what we do. Right? We're trying to relate to one another as much as we can. So I don't think we get to put this away quite yet. I just don't think we need like straight dramas about it yet. I just think horror is perfect. Where there's a cushion. There's a lens, there's a way to digest this stuff, I think, you know, easier, you know, with with one another, that was my hope anyway. And certainly, when we made that decision, we didn't know where we would be now. We didn't you know, and and I don't know, I know there are people who won't see it at least for a while. Who aren't ready for it. Who you know, but thankfully, so far it you know, I was braced for all sorts of backlash. And you know, for it to at the moment anyway, be like my best reviewed movie is a surprise. And it's really cool. It's really cool. The amount of times I get to read like, this is the COVID movie, you know, you should see, or that this one is, you know, not exploiting it or worth your time and that's what that that was what we were really aiming for. Like, do it with just enough grace that and make sure it's the fuel for the engine rather than the car. And we'll be okay.
Bob Pastorella 25:05
Well, I mean, it may, it was very relatable, but it also made you feel in a way, it was kind of comforting. It's weird to explain it like that, but to see it, you know, take take a second seat to the story. I felt that, you know, hey, you know, this is a world that we live in. This is reality. You know, like, like I mentioned before we started recording, you know, I was sick, there's a slim possibility that I had COVID last week. It was very, very light. But they're just an impossibility. And it you know, you're gonna, you know, I didn't have a test, I didn't have fever, I managed to not have to go to work. So, you know, go in, in watching the film today. I'm like, Oh, wow, golly. The mask is like, it feels familiar, because I've been wearing them. Because I've been kind of, you know, so there's that familiarity to it. And it was almost like, hey, it's, I've been there. I know where you going, man, just like it was very comfortable. I mean, it was cool. Yeah, didn't really disturb disturbing.
Andy Mitton 26:15
The comfort, short lift, but as long as it was there for a moment, I mean, I think people do get some catharsis out of, you know, seeing the lives reflected. And what was important to me was, like, if I was going to have a scene where families like wiping their groceries down, they better not the dialogue better not be about wiping their groceries down, I just want to see them doing it, because it's lived in and it's how we lived, but they're not talking about it. They're telling a story about a sausage cart that runs away. And you know, that's, that, to me was like, the way to play it, you know?
Michael David Wilson 26:46
Okay, I'm so glad that you brought up the sausage cart story, because I was literally as Bob was saying that thinking How the hell am I gonna segue to the sausage cart story, but you set it up for me. So it is based on anything that is based on anything that actually happened? Because this was an amazing, and very, very specific story that you delivered. And I loved it. It did set us up almost for like a false sense of security and false comfort, because it's like, Oh, we got a little comedic sausage got story. This is the tone. No, no, this isn't the tone. He's fucking with us.
Andy Mitton 27:31
It's right. No, all I knew is I wanted to see them in their groove together as a family, I wanted to see the I'm gonna feel sort of the love between them in an unforced way. And this sort of flow between them and acknowledge like that silver lining, a lot of us found, like, I was shutting with my family, and like, no one wanted to have all their plans cancelled. But we also got all this time together that new never would have, would have had, like, we know, our lives never would have stopped enough for me to like, live in my mom's basement had to do for like a while. And like, we just had, you know, for those of us who were stuck with people we wanted to be stuck with. And I know that there was the opposite out there. There were blessings be found. And I wanted to acknowledge what that was. So I did to myself, the worst thing I've ever done in writing prep myself, I wrote just a funny story in my notes. And it's like the worst thing, because it's like, now I need a funny story. That's actually funny in engineering, that is hard. But when I need comedy, I start with dogs, and reverse engineer. I just love you know, dogs. And so I don't know what I just like, spun my wheels on this for a few days and came up with this thing that then got made, believe me two or three times better, at least by the actors, just in that space, feeling it together and kind of riffing on it together. They had really great chemistry and that was like, second or third day of the shoot.
Michael David Wilson 29:06
Yeah, yeah. I mean, you know what the actors bring to it. It is almost difficult to believe that that didn't happen. Then not Oh, just like recalling this amazing incident.
Andy Mitton 29:21
That's good. That's good. That's the hope they were it was really fun. It was like the scene I was most scared to shoot because the blocking was so hard. I had all these bags I had like charts of like okay, here's what the groceries in each bag are and here's where they have to go and then when they have to go to the fridge into this shelf, and and it wound up being like a really fun piece of theater because these were all theater actors and theater actors love to learn like a whole chunk of stuff at the same time because that's what they do so rehearsing something that was almost like a dance and then making it feel lived in was like right up their alley and it went up being such a fun day.
Michael David Wilson 29:58
Yeah, yeah, and So I mean, as someone who is immersed in theater do you find then often when you're casting for your films that you tend to theater actors? I
Andy Mitton 30:12
do to some degree because I just have a lot of relationships in that space. But this would this was a particular incident where it was like the pandemic had provided this sort of production opportunity in the know, all the theater actors were not in the theaters, where they would have been Yeah, at any other time running shows. So it was like, Okay, some of the greatest actors in the world, whether or not we know them in our community, like, if you ask around New York, even before I made this movie, who were like the up and comers, you would have heard Gabi beans and Emily Davis at the top of that list. And for me, it was like a great opportunity to use them, because there's this myth that stage actors are too big on the screen. I mean, it happens here and there, like they can't stop playing to the back of the house somehow, or they're like, they don't know how to work close up. And it's a total myth 95% of the time, you will see that HBO show high maintenance, about the windows, it goes around on his bike. It's, it's like, it's really good. It's on HBO. And it is just basically a tour of all the best off Broadway off off Broadway and Broadway actors working in New York doing little character bits. And in lieu of an actual casting director, this HBO show sort of became a casting director, I'd watched it and, you know, since there's only one character in common, there's, there's just cycling through lots of different actors. seranthony Thomas, who plays the father, Ronald, has a great episode of that Emily Davis is on that. And we just not only was it going to be great to give these people work, but it'll let us stay in New York and stay safer and and keep our bubble like keep just fly people in from a lot less places, and avoid huge quarantine times, because everyone else shooting during that time had like a studio, who could like help them shut down for a week if something went wrong. And we didn't, we didn't have any safety net, we had to be, you know, COVID had to be priority one the whole time, or there was always a chance we could just go home with it without a movie in the can.
Michael David Wilson 32:25
Yeah, cuz I know from different people shooting the, you know, during the pandemic, that there was so many lists of like, protocols and safeguarding and if, if this happens, and we have to do this, and that, I mean, what, what kind of challenges or things did you have in place?
Andy Mitton 32:46
Oh, it was one big challenge. I mean, there was, there was the testing, which ultimately was good, because it's the thing that gave you peace of mind. You know, once your whole company tests negative, while you're there for 1415 hour days, no one else is going anywhere. So you like relax until the day off. But um, it was the like air we had these really loud air filters that whenever we weren't rolling, these air filters had to be on but you couldn't hear yourself think over them. And then there was the masks, of course, which you just you're I'm used to calling cut, and then looking around the room, and I can tell from everyone's face, like what they think of what we just did. And suddenly I was like, oh, no, I can't see anybody. I can't read their eyes. I don't like now I've got to learn how to communicate without all those little micro expressions that we normally have the advantage of. But you know, it that that all those were wrinkles that got ironed out pretty fast. And this was a good family like I you know, film sets can feel like war sometimes, you know, if you know if they're not set up with the right people. And this was actually for like a pretty cold heavy movie. This is a warm place to come to work every day. There was a lot of really good hearted people and like we figured it out. So it was my favorite shoot that I've had, it was very short. It was 14 shooting days as we did this in which I think is the least that I've had, I think we had maybe 15 or 16. On which in the window.
Michael David Wilson 34:18
Right? Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, of course, like part of this, as well, is sleep paralysis. So firstly, I'm wondering, have you ever suffered from sleep paralysis?
Andy Mitton 34:35
No, I have not. I've suffered from bad bouts of nightmares. I've suffered from a few experiences that may or may not be actual supernatural experiences from when I was young like that. I still don't know if it was a dream or if something else was going on. But not the traditional stories of sleep paralysis. And that documentary The nightmare about sleep. Oh yeah, definitely. That's an other movie that got in here. That scared me pretty bad. Thinking about that movie is it, it feels a little dangerous. It feels a little bit like, Am I now going to have this thing because I'm watching the movie. And now the ideas in my head. So some of the stuff in the Harbinger about how he's actually a bad idea and how bad ideas spread, I wanted to get a little bit of that danger that I felt when I was watching the nightmare, like would the viewer kind of second guessing their own exposure? Just by watching the movie?
Michael David Wilson 35:32
I think you absolutely nailed it. And in fact, I had a little note to bring that up. Because I feel like due to the nature of the demon in the Harbinger, that there is almost a risk as a viewer, like we're making ourselves susceptible we're becoming almost complicit. And even you know, if we're to take this mythology forever, and why not even us having a conversation now, I've mentioned the Harbinger so many times. Fuck, I said it again. You know, what's gonna happen to me? Like we are playing with fiction and reality and creating this dangerous entity. And the more we give voice to it, the more the weirder it becomes. Yeah,
Andy Mitton 36:19
that's exactly very well put. I love movies that play with that, that, you know, the ring sort of, I guess, does that to some degree? I think that's the first time as a young person, I felt that danger in the theater watching the ring. Yeah.
Michael David Wilson 36:32
Yeah, definitely. And I don't know maybe it was a more innocent time then. Or we were just less aware of, you know, what's going on behind the camera. So it's like hanging on there watching this video. And then that dyeing. I'm not sure I should continue watching this. This seems a bit of a risky thing to be doing. Maybe I should turn it off. Well, I didn't turn it off. And now I'm in Japan. So maybe I was I was brought to the homeland after ring will or see what nothing because it's crawled out of the television set. Yeah. But there is a television set just out of view of the camera roll. Say oh, let you know if you will know if Sadako comes out at that because I'll be gone. OB GYN she'll she'll turn up it will be even more wild than if we was. Were you talking about the Headless Horseman or something like that, if Sadko turns up, that is how you end. And this is our a podcast episode. It is probably the perfect way to end like, this is our 10th year of the podcast. So it's like 10 years. 500 episodes. Michael's dead. Good night. Let's do
Bob Pastorella 38:02
find the Headless Horseman now. Yeah, I mean, we had the ring versus the grudge. Yeah, we didn't. We've got to have you know, the basically the ring versus you know, the Headless Horseman in which do it all this is hard. It's just like the Harbinger. See, if I plant this idea, it will happen.
Andy Mitton 38:31
That's right. Especially pay per view. Episode. Fight Night. Let's do it.
Bob Pastorella 38:39
Mike already knows as soon as as soon as we start talking about night tears. I have him I get sleep pro release. It never fails. Within within the next couple of weeks. I will have a episode of it.
Andy Mitton 38:56
Do you like see the like the guy and everything? Is it go that far?
Bob Pastorella 39:00
I have had abs I have seen the shadow the shadow people, but I have not seen the shadow people in a long, long time. Okay. And so And what's that? There's another film that does that come true. I think it was on a.
Andy Mitton 39:18
I haven't seen that. I've heard of it. Yeah. Yeah,
Bob Pastorella 39:21
it deals with that with the shadow people. And I had a really hard time watching that movie. And you know, and then I watched and you know, and then watching The Harbinger. I'm like, Okay, well, yeah, there we go. We're gonna be having. We're gonna I'm having an episode. And being a fan of horror, you know, I mean, it's like, you know, it's not real. It's like, but the realist fucking part of it, is the fact that the idea will be planted in your head and it causes you to have Yeah, the actual, you know, an episode of it. And so it's life imitates art from the seed. It's You know, or maybe Art imitates life and knows?
Andy Mitton 40:04
Well, that's like, Well, I hope it's funny, because it's like, I don't as much as I, like, want that dangerous element, I hear something like that. And all, like, internally, all I'm thinking of, is like, please don't let you know my movie, you know, give you an episode. It's like, it's funny, it's like not ultimately, what I'm after is to do damage or like to make, you know, but like, See, you're someone who continues to love horror, through that, and watch horror. So like, there must be something in there, that's not entirely damage.
Bob Pastorella 40:38
Now, a lot of my influences have come from, you know, early dreams that I remember, you know, having as a kid. And some of the imagery that I tried to, I guess, that we all have like motifs, you know, or brands, and some of that stuff gets, you know, in my work and my fiction, and it's just, you know, it's it. Fortunately, I have insomnia. So the only way that I can really do that, the idea will trigger an episode, but also long bouts of insomnia. Well, allow me to slip into REM very quickly, if I'm exhausted, and finally do get to sleep. And that's usually when it happens. Because you get in this kind of you get this real quick REM but you're not in deep sleep yet. And that's when you feel like you can't you can't get up, you know, and seeing you know, and watching the film and seeing Mavis you know, standing there not being able to wake up. I'm like, Okay, I've never stood up before, but I have set up before I have woken up sitting up in my bed going, Oh, shit. That was a bad dream. And it's like you look at you look at your, uh, you know, you look at your clock and like two minutes have passed. And you're like, I was in the dream world for for four hours. But it's always been two minutes. Yeah. Crazy.
Andy Mitton 42:08
Yeah, this is why it's cool to write about dreams, you're gonna be tricky doing it because you can enter like, kind of cheap territory if you're not scared. But like I that was the other conversation we had before we made the movie not only like, you know, are we you know, should we make the pandemic movie? But should we make a dream movie in a world where like, Freddy Krueger, has the market cornered? And it's like, no, he cannot have the market cornered on dreams. Because it's, you know, it's like, it's kind of like the pandemic, when we talk about things we all share. This is a mystery. We all share. We don't fucking know what they are. We still don't really understand them. Or how to interpret them or the it's a mystery we all carry. And because you you know, you have to sleep. You know, we all face it continuously. So like, it's kind of irresistible.
Michael David Wilson 42:59
Yeah. Yeah. And you said, and Bob will have known that I would latch on to this and bring it back. But you said that during your childhood, you had a couple of experiences that may or may not have been supernatural. Don't let anyone say something like that. So please, tell us about these experiences.
Andy Mitton 43:24
Yes, well, there's one central experience and is not in any very specific contextual way. But it is the spark for the witch in the window. So when I was young, I was up. I think I was probably seven years old, and I was up reading. So I was sitting up in bed with the lamp on next to me, but the house was quiet. And I heard music. Growing in my ears directionally sounded like it was coming from down the hall, and coming closer to the room as if the music was an entity. And it was an orchestra. And I could, I can hear it, I can hear the chords very clearly, like they'll never leave my head. But it's a very urgent sounding thing. It's not a kind of like, boom, boom, boom, I kind of had that slow watch to it. And I knew it was right outside the door, which was mostly closed, so I shut my eyes. squeezed them tight. Well, you know, I prayed for it to go away. The music sort of suspended. And I opened my eyes and there was a face just that I could see in the middle of the room. It was a man's face. He was like a bald guy. And he looked really angry. And he said, and I don't know what this means or why it's very strange sentence but he said There once was a girl named Lydia. And she didn't care about anything. They shouted that And then the shower kind of sprang my paralysis kind of broke, you know, my body so I can move my muscles again. And I panicked and I, I screamed from my mother and, you know, through the covers up and the music and you know, it was all gone and my mother was there and she was convinced me it was a dream, even though I was never down. So you do what you do when you're seven years old, and something like that happens, you sleep with your parents the rest of the night, some really fucked up thing is I'm in my safe place. I'm between my parents in their bed. Later that same night, it comes back, same music down the hallway, this time to my parents room. And when the face appears, it was like, more skeleton like, and it just shouted, do you hear. And this time, the music went back down the hallway. And my mother was already up talking to me and I could still hear the music receding and she couldn't hear anything. So she convinced me a lot of years, you know that I was asleep during this whole thing. And I finally when I was like 14 or 15 You know, got her to admit and then I was you know, I was awake when she came in. I was awake during this whole thing. You know, I wasn't prone to it. Nothing like that ever happened. You know, we built this house. This was not like a house we moved into that had any history to it. The land had some history. But anyway, that's like how I named Lydia. Which in the window. And sort of seeing the look in my mother's eye when she admitted to me that I was awake kind of sparked those themes for me in that movie and what I feel now and like the things you can protect your kids from the things you don't understand and what what a particular kind of fear that is. So that's my, my big strange ghost story.
Michael David Wilson 46:54
That is absolutely wild. Just like you were gonna gloss over that incident this was not a limo incident. Goodness stay with the face shout in. Do you hear? It's like, Yes, I bloody well. Please go. Very, very easy to hear.
Andy Mitton 47:22
I remember I like go through the records of the land and trying to find Lydia and stuff because like, the other thing about growing up for me was my mom was in hospice was her job. So she was like, in the normal current course of her day, you know, she could very likely be by a deathbed at the moment of passing. And she saw like, a lot of amazing things over those years. So I was like, in a house of believers and kind of in a no doubt way. It was just a part of life. And I learned over time, how unusual that is not that I'm, I'm really the outlier. As someone who believes in the supernatural to a degree which I do a degree I don't pretend to know things. Exactly. But I know that there's more than we think we know.
Michael David Wilson 48:09
Yeah. So I mean, in terms of your personal beliefs, would you just you know, you'd say you believe that there is something supernatural there is something beyond life, but it's probably harder for you to go any further than that. That's about the limit. There's something out there. I don't want to
Andy Mitton 48:30
I believe in I'll go far enough to say as I'm not I don't say anything with certainty. But what I subscribe to generally is I do believe in past lives. And so that's sort of the route that's always connected the most to me and then that my mother sort of passed down and so that much I'm I've always been interested in and I'm fascinated hearing people who go to like, past life you know, hypnosis sessions are those you know, those those events, sometimes some of those people, my mom met in the course of her work and some of the people who you'd guess as a reasonable people would be total quacks or not. Or at least they don't know that they are like something more interesting is going on. There's things going on in that space that are that are interesting. And then there's other things going on in that space that are bullshit. And you have to be careful.
Michael David Wilson 49:21
Yeah. Yeah. Do you occasionally, you know, start researching Lydia again. Like I need I need the answer, who is digital media?
Andy Mitton 49:34
I've passed it on now I've given I've given Lydia to the rest of the world so I can be free of her wits and the window is like I'm taking whatever this is this years now. And I don't I don't think about her so much anymore.
Michael David Wilson 49:48
I mean, we're so that was actually a very cathartic experience for you. You did almost exercise your own demon as it were.
Andy Mitton 49:57
Yeah, that movie was cathartic in a lot of ways. cuz that was also like the first thing I did on my own. And I made it like in Vermont, which is like my favorite place on earth. And it was the first time I was like, Oh, I can do this and not be like, really, at war and miserable and uptight all the time from doing it. Like there's a way to do this. That's sustainable, and fun. And it was, yeah, it was the first time I really had a proper amount of fun on a film shoot, mostly because we just didn't know what we were doing to set it up, right, the first couple of times, like, I didn't make, you know, I wasn't someone who I probably if I could go back, I'd be one of the people who made like, a few more shorts before I before I jumped in, but by virtue of the fact that we jumped in without knowing what we were doing, we made some crazy shit that we never made otherwise, which, you know, yellowbrickroad being I mean, I don't, I don't watch that movie. But I have trouble looking in the rearview. But I know, we made, you know, a polarizing piece of like, we took a crazy swing, and I'll always be proud of crazy swings. I mean, that's what I would have wanted to see. When I was a kid, you know?
Michael David Wilson 51:11
Right. Yeah. And I mean, if you contrast making yellow brick road with making the witch in the window, I mean, how would you contrast those two experiences,
Andy Mitton 51:24
total opposite from each other yellowbrickroad, we were in a dangerous place on purpose, we were like, at the northern tip of New Hampshire. I mean, we just went to the place, we set the mood, we wrote the movie, and not knowing any better thinking, like, you know, we could have just set up on the side of the road somewhere and pointed the camera into the woods, and it would look like we're in the middle of the woods. But we still would have had cell phone reception and like access to airports. Instead, we were in this place. It was like we were in the 70s. And there were like moose everywhere. And like people get killed by like hitting their cars with Moose every summer in this place. Yeah, I had students that I had taught, because I taught at Middlebury College, my my alma mater a few times, and we brought the students over and I was like, I just thought someone was gonna die. I was like, This is dangerous. I have to get everyone through this experience. And it was, it did feel like war. It was like a really, it was a great experience at the end of the day, but it was really, really, really hard. And when the window was the opposite, it was like, I'm, we're in like, mostly when location, we're going to drop anchor, we're going to have this family environment, we're not going to reach for more than what we can grab with our budget. You know, it's like written for the resources a little bit more appropriately. Which led us I think, follow through is the first time I felt like I'd stuck the landing. Because it wasn't such a stretch. And it was it was just a nice place to come to work in the morning it was in either goes military or family. I don't know why. But sets go one way or the other. And you have to be careful about how that tone gets set. Because you don't always have control over it. That's what I didn't realize coming from theater. If you direct in theater, you set the tone, you're the voice in the room, you want to be like I'm a type B leader, right? I'm like a calm, steady do. That's what I want to feel at the center. I'm not an aggressive Alpha director. But if you're on a film set, what I didn't realize is if you can be anything you want to be if you hire an aggressive alpha first ad, you set is going to be like that, they'll set the tone. You won't you won't be able to do it. You'll be too busy scrambling in the 40 directions, you're scrambling and so I learned that the hard way and now I'm really really careful with the chemistry of the set. Making sure we have like a really fertile warm environment to work in. Yeah,
Bob Pastorella 54:01
you know, after watching you know, Heart of Darkness. Yellow Brick Road, I'm like, this is your this was your Apocalypse Now. You know, the feeling that that? Hey, let's go to where we said it. And it's like, you don't even think about that shit. And as as a viewer, I don't even think about that shit. Because you Hey, it's a movie, but y'all y'all actually didn't even have cell phone reception out there.
Andy Mitton 54:30
No, we really did. We had to go. We had to drive 30 minutes for for internet. I mean, in in where we were, it was 2009 we were shooting and we were like, yeah, it felt like 30 years earlier. It was it was really great. We were also using the RED camera for the first time like Peter Jackson had just like introduced it. So we're using this camera that was like a computer when we didn't understand what that was and it would like break down in the sun and like, you know It was really it was really pretty crazy but it was also it was like it changed everyone's life I don't know if it changed everyone's life for the for the better maybe it sent a few people down a bad path but like it was it really felt like like a gauntlet we ran and no one was quite the same when we got back I mean hell I'm you know, I married one of my cast members and have kids were there so it changed my life and in every way possible.
Bob Pastorella 55:31
That can make that can make an interesting story in itself. You know, maybe not you know about that particular movie but you know, the fallout of a polarizing film. I mean, it's like it kind of do it Docu style, you know, hey,
Andy Mitton 55:46
Unknown Speaker 55:46
Andy Mitton 55:51
yeah, that's what I remember thinking every day I was like, please don't let the documentary of the making of this movie be scarier than the movie we actually make. That's not what we want. That would be crazy.
Michael David Wilson 56:05
Not what you want but now that Bob is pitching that idea
mean that'd be interesting to go for like a kind of faux documentary almost found footage style movie. Is that anything that you'd be interested in doing?
Andy Mitton 56:29
Yeah, we actually did. We did an anthology in between yellowbrickroad and we go on for chiller TV back when chiller TV was a thing. That's a found footage thing about a song that kills you if you listen to it. Like Emily Hagen's had a segment in it and of MIKO Hughes from pet cemetery. And, I mean, it was a silly little anthology but I liked doing found footage I actually have a found footage script that I've written recently that I'm I think it needs new angles at this point. I think the space is pretty crowded. I found footage movie is in a small craft airplane. So it's a very different feeling. It's actually the opposite of shaky it's all like GoPro strapped to a to like a Cessna. Because that's unlike an aviation bug. So if I that's the thing, if I heard there was a found footage, movie and horror in the sky, like I'm there. So I'd set out to do that. But I like yeah, I'm, for me. It's like, it's a story. It's story first, right? So if the story I think it's unusual that I think of a story where found footage is going to be the best medium to tell it. But this was the first time that's happened to me. And once I realized that, yeah, like I'm all for like Blair Witch Project. In Boston, when I saw this still the scariest the scariest movie experience I've had, because I was in a packed house of people who didn't know what it was. In they were we just the fear in that room was super contagious. And, you know, again, it felt dangerous.
Michael David Wilson 58:01
This is what I was thinking of, to when we mentioned, you know, the ring and people being unsure. Like, you know, is this a good idea, but with the Blair Witch Project, I remember certainly in the UK, almost just with the promotion and the way it was pitched there was ambiguity. It's like, hang on, is, is this a film? Is this real? What are we watching here? And I think, to a lesser extent, but still certainly there. There was a similar thing, you know, five or so years later with paranormal activity, particularly just, you know, the way that it was set up. I mean, I mean, now because there's been so many paranormal activity films, and so many kind of rip offs of it almost feels like cliche or obvious, but at the time, it was like, are we actually seeing surveillance of a literal paranormal event? So both of them were terrifying. And, and I think as well, you know, suspense and buildup is key and they were both both Blair Witch and paranormal activity. We're so subtle with the buildup and getting to the real chaos and the horror again, something that you did masterfully in the Harbinger because that you know, it starts off it's so it's so sausage carts to begin with, isn't it? We're all having fun, but then suddenly, she gets off in a big way. And if there's a question attached to that
Andy Mitton 59:43
maybe can you hear me nodding because they're good for an interview and I just not sorry.
Michael David Wilson 59:49
Fantastic for what is predominantly going to be put out as an audio piece. Maybe you need to like wear a hat with a bail on it or something. In case
Bob Pastorella 1:00:04
for bad narration, Andy knocked.
Andy Mitton 1:00:07
That's right. That's right.
Michael David Wilson 1:00:12
I mean, but Bob has got the voice for no rating, you know, horror films. So I think of anyone just getting an array would be Bob. Agreed.
Andy Mitton 1:00:22
Michael David Wilson 1:00:23
Bob Pastorella 1:00:24
which is why I don't do none of the intros or outros for this as hard as I do. I have I have done a few. But I tend to flub things. And then I don't want to do it. Because I do a lot of the ads. And I'll tell you a little secret, the file that Michael gets is sent in rage usually. Often times the first Senate's,
Andy Mitton 1:00:53
but see, it's beautiful. It's a results oriented thing. That's like when I was when I when I make music, I'm like, I'm a terrible, like, technical player of the music that I write. But like no one knows, like a guitar. So I had to do guitar solo once, I think I did. 100 takes. And still the last thing I put out was like a comp version of like, the good moments from like, it's not like I ever did it straight through. But no one you know, no one ever knows. If they listen to the album, about all they did, Reg.
Michael David Wilson 1:01:27
And now they know now that you know,
Andy Mitton 1:01:33
like a guitar solo I ever recorded. That's how it happened and why that sounds like
Bob Pastorella 1:01:38
Eddie Roth said that Eddie would record multiple solos, and then piece them together and then learn that. Wow, yeah. So basically, he would he would take like five or six piece the parts he liked. And then record it and then learn that note for note. And that was his solo, then he recorded solo the real solo.
Andy Mitton 1:02:03
Wow, that's really cool. That makes me feel better.
Michael David Wilson 1:02:08
Perhaps one of the most frightening things about the harbinger is that, you know, this is set in a world well, when the character dies, they are raised from existence, as if they never lived to begin with. And perhaps it's so terrifying, because it's like, would this is conceivable that this could be happening? This is gonna be happening constantly, we would never know. Right? So it's such a fascinating concept. How on earth did you arrive at this ID?
Andy Mitton 1:02:43
I've had this one, that element has been swirling around my head for years before there was any context. I remember, I think I outlined a slasher movie like three or four years ago where I don't remember what the reason was. But like it, the idea that people were pulled completely from reality was has been attractive to me for a while. But at first, it was only on sort of a technical level. Because I hate writing like detectives, and like police coming in to like invest. Like, you just have to deal with that when you kill people in your story, because that's the world. And I was like, Oh, if I do this, I don't have to write any of those policemen or any of those detectives that I hate writing. The story can just kind of jump forward. And I really liked that feeling. But I never had the right context. And then you know it. It took on this whole new dimension when we were in 2020. And we were all feeling that existential dread and we were losing tons of lives and people weren't able to process the amount of lives being lost or unable to be at the bedsides of people they were losing, you know, all of that heaviness. What really made me feel that, that, you know, the fabric of our identity is each other is, you know, how we live in the minds of the people that we love and the memories of the people we love. And we were losing that fabric was sort of dissolving during that time. And I just became hyper aware of that. And I was like, you know, this is I think these things fit together. This adds, you know, a context and a dimension and puts that technical thing that I was excited about to use in a kind of an emotionally productive way. So that's sort of what ticked everything off. And that story really kind of grew from there.
Bob Pastorella 1:04:42
Yeah, it increased the stakes as
Andy Mitton 1:04:44
well. It did. It's like how do you increase the stakes beyond life and death, right? That's always the stakes in horror movies. It's death. It's the ultimate stakes. And it's like, no, there's something worse,
Bob Pastorella 1:04:55
right? It's now you really tapped into something They're in a, it's it I think, I think a lot of creatives, especially in horror, they kind of play around with that, you know, I had no idea that, you know, if somebody died, then let's say an actor died or something like that, and suddenly, you know, a movie that you loved was different, because they weren't in it. And you remember, wait, that guy in there? You know, and it's like, and it's, it is so vast, that's yet to be, you know, it's something that like, you know, maybe Steve, Steve Erickson could write it, you know, and he kind of, he kind of tapped into that zero bill, but still, you know, it's like, you know, the movie gets in every movie. Well, what about the actors that are no longer in any movie? You know?
Andy Mitton 1:05:47
I mean, yeah, like that. It's crazy. Yeah, that's the kind of stuff that that that can start a whole. You know, it's, I think, for me, it's usually like a moment that a movie is built around. But in this case, it was an idea it was that very concept and that idea and fusing that with the feelings which is with like, something like which in the window it was literally you know, the the scene in the movie that gets talked about the most there were there's a cell phone call, I won't spoil it. But people who know the movie, if you mentioned the scene with a cell phone, they know what you're talking about. That was literally before it had any context or I knew what the characters were that populated it. I knew what that moment felt like. I was like, that's a special moment. I can literally work forwards and backwards from that moment and build something that feels special, you know.
Michael David Wilson 1:06:38
Thank you so much for listening to This Is Horror Podcast. Join us again next time for the second and final part of our conversation with Andy Mitton. But if you would like that ahead of the crowd, if you would like every episode ahead of the crowd, then please do support email@example.com forward slash, This Is Horror. And this is our 10th year of the podcast, and I am making it my mission to get us to 200 patrons by the end of the year. And as such, I'll be putting out more Patreon episodes and content and little bonuses than ever. So not only are you going to get early access to each episode, but you get a lot of bonus content, including access to the patrons only q&a sessions, and story unbox the horror podcast on the craft of writing. And a movie that we will be dissecting this month on story unboxed is something candidat so please, if you liked the show, help us celebrate a decade of This Is Horror Podcast and become a firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash. This Is Horror. Okay, before I wrap up, it is time for a quick advert break.
RJ Bayley 1:07:59
It was as if the video had on zips my skin slunk inside my tapered flesh and become one with me.
Bob Pastorella 1:08:08
From the creator of This Is Horror comes a new nightmare for the digital age. The Girl in the Video by Michael David Wilson. After a teacher receives a weirdly rousing video, his life descends into the paranoia and obsession. More videos follow each containing information no stranger could possibly know. But who's sending them and what do they want? The answers may destroy everything and everyone he loves. The Girl in the Video is the ring means fatal attraction from iPhone generation. Available now in paperback ebook and audio. Coming soon from Mother Horror and Cemetery Gates Media, the debut novella from P.L. Watts -- The Bonny Swans. When Anne O’Donnell arrives on a dock in 1789 France with no memory of her past, she allows herself to be renamed Marguerite and taken in as governess for Mellian, the petulant daughter of a rich merchant. But the chateau holds many secrets, some deadly. Wendy N. Wagner says: “The Bonny Swans brings together all the best of the Gothic tropes – a troubled family, a struggling governess, an unhappy child – and stews them in magic, the French Revolution, and queer vibes. For more information visit CemeteryGatesMedia.com
Michael David Wilson 1:09:11
Now as always, I would like to end the episode with a quote. And this is from Epictetus. Do not be concerned too much with what will happen. Everything which happens will be good and useful for you. Hell of a powerful quote, particularly for those of us going through difficult times, but something that I like to ponder, you know, how will this trouble or how will this hard time be something that eventually if not at the time it is occurring, be something good and something that we can put to use? I'll see you next time when we'll be talking to Andy Mitton for the second and final part of the conversation. But until then, Take care yourselves, be good to one another, read horror. Keep on writing and have a great, great day.