TIH 480: Andy Mitton on Screenwriting, Writing Routine, and The Dark Half by Stephen King

TIH 480: Andy Mitton on Screenwriting, Writing Routine, and The Dark Half by Stephen King

In this podcast, Andy Mitton talks about screenwriting, his writing routine, The Dark Half by Stephen King, 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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They’re Watching by Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella

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Michael David Wilson 0:07

Welcome to This Is Horror, a podcast for readers, writers and creators. I'm Michael David Wilson, and 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 is the second part of our conversation with the filmmaker Andy mitten. And in the last podcast we spoke about Andy's brand new film, The Harbinger. And in this part, we delve into real life supernatural experiences, reading the Dark Half by Stephen King, and some practical do's and don'ts for screenwriting. Andy is a phenomenal filmmaker and was incredibly generous with his time. So I think you're all going to have a lot of fun with this one. And I would put Andy on your to watch list, both literally in terms of his films, but also in a, this guy's gonna get a lot bigger kind of way. So before the episode with Andy, let's take a quick advert break.

Bob Pastorella 1:42

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Bob Pastorella 2:30

From the crater 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 is like to send to 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 meets fatal attraction for iPhone generation available now in paperback ebook and audio.

Michael David Wilson 2:59

Okay, well with that said, here it is it is Andy mitten. On This Is Horror. Because you mentioned your supernatural experiences in your childhood before. Have you had any supernatural or supernatural adjacent experiences since?

Andy Mitton 3:22

No, not in the same way? I have every now and then I'll get scared in the same way I did when I was a kid. You know, if you just catch yourself alone and certain of the thing in the other room like I've been it's rare, I must get excited when it happens. Right? I like because I kind of I kind of miss it. This like when I when I wrote the script for we go on for the second movie, there's a scene where the main character wants to see a ghost. And so this professor played by John Glover convinces him like the key to seeing it is to return to that childhood fear is to like, tap back in to go revisit something that made you feel that way when you were young. And you believed in that. Because it wasn't that those things weren't true. And you got older and smarter. It's that you were open to those things you were like those things had access to you and vice versa back then. So if you go back to that place, part of the way you see a ghost is to is to be afraid is to feel that fear. So it's like I'm searching for ways back into that feeling. But But no, it's never been like that again.

Michael David Wilson 4:44

Yeah, yeah. What were some ways that gave you that feeling?

Andy Mitton 4:53

You mean more recently when it's combat? Yeah.

Michael David Wilson 4:55

Yeah. I mean, you said you haven't had anything quite like like that before, but there have been a few things where you have recaptured the feeling.

Andy Mitton 5:06

Yeah, I mean, I think alone. Last time it happened to me I was alone in a house in a basement like I'm not usually alone in a house anymore. It used to happen more often. I've got a family and other people are generally around, but I was alone. And I had seen what was the movie I'd seen I'd seen something that just set me wrong. I think it might have been write down murder or something that like I'll never see again. Oh

Michael David Wilson 5:30

my gosh. Brutal movie.

Andy Mitton 5:36

It's not even supernatural. It just made me it just made me feel awful. Like really, really awful. And I was sitting around and I just I don't know where they you know, it was like I got the idea in my head that in the next room where the like the doors were open, but the lights were off within like I have one of those childhood experiences of like, I think I see a shape that's not the furniture in there and I locked up and got paralyzed and had trouble walking over and facing it and turning on a light and then once I did I got really excited that I felt that feeling again so it's like a weird it's a weird of sort of paradoxical moment.

Michael David Wilson 6:15

Yeah, but but you've kind of perfectly captured horror and you know, people particularly you aren't into horror will be like, Well, why do you enjoy it? Why do you do it? And that's why it's that roller coaster moment. I mean, watching a horror film or being scared is like a roller coaster. You're literally getting that adrenaline and that thrill?

Andy Mitton 6:38

Yes, exactly. In you're doing it in a safe space. That's like if you can face the dark corners in safe spaces. Yeah, I think you are you're opening a valve that other people aren't always able to open that so that you know you're you're letting go of things that other people are holding on to i That's my theory anyway, because we all know in the horror community it doesn't take long to realize that like it's it's a super warm community it's like the friendliest people I've met in this world for like a large percentage of them have come from the horror community and that always surprises people who don't get it you know?

Michael David Wilson 7:19

Yeah, yeah. Well, I mean, I often say with Bob and the horror in the heavy metal community are quite similar in that you know, outwardly you particularly for outsiders you might think okay, this is a very aggressive violent art forms but actually when you meet the fans when you meet the musicians, the filmmakers the writers that some of the warmest people and I wonder you know, is it because if we're underpaid you're free to music we getting any aggression anything violent? anything negative it's going into that so you take all that away what you got left? You got your lovely horrid people. You've got room for this hatred and this anger where I don't know if you're just listening to r&b and watching rom coms. The anger still down, I'd be angry, r&b and watching wrong come so I get it. I really do.

Andy Mitton 8:25

Yes, I be very, very angry.

Michael David Wilson 8:30

That's a nightmare.

Andy Mitton 8:32

That's right. You need you need the outlet you need you need, you know, you need to let it go. So yeah, I think that's a good thing. I remember when I was young, and I was Stephen King obsessed. And learning that he was like, at the time coaching his kids Little League team. And just being like, that's so cool. Like That dude is coaching a little league team in the communities. They're cool. They're alright with it. You know, I'm sort of learning that now. Because now like my kids are going to school and they're like, say to their art teacher like my daddy makes horror movies and then they'll like, watch my horror movie and then I'm getting side I from the art teacher, you know, next time parents teachers and you know, but at the end of the day you learn like yeah, it's it's kind of cool. And like people people will embrace it and like you know, you can you can live I don't know, like, my kids aren't scared of me because of it. When the community like you know, people, people get it. So I remember being inspired by that. It's like yeah, you don't have to be you don't have to reflect your work you can actually do the opposite. You can you can let your work go and open that valve and be you know, a more stable person for it hopefully.

Michael David Wilson 9:44

Yeah, have you within your life had people once I found out that you know, you write horror films just treat you differently and kind of indefinitely like, or is it all been kind of warm the general response? Since that's

Andy Mitton 10:01

only in a very few cases of that happen, mostly I meet a lot of people including, like, you know, people in my own family, people, some of the closest people to me in the world, it's just not their thing. And that's totally cool. Like, you know, like, I'm the first, like, whenever I encounter that I take the pressure off as fast as I can, like, Look, don't please don't like you, there's no pressure to ever see anything that I could do. And it doesn't affect our relationship, and our friendship. It's not for everybody. But then I also, you know, like, most people get it at that point, they know, you know, they people understand that the grand canyon between fiction and nonfiction and you know, if I'm out there actually, like, I get when people say, like, I've had people say to me, like, this is a rough world, like, why do you want to put negative imagery into this world that already feels like, you know, struggle, and it's like, I, you know, I get it, but I don't think of it that way. Whatever that image was, it was made by this group of people who are artists who are collaborating to make that image. And it was made with, with care and crafts in love, at the end of the day, no matter what it feels like in the context of the story. That's what the image actually is. So that's how it will always feel to me.

Michael David Wilson 11:22

Right. And I think you know, that there's a lot of hate and a lot of negativity already in the world, what we're not putting more negative things in, what we're actually doing is we're already taking negative things that exist, and we're making them more palatable. So we're taking something that is evil, or as bad or as negative. And we're somehow creating and crafting beauty out of it. So we're making the world a more loving place, a more palatable place. So it's actually the opposite as to what they are. Miss conceiving it to be.

Andy Mitton 12:00

Yes, yes, very well put. Exactly. All right.

Michael David Wilson 12:10

Once and for all. I'm always so conscious of like, how do I segue it is that sometimes you just can't smoothly segue, you just got to jump into something. And I want to jump back to you going for the plague doctor figure in the Harbinger, which is obviously so iconic, and incredibly apt for a film set during COVID-19. That there's also an interesting, like, mild kind of juxtaposition of cultures, I suppose, because of the plague doctor originating from Europe and this being set in America, but in terms of deciding to go with the plague doctor, was that again, something early into the process that, you know, I have to have this or did this come later on? Because of course, you know, the demonic presence as it were, can take any form.

Andy Mitton 13:20

Right? Yes. And that's, uh, that's key, you know, not that I'll ever make a harbinger to but if I did, that would be, you know, no way he comes back in the same form. That's no fun. Yeah, it would be. Yeah, a completely different entity, right? Who can play the same tricks? And I'd be super interested in that. But so that that element was key to me. And but it was yes, it was an early idea. It really, most of this story came to me one night. It's always well, I'm, I'm a pacer. I'm like, That's what I do. I'm I don't know about you guys. But I, you know, I like to sit down when I know what I'm doing. And up until then, I'm back and just like walking a maddening line back and forth. And I just had one of those nights where it was all clicking together. And that. I mean, I debated with myself a little bit. I knew the plague doctor was a little. It's not the subtlest thing I could choose. But I also I wanted a chance to sort of take something that felt familiar and make it distinct. So the challenge was to create a design and a mask that that, that took it a little bit out of the places that might be dated, like you mentioned, like for instance, swapping out the wide brim hat that you often see for the cloak in the hood and something that felt a little bit more ancient. That's what I really wanted to feel a sort of ancient timelessness to this entity. And then I worked with young we park who designed the mask to sort of we actually chose a bird that had the right beak profile. It was a California threat. For. And we extended it as far as we possibly could while making it wearable for the for J. J. Dunn who was wearing the mask, the actor who plays the building manager is also the Harbinger in the movie. And so it was this collaboration but like the reason I decided to embrace it was in part because I knew he was also going to be the designer, sort of the director of these dreams so that I wouldn't completely be dependent on my masked bad guy as the single source of fear that he would have other characters that he plays, he could speak in other voices. He's ultimately a designer and a trickster. And that gave me a much more sort of interesting playground to work in.

Bob Pastorella 15:47

Yeah, there was something else too that really kind of stuck out to me. And if this is a spoiler, we can cut this part out if you feel like this is spoiler, but mo with the sparrow, this is really kind of coming full circle to your first experience with Stephen King with the sparrows and the Dark Half. Yes, totally in Harbinger Do you know, because they are harbingers? And I seen that immediately. And that's and to me, it's like, okay, it's, it's almost like Mo was kind of a harbinger in a way. That that was kind of unexpected. No, it was like, you have a harbinger, you have this entity, but also she had to go to Vegas, and it was just man, it's like it all just kind of, you know, all went together. And like I said, If that's true, if that's too spoilery we cut that out, but I don't think

Andy Mitton 16:41

so. I'm cool with that.

Bob Pastorella 16:43

Right there.

Andy Mitton 16:48

That's cool. Yeah, thank you that those are the exactly on the night in question. When all this came together. Those are you start hearing those clicks. You click clack together like that. And those are that's when I get excited.

Michael David Wilson 17:02

Yeah, I still can't believe that you first Stephen King was George Stark in The Dark Half. Brutal introduction. And it's interesting because I feel that like in in the 10 years of This Is Horror Podcast, the Dark Half doesn't come up often. But in October when I was talking to Matthew honus, who you might know is golf Marang he from golf, merengue his dark place, he was talking about fond memories of the Dark Half as well. Like what? What are the chances? I guess just like, you know, the really discerning right as his late oh, they they didn't jump in with with any of this like carry or pet cemetery or the boy who loved Tom Gordon. It's like, is it the girl? I don't know, someone left come good. And I forgotten. I need more coffee. But you jumped in with the dock for you. Here we go.

Andy Mitton 18:03

Yep, right into the deep end, for sure. But, you know, it's also like it you know, it's it's, I think it's attractive to writers that story too. Because it's, you know, it's, it's about writing. It's one of those stories that's like, really appealing if that's part of your sensibility to this idea of when you explore I mean, that's like, you know, it's the same theme as the exorcist at the end of the day, you know, yeah, I've always been attracted to anything. That's about the duality of man. And it's probably my favorite theme that and just time like wrestling with time, those are the things that I tend to return to. So the Dark Half, I think, spoke to that.

Michael David Wilson 18:40

Yeah, yeah. And there's like quite a bit of wrestling with time with because of the nature of the hub in here. And there's some scenes that are very obviously, messing with time again, can't really get into them without properly spoiling it. But that is certainly something that comes up. And I mean, something that I think we have touched on is obviously because we're talking about nightmares, and these things happening during the nightmare, and then you play around with the idea of waking up, but then waking up and now you're in another layer. This is like Inception start hell, it's like no, I've just woke up in another nightmare. And I mean, that's terrifying, because if you think about it too long, it's like, well, hang on. It's this life. I'm having just a really fucking long dream. Like from this, like, oh, yeah, that's what happens when you die. 80 or 90 years later, oh, no more week. I just dream life. Yeah,

Andy Mitton 19:50

totally. He's thinking about that a lot.

Michael David Wilson 19:53

Yeah, I mean, since we're talking about nightmares, and we're talking about out fear. What is it that frightens you?

Andy Mitton 20:04

cockroaches? Let's give you a very simple answer. Just

Michael David Wilson 20:12

not in my apartment in Japan to clarify

Andy Mitton 20:16

on the on the pure, like immediate visceral level of cockroaches are my biggest fear outside of the heavy emotional stuff. The heavy fears are the ones that I write about, usually. So, you know, the last two things I've written about, I think my fear as a parent of like, you know, bringing kids into a, into a world I'm not so certain of and at what point you stop lying. And those those things scare me. I think I'm, I'm one of those writers that's sort of been low key writing about like a slow burning apocalypse. I feel those things. And I've always been interested in those. So like, on the on the deep, dark levels. That's where I mind and that's where I think those those, those are the things that tend to run through the pathways of the stories that I'm telling. But if I'm just dead honest, it's cockroaches, man. I mean, it's it's that last segment in crypto. I just I did a I did a podcast a month ago where we were going to talk about crypto, right, I had to learn about the cockroach trailer they kept on that movie. It was just breeding. They were breeding and I guess it had like a smell. And then all the cockroaches in that movie are real. And you know, I just can't. There's certain things I can't do. That's one of them.

Michael David Wilson 21:38

Yeah. So I mean, at the moment, I think you've said before you're living in the New York area, is there like a big cockroach problem or things that you have to be mindful of? Or is it fairly Gnosis clear of cockroaches?

Andy Mitton 21:54

No, we got spiders. We got centipedes. My wife really doesn't like the centipedes. I don't like him but like Anything's better than a cockroach for me but I don't know why and I can't make sense of it. But yeah, if we had a cockroach any you wouldn't see me anywhere. We got a cotton I don't remain in those places. Yeah.

Michael David Wilson 22:15

Yeah, well, like I mean when I was living in the UK I never saw a cockroach but coming to Japan like they just our cockroaches like you know during the summer, basically is when they come out so not now thankfully but my goodness if ever you needed another motivator to keep your home clean that is like my My apartment is so clean like that. You know I want to be a cockroach freezone Thank you very much and I mean because it's clean as well it means that like if on the occasion like any of them do manage to creep in I will spot them so quickly. I've got cockroach spray that see your gun Yeah, I could tell ya kids for a while but the biggest problem is like you know you can keep it clean but then if your neighbors don't then like oh that there are a few in the area now they have a look in in my apartment. I don't look in here nothing for you to see there's nothing but anywhere apartment for you. I correct yes.

Bob Pastorella 23:42

Come on down the Texas trucks down here.

Andy Mitton 23:47

Sir. Those are one day. I've written them into like a few scripts just to like fuck with myself just to like because I feel like you know you want to like test yourself one day. That's that's the way to do it. But um, and because you write what scares you. But then the day I'm actually on set with my own cockroach trailer. I'm gonna really be mad at myself. You don't want that scenario. Yeah,

Bob Pastorella 24:14

but the thing with cockroaches that that whether they're dead and Miko will know are are live or if they're dead. They're just as creepy. Yeah, I

Andy Mitton 24:23


Bob Pastorella 24:23

Yeah, yeah. Especially when the worst is not supposed to be Yeah.

Andy Mitton 24:28

When they're when you see them like on the street on their backs, like sleeping or how they sleep or they're just be on their backs with their feet. These segments Yeah, terrible stomachs like yeah, like, god. No, no, no, yeah.

Michael David Wilson 24:43

I don't even want to, you know, product because it's like, what if they're faking it? Faking? Why? There's like a community as a sub site. A cockroach is that it's like, Oh, we did the old fake out

Bob Pastorella 25:03

And I think I was I was probably a teenager. And really, I mean, I've lived in Texas my whole life. So we've always had, you know, to deal with it. And my mom was a neat freak. So if there was one, then the next thing you know is like, Hey, y'all need to go play outside for a couple hours? Because I'm going to do this bomb thing. And so yeah, of course, me me. Like my mom said the bomb off in the house telling them my friends, you know, tell them what they're what I'm doing. I'm like, well, they thought you were really setting up a bomb. But I didn't know they could fucking fly. And so I'm probably like, about 13 years old. And somebody there was a cockroach in the school, and his girlfriend debt and this guy tried to put try to grab it, to scare her with it, and it flew on the girl. Which at that point, right there there was like, you know, I think she had to go to the to, you know, to the nurse's office and it was pretty bad our deal. And we're still going you know, we're in classical and they can fly did not

Andy Mitton 26:03

information that we

Bob Pastorella 26:07

we have to fight them. We have to kill them in the air. Man. It's like Damn.

Andy Mitton 26:19

Yes. Now we're at the heart of fear. We've really we've got below all the bullshit. There's always cockroaches.

Michael David Wilson 26:30

No, my friend only found out that they could fly when she was in Japan live in here. And, you know, two or so in the morning, she she can hear something so she could hear them. Like I don't know how big these cockroaches were. And she turns the light on and just sees two cockroaches. And the moment she realized they could fly was when they then flew towards. So she left her apartment is like, it's like two in the morning. I'm just getting out of it. Which I think is a fair move. It's like you didn't know they could fly. If you've turned the light on. You're bleary eyed. It's two in the morning and they fly. Like, I'm not dealing with a shit. I'll take my capsules.

Andy Mitton 27:17

I made all the right decisions there. But that is not how you want to learn that lesson.

Michael David Wilson 27:22

No. Why go? God? I didn't know what you were gonna say about being frightened of and I can't I can't believe that we. Yeah, we've well kept coming out. Are you just reminds me of the visible filth by Nathan Berlin grid. We published that a number of years ago. It's a film called wounds. Now. I don't know if you've seen it, but it's very good. No, I haven't baling bread is what one of the best one of the best writers was period. So certainly check out his work. I'd recommend the world's debut collection North American lake monsters that it's just so damn good.

Andy Mitton 28:12

Make, you know, yeah, as we speak,

Michael David Wilson 28:15

that the visible field which we put out under This Is Horror that has their cockroaches in as a kind of flavoring. It's not part of the main story. It is not. It is not is out of publication with This Is Horror at the moment, but it's in his collection with I think I think the collection is called wounds as well. Yeah. Yeah.

Bob Pastorella 28:47

So there's, you know, there's like two collections. Men that the other collection, the great American, like monsters was actually made into a series on Hulu called Monster Land. Oh, they actually took stories. And so it's like an anthology series and they took stories and created them and I think he wrote or collaborated with a couple of them are kind of original from what I understand. And so it's it's, it's interesting. He has a novel that's gonna be coming out pretty soon.

Michael David Wilson 29:22

He does it is coming out sometime this year. But I mean, North American lake monsters that deals more with I guess, real life horror, then it's probably not going to be quite as traumatic as snow town, which I can't believe you brought it Yeah, it's it's more just like messed up people. Whereas the collection wounds that has like, you know, more, more of a mix between real life and I guess supernatural fantastical monster horror.

Andy Mitton 29:59

Will definitely seek So that's great. Thank you.

Michael David Wilson 30:02

Yeah, yeah. Snow town now.

Andy Mitton 30:08

Things I'll never go back to.

Michael David Wilson 30:10

Yeah, like just I haven't thought of it for about a decade, which is probably good. It's good that I don't just get on with my life. And I'm like, snow town by this. It was a very unrelenting piece of film that is all the more traumatic and terrifying because it all happened. Yes,

Bob Pastorella 30:34

I've never seen it.

Michael David Wilson 30:36

I mean, I kind of want to recommend very good same time, don't it? Yeah. 2013 It came out. I remember when it came out. It was one of my favorite movies of that year. Maybe it was before then maybe it was 2011 it is very good at what it does. But as Andy said, This is not a feel good. This is a feel bad movie. So if you're in the mood for a feel bad, that is the one to put on.

Andy Mitton 31:08

It is a feat because, you know, I talked about the grand canyon between fiction and nonfiction. Like sometimes something is done with such authenticity that it like trespasses somehow like it makes you feel the way the nonfiction would feel especially when it's recounting true events but there's an authenticity to the suffering in this movie. That is really threw me off like you know, I feel the same way about the last scene and dancer in the dark, which I will never see again. That is just no I can't this a certain amount. And it's a personal thing like I am. I almost wish my stomach was a little stronger with certain things but I find myself more interested in fear than pain. And I just how I'm wired, but like, you know, I'm in favor of it all. I think it was a really well made movie at the end of the day.

Bob Pastorella 32:07

I'll have to catch it later. I'm in the middle of Dahmer, so Oh

Michael David Wilson 32:14

feel bad don't do dama then snow town like do you want no reason to live? What depressing?

Bob Pastorella 32:28

Going through my own like Guardian nightmare. But yeah, and that shows rough. But you know, I mean, I'm gonna need a palate cleanser. I'm gonna be like Evan Peters in after he made DOM reads like I'm not doing anything dark for a while

I was reading about that. And I was like, Well, I don't blame you there buddy. I'm from five episodes in and Bucky did this. I got five more to go. And it's only gonna get rougher.

Andy Mitton 33:02

Yeah. Yes, you will need a palate cleanser. Yeah, for sure.

Michael David Wilson 33:09

And then if this happened to you as well, Andy, but I found after becoming a father that I got more sensitive to like real life horror. So I find things like Dharma, which I haven't watched, you know, I find that more uncomfortable and more difficult. And I suppose having a child or having children it? I don't know, because you are then the protector. It just makes it Oh, so real. Because because everyone is somebody's child. And I'm just more sensitive to that stuff. And like, I think as well, you know, before, I guess I was also like, testing the limits of horror and how extreme it can get and you know, it gets to a point, which Snowdown is near the top of where it's like, okay, I guess I completed that. I don't need to test it anymore. That that's the answer. Right. I'm satisfied. Now. Let's move back to things. Yeah, a little bit more fear based or supernatural Lord, just Sure. You don't need to see all that detail.

Andy Mitton 34:20

Exactly. No, I'm more sensitive than I was, I think but I also I think of that as a muscle like I remember before I had kids, I think I like had a talk with myself that was like alright, don't you become one of those people who like suddenly can't watch pet cemetery just because you have a three year old like, come on, you know, you're gonna work or you gotta muscle up. So I almost think of it as a as a muscle that I that I want to work on that I want to I don't want to be there's a good side of the sensitivity. I do have movies have more emotional access to me, than I used to more likely to be like wracked by a movie than I used to be. Like I got rekt oh my god I just saw if you guys seen four texts the gas bar the new gas bar? No, no. Oh my god, story origin. I just absolutely like I'm I don't think I just think I'm like, I've got Yeah, just more I'm more emotionally just vulnerable, and I used to be so I find myself affected in a movie theater more often but like, I don't want to avoid things, you know that I start avoiding things for these reasons so yeah I challenge myself to keep you know to keep throwing Pet Cemetery in because that was another one of my early ones.

Michael David Wilson 35:49

Yeah, yeah, I mean it's very clear that you had an interest in childhood with them media that you were consuming, but I mean the way that you've described it is exactly the same for me. I mean, I am more emotionally affected. I am probably traumatized more easily. But I still bloody watch these things. I know that it's gonna affect me more, but I don't stop watching it. You know that the Dharma series The Bob is mentioning go well, I will watch it at some point. But no, what can I say I'm not feeling Dharma read today. That day is not today. At some point, but you got to be in a really good place almost to watch that if you're in a bad place, then. You know, you're just compounding, misery and depression upon more misery and depression. Oh, yeah, a weird thing really. Because I suppose a number of people perhaps not into horror, it's like, if you're in if you're in a happy mood, you want something really happy if you're in a depressive mood, listen to a bit Radiohead, but for me, it's like no, if I'm really happy, or now maybe being British as well, let's mellow that happiness down a little bit. Throw a bit of Dharma around just keep those British levels, you know, as they should be.

Andy Mitton 37:24

Like that. Yeah, I remember being proud of the population at large when COVID hit and all right went up for the movie contagion really contagious right now it's like, good on you. Just run right into the fire.

Bob Pastorella 37:41

Yeah, maybe we'll learn something.

But I think it also how you feel when you watch a film compared to like, how I feel now is that if you can it feel can be emotionally resonating. As I get older, I found myself more affected that way. often think, like, say someone wanted to adapt exquisite carps by poppies. Okay, I couldn't finish the book. Because it's stomach churning. But at the same time, if someone went into it, and gave it an emotional impact, it would devastate me, no matter how good it is, if they toned it down, yes, then it would be an emotionally devastating film. And it would be one of those never seen again, seen it, and all that. And I think that that has to do with maturity, a thing, you know, and I don't have children, but you know, having children, you start to think differently. But also, as you get older, you become, I guess more rubbed raw by things. And so it's easy to open up wounds and things like that in your psyche, and allows you to become more emotionally attached. But even though it's probably a film that I would only watch ever one time, I wouldn't, I would have I would have felt that that was an experience that I needed to have in my life. Yeah, no. And if someone else would be like, Nope, can't watch it. Hey, you know what, that's fine. I totally get it. But and I know that some there's somebody out there who's probably you know, going to try to bring it to the screen. And all I gotta say is do it justice in making emotionally making have an emotional impact. Because I couldn't even get through the books. I'm damn sure not gonna get to your movie if you grossed me out.

Andy Mitton 39:44

Yeah, but you don't want to see that punch pulled either. You know when you know, the power it can you know wields. You want it at capacity. It's like yeah, it's an interesting. That's an interesting thing. Very few people can pull that off. Yeah, but like good storytellers. Sometimes you remember the experience where there's a movie that everyone else cannot go back to. But you get excited by just because you get excited by like, good storytelling. Like, it's like a movie that like I think of Requiem for a Dream. There's a number of people in my life, we're like, Fuck no, never watch Requiem for a Dream again, I'm sort of like, really, it just kind of feels like an engine, there's like an engine in that movie that like, I never had trouble watching it, even though it went to some dark places, because it's so musical. And it just all clicks together for me nicely at the end. So like, you know, I think it was because I'm looking at it, sort of with the craft in mind for you know, that I'm able to get that distance and get excited about feel a positive charge from a movie that really turns a lot of people off.

Michael David Wilson 40:51

Yeah, I think there's two ways in which we can watch something we can walk here as a fan and as a casual viewer, but we can also watch something because they're creative and looking at it almost like seeing like, well, what are the mechanics? What's underneath it? And so, I think, you know, if you're watching Requiem for a Dream as purely just a fan, people, fans of it and people who are experiencing it, then, you know, it's gonna be, you're gonna be a pretty uncomfortable rewatch, but if you're watching it as a creative and you're trying to learn from it, then I think you're engaging a different mode. So I think that's probably what it is. I mean, maybe I could rewatch Snowdown. If I'm rewatching it purely to see like, how is this put together? You know, what, we're almost exercising a different part of the brain to do that.

Andy Mitton 41:54

Yes, it can be a helpful mode, especially when you're watching something that you don't like, but have to watch the rest of. It's a great mode to have around like, Okay, now I'm gonna start thinking about like, you know, what, the production design or I'm gonna let you know start like breaking down elements and imagine like, which departments are sort of seem to be clashing with each other and like, what else could I could I glean from this?

Michael David Wilson 42:20

Yeah, and when someone's brutally murdered, just remember are just gone for a sandwich. Sketch? On Andy. Yeah, that's right. Well, I mean, Bob mentioned the idea of adapting Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z Brite. I think it's one of those novels that would be very difficult to adapt because I think a lot of the horror and grotesquerie comes from it being a book. I think for completely different reasons. It will be it will be difficult to do and adapt ation of House of Leaves by Mark Daniel loose key. It would also be difficult to do and adapt ation of the pallbearers clump. However, if anyone is listening who would like to please do do that? You know, do commissionaire I know Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I can't I kind of think we've any of those books, if they were adapted. It's like you can't do a straight to deputation, you almost have to do a cover version. You're riffing on the themes and creating something that's different. Yeah. And that's uniquely its own. And actually, I think that's why Kubrick's The Shining is fantastic because it is completely separate to King's the shining and I know that you know, he doesn't like it personally probably because it isn't really that faithful to it. But I think that's when we get the most interesting films and adaptations when it's like right you're not doing a straight one you are just, you know, riffing on it and you're creating new separate interesting art. That's why I think that the television series of The Haunting of Hill House was so good. We didn't need a stray adaptation. We've already got a few of those but what Mike Flanagan did was he took the themes he rift on them. He added you know, a modern day setting and modern day concerns and probably is probably the best thing he's done. Midnight Mass was so good as well though, you know, he's a very competent complex and yes, I'm being British again. He's an amazing filmmaker

Andy Mitton 44:55

Yeah, well, I've got I've thought about House of Leaves for House of Leaves is You know, one of one of my favorite books, but yeah, I do think it's unadaptable I think it's, um, I don't think there's an equivalent of the footnotes that could exist, you know, in a movie version, I just I don't see how you tell both stories successfully, I think you'd have to just focus on the habits and the side of it. And that would be short shrift during the whole thing. So, but I think about that. I mean, I think about that movie a lot. That that book a lot was just in striking to like the uncanny, which is a really important thing for me and what I try and do like, it's never felt better than, you know, the netbook and the feeling of the doorway that can't be there. And, you know, like, tethered to a rope as you walk into that darkness that they have the impossible space. Like, I love that so much.

Michael David Wilson 45:50

Yeah, yeah.

Andy Mitton 45:53

But what was the for I? O pallbearers? Club, of course, which was the last year. I've gotten to know Paul over the past several years, because we both end up at the Telluride horror show Film Festival, where they bring him out. And my last two films have been there, and we've we've hung out and bonded because he's, he's, uh, you know, I grew up in Massachusetts, where he's like, you know, still hanging out and just like, what a great guy but like, Man, this last one is my favorite of his. I love I love the pallbearers club.

Michael David Wilson 46:25

Yeah, yeah. And I mean, I'm not surprised, but it's divided. So many people, but that's the thing. If you create interesting, unique art, you're gonna do that? You know? Because, I mean, he's taken a hell of a chance. I mean, how do you even how would you even comp that? You know, I told you that I do that a lot. But I I just don't think you can I mean, no. What is is, is a coming of age House of Leaves. What does that even mean? As near as I can probably get to it. It's probably his most ambitious piece of work. And that, that is saying something particularly cuz he did a head full of ghosts. That is pretty much in book form deconstructing the entire exorcism sub genre, which is quite a feat in itself. Yeah.

Andy Mitton 47:23

Yeah. It's pretty incredible.

Michael David Wilson 47:25

Well, Paul Tremblay enjoyed the full trembly appreciation.

Andy Mitton 47:37

Yeah, one day, one day, I'll find these someone I'd love to work with and, you know, work on an adaptation with some day, that would be, that would definitely be a dream. Something I want to try and do in my next chapter a little bit more, as you know, branch out and explore some things like that. And some other stories that you know, we'll see.

Michael David Wilson 48:00

Yeah, yeah. And I mean, that at the start, when we were talking about your beginnings of the right app, I mean, I think you said you had aspirations initially, to write novels, or to write, you know, stories in that kind of written form. So is that something you would like to do? Is that something that you are working on at the moment? like pros? Yeah.

Andy Mitton 48:28

You mean? No, I don't think so. I'm just in love with scripts and writing screenplays is so hard. And no matter how good you get at it, know how long you do it, you know? So it feels sort of like, there's an endless amount of learning and development to be done. Just focused on screenplays, it's sort of like how, like, I'd be quite happy making a different kind of movie one day, but I don't desire to, I don't think there's anything I can't explore in horror, you know, and I've got a stack of scripts that tend to like, I tend to, like, have my little spin and each sub genre. And I like that game. And you know, I want to I think what I'm really excited to do is just have a little bit more resources to come up, you know, a tear or two, so that I'm able to make movies that are more kinetic, because I've made my sort of thoughtful slow burns. And now I'm sort of if I'm known at all, that's what I'm known for. But that's also because that's what you should be doing when you don't have a lot of money. Like those are the movies, you need less footage literally. It's more achievable. It's the smart thing to do from a producer standpoint, but I've got some things that are very stylistically different and that's sort of the way I I've been putting it to people is it's sort of like I've been, like playing In the chamber orchestra, but like I have an electric guitar, right? I, like I know how to play it like that I'm just looking for, hopefully things to open up a little bit so that I get a chance to sort of hit my prime and make some of these slightly bigger, more sensory movies.

Michael David Wilson 50:20

Yeah, yeah. And, I mean, it certainly seems that you've got like a lot of different things going on, obviously, with the movies with theater with the composing. So I'm wondering, what does a typical day or week or month depending on which is easier to answer look like for you? How are you dividing your time in terms of these different projects? Well,

Andy Mitton 50:47

in a mode, like I am now or I'm not actively on a project, I am, I write at night, late at night. So it my days become about sort of the taking care of the business side of what I do, which stresses me out and does not come naturally to me. And that's where I really need my coffee. And just like I can't write, like, during hours, when I'm like getting emails and you know, stressing about work, I like to write, you know, like, when we're finished here, I will paste the floors a little bit until I know what I'm doing. And I'm done right until four in the morning, and I'll get up and do yoga. And you know, my wife and I divide the sort of parental stuff. So like, a lot of days a week, I'm picking the kids up and shuffling them around to their, to their things when I'm here, but my life has become it's not consistent at all. And it comes in phases, because this is sort of the way it is when I'm writing, which is probably most of the time. But then when something becomes active, and I'm directing, my time becomes very different. Obviously, when I'm on set, that's a whole nother adventure. And then when I'm editing is sort of when I'm like, in my happiest state, because that work is so fun for me and almost not predictable, but I know I'm going to accomplish it every now it's not like writing, whereas you're always rolling the dice a little bit how it's gonna go. Like with editing, usually, I can, I can have a productive night and my life becomes really irregular. And I see a lot of my family. So it's just constantly moving through these seasons, which end up adjusting the timeline. And we just juggle it as we do. And, you know, I'm married to an actor, right. So like, with much less notice at any moment, she could be like, sia going to Calgary for shooting a series for like, a couple months. And, and that would you know, like, I don't know, it's, it's, it's exciting. It keeps us on our toes, for sure. But, um, right now, it's it's nice. Like, it's, it's nice and regular. And with the Harbinger, just having come out, I've got a lot of development possibilities and sort of lines in the water. And I get to sort of, you know, spend my days reeling them in, and hopefully, things get in the way of each other. That would be the best problem I could have. Because to date. There's been like, four years between each movie. And that's hard director like, like, it's almost like, yeah, I lost my nerve. By the time I show up on day one of my next movie, I'm like, What am I doing again, like, you can't get your 10,000 hours as a director very easily. As a writer. It's like, I know, like, I've got my 10,000 hours. And I mean, I know what I'm doing.

Michael David Wilson 53:43

Yeah, yeah. And you said that pretty much consistently you're writing until 4am every night?

Andy Mitton 53:52

Usually, yeah. Yeah, except

Michael David Wilson 53:56

when we leave. Whenever you get

Andy Mitton 53:59

asleep, I sleep until like, 930 or 10. I don't need a ton. But like, that's, you know, except on, you know, every Sunday, I get up early and get up with the kids. And, you know, but usually since Laura hates the, like, nighttime part of the like, bath time and like teeth brushing and all that stuff. Like I'm I'm okay during those hours. So I tend to, you know, I tend to take that on, and she like, tackles the mornings and we make it work. But it's not. It's not easy, but I've always been that way. I've like forced myself to get up at six in the morning and right, like a normal person during normal hours. And I can't hold on to it. I just snap back to my old ways. So I've just embraced it at this point.

Michael David Wilson 54:49

Yeah, yeah. You just have to kind of do what works for you and for us. Yeah. Yeah, you

Andy Mitton 54:56

got the animal you are. Yeah.

Michael David Wilson 55:00

Yeah. Yeah. 10 I mean, 10:10pm till 4am It's a good chunk, right and time every day. So yeah, I can see the 10,000 hours. I mean, how many lights screenplays would you say you're like writing a year, um,

Andy Mitton 55:21

depends if I, if I'm also making a movie in the same year, if I'm in production, I'm doing less, but like, I can basically write a script once every three to four to five months, depending on how it goes through the Harbinger was fast, it was super inspired. I write, I think I had draft five, which we shot just in probably three months after starting the rough draft. And usually, it takes me a month or two more than that. But that's, you know, that's it. And then they, you know, a few of them have been the big ones that you end up like, just wrestling with or taking a break in the middle to write something else like a few of those but the width of the window and the Harbinger, we're both like, from a songwriting standpoint, like sometimes there are songs that just come to you the song you write in 10 minutes, 15 minutes, they've both been the movie equivalent of that the things that just sort of dropped in and ran. But I have movies, I'm just as happy with like, my heart is just as much and that I've had to wrestle and into shape and keep whittling over the course of the last decade. It's just more it's always nice when they come fast. But you know, I'm willing to wrestle too.

Michael David Wilson 56:37

Yeah, yeah. And how do you feel about in the future potentially working with like some of the big studios, because obviously at that point, there's a lot more money. So there's a lot more you can do on the screen. But, you know, unfortunately, oftentimes, you're having to give up a degree of creative control does rewrites they might bring up a right as in so I mean, yeah, how do you feel when kind of looking at continuing to work in a more independent vein, and then working with some of the like, really big studios, which is why I like, you know, a lot of the money is,

Andy Mitton 57:18

yeah, I think I'm ready to work under more structure. And I don't need the same degree of control that I've had. I actually, what's important to me is that those people who are involved in the oversight that I feel a connection to them, that I you know, trust them, that I can look them in the eye and I don't think I was ready. I didn't have a good barometer for that as a younger filmmaker. And now I feel like I'm meeting some of those people. And I'm not looking I would be terrified if someone gave me like $100 million. Like, right like I don't need I don't need that from me. Having you know, just a couple million would be really exciting. And maybe more than that great. I'd love to grow but I just it's like I'll never argue for final I don't know that I'll never argue for Final Cut but at this stage of my career, I just kind of want the first one. I want to like that's how I've been honestly I just want to like follow through on my swing show the people around me you know what, what my intention was and then I'm usually the first person to like want to fire myself from that point, right? You know, and you'll never grow we brought other editors on like I'll fire myself I'll fire my ass as a composer like I'm always ready I've tried a few times to like you know like to talk everyone else into kicking me out of certain positions I'm not precious about it. And I don't have like that auteur scarf on at any point I'm always just inviting everyone around me to kick my ass and tell me when I'm when I'm getting tunnel vision. So structure in resources and use more days and more equipment to actually put what's in my head on the screen in a more kinetic sensory way like I've never had the time for like the close ups of like what you're smelling and tasting and feeling like you just can't you have 14 days to shoot. You can afford steadicam? For one of them you know like those are the sorts of situations I've been in so I'm really excited to go swimming with the sharks as long as you know the sharks seem cool enough. Yeah. I'm getting some cool sharks. I'm hoping to grow and yeah, I'll you know those are everyone gets in sticky situations in this industry. Like I'm I'm willing to go explore that and risk that to just grow. You know, I think I The Harbinger was It's intended to be kind of a bridge builder, to to, to just a next tear up, since which in the window did really well, but which in the window sort of comes in the back door. It's sort of a sneaky, quiet movie, it's not trying to grab you by the collar. So it's like we needed to do one more that was a little bit more front footed and added a bit a bit of horror and showed a bit more scope and range. And yeah, and at this point, I feel ready. So I'm, I'm excited. You know, I'm optimistic that I'll be back on set soon.

Michael David Wilson 1:00:38

Yeah, yeah. Well, that certainly seems to be a lot of buzz for the Harbingers. So hopefully, you knew that buzz and all that all the press coverage that you're getting will translate to more opportunities. Certainly. Fingers crossed. That is what yeah,

Andy Mitton 1:00:55

thank you, hopefully, hopefully.

Michael David Wilson 1:00:57

But I mean, for people listening who are just getting started with screenwriting? Are there any kind of tips that you have? Or how about some do's and don'ts for those just getting into it?

Andy Mitton 1:01:13

I mean, I'm a believer in learning the rules before you break them. I'm someone who's glad that I sat in some classrooms and read my like Robert McKee book, like, I got a lot out of the foundational study of screenwriting. So I would not be someone who's like, throw that out the window, I think, I think, kind of sponging that stuff up and learning that foundation, you know, is important. And then from then on, you know, what I always usually say to people is like, you have to, you have to think about the element of surprise. I think horror is a great place to be, I always tell people if you have any affinity for her work in horror, because, yeah, you it's a, it's a bottom line result thing, if you can scare people or excite people, this community is going to suck you right in, they're gonna want to wrap their arms around you. People don't have conventions for romantic comedies, right? Like horror, the horror communities, ravenous and exciting. And there's all this sort of free press, just based on passion, the way the websites, you know, like, stories will feed from one website to another, like all the podcasts, the whole community is so terrific, that you don't need those stars, you can write, you know, where I disagree with people sometimes is I hear a lot of people saying, just write whatever is in your mind without any worry for resources. And I'm not a believer in that I really think writing for your resources is can open you up creatively, and it does make it more likely your movie will get made. So like, you know, I don't think writing all these big action sequences, you know, on when you when you haven't laid the groundwork yet is, you know, is always the best way to go to think about how it's actually going to actually get made and, and write with some constraints in mind, because that's the beauty of what we do, like constraints invite creativity. And it will ideas will form from those constraints. So those are a few things off the top of my head.

Michael David Wilson 1:03:21

Yeah. I mean, if you want to consider the constraints, it's like, well, you're adding to your 10,000 hours, but you're also just not gonna get that made. Or it's gonna be a very long time. It's like, yeah, in into an ISA, yes, come back with an insane blockbuster that you wrote.

Andy Mitton 1:03:41

Yeah, yeah. Or if you got to write it, then great write it, but no know what it is, like, you know, I do believe that, um, that once you learn the rules, then it's about it is about the element of surprise. It is about like, that's why I built a whole movie with which in the window based on a moment is that I knew that that moment would, as an audience member, that would surprise and excite me and stick with me for a very long time, there was a feeling in it that was going to make it rise above the noise and all of the CIF content that exists right now, like, what's the thing? That's, what's the surprise at the center of the movie that people will never see coming that people will, that goes beyond just a good jumpscare that has like, some, some real heft to it? Because you can really, if you have a few of those landmark things, those are starting points, those are building blocks, you can build a whole story around them, because those are that that is what's special that those moments and the actors honestly, you know, which is outside of the writing, but those are the two main elements. I think that in in the sea of content that exists even at the indie level that will make one thing right above the thing next to it.

Michael David Wilson 1:05:02

Yeah, yeah. Well, what advice would you give to your 18 year old self?

Andy Mitton 1:05:11

Oh, God, I have a lot to say to him. Huh? I think patience. I mean, it's hard to say that to you because you're not supposed to be patient at that age. But my impatience led to a lot of spinning my wheels and or energy placed in the wrong directions. But that's all part of how we get to where we're going. So it's hard to imagine. I wouldn't want to you know, if I believe in the moment I'm in now, I just got a lot of make all the same stupid mistakes, unfortunately. But I think that's, I think that's the main thing. Like I if I had had more patience with the craft, I do tend to tell people like, yeah, like, work on sets, make your shorts like have you know, like, have have patience, but also like, like, don't wait around forever. Don't wait around like you like actually finding at a certain point, what got our first movie made? Was, we're not going to wait anymore. Like we have something we believe in. So okay, let's make a fake website for it. Let's make a fake trailer. Let's do something for free. Let's start to promote it. Let's start getting our knees and begging for money. And, you know, after a few years of that, we were, you know, in in Moose country, risking death in northern New Hampshire. Where else would you?

Michael David Wilson 1:06:44

Yeah. Yeah, I mean, you really did bring the 70s horror movie making aesthetic. I mean, literally putting yourself and others in danger that that's how they did it back then.

Andy Mitton 1:06:59

Yes, yes. Thank God. I had good people around me, including Rob Eggers. Who was our costume designer on that movie. Leave that.

Michael David Wilson 1:07:10

Wow. Yeah. I don't know what to say to that. You still in touch? Well,

Andy Mitton 1:07:16

no, but they were the magazine room. Org just did a you know, Harvard job was on the cover last month. And Mike Gingold, who wrote the article talked to Rob about his time on yellow brick road, and I didn't know it was gonna be there till I saw it on the magazine. And I was terrified. I was like, oh, no, what is he going to say? Like? Thankfully, he was very nice about it. So like we were, I have reason to be back in touch. But no, I've just been like everyone else. Like I kind of in awe of what he's done. He was a joy to work with. He was like, I know, he kind of has this. This, you know, known for being kind of intense or whatever he comes out. He was like, an absolute joy the whole time to work with he was a really like, warm, pleasant guy. So I've always just been so excited to see him doing well, I think that's a force of good in the world.

Michael David Wilson 1:08:08

You know, thank goodness, when he read it. It wasn't like a void. And that was the most unprofessional, dangerous environment I've been in.

Andy Mitton 1:08:20

He could have easily said, didn't know what the hell they were doing. Because a lot of days, we didn't that was the point of being there. But like now, at the end of the day, he was like, he was just he's just a really good collaborator. And he's obviously like his meticulousness shone through very clearly, even that and but yeah, he's, he's, he's just he's really, really special. I've been like, seeing people like him do really well is like, one of the reasons I've you know, wanted to stay in the game like people again, like Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead to I spoke with, at a similar time, like seeing them out there being themselves being supported. Like that gives me hope. So I'm rooting for it every time.

Michael David Wilson 1:09:12

Yeah. And they're amongst my favorite filmmakers today. In fact, fingers crossed in a few weeks, we'll be counting with them as well. So that's great. All right. Yeah, having quite a few filmmakers on at the moment, which you is always good fun, I think. Well, thank you so much for spending the last couple of hours chatting with us. This has been a hell of a lot of fun. And

Andy Mitton 1:09:44

yeah, it's nothing but a pleasure for me. Thank you. Thank you both. It's like it's it's just it's fun. And and I you know, again, I appreciate the support of the movie and what you guys are doing here in general, it's just super cool. So I appreciate it.

Michael David Wilson 1:10:02

Thank you so much. Well, where can our listeners connect with you?

Andy Mitton 1:10:09

Um, I mean, I am on Twitter, you kind of have to say in that tone right now like I'm still there. But at Andy mitten I'm there. I've like made a few other accounts for safety, but it's always where I've engaged the most. So there remain. And Matt, Andy, mitten, three, three on Instagram, as well, which I'm getting better about. I try. But that's, you know, I have a website at Andy benton.com. That I don't update regularly enough, but it's also there. The places and and the harbinger is, at least for audiences in North America is available through XYZ films and something you can get all the places you get movies and in the UK will be out soon. I think the 23rd I think it's the 23rd January 23.

Michael David Wilson 1:11:06

Yeah, is the release coinciding? Or like kind of something to do with Fright Fest as well? Or have I made

Andy Mitton 1:11:15

Yeah, it's like a it's like a Fright Fest. Fight fest presents kind of label that signature entertainment is doing it's really signature that's, that's the distributor but I guess they're doing like a slate which right with Fright Fest, which is really cool. They were big supporters of the movie. And I got to go out there to London. That was like, a really fun trip.

Michael David Wilson 1:11:37

Yeah, yeah, I've been to Fright Fest a few times. It's just a great atmosphere and good selection of films. So heartily recommended. And if listeners appreciate the Frightfest endorsement, then there's just another reason to go out and watch you fail. All right, do you have any final thoughts to leave our listeners with?

Andy Mitton 1:12:06

God, the pressure of final thoughts. I don't, I just feel, I feel I feel gratitude for the time here and the discussion. And I think at moments like this, after, you know, getting to do something like this, and just talk shop about horror with cool people. It's just one of those moments. I'm just like, grateful for our community. And grateful to be a part of it. And to have, you know, made something that people in our community would want to support. So it's, it's cool. So thanks for giving me that feeling.

Michael David Wilson 1:12:44

Thank you so much for listening to Andy mitten on This Is Horror. Join us again next time when we will be talking with the legendary Dean Koontz. And he has just released a brand new book this week, the House at the end of the world. And as you might expect with Dean, this one has short suspense filled chapters, will keep you guessing with its twists and turns from chapter one. And I'm fortunate enough to have a hardcopy from Amazon's Thomas and Mercer, I have to say, I am so impressed with the quality here. Amazon have recently launched themselves into the publishing game, and they are doing everything great. I think they're going to become a bigger and bigger part of the publishing industry over the next few years. Because looking at the quality and the production values of this hardcover is as good as any of the other big traditional publishers. And actually, I want to talk to Dean, a little bit about Amazon. That's something we didn't get to in the conversation. But hopefully, if we get him back on again later this year, then we will be able to talk about that. But if you want to hear the conversation we did have ahead of the crowd, and you want to hear all our episodes ahead of the crowd, then please do become our patron at www.patreon.com/thisishorror. We are making it our mission to reach 200 patrons this year. So we really do need your help. So please, if you can spare just $3. Join us as it would make such a difference indeed. And you'll be able to submit questions to future guests including the likes of Cina Pelayo, Stephen Graham Jones, and Grady Hendrix to name but free and as also a lot of extra content such as the q&a sessions, story on botched a horror podcast on the craft of writing. And recently we are really taking things up to the next level in terms of video content. So if that sounds good, head over to patreon.com forward slash This Is Horror. Let's see if it's a good fit for you. And if you want to support the podcast and you want to support us on Patreon but you have something that you would like us to offer, then email me Michael at this is horror.co.uk I'm always incredibly receptive to your feedback and to make the things happen that you want to happen because without you, dear listener, the This Is Horror Podcast is nothing. So please do share your feedback with me. Okay, before I wrap up, it is time for an advert break.

RJ Bayley 1:15:37

It was as if the video had unzipped my skin, slunk inside my tapered flesh and become one with me.

Bob Pastorella 1:15:46

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 is like to send to 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 meets fatal attraction for iPhone generation. Available now in paperback ebook and audio. From the host of This Is Horror Podcast comes a dark thriller of obsession, paranoia and voyeurism. After relocating to a small coastal town, Brian discovers a hole that gazes into his neighbor's bedroom. Every night she dances and he peeps, same song same time sing wild and mesmerizing dance. But soon Brian suspects he's not the only one watching. She's not the only one being watched. They're Watching is The Wicker Man meets Body Double with a splash of Suspiria They're Watching by Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella is available from this is horror.co.uk Amazon and wherever good books are sold.

Michael David Wilson 1:16:56

As always, I would like to end with a quote and it says from Carl Jung i am not what happened to me. I am what I accused to become something to ponder. Okay, I will see you in the next episode with Dean Koontz. But until then, take care yourselves. Be good to one another. Read horror. Keep on writing and have a great, great day.

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