Blu de Golyer, the writer and producer behind House of Good and Evil catches up with The Horror Hothouse’s Emma Knock.
Hi Blu, thanks for catching up with us, firstly can you give us a little background on your career and how you got into writing and filmmaking?
Funny story, I left the states when I was a young man. I made it to the UK where I worked in the (flair) bar business with my best friend Rich for over a decade. If you’ve seen the movie Cocktail, you’ll know what flair is. One night, up in Manchester half a dozen goons came and trashed the place and my face. When I caught up with the guy who hit me in the face the most. It was my turn. I have to say, it was one of the few times in my life I literally saw red. The cops had to pull me off him then they carted everyone to jail. Needless to say it was a rather uncomfortable ride in addition to my face, dripping onto the floor. Apparently the guy I caught up with had an international warrant for murder out of Holland and happened to be the little brother of one of the nastiest mobsters in the UK who wanted [to buy] the bar.
Rich, who had taken the night of managing the bar) hurriedly picked me up from the slammer. He said “We gotta go”. I assumed he was referring to the hospital, but no, [he meant] the airport. Seems there was more going on than I could ever imagine. Thirteen hours later we landed in LA. Los Angeles was not our first choice, but it happened to be the first flight out of the UK. We both felt so lost in LA. Always looking over our shoulders. One day I passed two guys sitting outside a coffee shop with laptops, acting out scenes and typing. I was intrigued and asked “Mind if I ask you what you guys are doing?” They scoffed and gave me a dismissive look, then one of the guys said “Dude, it’s a screenplay.”
I had no idea what a screenplay was and I didn’t want to disturb them any further so I got up and walked down Sunset Boulevard where I saw a sign at a copy shop “Screenplay Printing . 10 cents a page.” I entered and on the far wall they had copies of screenplays from famous films for sale. I ended up purchasing The Deer Hunter. I read that script front to back hundreds of times. It was my bible and I started writing.
My first screenplay was over 300 pages. Then I met Michael Blodgett (writer of Turner and Hooch). I was able to sneak into a party his daughter was throwing for him and just so happened to have my script with me as many desperate writers do. After several drinks, his daughter took a shine to me and introduced me to her dad. I didn’t know it was in poor taste to hand over a script, but I did. Six months later I got a call from Mr Blodgett. He said “You’re a damn good writer, but you’re writing a script, not a novel and scripts are roughly once minute of film time per page.” My first screenplay would have been well over three hours.
Over the next several months he mentored me and eventually, I starting writing for him as a ghost writer and the rest, as they say, is history.
Your film House of Good and Evil, which you wrote, produced and also acted in, has just been picked up for global distribution. That must feel pretty amazing, right?
It does, primarily because my wife who is a commercial airline pilot and I dumped our own money into it and making the money back, so we can do more films is a big consideration. We release on 1st October in North America and will announce dates for the UK and other places in Europe soon.
Clint Howard was originally attached as director, but in the end it was first-time director David Mun who took on the challenge. Tell us about that decision?
Dave carried the short list in his pocket for years. He lived the film and we knew he was hungry. Clint was great and really supported us, it just wasn’t in the cards due to budget restraints.
The house in the film was actually an old boarding school. How did you find the location?
My wife is from the town we filmed in. The moment we saw the place we knew, this is the house of good and evil. The network of people who came out and helped was so inspiring and it saved us a heap of cash. Floyd Virginia is the most film-friendly place in the entire United States and we plan on shooting several more films there, starting with The Lycanthropist, a franchise horror that spins the werewolf genre on its head.
Any creepy goings on in the small hours? (We’re convinced all old schools are haunted…)
We joked often that if you were to drop a marble in this house, it would be confused in which direction to roll. This place was spooky. The gentleman who owned the old school was a professor and was building an actual airplane inside the building. needless to say we had a lot of work ahead of us, but the location was free for the most part and perfect visually.
The project was self-funded and as the producer, what was your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge is separating being the writer and the producer. I was running on three hours sleep each day and I started to feel the effects. Dave Mun was on top of his crew and ran a tight ship, so that helped.
What are your aspirations for House of Good and Evil going forward?
We release here in the States and Canada on 1st October. We are doing a long run on the film festival circuit. In fact, we have submitted a few to the UK.
You also wrote a short horror film back in 2008 called The House. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Yes, we shot that with Dave Mun as cinematographer under Douglas Spain’s direction. The intent was to use the short to raise money for the feature. Needless to say that was fairly naive in retrospect.
As a filmmaker you have been across many different aspects of film creation, but what is your favourite?
My first love is writing, but with my Type A personality, I find myself needing to have a say in how my words are portrayed on screen and with 42 scripts, I intend on producing my own work.
If you could work with anyone in the film industry, director, actor or otherwise, who would it be?
To be honest, I’m not wowed by too many actors or directors. I believe if you got a good thing going, roll with it. I will be working with Rachel Marie Lewis and Dave Mun again soon. They have amazing futures that I’d be happy to be a part of.
Any other projects in the pipeline?
We are working on a project called Devious, which is going to blow your mind. Creepy stuff. Also, The Lycanthropist. Other than that, I’m working on House of Good and Evil and promoting it. We are grateful to have the support of site like yours. We took a huge risk having horror reviewers review the film and with a breath of relief the horror community gets the film. Thank you.
Finally…what’s your favourite scary movie?
That’s a difficult question. I’m a huge Hitchcock fan and love that type of horror. However the scariest movie for me was Session 9.
And some last words…
Being an indie production, we don’t have a marketing budget and the marketing department has one employee…Me . This film is all word of mouth and it’s spreading like wildfire. We are so grateful to have the support of sites like yours. With a breath of relief the horror community gets the film and this is the backbone of our success. Thank you.
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