Chad Archibald interview…
Chad Archibald, director of AntiSocial, The Drownsman and Bite (our review here) among so many other things(!), has answered some questions for us on his new film, the gooey, gross and very good Bite, what’s coming up in the future and walking into spiderwebs…
How did Bite come about, what was the inspiration?
The idea behind BITE came less from the fear of bugs and more from the fear of infections and things growing inside of you. My fiancé’s sister came back from Guatemala after spending a few weeks in the jungle. She was covered in bug bites and I just thought, wow how do you even know what bit you down there? What if one of those bite just kept getting worse?? From there, the idea came.
When directing a film that involves any effects for gooey or bloody incidents is it fun or more technical?
When trying to pull off a big gag, it often becomes more technical but most of the effects in BITE were often set dressing more than gags so it became a lot of fun. Everyone had their turn sliming up the place. Grips, gaffers, and cast all got into it and would slop eggs here and there. Once you gave up trying to keep your clothes clean, it became a good time.
Without giving too much away what is the creature that Casey takes on the characteristics of called? Do you have a name for it?
Originally I based the insect on a scorpion fly which is basically what it sounds like, a scorpion with wings that dwells near water. At the same time I didn’t want it to be based on a bug that we’ve discovered already so I did a ton of research on insects from around the world and what their breeding methods and instinctual self-defence mechanisms are. From there I discovered so many insane (and disgusting) characteristics of unique insects and how they have evolved, that it was hard to just pick a few to apply to this creature.
Emla Begovic is very good in this, were you involved in the casting?
Elma came in and handed us a printed off selfie as her headshot. She had never been the lead in a feature before but she had such a unique look and seemed to really get the feel we were going for even in the casting sessions. From the first day on set we had a great connection and really worked well together creating this evolution that parallels Casey’s current conflicts in life. I’m super proud of her both on and off screen.
You worked with Jayme Laforest in the writing stage, was it a plan from the start to have this transformation happen in line with what the character of Casey was going through?
Jayme is a great writer. I worked on the treatment for the film and created a 10 page outline of it all. The parallel between Casey’s evolution and her struggles with marriage and kids was a theme that came together near the start. It fit so well with what we were creating that it just fell into place. After the treatment was sent to Jayme, he worked his magic to bring the characters to life and give them the depth needed to carry the film.
Apart from AntiSocial 2 what is next?
We just wrapped on a film called Bed of the Dead which was directed by Jeff Maher (who was the DP for BITE and the Antisocial series). It’s a wacky and scary film about a haunted bed. Aside from that we are about to release the first trailer for a film we shot last year called The Sublet which was directed by John Ainsle (one of the writers from Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer) featuring the wonderful Tianna Nori, so we’re excited about that. Aside from those we are on schedule to shoot another 5 feature films with Breakthrough Entertainment over the next year and a bit so we will be keeping busy!
What things inspire you?
I like to make movies that effect me, in hopes that they will effect others. I’m a big guy but I walk into a spider web and I’m instantly flailing and screaming like I’m on fire haha. I just really like storytelling, I like horror movies and I like making movies that excite me. Great concepts are always inspiring. In a world where everything’s been done, and has 10 sequels and a remake and a reboot, it’s exciting seeing filmmakers still pushing the envelope and discovering new concepts that haven’t quite been done before (or to death lol).
What scares you?
I still get scared of horror films, that’s why I love them. Aside from that I’m afraid of small water filled tunnels, losing loved ones and small bugs flying into my ears. That happened to my buddy, a moth flew into his ear and oh my god, I’d rather lose a finger.