I was very much impressed by Patrick Picard’s first full feature film, The Bloodhound (read my review – HERE). It’s a hauntingly beautiful psychological thriller that leaves room to explore and ask questions. I was lucky enough to chat with Patrick about this film, the inspiration behind it, what it was like creating his first feature, and more.
PopHorror – Hi Patrick, thanks for talking with me. What inspired you to make/create films?
Patrick Picard – I really don’t know. When I was little I wanted to be either an architect, a film director or a fighter pilot. But quickly I realized that I wasn’t very good at math and I didn’t like armed conflict. What I know is that I like creating worlds and I know that film gets across atmosphere in a singular way that other mediums don’t. With movies, you’re also able to get the feeling of dreams and I’m a serious dream machine. I can’t stop having dreams which has naturally created an interest in the unconscious.
PopHorror – What’s your favorite part about creating a story and seeing it executed on film?
Patrick Picard – I love all of it but I have a soft spot for editing. I talk about making films as being a little like going grocery shopping to make a nice dinner. You make a recipe and a list of what you’re after (pre-production), then you go to the store and see what they have (shooting). But maybe you can’t find everything on your list or maybe that particular ingredient is way too expensive! Then you come back with your groceries and you start to prep and you realize you forgot onions. But that might be okay because your editor says, we’ve got these shallots which might be interesting in a beef bourguignon. And when you start cooking and you’re smelling everything and tasting it and adjusting and figuring out what the dish really is, that’s editing.
PopHorror – I’ve never heard anyone compare filmmaking/editing to grocery shopping/dinner. I love it. From what I can tell on IMDB, The Bloodhound is your first feature film. What was it like it going from creating shorts to a full feature?
Patrick Picard – The main difference is time. You have to stay focused for longer and after a week of shooting you say “gee, we’ve got another two weeks to go”. The same thing goes for putting the film together– sustaining interest for a longer running time.
PopHorror – That makes sense. Where did the inspiration for this film come from?
Patrick Picard – Just sort of by accident like everything else. I was sitting on my couch staring, trying to get ideas– which wasn’t really working. Luckily my couch is across from my bookshelf where I have a number of great old books I inherited from my grandfather. I spotted a Poe anthology and flipped it open and the first story was The Fall of The House of Usher. I read the first two pages and was so jazzed about the atmosphere that I started getting all sorts of ideas. I began writing my own thing based on the basic gothic set-up and after having most of the story written I finally returned to Poe and read the rest. The reason this particular Poe story worked for me is that the ending didn’t really resolve the mystery set up at the beginning. The mystery remained— which only seemed fair.
PopHorror – That’s awesome. Can you tell the readers what the story is about?
Patrick Picard – No. Only because I once saw a friend performing a song I really liked and beforehand, he went into a story of what the song was about and I HATED the explanation. It ruined it for me and I vowed never to do the same.
PopHorror – Haha, well I can’t argue with that. I think the actors are perfect in this film. How did the casting process come about?
Patrick Picard – Thanks! The casting was done in collaboration with a friend of mine named Marin Hope (a casting director). She sent me a number of clips of different actors, including Liam and Joe. They just rang true to how I was seeing and hearing the characters. Joe has a particular quality to him where you can see the child and the old man in his face at the same time. Annalise was recommended by Leal and Tom (producers) who had worked with her before. Got lucky.
PopHorror – I agree. They were perfect! Do you have any favorite scenes?
Patrick Picard – I have a soft spot for the moment when the two friends are listening to the silence and we’re wondering if we’ll hear JP’s grandmother sigh.
PopHorror – What do you want viewers/audiences to take away from this film?
Patrick Picard – As JP says about Mozart, I just want to “stir the wonder”. I want to get peoples’ imaginations going and open a door to a dusty room in the house where people might not go very often.
PopHorror – Yes. Perfect. Any other upcoming projects you’d like to talk about?
Patrick Picard – I don’t want to say anything specific yet— because who knows what will happen? But, I do have a craving to make this one idea that is very scary.