PopHorror Interviews Patrick Corcoran, Director of ‘Fire on the Mountain’

We’re excited to introduce you to Patrick Corcoran, an up and coming indie director who has a love and strong drive for the film industry. We had the opportunity to talk with Patrick about his love for film, his upcoming horror movie Fire on the Mountain, the Kickstarter project that begins today (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1310427626/fire-on-the-mountain), and more!

PopHorror – Thanks for talking with us, Patrick! How long have you known that you wanted to work in the film industry?

Patrick Corcoran – I mean, I think my real devoted passion for film came about at an early age and just the different kind of films I was exposed to. However, it wasn’t until high school that I really began to explore the possibility of it as a career.

PopHorror – Yeah, that makes sense. How did you end up getting involved in it?

Patrick Corcoran – I think anyone with any sort of interest in filmmaking tends to dabble in or around high school. I credit Exposure, my first official short film, in being the catalyst of my filmmaking career. It was this post-apocalyptic tale set in the dead of winter. We put a lot of heart and soul into that thing, and to my surprise, it was accepted into the Johnstown Film Festival in 2012.

We shot the majority of it on a friend’s property. It was a modest landscape (a small bridge, creek, and dense forest) but really just gave it a unique feel. Following the wintry short, I wrote, directed, and edited several other projects throughout high school, with each seemingly becoming more and more ambitious than the last. In 2015, I attended film school for a year.

PopHorror – Wow, you can tell our passion truly skyrocketed in high school! I would love to see your first short. I know your upcoming project, Fire on the Mountain, is your first full feature, but what are some other projects you’ve done beyond what you did in school?

Patrick Corcoran – Filmmaking is a kind of a hunger. Earlier this year I released a 23-minute horror short Into the Grove. The film saw a mild-mannered teenager fighting to rescue his girlfriend from an infamous black metal band. I love writing and directing films, but I never really limit myself to just making shorts. I’ve learned it’s best to just kind of dive into the world of filmmaking and never look back. If this means shooting commercials or editing music videos, so be it. Each and every one of these project has allowed me to develop my skills as a filmmaker and come to terms with my strengths and weaknesses.

PopHorror – I couldn’t agree more. Can you tell us about your upcoming horror film, Fire on the Mountain?

Patrick Corcoran – Fire On The Mountain is a kind of a fun and ambitious genre film that sees a centuries old demon terrorizing a small town in Pennsylvania. We’ve filled this story with an ensemble of relatable characters that I think haven’t totally been explored in the film world and some really interesting set pieces. Overall it’s just a bone chilling, head first plunge into the sun-soaked back roads of rural Pennsylvania. It’s a creature feature with the characters of a Linklater film and ultimately a thought-provoking glimpse into the coal regions of Eastern Pennsylvania. There are no jocks, hot girls or nerds here. Every character is equally as homely as the next. We just hope to bring audiences something new.

PopHorror – That’s a wonderful description and makes me want to see it even more. Where did you get the idea for it?

Patrick Corcoran – Conceiving something that was equally fun and terrifying had been the goal of mine for some time. I found the concept of a Gateway to Hell pretty fascinating, whether in the form of a sewer system in New Jersey or, in our case, in a coal mine in Pennsylvania. I also knew I wanted the film to take place in rural Pennsylvania because of its endless supply of gorgeous landscapes and unusual small towns. It wasn’t until I was a quarter of the way into the first draft that I came across the “Van Meter Visitor” tale.

For those unfamiliar, in the early 1900s, a winged creature terrorized a small town in Iowa for several days and nights before retreating back to a coal mine. While the film isn’t entirely based on this mysterious incident, several elements from the unexplainable event make their way into Fire On The Mountain. More than anything, I want the film to make for an enjoyable thrill ride, complete with nail-biting set pieces, jaw-dropping practical gore – no CGI here – and charismatic characters. By weaving horror, drama and dashes of comedy, it recalls the nuanced, sprawling story-telling of Stephen King mashed with the gut-punch horror of Jeepers Creepers.

PopHorror – (Laughs) Once again, you’re gaining my interest more and more for Fire on the Mountain. This needs to happen soon! How did you go about casting?

Patrick Corcoran – The film was cast through Backstage. Our incredibly talented ensemble features Taylor Rosen, Hannah Weir, Crystal Evans, Billy Brannigan (Party Night), Gore Abrams (Let Me Make You a Martyr), and Aaron Dalla Villa (Duels, Seeing You, Pledge).

PopHorror – That’s a great cast! I love Billy’s work in Party Night one of my favorite indie slashers. When will you begin filming?

Patrick Corcoran – If the film is successfully funded, production will begin on June 5th and last for 20 blood/sun-soaked days. Shooting will take place in several small coal towns in Pennsylvania right outside of Centralia.

PopHorror – Well, hopefully, we can help make that happen! Can you tell us about the Kickstarter for the project?

Patrick Corcoran – The Kickstarter page will launch on March 15th and run for a month. Over the past year, I’ve worked hard on assembling the various components needed to pull this project off. We’ve locked locations down, cast the right actors to inhabit these characters and got an insanely talented prosthetic artist to bring our demon to life. Things have come together and we’re now at our closest to fully realizing the film. Too much passion and unyielding dedication have gone into this project to make it anything but great.

If you’re a fan of horror films or just films in general, consider donating and sharing our page because when you do, not only are you taking part in something special but you are helping to create a truly memorable horror film. Plus we have a load of insanely rad perks. Impress your friends with a t-shirt or better yet, get an awesome poster to hang up in your room… maybe even a cool pair of glasses used by one of the characters. Signed DVD’s, Blu-rays, behind the scenes stills (taken on 35mm film) and tons of other cool items are in store for those who donate.

PopHorror – This is definitely a project I think horror fans will want to get behind – plus those are some awesome perks! Do you have any other upcoming projects you’d like to talk about?

Patrick Corcoran – I do not have any other upcoming projects at the moment. Fire On The Mountain has done its job consuming my life for the past year.

PopHorror – Sometimes it’s best to focus on one project at a time, anyway. That shows dedication and love for your project. If you could work with anyone in the industry, who would it be and why?

Patrick Corcoran – Jeremy Saulnier is a director whom I admire considerably. His last two films, Blue Ruin and Green Room, signaled the emergence of a great new voice in American cinema. Saulnier possesses the ability to cut through fat and gets down to brass tactics which is something many filmmakers often struggle with and he makes it look easy! I am eagerly awaiting his next project, Hold the Dark.


About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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