About a week ago, we were fortunate enough to review the psycho couple film Capture Kill Release, a found footage horror film that has so far earned an 8.4 on IMDb, which was well deserved. Recently, one of the directors, Nick McAnulty, was kind enough to talk to us for a little PopHorror Q & A. Check it out!
PopHorror: What inspired you to get involved in filmmaking?
Nick McAnulty: I’ve always loved storytelling and the idea of letting someone get lost in their imagination. It’s always something I’ve been drawn to and enjoyed doing. Some kids think playing baseball is fun, nerdier kids think picking up a camera is fun.
PopHorror: Did you go to film school?
Nick McAnulty: Yep. We’re living in a time that’s great for learning filmmaking skills – it’s cheaper than it’s ever been to do and the resources for learning online are infinite, so a lot of people still question the validity of film school. I’m not here to say which is the better approach, but do know I definitely shaped some great relationships going to school and still work with a number of people that I went to school with.
PopHorror: How did you come up with the story idea for Capture Kill Release?!
Nick McAnulty: It started from a conversation about what makes a group of people or a couple commit some of the terrible acts you hear about. It’s understandable that one person can be wired wrong, but how does it get to that point when more than one person is involved? Why doesn’t someone say, “Okay, that’s far enough?” We then started talking about relationships, what the line is for people to cross when they are in love and how those scenarios must play out. From there, after doing a little ugly research down the bowels of the internet, we started to formulate some crazy story ideas and the script started taking off from there.
PopHorror:: I read that you had to re-cast the lead couple after 25% of the film had already been shot. What was the reason for that?
Nick McAnulty: Sometimes things just aren’t working and you have to make tough decisions. We were working with some great actors but a combination of scheduling and things not really clicking made us make the really tough decision to go in a different direction. It felt like we were forcing the movie instead of making it the way it was supposed to be made, so even though it was a difficult decision to make, I think it was the right one.
PopHorror: I also read that you actually co-directed this film with Brian Allen Stewart. When you co-directed, did you and Brian have specific scenes that each of you worked on?
Nick McAnulty: Brian and I have a great working relationship where we feed off of each others ideas, expand them and challenge each other. For the most part, I would direct the actors and the flow of the scene and Brian was behind the camera, so he really had to be in the moment and make decisions on the fly to capture the right moments due to the nature of the filming style. He has great instincts at capturing the right moments, which we’d build off of on subsequent takes. We’d then give feedback to each other in both of these areas and build out the strongest scenes we could by building on each others strengths. It’s a process that forces you to leave egos at the door, and in the end, in my opinion, can make things much stronger.
PopHorror: What scenes in the film were the most difficult to shoot?
Nick McAnulty: Some of the emotionally heavy scenes can be a little crazy to shoot – especially the ending. You have a finite amount of time to shoot something with special FX where the actors have to crank it up to 10 for the full scene. They did a fantastic job but by the end of a few crazy scenes, you’d feel a layer of tension release and everyone would need a hug.
Some of the more intimate scenes were definitely challenging – it’s always something you want to shoot respectfully and make sure everyone is comfortable. We waited a bit into filming to make sure that the comfort level was there with everyone, but everyone gets a little nervous making sure you’re finding that balance.
PopHorror: Where and when can our readers view Capture Kill Release?
Nick McAnulty: We’re working on some details coming soon. We’re getting asked a lot when it’ll be out to the masses – we promise, it’s coming!
PopHorror: Are there any upcoming film projects you’d like to talk about?
Nick McAnulty: Nothing I can reveal yet. I will say that Brian and I are working together on some ideas that we’re really excited about. We’re definitely planning to dial some elements up a bit so it probably won’t be something for the squeamish.
PopHorror: Do you think you’ll ever work with Jen Fraser or Farhang Ghajar in future projects?
Nick McAnulty: I can only hope so. I love both of them on and off screen – they are so talented and great people in general who are a blast to work with. We’ve worked with Farhang a number of times in the past and would love to keep doing so. This was our first film with Jen but I’d work with her again in a heartbeat.
PopHorror: Would you say you found your home in horror, or will you explore other genres in the future?
Nick McAnulty: I definitely love the genre – I think it’s a lot of fun to work in and has an amazing audience who is really encouraging and accepting. We’re working on more in the genre for sure, but I’d never say we’re sticking completely to one genre. I like to think you can’t pigeonhole most movies into one genre. I think Capture Kill Release is something you could call a horror, a thriller, a very twisted black comedy or the worlds most twisted relationship drama. We’ll be playing a lot more in the horror genre, but I’d like to think it’ll be in that genre with a couple dashes of some other genres as well.
PopHorror: Nick, thank you so much for answering our questions, and we wish you the best of luck with your future in filmmaking! To our readers, check back with PopHorror to find out when Capture Kill Release will be available to watch. We highly recommend it!