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Directing The Lost

Director Chris Silverston has delivered the most startling and, arguably, the most impressive debut of EIFF 2006 in The Lost, the tale of an amoral bully's reign of terror over a small-town. He tells ...

Director Chris Silverston has delivered the most startling and, arguably, the most impressive debut of EIFF 2006 in The Lost, the tale of an amoral bully's reign of terror over a small-town. He tells me how learning his trade with Roger Corman helped craft a stunning piece of independent filmmaking.

What did your learn from your time working with Roger Corman?

Chris Silverston: I learnt a lot about the mechanics of filmmaking and doing good work at a really fast pace. He taught me about using the low budget medium to explore social issues and not just make popcorn movies.

How did it feel moving from the zombie movie you co-directed with Lucky McKee, All Cheerleaders Die, to gritty thriller The Lost?

CS: I like the idea of making different types of movies, like Peter Jackson did going from Braindead to Heavenly Creatures. I enjoy all types of film, so to me it feels natural to move from a crazy, funny zombie movie to a horror-drama-thriller.

What challenges did you face doing a slick-looking feature like The Lost on a limited budget?

CS: Time was the biggest issue. We shot 24 days for around 15 hours a day. I like working at that kind of pace but it was a lot harder on the crew!

Did that impact the style of the film?

CS: Not really. I decided to mix a few different styles and each style comes from the character, the way the camera would move reflecting a character’s mental state. For instance, with the cop I would use zooms and roving camera movements, letting the camera investigate the scene.

How did you find Marc Senter, who is terrifying as the bully Ray?

CS: We were just really lucky. He came for the audition wearing the make-up, read the role and became Ray. He left me no choice.

Where did you draw the line with the violence in the movie?

CS: I wanted to show violence in an unglamorous way. So when I got to the end of Ray’s rampage I switched to a documentary third-person view to de-glamourise the violence. Some of the violence made me feel uncomfortable, so I had to get that across in the film.

What’s next for you?

CS: I’ve got a psychedelic horror movie called Hippies, which I co-wrote with Lucky McKee, set in the summer of love, which is a big LSD trip gone terribly wrong.

The Lost is showing on the 20 and 24 August at Cineworld and Cameo.

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