Let’s start the first post of 2020 with a bang, by picking the brain of writer/director Patrick Mason! As you all know, I’m already a fan of his work on the films Ayuda and Tagged, but I’m even more excited to announce that he has more creepiness in the works for us.
I wanted to dive right in and try to understand Patrick’s drive towards the horror genre. If I’m being honest, it’s easy to see why creators would be drawn to the bloody and twisted world of horror, but not everyone planned to focus their energy in this field. Patrick told Ubiquitous Horror that it’s only his recent work that has embraced True Fear. He has created projects in other genres, which I have no doubt were just as awesome. Especially, considering the fact that he knew he wanted to work in the film industry since high school. While I’m not sure we’ll ever get the opportunity to enjoy his first feature that he wrote in high school or his short film starring action figures, I’ve been told, “They’re both terrible but they were fun to make at the time!” They can’t be that bad, Patrick!
Joking aside, we terror junkies are pretty thrilled that Patrick learned to love his dark side. He went on to explain his draw to the horror genre, “For me horror has such a palpable and unique effect on the audience that’s hard to get from any other genre. It’s like spicy food. You can have all the drama, comedy, and suspense with a little hot sauce on top.”
It’s a fantastic point. Horror is such a unique field to work in because it can embody every other genre. One wrong move and it’s no longer considered horror, it suddenly becomes a thriller or a mystery.
Thankfully, Patrick has a way of thinking about all the little details to really bring the True Fear. This is something that he was able to do in the first film I saw of his, Ayuda.
“I wanted to make a film that was all about the little details and clues. If you show too much of one you give the game away and if you show to little no one notices.”
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the review I did on it where you can watch the full short.
Discovering What It Takes To Create True Fear
Both Ayuda and Tagged touched on some pretty relevant topics, that might hit close to home for some, illegal immigration and our obsession with social media. This was genius, because the more the writer can bring the audience into the film the more fear we’ll have. However, it doesn’t seem to be the easiest concept to execute. I mean, I can’t even count the amount of times I was babysitting and decided to sneak my boyfriend over to have sex on the couch or when I was working in a mental institution and decided to sneak my boyfriend over to have sex on the couch or when I went camping with my girlfriends but I decided to sneak my boyfriend over to have sex on the couch… okay, maybe this happens way more in horror than in real life! But that’s just my point!
Patrick could have gone down that same old path but he didn’t and because of that he made some truly creepy films. “I hope the films I make are relevant but also somewhat timeless.” No worries there Patrick. I think we can all agree that you’re nailing it.
But How Long Does It Take Someone To Create True Fear?
In Patrick’s case, relatively quickly. While Ayuda did take longer with it being a longer film, Patrick mentioned that the longest part was the production and the time he and Raul Serpas put in on that awesome dialog. However, Tagged took only a week to put together. It was an idea he was already toying with so after he finished writing it on a Monday, they were able to record it Friday. I know some people may be thinking, that’s pretty normal for a short film, but not at that quality! Sure, I could grab a camera… or my cellphone and shoot a short film, but there is no way it would be able to grab you like a Patrick Mason film. It’s the time and details that he puts into his work that makes him stand out.
I asked Patrick if he could have anyone act in one of his films, who would he pick and he kept it simple. All he said was, “I’m a big Leo fan.” Aren’t we all, Patrick?
I would love to see the script that he could put together for Leonardo DiCaprio and whether or not it would fall into the horror genre.
What’s In Patrick’s Future?
Recently, Patrick made a short with his brother. This is one I know I’m going to have to see! It looks so creepy! Check out these stills:
Looks like he is definitely pulling some inspiration from Japanese horror, and I’m okay with that! Can’t wait to see this one!
He’s also working on a feature film, but unfortunately, he couldn’t share any secrets about it just yet. But, as soon as I know, you’ll know!
Patrick’s Advice for Aspiring Writers and Directors:
“Write, write, write. Make, make, make.”
Patrick’s Favorite Horror Movie:
“Alien. It’s the pinnacle of suspense and dread. The chestburster scene is an incredible shock the first time you see it and that moment has always stuck with me.”