Patrick Mason Interview: All The Little Details of Fear

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.

Why Horror?

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.

Dream Cast

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.”

Lew Temple Interview: From The Villain to The Hero to The Bible

Ubiquitous Horror always loves getting the opportunity to creep into the minds of those in the horror industry, and this time we were lucky enough to sit down with the always impressive and wonderfully talented Lew Temple. While best known for acting, Lew Temple isn’t afraid to try his hand at directing, producing, and even writing. It’s his creativity and focus on storytelling that really helps him breathe life into his characters.

His Calling

Lew never focused his energy on trying to work within a specific genre. He wanted to help tell a story, which meant even when he was given a role that was difficult for him to relate to, he always found a way to give it his all.

He told Ubiquitous Horror, “I remember having a conversation with Bill Moseley on The Devil’s Rejects, about the horror genre specifically, and he referenced it was a place to be imaginative with your work. You are able to expand on the manipulation of the emotional content of the scene. I believe I find that to be true.” It’s a fantastic point. The horror genre allows those involved with a project to push the limits. Lew noted that the horror genre tends to have characters that are seen as outsiders, which allows for a lot of creative input on the part of the actors. “In the end, horror found me, I was not necessarily looking for it.”

Everyone Has a Favorite

Being someone who has acted in over 130 roles in his career, pin pointing the highlights of that career proved to be difficult, considering he truly enjoyed every role. However, Lew was able to narrow down his favorites to three roles in particular. Ned Oldham in the film Unstoppable, Adam Banjo in the film The Devil’s Rejects, and lastly, one of my favorites, Axel in the show The Walking Dead.

While he enjoyed that both Ned and Adam had a certain bravado that he was able to bring to the screen, Ned was faced with a race against time that helped drive the character forward. “Not sure he knew what was at the finish line, but [he] just kept going.” This is a drive that we see in many characters that bring True Fear to the table. When the actor/actress is able to capture that sense of urgency the audience can feel it too. When it comes to Adam Banjo, Lew worked closely with the director, Rob Zombie, to perfect the character’s arc.

Axel is a character that I consider to be one of the most lovable characters in a horror show. Lew brought a kindhearted innocence to the role, which we all quickly loved. When talking about Axel he said, “He was so gregarious and wore his heart on his sleeve. Often times he said what I think the audience was wanting to know. He also was likable, and that has become important to me in this part of my career.”

It’s Not Easy Being Mean

Knowing that Lew Temple is genuinely a kind person, many of his roles blew me away. I needed to know how he made the switch. How does someone so kind become the monster we’ve seen on the screen. According to Lew, it’s not an easy task.

Playing Noel Kluggs in Rob Zombie’s Halloween, was a particularly difficult role for him. Many actors and actresses must find an understanding for the roles they are playing, no matter how dark or twisted. They can even draw on their own experiences to help bring the character to life.

However, Noel Kluggs was horrible because of a horrible upbringing. This made things difficult because Lew stated that he had never faced that kind of ugliness on regular basis. However, a story needed to be told and Lew stepped up. “Rob asked me to be the worst version of me, and this is where I ended up.”

Psycho-Head in Rob Zombie’s 31 ended up being a very challenging role for Lew. “I found it very difficult to be so despicable for very little reason. I was really at odds with this character and was in a bad space while filming.” It’s truly a terrifying role that seems to enjoy torturing and killing his victims. It’s understandable why this would be a hard one for him to wrap his head around. However, he killed it. He did what he set out to do and brought us a character that made us feel unsafe and uncomfortable. Needless to say, Lew told Ubiquitous Horror, “I won’t be missing him…”

Becoming the Villain

Malcolm McDowell gave Lew some advice that he takes with him to every role, “You have a job that must be done to the utmost of your capabilities.” Keeping this in mind he is able to dive deep into his dark side for the sake of a role. A task that has proven to be too much for other actors/actresses. He went on to say, “It is not a place I like to visit, but to find a foundation of truth to the character, I find reason within my experience. I have never done or been exposed to most of the things I have done on film, however, I have been in some dark places to draw on. Everyone has. Avoid staying there if possible.”

Building a character takes a village. It not only depends on the writing but the acting, the directing, the costumes, the makeup and more. Lew explained that for the person acting, they have to help the audience see the depth of the characters, which means they have show us things that aren’t always written in the script.

“I always try to give each character I am building as much definition as possible… I suppose I would want to be the hero in every story, but that is not always the job that is requested.”

Actors and actresses have to be as unbiased as possible to allow themselves to see each role from a point of view that the audience might not understand. He went on to say, “I like to make my character to be well liked so in the case of Psycho-Head and Noel Kluggs, that was not the case, but again, that was not what was in service to those stories.”

Exploring the World of Writing

There are so many people that dabble in multiple different areas of the film industry and Lew is no different. “I love writing, not sure I am any good, but I enjoy the process. So yes, more than anything I would want to write.”

Being someone who knows how to wear many different faces, it seems only natural to transition from actor to writer. Lew told us about two projects he has written, Bud and Sponsor. Both of which he pointed out would be a great fit in the short film format and he’s even hoping they will end up on the future streaming platform Quibi. He even made a point that we here at Ubiquitous Horror have been noticing ourselves, “I think that the future in storytelling is in short bites.”

Outside of those two projects, Lew has three scripts that he wants to work on that are based on his personal experiences. While he does fear the relatability might not be there, they are projects that he is looking forward to building on.

Future Horror Projects

While both of these projects are still looking for the proper funding for completion, they are both horror films we can look forward to. The Castle is a story about a couple who decide to vacation in a beautiful old castle. Unfortunately, they find out that the history of the castle is dark and might cost them their lives.

Lew described this film as “…a haunting from time gone by.” It’s a project he’s very much looking forward to completing and one Ubiquitous Horror is excited to watch.

Dirge is psychological horror/thriller based in the woods. After suffering a trauma, a couple must face the surrounding darkness as well as the darkness from within, all while holding the relationship together. Lew said this about Dirge, “It is very minimal with a big theme. I like it very much, and can see it being an Indy Darling, similar to The Babbadook.”

Other Projects

Timecrafters: The Treasure of Pirates Cove is a family friendly adventure film.

Limbo is a courtroom based comedy/drama focused on deciding the fate of a murderer.

Acceleration is an action film about a mom who is forced to complete some deadly tasks to save her son.

The Dream Roles

From Halloween and 31 to the Bible and Christmas time. Lew is truly a lighthearted person who would love to try out a few new roles. He told Ubiquitous Horror that he would love to play the role of Job or Paul from the Bible. Exploring the role of a noble character that is “tested” or “conflicted” by their faith.

Lew told us how much he loves Christmas. He said, “I would like to be in a Christmas film, where I am able to bring joy to a family, perhaps mine.” Honestly, Lew seems like a perfect fit for one of those Lifetime or Hallmark Christmas films, so we’re rooting for you, Lew!

Advice from Lew for Aspiring Actors/Actresses

“I think it is important to be you with whatever you do. I wish that I had been more aware of that when I got started. They just want to see who you are in the hiring process. Tell the story of YOU. No man or woman can walk out on their own story, so you should tell yours. I would look to be  a storyteller first, celebrity will come and go, but those who are adept at telling a story are always serviceable. Make horror smarter than you found it. Look for new ways to find thrills in your audience. Don’t emulate what you like, build something that is beyond. Bring your story to the party, it is helpful. Be loud when telling your story, we want to hear you.”

Lew’s Favorite Horror Movies

“Rosemary’s Baby. Perfect blend of psychological thriller and terror. I am always captivated by the subtext of this film. It just works for me. I love the old Hammer Films as well, particularly the monster films. There is so much, and new material that is really really well done.”

Keep up with Lew Temple

Movie Review: Milk & Cookies

Maniacally Short Monday

Brings Us

If you know me at all, you know how much I love holiday horror movies! I have been looking forward to this time of year…well, all year. I love when someone can take something that is supposed to be sweet and twist it in such a beautifully bloody way! Thankfully, that’s exactly what happens in this week’s short, Milk & Cookies.

Continue reading “Movie Review: Milk & Cookies”