Another Evil, starring Steve Zissis and Mark Proksch, is out on VOD and select theaters today. We had a chat with writer/director Carson Mell about his first feature film and what viewers can expect from the entertaining horror-comedy indie title.
What was your inspiration for writing Another Evil? It is a different film. It has a supernatural element but it’s not something viewers would normally expect from such movies. Do you believe in ghosts?
I completely believe in ghosts, and Another Evil is a pretty accurate depiction of what I think about them. My inspiration for writing/making Another Evil is my obsession with horror movies, the supernatural, and characters who are going through rough patches of their lives. It’s hard for all of us to work when the external elements of our lives aren’t in harmony, and I wanted to explore how that would effect the job of a ghost hunter.
What made you decide to make Another Evil a live-action film?
I want to make a horror cartoon someday, but because it’s not a usual thing, it would be a tough sell. It would also require a budget of many millions to do it right, and from the beginning of making Another Evil, I wanted to approach the film as something low budget.
Did you already know about the location you’d shoot the movie in, especially that cabin, or did that come in later during production?
I wrote the movie, and all of its scares, for that cabin which belongs to my family. The studio room is where my dad actually paints when he’s on vacation, and where I have experienced ghostly phenomena.
How was the casting process for Dan and Os Bijourn? Did you know from the start you’d be casting Steve Zissis and Mark Proksch? Both are wonderful in the film!
You never know who you are writing the movie for, but I’ve been a huge fan of both actors for a long time. The great thing about Steve and Mark is that they fully inhabit characters, and don’t ham it up. There’s a lot of hamming it up going on in modern comedy, and I have a severe allergy to that kind of comedic acting. I first saw Steve Zissis in the Duplass Brothers’ short, “Intervention”, and he just totally blew my mind. And I saw Mark Proksch, as many have, playing K-Strass the yo-yo man in his series of local News pranks. For the first thirty seconds of watching him, I thought it was a real guy, and you can’t get better acting than that.
How did you transition from making shorts to TV? Did things change in your writing style during such a transition?
I was completely on the outside of Hollywood for the first eight years of living in LA, making shorts and self-publishing my novels. I got a gig writing, doing some shorts for a low budget thing Fox was doing, this led to a manager, and then we sold one of those novels to HBO as a series idea. The series never happened, but they started sticking me on other shows. If anything has changed about my writing, it’s that I am learning more and more story tricks, little ways to ratchet up tension and suspense. It may be changing in other ways, too, for better or worse, but I don’t think I have enough objectivity to know what those ways are.
How was the experience of directing your first feature film?
It was very challenging and very rewarding. There is always a period when you are making something where you can’t get it to yield to you as you’d like it to. With writing a song or doing a drawing, this period usually just lasts a couple of hours. With film, it lasts a couple of months. So those months are the hardest part of making a film.
Any upcoming or ongoing projects you’d like to share with us?
I am making ten half-hour episodes of my web series “Tarantula” for TBS. I am working with Rough Draft, who did Futurama and worked on The Simpsons Movie. They are an amazing, top of the line animation house with tons of talented artists working there, so it’s really bringing my work to the next level. I can’t wait to share this show with the world, it’s by far the best thing I’ve done.
Here’s the official synopsis:
After encountering a ghost in his family’s vacation home, Dan a modern artist and his wife Mary hire an “industrial-grade exorcist” named Os to get rid of the beings. But Dan soon realizes that ridding the home of evil won’t be as simple as it seems.
Check out the trailer for Another Evil!
Will you be watching Another Evil? Have you already watched it? Let us know your thoughts.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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