Interview: Brannigan Carter (Director) – ‘RUN’: a Werewolf Short Film

‘RUN’ chronicles the beginnings of a new breed of werewolf film; one where tradition and myth is thrown out the window and nothing but raw, pure beast remains. This short aims to reinvigorate the werewolf film genre in a heart- stopping way.

Writer/action director/cinematographer Brannigan Carter says: “I wrote RUN on a whim to just try one single shot out…but that turned into something much bigger…we hope [RUN] will redefine intense, raw and terrifying horror for a complacent generation plagued with boring CGI and dumbed-down effects.

Animal Control officers Charles, Garry and Alyssa are called in along with one veterinarian, Maggie, to investigate a recent string of animal attacks in central North Carolina. Upon arriving at the area most concentrated with the incidents, they are told a human has been attacked and injured the night before. The stakes have been raised. Upon talking with the attack victim herself, Old Lady Hughes, the officers and Maggie learn that what they thought was a rogue mountain lion may just be something far more threatening – and they need to stop it – FAST.

Stephen Reilly spoke with Carter about co-directing, inspiration and werewolves!

Run: a Werewolf Short Film is currently crowdfunding on IndiegogoHERE

It appears that you and Joseph have complimentary skill sets. How did you two meet and when did you realize Joseph was the right artistic collaborator?
Brannigan Carter: He and I met when I was called to serve as director of photography on a feature film called Two-Eleven. Joe also worked as a stand-up comedian so, it was always a fun time even though we were working on such a bleak, dark film. Anyway, I noticed right away he had a knack for directing actors that I didn’t have, even though I can direct something visual or action filled all day. He was the first director I worked with that took everyone’s suggestions on the same level. He acknowledged I also write and direct and edit, so he knew my opinions or suggestions meant something on his film. A lot of the time directors just want the DoP to shoot and shut up, haha! Not Joe. I’d say something and he’d get all excited and say “YEAH THAT! LET’S DO THAT!” So, I knew pretty quickly I wanted him to direct my actors on RUN.

The Werewolf genre is well established in popular culture. Dozens of werewolf films spanning the course of decades have been produced. How does RUN diversify itself from the countless other films of the genre?
BC: Here’s where I tell you about the feature. The short, called A Werewolf Short Film, will lead directly in the feature-A Werewolf Story. The short doesn’t need much explanation other than it’s a single wolf tearing literally every character in the short apart. There’s no explanation. This thing just shows up and demolishes everything. The feature…much different story. I can’t divulge much yet about the plot but I will say this: Remember Zack Snyder’s Dawn of The Dead? 28 Days Later? What did they do to zombies that made them more terrifying? They RAN. And they were STRONG. And everything they touched turned into one of them. What’s scarier than that? How about instead of a pack of zombies running after you…you’ve got a pack of werewolves-ten times faster-ten times stronger.

What was your inspiration for writing RUN? Are there a couple cinematographers, writers and/or directors that come to mind that have influenced you and your own technique? Can you talk a bit about how they have influenced you?
BC: My inspiration was to just make something that felt different. All the decent werewolf movies (none of which have come out in the last 10 years) all had basically the same elements. They all had the same basic plot: man gets bitten. Man changes. Werewolf rampages, werewolf gets killed. COME ON! Do something crazy! I’ve seen a thousand transformations. I’m tired of them. I want to put the scary back into werewolves while at the same time making them even more badass and intelligent. There are a few cinematographers, writers and directors that heavily influence me like Roger Deakins (DoP), Shane Hurlbut (DoP), Robert Rodriguez (Director), Quentin Tarantino (Director and writer) and Elmore Leonard (writer). Mix all that and you’ve got what I do. Robert Rodriguez is who I’m most like though. He likes to have a hand in everything. He writes, shoots, directs and edits his own stuff. He made his first film on almost no money and paved his own path outside of the studio system. It’s admirable when you think about back then, films weren’t cheap. They were hard to make and have a decent film. But El Mariachi was awesome.

You’ve brought together an impressive list of industry professionals to help bring RUN to life. How were you able to secure all this talent on such a modest budget?
BC: I think it’s a matter of respect between each other. I’ve been working for a few years here in Wilmington and I worked with tons of people. It’s amazing who will work with you for almost nothing as long as you’re easy to work with and you get them a great credit in return. I’ve become a pretty in-demand film maker in CaptureWilmington, so now I have people actually asking me if they can work on my stuff. Some are folks I went to school with, some are friends of folks that worked with me before. But somehow, all that culminated in having crew from Under The Dome (CBS TV Show), Sleepy Hollow (FOX TV), The Conjuring and much more wanting to work with us on RUN. Myself and a few other film makers in town have a knack for creating films that aren’t normally made here. I did a bare knuckle fighting film (Get Up) a while back that catapulted my status here. No one had done something like that here. Then I worked on a web-series where the Devil cuts a deal with Death to start the apocalypse (Imperium), again, something no one had done here. Now we’ve got a werewolf film and people know my teams create great work. So I barely had to ask for help. It all came to me. It’s amazing. That’s the kind of tight-knit film community we have here in Wilmington, NC. All that and then you get our governor who essentially destroyed film in NC by not renewing our tax incentives…and now we’re all coming together even more. Screw that guy. NC film will not die if Wilmington has anything to say about it.

What is your game plan with RUN once it is completed? Will you take it through the festival circuit? Is there a distribution plan in place?
BC: We start production in November and we should have a private screening in January. Throughout the year we will shop the short at festivals to secure a budget for the feature (the script is being written now). Distribution is the most fickle beast in film making. We’ll have to tackle that when we get to making the feature. For now, we’re concentrating on making this short the same high production value you’d see in the theater on a Saturday night.


Brannagin Carter

Joseph A. Covas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Brannigan Carter (left) and Joseph A. Covas (right)]

Campaign link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/run-a-werewolf-short-film

Facebook: /Run-A-Werewolf-Short-Film


A tip of the hat goes to Indie Film Sprites for brining RUN to our attention and connecting us with its director, Brannigan Carter.

IFS is a big supporter of independent films and filmmakers. Their initiative is simple but meaningful, to bring dreams to dreamers and dreamers to dreams through the magic of film worldwide.”

Check them out on Twitter, Facebook and MoviePilot!

Twitter: www.twitter.com/IndieFilmSprite
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-Stephen Reilly

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