Tell us a little about your writing.
I’ve been writing since I was a kid. It was that and acting and making films. My writing kept evolving: I was into shorts stories first, then plays, then poetry, then novels and then screenplays. I’ve also written some editorials and, while I like arguing a point with clear facts, I enjoy writing fiction much more. I’m represented in print, now, in many forms and also have had my writing represented on stage and, more recently, you’ll see more and more on film as well.
How did you get your start in horror writing?
I wrote short horror fiction very early on. I liked those macabre movies that would come on TV and also read a lot of horror fiction; for a kid who was kind of a runt and occasionally bullied, I think it was nice to escape into worlds where other people had it way worse off than I did. Sort of a twisted Schadenfreude effect. My first screenplay was a brooding horror yarn about a vampire, long before vampires got really hip and sparkly. So it’s always been a favorite genre of mine.
How do you juggle your various hats with acting, writing, producing, and now directing?
Well, I try not to do more than one at a time! I think each discipline takes focus for you to be at your best. DEADLY REVISIONS is a complete break from that rule, though, since I am actually doing all of them for that film. But I have a producing partner who is handling the bulk of the “producer” workload, I’m only acting a small cameo role and the writing is more or less complete, so that leaves the majority of my time to focus on the direction…which is where my focus should be, anyway, or I shouldn’t be wearing that hat!
How long have you been writing scripts for the screen and what are the differences between writing for the screen and for the stage?
I’ve been writing screenplays for years, now, so hopefully I’m getting the hang of it! The biggest difference between writing for stage and screen is the dialogue. In a play, the spoken word has tremendous power; sometimes there’s nothing else on stage but an actor in a pool of light talking to the audience…and, if written well (and performed well), it can be as gripping as anything on the big screen no matter how spectacular the cinematic effects. In a film, though, the emphasis is on the imagery, not the spoken word; in fact, you try to tell as much of the story in visuals. So, rather than a beautiful monologue about loss and closure (which could be powerful on stage), the character may simply take a person’s photograph out of a frame on a mantle and place it into a photo album as a tear falls down their cheek and onto the photo; then they close the album….and their eyes. Thus the visuals tell the whole emotional story. (That’s a somewhat cheesy example, I know, but I hope it illustrates my point.)
Deadly Revisions will be your first time directing for the screen. How are you preparing for this new role?
I think taking on any new role or task is one part research, one part resourcefulness and one part rebel. The research is what you do before beginning the task. In this case, the research would be education: film school and courses are the obvious option, but I’d put just as much weight on less formal angles such as watching your favorite films and seeing what elements or techniques you like and want to imitate, emulate or reimagine and also incorporating lessens learned from experience on other sets, etc. The resourcefulness comes into play as you take on and navigate the actual task: who do you get to be on your team, who do have or go to for advise, what tools are at your disposal to help you achieve your goal? The rebel part is also at play, here: you have to be willing to say “Yes, I don’t know 100% what I’m doing…and that’s okay”. We’re always learning, film (and the world) is always changing, so you can never know everything, anyway. So you don’t let that fear stop you.
Tell us about your upcoming projects.
Well, DEADLY REVISIONS begins filming this August in the Los Angeles area. It’s about an amnesiac writer for whom hypnotherapy and drugs augment terrifying visions of crimes he may or may not have committed. Across the pond, my screenplay “The Sisterhood” (having been renamed THE GATEWAY) is starting pre-production in England in October. THE GATEWAY is about a murderess saved from the noose by the nuns of the local convent—but the gift of safe harbor slowly becomes a disturbing, dangerous, nightmare. I also have a script in development with 701 Productions. It’s a horror film as well. Well, DEADLY REVISIONS is really a psychological thriller trapped in a horror film. Or vise-versa. It works both ways…which is one of the fun things about the movie. I like my horror unique and layered. Boobs and big knives are fine, but gimme something that’ll really get under my skin and scare me. That’s the kind of horror film I like…and that’s the kind of film I always hope to make.
Where can people find out more about you and your work?
Google me! or…
For DEADLY REVISIONS specifically: www.deadlyrevisionsmovie.com has photos & the trailers well as links to our IMDB page, Facebook, Twitter and more.
For THE GATEWAY specifically: https://www.facebook.com/
For Gregory Blair in general, http://www.2writers.com/