Interview with Filmmaker Oliver Park (Award Winning Short VICIOUS)

VICIOUS was the winner of Best Film at the WILDsound February 2016 Best of Horror/Thriller Festival. Already is it considered one of the top films that has ever played at the festival.

Interview with Oliver Park: 

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Oliver Park: I was born in the 80’s and grew up with stories by M. R. James, H. P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King. Then, when I discovered horror films I quickly fell in love with films by Carpenter, Craven, Kubrick, Romero, Cronenberg, Russell, Barker and of course – Hitchcock (to name but a few). I remember being terrified by those stories and I would regret them every night as I was lying in bed unable to sleep! I missed those films and felt it was time to bring back classic, suspenseful horror.

Matthew: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

Oliver: The script evolved from ideas I have been having for years. Some of my scripts have been written for years and are just waiting in the shadows, others are very fresh and just seem to be right for the time. The shoot itself was three days and post-production (including editing, score and everything else) took around 4 months. It could have been done a lot quicker but I was away shooting on another film for a few months (as an actor).

Matthew: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Oliver: I always had in the back of my mind that if Vicious did well, I would love the quote ‘Beautifully tense’ to be used in a review. I never expected such critical acclaim and I’ve had countless reviews saying it’s terrifying and tense, and one saying it was ‘beautiful’. I am so touched by peoples responses!

Matthew: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Oliver: I have very high standards so not over-analyzing every shot, every frame, every pixel was hard for me. Having a superbly talented cast and crew helped a lot!

Matthew: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Oliver: Speechless! When I got the email my phone was nearly out of battery but I couldn’t wait to see the video so I hit play, watched about 10 seconds and then my phone died. I had to wait until I got home 3 hours later to watch the rest. Everyone was so kind and I am so glad that they loved the film. I can’t wait for everyone to see the next ideas.

Matthew: How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

Oliver: I write what scares me. As a massive horror nerd, I often walk into a space and think “wouldn’t it be scary if….”. Vicious was born from wanting to tell a story that is both horribly tense yet looks beautiful – something that could happen to any of us and that the audience could take home with them afterwards. I wanted to make a short film that was in the league of all these incredible three minute scare-shorts, but one with a meaningful story behind the tension.

Matthew: What film have you seen the most in your life?

Oliver: Haha – it’s a comedy! I’ll be honest, it’s ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’. I love that film. But with regards to horror – ‘Halloween’, ‘Psycho’, ‘Saw’ and ‘Insidious’. You can’t go wrong with Carpenter, Hitchcock or James Wan and Leigh Whannell. Some of my all time favourite films are ‘The Beat My Heart Skipped’, ‘Meet Joe Black’ and ‘Leon’.

Matthew: What is next for you? A new film?

Oliver: As an actor, I’ve several films coming up and a few coming out later this year. As a writer/director, my next horror film ‘Still’ is being shot in April and will hit festivals (hopefully) Halloween 2016. If you want to get involved or help support the film, here is the link to the campaign were doing – It’s shorter and darker than ‘Vicious’, and hopefully even more frightening. On the side of that, the feature script for ‘Vicious’ is complete along with various other horror scripts I have. ‘Vicious’ is just the beginning. If you want to know more or help with my films, please get in touch at

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival


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