Interview with Filmmaker Euan Foulis (FIRST TIME)

FIRST TIME was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the June 2021 HORROR/THRILLER Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I was motivated mainly by lockdown. Like most creatives I was locked inside my house unable to do anything and I started to go a wee bit crazy. I started having this idea about doing a film featuring a grizzly murder- something i hadn’t really done before and as time went on my mind just got to this place where the murder became the sole focus of the film – I think after the year I’d had I just needed to have that catharsis.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It was quite a strange process- the actual time line from preproduction to shooting was actually only about a month and a half. The advantage of the film being so short is that it didn’t take a lot of time to get the usual resources together- the only real obstacle was working a way around crew schedules – when we started filming the industry in Scotland was just starting to open up again so quite a lot of people were booked – we ended up shooting the film over two days on two separate weeks. After that post production was about 2 months.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

First murder

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Definitely the COVID 19 risk of it all. While we took the appropriate steps where ever we went, things like being unable to get the editor up to set or having to find COVID safe accommodation for crew and cast quickly became a strain, especially budget wise. We even had to delay one of the shoot days when our initial make up artist had to self isolate – and we promptly spent the next two days running sprint trying to find a replacement. It was a stress I can tell you.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

It’s – ehhh – a bit overwhelming. It’s my first time (no pun intended) submitting a fiction short to festivals and to get that positive reaction – it’s just incredible to think where this short started and where it’s finished now. It’s also just interesting to see how much the audience interpreted the short. I deliberately left a sizeable amount of this short ambiguous and to see how people took things from the short that was both intentional and unintentional on my part- it’s just fascinating.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I don’t know really. From a young age I knew I wanted to be creative – I was always that one kid running around playing make believe while everyone else was playing football. I went around a bit doing theatre for a while but even then I was an active movie watcher and slowly but surely my theatre interested waned and I just got lost more and more in the magic of the cinema. Eventually one day it just all clicked and I realised this is what I want to do. I think you can blame Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash a bit as well. First time I saw that I remember wandering around Dundee in a dream – I don’t think I had seen any film like that up to that point that had caused me to react like that. That film is a masterpiece!

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Ehhh- my siblings would tell you it’s Thomas and the Magic Railroad- 2 year old Euan had weird film tastes. Personally I recon it’s John Woo’s Red Cliff- I have seen that film wwwaaaaayyyy too much.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I think it’s fantastic. They do a great job making the platform simple and easy to navigate and it feels like your never penalized if you maybe don’t have a poster or other things prepared in advance. I’m shocked more creatives I know don’t use it.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Good old fashioned Fish and Chips!!

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I’m currently working on another short film – a family drama this time. Hoping to shoot it by the end of the summer – COVID permitting of course.

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