Interview with Filmmaker Hunter Collins (WHEN THEY COME)

WHEN THEY COME was the winner of BEST SOUND & MUSIC at the December 2021 THRILLER/SUSPENSE Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I was alone in my apartment for a month and watch so many horror movies that I started to envision scares around every corner of my home. Thought I could tack on some entertaining dialogue with a relevant backdrop and turn those scares into something watchable. Doing it in one shot was important to me as well, so as to depict how a life can go from zero to fubar in real-time.

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

One month to write, cast and crew up. 5 hours to shoot. Two years to wait for the R3D color lab to open up after the pandemic started so we could put our finishing touches on it!

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

Consequences suck.

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

COVID holding up my suppliers. I also had a bold VFX ambition but wound up giving up on that because I hadn’t shot my scene properly for that. Had a Russian guy in Qatar ready to do it for a song!

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

I’m so bloody touched and grateful for the kindness. I think the internet has made artists fearful of feedback because it’s so easy to trash people’s work without fear of reprisal. The fact that the music and sound were commended is truly gratifying. I did the music and initial sound design myself under my longtime synthwave pseudonym. And it’s funny that Scream was cited because I did study the opening phone scene to examine how music played a role in generating tension. All in all, I just want to thank everyone who commented for their dear feedback. My heart is full. Thank you.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I landed a sound effects CD when I was 13 and used it to make audio sketches on a tape recorder. That led to a desire to make short films in the style of Naked Gun. After 20 years of doing stand-up, I grew a little disenfranchised with the industry and decided to try my hand at my other passion: horror.

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

The Big Lebowski.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

So far, I feel like a more streamlined process for out-of-town filmmakers to remotely tune in to their screening would be gratifying. Seeing how the audience reacts live is paramount for me.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

User friendly. Streamlined. Best name in the game.

10. What is your favorite meal?


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

I’m hoping to tape my next stand-up album at the Satanic Temple in Salem. Also scheduled to shoot another horror short about a Grandma with Alzheimer’s whose eroding mind begins to unearth memories of a murder she may have committed.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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