FEARnet continuts to hold its rank at the #1 Internet site for horror and thriller entertainment and news by launching today its new web series Post Mortem With Mick Garris. On the surface, it’s an interview show featuring some of the biggest names in horror such as John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Robert Englund, Tobe Hooper, John Landis, just to name a few. But what’s unique about this series is that its host is himself is one of the sci-fi and horror genre’s favorite producers, writers and directors and has created such chilling series as the award-winning anthology Masters of Horror.
Tubefilter had a chance to catch up with Garris about his experience being a part of FEARnet’s newest screamfest (albeit a conversational one).
Tubefilter: Considering your background in sci-fi and horror, how was it basically interviewing your peers for Post Mortem?
Mick Garris: Well, most of them are friends, so it was really comfortable. It was weird starting out to do a Charlie Rose-type interview, but it was always intended to be a conversation. I’d done this before, on LA’s late, lamented Z Channel, way back in the beginning of the 1980s, but that was when I was a hopeful screenwriter. Doing it as a filmmaker makes it easier to have a discussion, not an Entertainment Tonight-style blabfest. It’s really been fun so far, and I think the fact that they’re friends, and that we all work in the same industry, really makes the guests feel at ease. It’s a very low-stress set.
Tubefilter: Did you have to study up on your subjects, or did you know them inside and out?
Garris: I know them pretty well, but I always want to make sure I’ve got all the information I need to be able to ask questions that I think the fans will want to know about. I’m a fan, myself, and part of that geekdom is to be obsessive about the research.
Tubefilter: What was the production process like: were you running on a tight shooting schedule or did you have room to take your time?
Garris: It’s pretty flexible. We use the studio for a full day, and we don’t run that tight a ship. We usually do two interviews in a day, and each of the interviews usually runs for a little over an hour. We don’t want too much stuff to have to cut down for the half-hour show. The webisodes are all five minutes or so, and we try to make several of them exclusive of the half-hour VOD show. But there may be DVDs or downloads or something of the full, uncut interviews somewhere down the line.
Tubefilter: Is this your first experience working in an online medium? How was the experience for you?
Garris: Well, I’ve done a lot of online stuff for MASTERS OF HORROR, but this is the first time I’ve created something specifically for the online market. Though that, too, is a little misleading. We always intended for this to be a show for television with a specific online content and approach as well. But when FEARnet became involved, it became much more Web-intensive. I like that two-way quality, the direct connection between audience and creators. I’m looking forward to the feedback.
Tubefilter: Who was the most challenging guest to interview?
Garris: In some ways, they’re all challenging, because it’s weird to be interviewing your friends. But maybe Tobe Hooper, as he’s not a guy who likes to expound upon his filmmaking philosophies. But he was really comfortable, and really loquacious and revealing. He’s a really smart guy with a great sense of humor, but not everyone gets a chance to see that. I think it’s revealed here.
Tubefilter: What was your favorite experience conducting the interviews?
Garris: Again, they’ve all been fun. But maybe the Roger Corman interview was a highlight, in that he had just gotten an honorary Oscar. He was really comfortable and relaxed, and I think we got him talking about some things he’s never discussed in interviews before. And of course, John Landis is always hilarious. And Rick Baker talking about meeting Landis at his home is just hilarious. It’s just a great opportunity to sit down and have a real conversation with genre heavyweights, without just resorting to sound bites.
Tubefilter: Any plans for season 2 at this point?
Garris: Let’s see how the first batch goes. Then, it’s up to the good people at FEARnet.
The first episode of Post Mortem With Mick Garvis premiered online at FEARnet.com this week with a candid interview with legendary makeup artist Rick Baker (The Wolfman).