Paul Williams and Paul Terry met as young English & Drama students in their first year when paired for a task that involved writing a monologue about conflict. Terry remembers the moment well. “Paul [Williams] was in white make-up and black eyeliner playing a hilarious version of Death who had a terrible train journey a n d I was playing some psychotic abstraction from a David Lynch film.” Bonding over a mutual love of comic books, video games, and Ghostbuster, they moved in together and founded Evil Hypnotist Productions.
The mission of The Evil Hypnotist? “To prove that making films isn’t just reserved for mega- budget Hollywood productions, and when it comes to a British films, they can be about more than just gangsters or Hugh Grant.” It was at Hypnotist HQ – while both working full time jobs, Williams at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith and Terry in publishing – that Mightier (2001) made an appearance. “It was a love triangle between two people and a pen,” explains Williams. “It shows the actions the pen inflicts on this couple, Will and Jude, in the last death throes of their relationship.” Featuring a small cast and crew and filmed on DV over two weeks at Williams’ friend’s flat and around Elm Park and Covent Garden, the short was edited down from 35 to 15 minutes over a four-month period.
The due then went on to film trailers for several zombie concepts, hoping their ideas would be picked up by film industry professionals. When the zombie genre exploded, the company turned its attention to something more personal. The Wake was inspired by personal events – the death of EHP comrade and Paradox star Phil Thomas and Williams’ mother – the film was about death, what comes out of it, how people react to it and what you can take from it. “Death can be inspiring,” says Williams. “It’s a chance to celebrate these people’s lives and reevaluate your own. You almost want to achieve for their sake.” The story, based on the idea of what would happen if Cupid met Death was written around locations in which Williams knew he could film (his house, the Science Museum – where he worked part time) and was much more character based. It wasn’t zombies, they had a three week shoot; the whole thing just seemed much more doable. Or was it? “Looking back, we were crazy,” admits Terry. “The film had an insane amount of characters and sub-plots. It was a big, sprawling story, but at the same time incredibly exciting and challenging.”
With the release of The Furred Man (2010), which has been accepted into film festivals around the world, EHP has grown considerably from the days of “a camera, an idea and a few gullible friends” It’s list of awards Best Sci-Fi/Horror Film (The Dam Short Film Festival, Nevada), Best Film Audience Award (University of Television & Film Munich Film Festival, Germany) and Best Horror Short (International Sci-Fi & Horror Film Festival, Arizona). The idea for the film came from the notion that consequence is often absent from horror – the villain is dead and the hero walks away unchanged. Williams explains “I always remember the scene in Fright Night where this boy, who has been a werewolf, gets stabbed and the man simply walks away. You think; hang on there’s a naked, dead boy with a banister sticking out of his chest in your house. How are you going to explain that to the police? With The Furred Man I want everyone to look at that final tableau and go, “He is totally screwed… there’s no way he can explain”. I wanted to know how he got to that moment, so I wrote backwards.”
As the first filmmaker to use the Beta version of Bolster, Paul has utilised the tools to engage with his fans. By Bolstering him, you receive a digital copy of the film, as well as a behind the scenes video called A Bite to Eat. The video is the original test screenings for the werewolf costume used in the final film.
Bolster’s Future tool allows him to tell his fans about his upcoming projects, including a feature film based around Jack the Ripper. The toolset means you can get involved with Paul’s future work, and help to support him as part of an independent horror community.
Want to show your support for indie horror when you venture outside? Paul has also provided a t-shirt design, which can be purchased using Bolster.