The Movie Waffler Interview - BLACKSTOCK BONEYARD Director Andre Alfa | The Movie Waffler

Interview - BLACKSTOCK BONEYARD Director Andre Alfa

Blackstock Boneyard
Andre Alfa’s latest, Blackstock Boneyard is based on the true story of a wrongful state execution.

Based on an untold true story, brothers Thomas and Meeks Griffin were prominent black farmers who were forced to sell their land and wrongly executed. 100 years later, they’re back to avenge their deaths by killing the descendants of those responsible.

From director Andre Alfa, Blackstock Boneyard stars Ashley Whelan, Aspen Kennedy, Aubree Storm, Bryan McClure and Richie Stephens. It premieres on US DVD and Digital June 8th from Uncork’d Entertainment. A UK/ROI release has yet to be announced.

Blackstock Boneyard

Is this the type of film you enjoyed growing up? Was that part of the appeal in making it?

Absolutely. I’ll never forget how scared I was watching The Watcher in the Woods when I was a kid but also how much I enjoyed it. Growing up, I gravitated toward supernaturals and slashers, so with Blackstock Boneyard, it was an opportunity to combine the scares with the element of revenge where the bad guys get what’s coming to them.


Where did the idea come from?

It was the rare occasion when you intentionally search for a project and actually find it. The writer Stephen George and I were looking for something new and became intrigued with the idea of wrongful state executions. We delved into that subject and came across the Griffin Brothers. Their story was tragic and captivating on its own, but when considered against the backdrop of today’s socio-political climate regarding race, injustice and our own feelings on the matter, the project was just too interesting, timely and important to ignore.


What gives the film its scares, you think?

I would like to think it’s a combination of things. Fear of the unknown. These supernatural beings that are back from the dead and hungry for revenge, a pervading sense of tension.


Do scares happen organically, on the set, or are they generally written into the script?

I would say both. They were definitely written into the script and placed into the scenes on set during rehearsals and blocking but you have to leave room for things to happen organically on set. A lot of times what works on paper doesn’t work on set for some reason, or you come across something on location or an actor suggests something you hadn’t thought of and incorporate it into the scene. That’s why I think it’s important to be prepared but also to stay open to change.


Sound, I’m guessing, is quite important to a film like this?

Absolutely. Sound is essential to every movie, but especially in horror, to strike that chord of fear and suspense. And equally important is the absence of sound. In Blackstock Boneyard, there were moments where we used silence to create a listening space where rather than give you something else to listen to, it enables you to hear things.


I have to ask, was this one envisioned as a standalone or franchise starter. Guessing it could be both…?

We definitely talked about sequels early on during the writing process so we would love for it to have sequels, but at the same time, we knew it had to stand on its own two feet and work as a standalone first, so definitely a little of both!


Any advice for the budding filmmakers out there?

I would say, drop the ego, embrace collaboration, know your value and perhaps most importantly, believe in yourself and don’t give up. Ever. If that sounds clichéd, there’s a reason for it!


And do you consider horror films, or genre films, a good entrance?

I do, but I also think you can’t force it. I think you should follow your heart, not your head. Find a story that inspires you and moves you and if that happens to be in horror, great. If it’s in another genre, that’s fine too.


Are they easy to sell? Or easier…?

In my experience, nothing at any point in the filmmaking process is easy.


Have you found more and more distributors are looking for content this year, considering there weren’t as many films in production last year?

Yes, I think so. The number of films available is much smaller than in prior years, but there are people looking for quality content to deliver to audiences because the demand is so high.


Do you suggest they attend markets and so on, to network?

Absolutely. Attend as many as possible and meet as many people as possible.


Have you another film in the works yet?

Yes, I am actually working with the writer Stephen George again on another supernatural thriller.