The Movie Waffler Waffling With COLD MOON Director Griff Furst | The Movie Waffler

Waffling With COLD MOON Director Griff Furst

cold moon
A chilling tale of supernatural vengeance arrives this October with Cold Moon, co-written and directed by Griff Furst, in US theatres and VOD from Uncork’d Entertainment.

cold moon poster

In a sleepy southern town, the Larkin family suffers a terrible tragedy. Now the Larkin's are about to endure another: Traffic lights blink an eerie warning, a ghostly visage prowls in the streets, and graves erupt from the local cemetery in an implacable march of terror . . . And beneath the murky surface of the river, a shifting, almost human shape slowly takes form to seek a terrible vengeance.

We spoke to Cold Moon's co-writer and director Griff Furst, also an actor, about the movie.

griff furst

First of all sir, what an honour it is to talk to someone from one of the most influential and talented families in showbiz.

Thank you.

Was it a given that you’d enter showbiz, being that your father (Animal House star Stephen Furst) was an actor?

Kind of. I loved sports, animals and music. Still do. But I was just better at this stuff.

And you kicked off your career as an actor too. Was that always the goal? Not filmmaking?

My father’s transition from actor to director-producer influenced my inclinations as a young man. I was always with him on set when he was acting a lot, so when he was focused on acting, I would get an inside look at that world. I fell in love with it and I knew I wanted to act. Later in his career, when my father was focused on directing, I would go to work with him and shadow him, and I grew to love that side too. I still act, more than I direct. They're very similar art forms to me.

And when did you decide to take a turn and start making movies?

I directed a play when I was in the theatre. One of my comrades loved it, hired me to shoot a short film which we did and it went on to have some success. And then later on, while I was on set as an actor,  there seemed to be a shortage of directors who could execute films quickly. I passed my short film to a few producers, and they must have liked it because I’ve been directing and producing movies ever since. So I didn't seek it out, It kind of found me.

Was the idea to direct so you could potentially cast yourself in projects?

I never cast myself in anything I direct or produce. One of my favourite things about acting is the ability to focus on a singular aspect of the process. I really enjoy that. I don't think I could or would enjoy acting while simultaneously thinking about the next shot. Keeping them completely separate works for me.

How do you think you’ve changed as a filmmaker?

In the same way I change as a person. As I get older and my perception of the universe changes, the way I define what a story is really about evolves too.

Do you feel Cold Moon is a more accomplished production than, say, the early sci-fi movies you made?

They are totally different things. I made dozens of movies for the Syfy Channel; it is a very specific brand of genre and they have to be made very quickly. When we made Cold Moon we took our time and made a movie that I would've loved to see in theatres.

How did Cold Moon come about? I imagine you optioned the original novel?

Indeed. I've become good friends with the folks that Michael McDowell left behind when he died in 1999. He wrote some incredible material. I fell in love with Cold Moon and knew I had to make it. We have several of his other properties in the works.

Is it hard to condense a novel down to feature length?

Not hard. It’s a lot of work though. 

How did you wrangle big names like Christopher Lloyd and Frank Whaley into the pic?

We had a good script. That's usually enough to attract a good actor. Well, and money too.

And was the cast attached before the film was financed or did all that come later?

Everything happened simultaneously. We went into preproduction on Cold Moon before we even had a script.

Some say that a theatrical release is only a ‘promo’ for a VOD/DVD release these days. What’s your take?

I think that is accurate. All of us filmmakers hope that it catches fire and the VOD gets held back so that more people get to see it in theatres, but the reality is that a lot of people have theatres in their houses now and want to enjoy the content in the comfort of their home. But I think horror is as hot as it's ever been. If I could only see one genre in theatres for the rest of my life, it would probably be horror. There's just a real fun familia vibe with horror fans.

What’s the message of the movie, as you see it?

Don't drink and drive.