The Movie Waffler Interview - THE BAYLOCK RESIDENCE Writer/Director Anthony Winson | The Movie Waffler

Interview - THE BAYLOCK RESIDENCE Writer/Director Anthony Winson

anthony winson
Winson discusses his new haunted house chiller.

In Anthony M. Winson’s The Baylock Residence - now on DVD and Digital from Wild Eye Releasing – a young woman discovers that her home has been haunted for decades.

Winson speaks on his influences for his film, his background in horror and the pros and cons of making independent films.

the baylock residence poster

I read you grew up on the likes of Wes Craven and John Carpenter. Was it always a given that you’d become a horror filmmaker?

I love horror. I think it's a genre that is overlooked, which I don't understand as just as much effort (if not more) goes into making them.

What was the first horror script you wrote?

Ohhh that was quite a long time ago now but I suppose the first script I wrote was a little thriller which starred by eldest brother and aunty. It was called 'Missing'. It was about two people that get into an argument while out looking for a lost dog. The guy walks away in anger leaving his friend alone and she's set upon by a mysterious killer. They must have felt sorry for me and agreed to take part.

And the first one produced?

First feature I made was a film called House Of Afflictions which Wild Eye releasing also distributed.

How different do you think The Baylock Residence would’ve been had you sold the script to one of the big studios?

I think the biggest difference would've been the ending. Most big studios like endings that are tied up neatly with a bow and usually everyone lives happily ever after.

What are the advantages of doing it yourself?

I had full creative control over my work.

Can you talk about some of the challenges, just getting the movie up?

One challenge I always face is getting someone to record sound. I finally got someone to come and help but on the first day of filming she was really ill and couldn't help with the rest of the shoot so everyone pitched in and helped with the sound.

Another challenge is always funding. All the money for my films comes from friends and family after a lot of begging. So I am limited to what I can achieve on such a small budget.

Working in such a large location, did that too pose some issues?

It wasn't actually that large. If anything, sometimes quite small, especially filming the attic scene, which required actors Kelly Goudie and Sarah Wynne Kordas to be up there with me cramped in one corner and someone recording audio in the other corner. I remember being in massive amounts of pain when filming the shot when both actors are on screen from being hunched over in the tightest corner with wooden beams digging into me and kneeling on hard beams.

Amazing locale, though. Can you tell us about it?

Very creepy! The house we used to film had been empty for about five years and it went up for sale, was sold and then a security company put up a sign saying they were monitoring the residence. I wrote to the security firm with my contact details attached asking if they can put me in contact with the owners. The owners emailed me and were very happy to let me film as they were going to demolish the house. Very nice people, I was very lucky.

Now where does the initial idea come from? Is it based on  a true story?

Not based on a true story, though that would be a good marketing tactic. The idea came from watching a lot of old horror movies like Hammer Horror's The Witches etc.

Is there anything in it that you think mightn’t translate so well to US audiences? Or are they well versed enough on Downton Abbey to get it all?

Ha-ha, a few people have commented on the costumes and setting not being authentic, but one thing they forget is most eras of fashion etc were quite diverse from UK to US. Most of the costumes we used were authentic 1940s. Interiors, we did what we could with such a small budget and the location was empty when we first went in and without thousands to spend we had to make do with what we had.

What’s next for you?

I'm currently working on a feature called The Nursery Man. It's another period feature set roughly in Victorian/Edwardian times. I'm not putting a specific time stamp on it - it's just a gothic tale.