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Interview - Jonathan Chance, director of The Rectory

Rectory Poster

Steve Taylor-Bryant sits down with director Jonathan Chance to talk about the great new film The Rectory, about the most haunted house in England, and a new crowd funding campaign...


Firstly thanks for joining us. How's the world of Chance at the moment?

Haha, he’s doing pretty well right now. Very happy for the way things are going, for starters my feature film I wanted to make for a long time is moving pretty quickly and certainly getting close to production. After doing some films for some years with Chance Encounters Productions - I’ve learned and enjoyed doing them and I’m now very excited and ready to make The Rectory!

The project has gone through a change of title. What was the thinking behind this?

The title (like many script titles) needed to change for horror film marketing purposes. I love the title ‘Something Like a Phenomenon’ my Wife actually came up with it. It’s very cheeky and intriguing for sure but I think people might not know it’s a horror. Phenomenon essentially did its job – it was a hook, it grabbed enough attention as thankfully Calvin Vanderbeek my producer got onboard the project. I’m happy. We are both in the same mindset as independent films go and agree it’s all about keeping creative control, that’s what keeps the spirit of independent film alive – its freedom, which with horror you may not see anywhere else.

We talked about the title and he said; how about ‘Rectory’? so we went with ‘The Rectory’ for people who don’t know what it is; it sounds creepy and mysterious, and for the die-hard Borley Rectory fans they know what it’s about – there’s only one Rectory in the paranormal community! Plus, there are some classic horror titles where less words fair better… and it certainly hashtags better on twitter.

The Rectory Church
You were back in the motherland (UK) a while back scouting locations, how was it to be back and how much did you achieve?

It was great, I returned to Essex where I used to live and Borley nearby and it still is very much the ominous location that I remember. The house burned down (as many know) decades ago, but the spot and location – there is nowhere else like it, definitely gets your imagination going! We plan on filming at as many authentic looking places as possible we got a lot done that we set out to do.

Harry Price is now cast! Talk to us about the process and decision making behind your choice?
Yes he is! Crispian Belfrage an astonishing British actor will be playing Harry Price, he’s not just got the look but his presence is undeniable. He simply will be - Price. You could put his face up against him and see it. Crispian has his oddity and unusual charisma in spades, this is a complex character. He is not only the original paranormal investigator and former magician, pioneer and in my opinion – genius – but was also; flawed. And ironically even in the company he kept was an outsider. So shielded he picked his friends wisely as people seemingly wanted to end his career in psychic research because they didn’t trust his observations, or it was simply- jealousy. It will be extraordinary to watch him come alive on screen as Harry Price.

We also have an award winning actor - Jason Vail who is fantastic. He is currently making huge waves in the horror community - he will play one of Price’s allies – though Tennison (Jason’s character) doesn’t quite know what to make of Price. He essentially is the audience’s eye and needs more convincing than your average person on the hauntings.

I can’t forget to mention David Hogan and Angela DiMarco – these two are a couple of the most talented individuals I’ve seen – they can do it all, and they completely bowled us over. Both based on fascinatingly real people - they will certainly up the production with their performances.

Rectory indiegogo poster
I believe the crowd funding campaign is nearly upon us, obviously we will be donating, how can our readers get involved? 

Thank you very much Steve – we’re glad to hear that! Yes it is, there are a number of ways people can help this supernatural thriller come to life – you can donate large or small – we will have some fantastic rewards including the exclusive Director’s cut of The Rectory available on download, DVD and Blu-ray for the anticipated release of early 2015. T-shirts and posters by some of the best artists in the industry and many cool surprises for the ardent Borley Rectory fan and horror fans worldwide including; The Borley Rectory companion signed by Paul Adams, Eddie Brazil and non-other than Harry Price’s successor Peter Underwood. There will be something for everyone.

If you can’t donate – no problem! Do what you can to get the word out on this film – follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, post our Indiegogo link on your twitter and Facebook pages. Tweet our film, RT our tweets. It all really helps – we figure the more the word gets out it’s far reaching – and your tweet could potentially reach someone that can truly donate to the film!

We have some of the best supporters of the indie film community and you can see it on Twitter and Facebook. I think it’s because we pride ourselves on saying thanks to our followers and interacting with everyone – it’s hard to do sometimes but essential. With some people on twitter it seems it’s very one-sided and full of snobs, we’re not like that - we’ll spread the word for independent film and it’s fair as people take the time to do so with ours – we appreciate every RT.

So what else can we look forward to?

There are also some terrific actors, talented individuals from the industry that are very interested in coming onboard the film that have huge fan bases in film and theatre – which we look set to release as the campaign unfolds, with your help! We can’t say yet! But you will have to follow our journey to find out more…


Please support The Rectory Crowdfunding Campaign Igg.me/at/rectory

Follow The Rectory @RECTORYFILM https://twitter.com/RECTORYFILM

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WhoIsHarryPrice

IMDb www.imdb.com/title/tt2657658

Follow Director @CarryOnJohn



Images courtesy of Jonathan Chance

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