@TigersMS78 got the chance to ask a few questions of Peter Dukes who has created some fifteen short films to date with more to come...
After reading the interview you can check out two of the short films below!
I started of by asking the obvious...
Why don't you start by telling us a bit about Dream Seekers Productions?
Dream Seekers is my production company. The work I do there drives me, inspires me, teaches me and, most importantly, helps keep me young at heart. I've produced 15 films under its banner and am in development on my 16th.
I've been crafting stories, in one form or another, since I was a little kid. Telling them, drawing them, writing them, playing them out, etc. This just naturally led me to where I am today, where I'm able to craft whatever stories I want for viewers to enjoy, limited by nothing but my own imagination. I love that.
How do you decide or come across your ideas for the films?
At any one time I have anywhere between half a dozen and a dozen completed scripts ready to go, but more often than not the films I tend to green light are the ones that kind of spontaneously pop into my head, through one avenue of inspiration or another. I'm big on inspiration, if you can't tell already, and once it hits it's kind of like a rocket taking off. Off I go!
In your short Daniel, I noticed that you play with common tropes and twist them, is this common theme through your other films?
Just like every parent has a favourite child - What has been your favourite to production to date?
I have no favorite film. Each have represented a new challenge to me, a new experience and thus, a step forward in my career. That being said, some of my older films were made before I really marketed my work, so no one's really seen them, and that's too bad. Films like THEY WATCH, THE SCARECROW & THE PRINCESS and THE LAST GOODBYE. Very small, super low/no budget, but I recommend them if you ever have the time!
What are the most important things you have learned through all the shorts you've made?
I've learned a lot so that's a tough one to answer. Well, one of the most important things is experience. Experience is vital. You need to be able to handle any situation that's thrown your way, and on set anything and everything can and will happen. You can count on that. You cannot let it crash and burn your production. That's the main reason I've taken the time to make so many shorts before trying to tackle the feature world. I wanted to be able to handle any situation, pre thru post, and that experience has saved me many many times. I believe it will be an invaluable asset to me when I breach the feature world. Filmmakers are very lucky if they ever get an opportunity like that, so when I get my chance I want to make sure I do it right.
What kinds of horror films excite you?
Original, clever, subtle, atmospheric horror is my kind of horror. Horror that relies on the story content and the characters over "in your face" gore. Horror that isn't trying to bank on the current trends. Something entirely fresh and new. I'd somewhat lost my faith in modern horror until a few years ago I saw LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. Fabulous film. It reminded me that great horror is still out there, just waiting to burst out at any given time. Now the indie scene is stepping up to the plate with critical darlings like AMERICAN MARY, STARRY EYES and others. Aside from film, some of my favorite horror is actually literature. H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, Shirley Walker, Henry James, Mary Shelley and many more. These guys were masters of their craft. They had their own voice. True auteurs, back when that word still meant something, and the horror they created was not just top notch, it was timeless.
Oh yes Starry Eyes was great! Do you have anything going on outside of Dream Seeker Productions?
Yes, I'm currently attached to direct two upcoming horror features outside of Dream Seekers Productions. One of them is a werewolf screenplay I wrote, which was optioned by Top Ranked Pictures. It's an expansion of a short film I did called THE BEAST, starring indie horror favorite Bill Oberst, Jr. The other project is a horror film centered around the legend of the yeti. The film is under development at Veluvana Pictures and they plan on shooting on location in the Himalayas. There are other projects I'm working on, but they are too early on to really discuss. Suffice it to say, I'm working hard to make my mark in the film world.
What would be your dream project?
I'd LOVE to adapt SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES. That would be amazing. I'd relish the opportunity. Aside from any one story though, I'd just really love the chance to direct a feature, be it horror or not, that is truly original, challenging and engaging. Something people haven't seen before. Something they'd want to discuss afterwards and not forget the name of the film as soon as they leave the theater! That would be the dream. Just to do what I love, make a living doing it and make films that I can be proud of.
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