David Ryan Keith Offers Insight on Ghosts of Darkness, The Paranormal, and Career.
David Ryan Keith Exclusive Interview
Ghosts of Darkness is the latest release from David Ryan Keith. Keith is an accomplished Cinematographer, Writer, Producer with over ten years experience. Keith directed and wrote the script to Ghosts of Darkness. The film is an intriguing supernatural horror film.
Ghosts of Darkness will release the 7th of March 2017 across Video on Demand platforms. The US and worldwide release are courtesy of Uncork’d Entertainment.
Ghosts of Darkness becomes the third film released under Clear Focus Movies Ltd. David Ryan Keith and Lorraine Keith spearheads the indie film company. So far Clear Focus Movies Ltd has offered Horror themed productions. Each production reached critical acclaim in their own right. Below are the list of Clear Focus Movies Ltd releases;
• Comedy Horror Attack of the Herbals (2011)
• Horror slasher The Redwood Massacre (2014)
• Horror Ghosts of Darkness (2017)
David Ryan Keith partook in an exclusive online interview with DecayMag. Keith shared insight on his latest production, Ghosts of Darkness.
The interview delves across the following topics;
¹ Paranormal Concept
³ Film Career
Keith provides insight on the theme behind Ghosts of Darkness. Also provided is a glimpse on the production aspect of the film. The interview closes with Keith exploring his career in horror and the film industry. Staff correspondent, Stacy Cox provided the questions.
Thank you, David Ryan Keith, for your time in answering our questions. Best of luck to you in your upcoming projects.
1. Paranormal Concept
DecayMag: The film Ghosts of Darkness explores the fabrications of paranormal research. In your opinion do you believe this research to be credible and if so what hampers its development?
David Ryan Keith: As far as credibility goes, our experience of the ghost hunt was entertaining, to say the least, but I’m sure there are people out there that genuinely know what they are doing and can lend a certain authenticity to the subject.
We made an early decision in pre-production not to go too deep into the actual ins and outs of real paranormal research, it’s a subject I’m not that familiar with and quite frankly didn’t have the time to research it in the detail it deserves.
We did, however, meet a real ghost hunter and go on an organized investigation; the gadgets used in the movie are some of the actual equipment the ghost hunter guys use.
DecayMag: Ghosts of Darkness steers away from religious tones. Most films of this nature tend to make that the driving factor. What was the viewpoint in avoiding religion in the narrative?
David Ryan Keith: Religion never once entered my head while writing the script; I really wanted to ground the film using established movie folklore. I feel these types of movies work better in the world of fantasy, bogging it down in religious subtext might work for people that know a little about the subject, but ultimately this is designed just to be a fun old-school ghost story.
DecayMag: In Ghosts of Darkness, an elaborate plan into faking the paranormal goes awry. what is the commentary you’re presenting center stage; A) the existence of the paranormal, or B) its fabrication for entertainment value, or c) both?
David Ryan Keith: The paranormal is such an interesting subject, the evidence for and against it are just as strong as each other, which I think some very smart people are good at taking advantage of.
I like the fact you might have genuine people out there that can communicate with ghosts and demons, it keeps you wondering if it’s real or not, but I guess until I see it with my own eyes I’ll just keep an open mind.
For Ghosts Of Darkness, I wanted to play on the stereotypes that are associated with both believers and non-believers, it’s hard for either of the characters to prove they are right until the shit hits the fan and the truth is finally revealed to them.
DecayMag: Do the characters in Ghosts of Darkness tie-in any way with real-life characters you’re close to?
David Ryan Keith: I think everyone has a friend that doesn’t believe in the paranormal and refuses to open his mind even to the possibly, on the other hand, I’m not sure I know anyone quite like the character Jonathan Blazer, but I wish I did.
DecayMag: The building featured in Ghosts of Darkness, is this an actual set and what is its history?
David Ryan Keith: It’s actually a real location, what you see in the film is exactly what you would get if you rented in out for a vacation. It’s an old spooky building which lies in a remote part of Scotland, we not only shot the film in the house it also doubled as our accommodation. Looking back it probably helped that the location was so remote, you really had nothing else to do for 16 days but make the film, great for me but not so great for the cast and crew who started to go a little crazy by the end of the shoot.
DecayMag: Between The Redwood Massacre and Ghosts of Darkness which project proved more challenging conceptually and in execution.
David Ryan Keith: The Redwood Massacre was an all-out slasher film, we had a slightly bigger cast but we always had the gore to fall back on if things didn’t go to plan. Ghosts Of Darkness was based round only two characters….
….we had a very limited budget to pull off all the paranormal elements, it was defiantly more challenging trying to keep the scenes in Ghosts interesting.
We really worked hard while shooting the movie to change anything that wasn’t working on the script and tried our best to be as spontaneous as possible. A lot of the credit has to go to the two lead actors, they did a great job adapting the dialogue to what they thought would work better for their characters.
DecayMag: Can you share your approach in combining practical effects with CGI for Ghosts of Darkness?
David Ryan Keith: We tried to do as much practical effects as possible, but sometimes you have no other choice but turn to the CGI guys. For me computer FX are a bit of a hit or miss for these types of direct to DVD films….
If I could have it my way everything would be practical.
….the budget doesn’t really stretch far enough to give these CGI guys the money and time they need to deliver the standard of FX the audience are used to seeing on bigger films, so you really just have to suck it up and live with what is possible within your budget.
DecayMag: Given the way Ghosts of Darkness ends, will there be a continuation or a sequel?
David Ryan Keith: I’d love to make a sequel, I’ve got a story outline I think would work perfectly and make for a really entertaining film.
The funding wheels turn slowly for these types of films, but I guess if Ghosts Of Darkness does well when it comes out we might just get a chance to make another one.
I think you can take the Jonathan Blazer character and put him in any ridicules situation and it would be fun to watch.
3. Film Career
DecayMag: As an independent filmmaker with what are some of the challenges with opening your own company?
David Ryan Keith: Ghosts of Darkness are the first ever film we haven’t had to finance our self just to get it made.
Getting a movie off the ground is a lot of hard work, especially for a small company like ours.
The investor took a chance on us, so hopefully, the film performs well and we can keep moving forward producing more of these types of projects in the future.
DecayMag: The independent horror film circuit is in constant development. What are some goals to keep ahead in the ever changing platform?
David Ryan Keith: It’s fair to say the direct to DVD/VOD market is currently saturated with films like Ghosts Of Darkness….
….it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make any significant return on all the hard work that goes into making it.
For us, it’s really important just to try and keep making the best movie we can with what have available to us, if bigger budgets start coming our way, then great. Making films is a lot of fun, so until I’m told to stop making them I’ll just keep pushing to make more.
DecayMag: What is next on the horizon for you in terms Horror, Thriller film projects?
David Ryan Keith: We just started work on a horror film called The Dark Matters, Ghosts Of Darkness was a light-hearted take on the paranormal genre….
….now I want to see if I can make a genuinely scary unsettling movie, something a little more serious.
We’ve just shot a ten-minute intro to try and attract investors, so fingers crossed we get to make the film sometime this year. It can be a frustrating experience trying to raise funds, but we’re all confident the new film would be awesome if we can get it made.