Stu Jopia; Writer, Star Good Tidings Exclusive Interview
Stu Jopia Talks Good Tidings
Christmas themed Horror films are common in the genre. Yet, most of these releases revolve around comedic elements. Slashers films with Christmas overtones are seldom presented to audiences. Coming soon to video on demand platforms is a film that will redefine the phrase Good Tidings.
The following article opens our multi-part coverage. Presented below is our exclusive interview with Stu Jopia. From DecayMag we extend our gratitude for this interview opportunity. Thank you for your time in answering our questions.
DecayMag.com Please do summarize the overall experience with the production; Good Tidings.
The production was pretty grueling, 12 hour days and very, very early starts. But we put the time in pre-production and made sure we got it all set up before going into shooting the movie. With the hopes of making it easier for us going forward. We had three weeks to shoot our feature film, with it being set in one location it made the production run smoothly as we didn’t need to pack up and move locations, which takes a hell of a lot of time.
No matter how hard we worked or the long hours we did it was always fun, we were like a family.
Everyone put their all into the making of this movie. We had a great team of people that trusted in us to make a movie and by heck did we do that. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
DecayMag.com; The synopsis states; “homeless war veteran with a checkered past who must rely on a side of himself once thought buried”. Would you care to elaborate a little on this war veteran and his past without giving away any spoilers?
Our lead Sam has a dark past that has led him to be on these tough streets. The loss of a sibling created this road to a harder life for our main character. Over the years on the streets, he utilizes the skills learned whilst in the army in order to make a life and home for himself and the makeshift family he has gathered over his time on the streets.
DecayMag.com; Good Tidings, many online sources related the film to John Carpenter’s Assault on District 13. How true is this comparison with your film’s narrative?
I’m a huge John Carpenter fan and when we found our location with an old courthouse I knew we had to write a siege style movie. One of my favourite siege movies is Assault on Precinct 13. It’s got such a great style and is basically a neo-western thriller. So when writing the plot we definitely had this movie in our minds when we went forward creating the full narrative.
DecayMag.com; When it comes to Christmas-themed Horror movies, there tends to be a central focus on Santa as a killer. While I agree this can be scary, Why not break the trend and delve into another icon such as killer snowmen or reindeer?
Hahaha. Great question. One of my favourites is actually the killer snowman movie Jack Frost. So much fun. We wanted a more of a real story that could exist in our world so that led us to have deranged escaped psychopaths dressed in Santas suits doing the killing in our movie.
Our movie goes for more thrills than scares.
Putting you guys in the minds of these deranged killers and their twisted games they enforce on these poor people on Xmas day.
DecayMag.com; Good Tidings is said to be a “love letter” to the slashers from the 70s and the 80s. How heavy in this genre is this film going? Will there be a massive amount of violence, blood, and gore?
This movie is pure 70’s exploitation with 80’s sensibilities. So violence and gore are a must. We’ve gone for a more of a Texas chainsaw style of thrills and gore with a Good a Tidings.
So if you’re a fan of 70’s and 80’s exploitation horror/thrillers then this movie is for you.
You know it’s there but it’s sometimes it’s left to one’s imagination. With saying that we do have a tonne of twistedness on show with a few decapitations, many candy cane stabbings, twisted Xmas games, and much much more Xmas awesomeness.
DecayMag.com; With the rising popularity of survival and home invasion concepts does Good Tidings relate to these genres as well?
A great sub-genre of horror for me. It’s the realness of the subject that scares us all. We can all relate to people invading our homes. It’s one of the scariest things I can think of. So many movies had used this device over the years and when used fire toy can be seriously thrilling.
The new spate of home invasion movies like The a Purge and The Strangers have huge influence on our movie too.
I mean when you boil it down Michael Myers in Halloween is invading people’s houses killing these young kids. That movie terrified me as a kid. A man who says nothing wearing a mask coming into your home and killing you. No motive other than killing. There’s something truly scary about that concept.
DecayMag.com; While I agree that there are not enough Christmas slasher movies out; what does Good Tidings offer that makes it stand apart from like-minded films of its circuit?
We don’t just have one killer we have three. All sporting different traits, characteristics and killing styles.
For me life is just a series of problems we have to face and overcome so we have great characters that you can rally relate to.
With these types of movies the bad guys go up against young stupid kids but with Good a Tidings we wanted to go a little different and have real people with real problems that now have an even bigger problem. This making it harder for the viewer when we fuck with them in really twisted ways.
DecayMag.com; Please share some insight on the practical effects and the talents responsible for the aesthetics in Good Tidings?
Our practical SFX were handled by our head of Fx Andrew Savage of Savage SFX. He’s a genius with a small budget. Utilizing all his skills he created some truly awesome and inventive kills for the movie.
We wanted to give our kills something special so they’re all centered around Christmas.
Without giving anything away they are very inventive and you may not have seen some of the styles and Fx styles we used to create our Xmas centered thrills and kills.
DecayMag.com; Good Tidings is slated for a December 25 release; right in time for Christmas. However, this is a UK release. Are there any future plans to release in the US as well?
We have a slightly earlier date for our North American release being the 6th December on all major VOD platforms. U.K. Won’t be far behind.
DecayMag.com; According to IMDb, Good Tidings will release streaming, and then at the Starburst International Film Festival. What streaming platforms will the film be released on?
I’m told that Good Tidings will be released on Netflix and iTunes by Xlrator Media along with some other major VOD streaming sites. We’ve played The Starburst Film Festival in August, they had our premiere there and we took home their 2016 Best Feature Award and now we’re on our third award win bagging another Best Feature Award at the Halloweenapalooza Film Festival and grabbing the Best Director Award at HorrorQuest Film Festival all in the past two months. We have around 10 other festival selections too, ranging all around the world.