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News Article

We Debut 'Hooked', and Talk to Director Axelle Carolyn about Her Big Fish Story

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We're very proud to debut a new short film from writer-director Axelle Carolyn today here on FEARnet – Hooked, a fun twist on the slasher genre that proves "there's always a bigger fish." Filmed on a beach in El Segundo, California, Hooked stars Texas Chainsaw Massacre III's R.A Mihailoff and Team Unicorn's Clare Grant. It's edited and produced by the acclaimed Neil Marshall (The Descent, Centurion) and features cinematography by Hatchet's Will Barratt and music by Repo! and Insidious composer Joseph Bishara. Check out Hooked, and an exclusive interview with Carolyn, after the jump.

What inspired Hooked? How did you come up with the idea?

I finished post on my first short film The Last Post in June of this year. It's a very sad, performance-led, emotional ghost story, and I felt like doing something completely different. I was spending a few weeks in LA and thought it'd be great to do something there, using some of the great exteriors the area has to offer... I came up with this idea for a simple and goofy twist on the slasher genre and it all came together within a couple of weeks. Strangely, I think the biggest influence for this short film was Rob Zombie's Woolite commercial!

One of the things that's interesting about Hooked is the way it combines a couple of different genres (or subgenres). Do you find yourself especially attracted to stories that do that?

Not specifically, but I believe in not being bound by the constraints or the expectations of a specific genre or sub-genre. This being said, we really approached this one as a slasher: the main character, the fisherman, had to look like a killer, and his introduction and the photo had to fit the genre.

The film's setting is interesting – bleak and industrial. Can you talk about where and how it was shot?

The setting totally makes the film! It's a stretch of beach in front of a power plant in El Segundo. The beach doesn't seem to ever get cleaned, so there's all that seaweed on the sand, and tons of flies... It seemed perfect. Because it's not very pretty, it's usually completely deserted, but naturally the day we'd decided to shoot turned out to be the day the junior lifeguards get their weekly training. There were like eighty kids on that beach when we started shooting! But we worked around it, starting with the close-ups and doing all the wide shots once they were gone.

How did you pick your two actors?  Both appear ideally suited for their roles.

R.A. Mihailoff and Clare Grant were both awesome to work with. I didn't personally know either of them, but I was of course aware of their work, and I knew we had a lot of friends in common. R.A. is an absolute trooper, coping with the heat without a word of complaint. Clare had to be waist-deep in the water and wasn't too comfortable with the high waves that came crashing all the time, but she managed to fight long enough to allow us to get the shots we needed.

Can you talk a little about what's next for you?

Well, The Last Post is touring festivals at the moment, and the reviews we've been getting have encouraged me to start prepping another short. This one will be called The Halloween Kid, and it'll be a spooky Halloween fairy tale. We've already got part of the budget, and I'll probably use crowd-funding for the other half. I'm also developing a couple of genre features and really hope one of them will get made sometime next year...

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