Director Neil Marshall is no stranger to fans of horror. A genre fan himself, Neil has carved out an already impressive filmography in the form of the well-received DOG SOLDIERS, a film that is achieving cult status with the story of a group of British Army soldiers who encounter werewolves during a routing training mission. He followed this up with THE DESCENT, a brilliantly-made horror film about a group of friends who push themselves to the limit by descending into a cave and attempt to find their way out, only to discover that the caves are inhabited by man-like creatures who feed on humans.
His new film, DOOMSDAY, opens on March 14 and promises to be a pastiche of the post-apocalyptic films that so many of us grew up on such as MAD MAX, THE ROAD WARRIOR, and a touch of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK to name a few.
Neil is currently in the United States with his actress/writer/special effects make-up wife Axelle Carolyn Marshall promoting DOOMSDAY. Neil graciously took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to House of Horrors.com about the film.
Jonathan Stryker: DOOMSDAY was filmed in the 2.35:1 format. What do you like about shooting this way?
Neil Marshall: My movies are made primarily for the cinema, and as such I want them to be the biggest, widest, most cinematic they can be. I'm not making television here. I love the 2.35:1 ratio. I love framing for that ratio. And when I go to the cinema I want those curtains to open as wide as possible or else I'm never fully satisfied.
Jonathan Stryker: Rhona Mitra has a striking presence in DOOMSDAY. She bears a bit of a resemblance to Kate Beckinsale in the UNDERWORLD films. Was she your first choice to play Eden?
Neil Marshall: Yes. I guess that's why they cast her in UNDERWORLD 3, although if they were to get into a fight, my money would be on Rhona to win!
Jonathan Stryker: What can we hope to see on the DVD release of DOOMSDAY when it comes out?
Neil Marshall: There's going to be a ton of extras, including out-takes, deleted scenes, stills, VFX breakdowns, featurettes, a commentary, and maybe even an extended director's cut. Not a bad package!
Jonathan Stryker: You share screen credit with Andrew MacRitchie in the position of film editor on DOOMSDAY. Do you prefer editing to directing, or vice versa, or do you enjoy both similarly?
Neil Marshall: That's a typical IMDB screw-up! Andrew is the only editor on this movie. I certainly chipped in. I can't help it. But this is Andrew's cut. I guess editing is in my blood now. It's part of the process that I really enjoy, but directing is my passion. That's where the movie stands or falls, and I prefer to be on the front-line, in the thick of the action.
Jonathan Stryker: What films inspired you to make DOOMSDAY?
Neil Marshall: The post apocalyptic classics – MAD MAX, THE ROAD WARRIOR, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, SPACEHUNTER-ADVENTURES IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE, even the Duran Duran "Wild Boys" video! I wanted to make an all-action, stunt-fuelled movie in the same vein and gritty, non-CGI style as those great movies, using them as a spring board and reinventing the genre for a whole new generation.
Jonathan Stryker: Did you do storyboarding on DOOMSDAY? Why or why not?
Neil Marshall: I just storyboard the elaborate action scenes and VFX scenes, but it's mainly for the benefit of other crew - stunts, FX, etc. I never take the boards on set. I don't like to tie myself down to following the boards too closely. But they are a very useful tool for explaining to others what you have in mind.