Yeah I’m a sucker for movie-themed documentaries. Have always been, will always be. I devour that shit. Gary Smart is an expert in that field. As a producer and writer he has worked on the highly anticipated horror documentary Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II and on what will undoubtedly be one of my most anticipated movies/documentaries of 2016: You’re So Cool Brewster! The Story of Fright Night. Truth be told I don’t think that the guy has ever worked on anything that did not immediately pique my attention. He is exactly the kind of person I want to interview for this site, this is exactly the kind of work I want to highlight.
Ladies & gentleman: Gary Smart.
Hi Gary and thank you for taking the time!
GEEKCITING!: What are your goals, as a fan and as a business owner, with your company Cult Screenings UK Ltd?
Gary Smart: I have a passion for film and like many film fans I want to do what I love. Cult Screenings was originally set up as a small screening company in the UK, to put on your favourite cult films back on the big screen with actors in attendance at the events. We had 4 very successful shows with one of them being a screening of Hellraiser and Hellbound. The rest as they say is history and the last 2 years we have produced a documentary that I am very proud of.
Cult Screenings and Dead Mouse Productions set out to do exactly the sort of things I loved as a fan and that was to peer behind the curtain and celebrate all those that make great movies happen.
GC!: What was your motivation behind The Complete History of The Return of the Living Dead, a book universally perceived as the ultimate love letter to Dan O’Bannon’s classic?
GS: I’m really happy that people are realising what Christian Sellers and I set out to do – the book was always intended to be a love letter to Dan, and I’m glad we achieved that.
I’ve been a ROTLD fan since as long as I can remember and about 8 years ago I became very friendly with Don Calfa and Beverly Randolph – we just instantly clicked. It’s because of this friendship that the amazingly talented Christian and I started work on the book.
GC!: How long did it take you to film a documentary as ambitious as Leviathan?
GS: Leviathan took 18 months to shoot in total and a further 5 to edit. Interviews took place in the UK, Scotland, Los Angeles, New York, North Carolina and Canada.
It was an amazing project but extremely stressful and hard-work, I hadn’t envisioned just how big the project would be and that we would interview 40 people, have 90 hours of raw footage and end up with a two-part documentary running at around 7 hours long with 3 hours of bonus footage
GC!: Your next project will be You’re So Cool Brewster! The Story of Fright Night, a documentary dedicated to yet another cult classic, Tom Holland’s Fright Night. How is that coming together and when do you plan on releasing it?
GS: It’s coming together amazingly. We are so lucky to have Tom fully on board producing and supporting. We have an amazing actor Simon Bamford from Hellraiser playing our host Peter Vincent, who will look like Roddy McDowall with the help of a great costume and makeup by the talented Stuart Conran. We are currently scheduling interviews and hope to film in July and August with a possible December or January release.
GC! Could you, in a few words, explain to our readers what your role is in the making of these documentaries?
GS: My role is producer and writer. My main duties as producer is bringing the whole project together from concept to screen. I hire the crew, organise the interviews and most importantly seek the funding. My crew on Leviathan were amazing and a few of them are working on Fright Night. I’m really happy that Chris Griffiths will be making is directorial debut on the Fright Night Doc.
GC!: We already know that the Fright Night documentary will be your next work. Are there already plans for what comes after that?
GS: I’d love to look at Child’s Play and I’ll discuss this with Tom when we meet over the Summer. I’ve also always wanted to do a Re-Animator documentary with Brian Yuzna.
Other than these I’m working on our first feature film but concentrating on Fright Night first.
GC!: Do you have a dream project, a movie you’d love to film a documentary for but for whatever reason don’t see it happening anytime soon?
GS: My dream project was a documentary about the actor Don Calfa and his life in the movies. We tried to get it off the ground but unfortunately despite his popularity and big Facebook following there was little support for it on our Kickstarter campaign. I’m still upset it couldn’t happen as it would have been quirky and insightful. But these things happen in the business.
GC!: Will Leviathan and You’re so Cool Brewster! be released on DVD in other countries as well or will the only way to get these documentaries be the Cult Screenings UK Ltd site?
GS: They will both be available for worldwide shipping via the official sites – again I’ll have a chat to Tom about Fright Night as he may have some ideas about distribution.
Again, thanks a lot!
Make sure to check out the official site for Gary Smart‘s Cult Screenings UK Ltd and like the official Facebook pages for the Leviathan documentary and the Fright Night one. Good shit I’m telling you, good shit.