ED- The Eerie Digest is excited to welcome Peter Lankston for our reader’s pleasure. Peter, a good number of our readers are college and film students who wish to make a career in the film and publishing industries. What interested you most in making a career in film making?
PL- From a young age I was really interested in film, but didn’t think of it as a career choice – that was a million miles away from where I live in Cornwall – just unattainable. Then everything changed one night when I watched Evil Dead 2 with a group of friends. They didn’t seem the least bit interested, but I was fixated on that film (like most indie filmmakers around my age)! It not only told a simple, funny, horror story, but it was a very visually crafted film. From there I got the bug and my friend had an old camcorder, so we went out and made little movies. The other two big influences were Eraserhead and Videodrome – both big, big influences.
ED- How did you get your initial start?
PL- The next move was winning a small grant to make a film that involved my local community – that was the one stipulation. I already had a screenplay I had written years ago, it just needed tweaking. From there we spent three years of scattered weekends trying to make this film – continuity went out the window! But it was a great test in that we were all working for free and had very, very little money to create effects – so I made it purposely into a B-movie and it was a great first experience.
ED- Please tell our readers a little about your company and what you do.
PL- Its primarily myself and like minded filmmakers creating horror, surreal and comedic films. I also write, photograph and paint, so there’s a broad range of aspects involved in what we do.
PL- It was “Blimmin’ Virus of the Damned”, a horror comedy set in Cornwall. It was about a group of bumbling security guards from a local lab having to deal with a deadly virus turning their small town into flesh eaters. It’s silly fun in the vein of “Bad Taste”.
ED- Some other works include ‘Noir’ and ‘Death Camp’. Please shed some light on these for our readers.
PL- “Noir” is a half finished short (or long short). The title sheds a lot of light on the subject, it’s a comic book style private detective film shot in blue screen, with hand illustrated backgrounds and a horror twist in its tail. “Death Camp” is another short, that hasn’t been filmed to date. It’s an homage to Last House on the Left and the real ‘video nasties’ from the seventies and eighties, so it’s been hard to convince someone to fund something of that nature, which is a shame because I think audiences are ready to be pushed and shocked since “Hostel”, “Wolf Creek” and the more underground nasties (like August Underground) being produced today. I think the French New Wave horrors have had a big influence on the ‘take no prisoners and show it onscreen’ style.
ED- Tell us about some of the other projects that you are currently working on.
PL- I’m writing and producing three short films on the subject of electricity with two other writer/directors. My piece will be a bit Lynchian, to coin a phrase. It’ll will be free to watch online and made for zero budget, just inspiration and determination! Now that we have more and cheaper resources available to us, there’s no excuse not to go out and make something work for next to nothing. I’m also continuing to write a horror feature “Keepers of the Trees”- an homage to “’Salem’s Lot” and “Evil Dead” in the hope to sell it as a big budget feature, then invest that money back into low budget projects.
ED- What other genres in film would you like to be involved in?
PL- I’m open to wherever film making takes me. I’m still relatively new to it and want to keep an open mind, but for now Horror and the Surreal as genres still excite me the most. In ten years time if I’m still around, who knows!
ED- Where would you like to see yourself and your company, ASCENTIONmedia, going in the next five years?
PL- Making films independently and low budget. I don’t want to be rich and famous, just well off and known! As long as I can continue making the films I want to make and be able to work comfortably I’ll be the happiest person going!
ED- We understand that you are writing your first novel ‘The Other Ark’. Can you tell us about the story behind it and the inspiration that gave you this change in venue?
PL- Well the first novel is written – it’s part of a trilogy. I self published it as I didn’t know how well it would be received or even if it would be read at all! It’s about a second ark that left the shores as Noah’s ark did, but this one containing the evil in the world, then in present day, a group of people set out to finding its resting place. It’s a horror fantasy that I wrote primarily because the story had been in my head and I couldn’t see a way of putting it to film, so instead it came into being in this form instead.
ED- Peter, we want to thank you for spending this time with us, and wish you much luck in everything that you do. Please let us know when your novel, and your next film, is to be released so that we can keep our readers in the ‘know’.