The ghost of bad decisions haunts a drunk driver.
"Hit + Run" by Austin Faust and Mike Wolfe
Letterboxd Film Profile: boxd.it/qn9G
Check out the our Q&A with the filmmakers below:
Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?
Austin: Up until recently, when I got engaged, I found myself relating to James Hoyt in The Strangers. The poor guy was just trying to make his and his girlfriend’s weekend special only to get his proposal rejected and then be hunted by a group of masked psychos. The guy didn’t do anything wrong but found himself in horrible situation after horrible situation. To me that was always tough because he seemed like a genuinely likeable guy who couldn’t catch a break.
Mike: Beef from Phantom of The Paradise. I’ll be providing no further explanation at this time.
You’ve gotta go through some bad ideas to get to the good ones. Tell us one of your bad ideas. How do you get past the bad ones to find your spark?
Austin: One of my bad ideas revolved around a couple going to a holiday dinner at the boyfriends parent’s house only to find that the poor girlfriend was brought to be the dinner. Spoiler alert, turns out she was a vampire and turns the tables. On the outset, it doesn’t seem like a horrible idea for a short film but I could never get past the initial concept to create something I felt was worth making. This was a good lesson for me early on in filmmaking that your concept can only get you so far. Since then if I come up with a good concept, I sit down and start to write it. If I can’t come up with a way to make the characters engaging or at least likeable, then I take some time away from writing and go through ways to improve the story until I find that hook that makes the story worthwhile.
Mike: When I first got into filmmaking I tried making a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, bad Rob Zombie rip off. I think the nearly 2 decade journey about finding my spark has really been about finding my voice and telling stories that mean something to me.
Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
Austin: I’m not sure if it would be considered a horror community but since my first short film was accepted by the guys at the Chattanooga Film Fest in 2018, I’ve felt like I was a part of the festival. I’ve since had several shorts play in the 2019 and 2020 festivals and each time it’s like coming back to see a group of old friends who want nothing more than to see you succeed.
Mike: I definitely do. We all flock to this genre for a reason. A lot of us have found comfort in the macabre. I often tell people that the stuff on screen really wasn’t as bad as the stuff of real life when I was a kid so horror has always been my caretaker and it’s always been there to take me by the hand. I think there are a lot of folks that have similar stories and it brings us all together.
When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
Austin: Usually I get a lot of inspiration from films, tv shows or video games that have a similar look and feel to the project I’m currently working on.
Mike: For me personally I’m always just trying to find a way to filter some really difficult stuff through genre. For example, a feature we’re working on started as an examination of abusive relationships and the inability to let go that’s become The Little Mermaid meets Misery.
What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
Austin: If I woke up inside of Hit + Run I think I would probably just try to make a run for it the first time the newscaster says my name. I’m not staying around for that because it can’t be good.
Mike: Not to be highfalutin but I did kind of wake up in Hit + Run. My relationship with the bottle was quickly becoming the stuff of nightmares and if I hadn’t stopped when I did, I may have ended up with significant blood on my hands. A lot of the film is processing the what could have been.
Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
Austin:The Thing, The Xenomorph, Michael Myers, The Blind Man from Don’t Breathe, Pennywise and The Predator.
Mike: honestly I just wanna pal around with Sam from Trick r Treat
Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Austin and Mike:
How do you go about creating the props and sets for your film? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?
Austin: I’ve always been a huge fan of Neill Blomkamp’s films and his use of somewhat “realistic” sci-fi weaponry, like how the weapons and suits he uses have car oil and other elements to them that ground them even though they have incredible capabilities. So if I’m creating an object that doesn’t exist in our current world, I want to make it look and feel like it does currently exist. On a post apocalyptic web series I directed, we used a fuse box, ignition switch, and monitor from a cop car as a portal devise. I found that using real tech to create something out of this world grounded the technology and made it more believable.
Mike: I think things being grounded in reality is really important. Things have to have a tangible base to be believed. For the set in Hit + Run we wanted everything to feel timeless and lived in so we went through great lengths to really dress things appropriately and get into the characters space. I think the relationship between the characters and their environments (props, wardrobe, sets) is so so so important.
What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?
Austin: For me, I think what scares me the most is that humans can be capable of anything.
Usually my stories revolve around people who find themselves in tough situations as a direct result of the choices they’ve made and then must figure out a way out of their situation or pay the consequences.
Mike: The dark, the ocean, being alone. I think things that scare me on a day to day level are the things that end up making their way into the storytelling.
And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
Austin: This is probably cheating but I can’t narrow it down to just one. My top two would have to be The Thing and Hereditary.
Mike: Jaws. Forever and ever.