RB: Firstly, thank you very much for sharing your film with us and for taking time out of your schedule to speak with us.
TP: Thank you for reviewing it!
RB: We’d like to start by saying that we definitely love the idea of a classic slasher icon with a campfire legend. It takes us back to a fantastic time in the horror genre, and your interpretation and continuation of that is truly admirable, so thank you very much! Where and when did the idea for Pitchfork come to exist?
TP: Awesome, Thanks! My family used to actually run a Haunted Hayride when I was kid and my grandfather loved to mess with us about ghost stories and legends, mostly made up on the spot of course. So a lot of his stories and things from the actual hayride went into forming Pitchfork and his backstory. Like you mentioned about slasher icons, Pitchfork for me is kind of mix of everything that I loved and found frightening in both movies and our family's hayride from when I was growing up. Much like the character "Steven" in the movie, the whole arc of both films is based around facing your childhood fears.
RB: Tell us about how you got into writing and directing films, and your earliest memory of knowing it was something you wanted to do.
TP: I actually remember the day. I was watching Back to the Future 2 for the millionth time. I was probably eight or nine years old. It was that scene where Marty follows Biff to pick up his car after the manure wreck in 1955. I remember having a sudden realization that everything on the street in the scene was actually put there on purpose; that they didn't just find a town where everything and everyone happened to still look like the 50’s. I'm sure it sounds funny now but for me at the time it was one of those holy crap moments and I immediately started re-watching all of my favorite movies with a new kind of eyes. It was kind of like seeing behind the curtain for the first time and it just really made me fall in love with movies all together.
RB: Have you always been partial to the horror genre?
TP: Yes. I loved watching the classics growing up and then in my teen years I gravitated towards the cheesier low budget movies. I loved watching Monster Vision on TNT or USA’s Up All Night that would play all of the really great B movies and I would pretty much rent anything that looked terrible just for the fun of it. Not only are the bad ones fun to watch, but they also help you appreciate the horror movies that are done well I think.
RB: Are there maybe a few films that stick out in your mind as being influential to you when you were growing up?
TP: The first "horror" movie (if you can call it that) I ever saw was "The Midnight Hour" (1985) that my grandmother had recorded off of TV. I'm still not sure why but it was one of the only non-western VHS tapes that they had so I watched it frequently in the 90s. The character "Amanda's" cheerleader outfit in Hayride 1 is taken directly from the main female lead in it. The movie is hard to track down but if you can get your hands on a copy I suggest you watch it. Spoiler alert, there's an obligatory 1980s choreographed dance number about midway through the movie, and in case you were wondering the answer is "no" it does not fit into the plot or get explained in anyway. So that's good.
RB: We always love to know…how long did this film take to shoot?
TP: Principle photography was only 15 days but we had 3 of 4 days of second unit and a day or 2 of small pickup shots.
RB: Finally, we can’t help but wonder what you have in store for the fans? A third act possibly? Give us the scoop as to what we can expect to see from you!
TP: You know I won’t say definitively that there won’t be a third Hayride but there currently aren't any plans for one yet. Honestly I get emails and Facebook messages from people in other countries asking about Hayride 2 and if there are going to be more, which I find extremely encouraging and still surprises me how far the first movie reached and it looks like Hayride 2 will have an even broader reach. So I guess if there's demand for it. There's always a chance. Right now I am really excited about a horror movie that I am producing that we will start preproduction on at the end of March. I can't really go into detail on it just yet but I'd be happy to give you the scoop a little further down the road.
RB: Again, we thank you for your time and wish you and your film Hayride 2 all the best success!
TP: Thanks again!
You can see Hayride now on Amazon Instant Video and Hayride 2 releases 3/6/15!