The Horror Club loved the short film, Goodnight (you can read our review here) so much that we decided we’d have a chat with its creator, Diane Michelle. Aside from the short film, her other work includes being the co-writer of the upcoming feature length horror film, BOO.
Why did you decide to name the short film Goodnight?
Picking titles is one of my favorite things to do just generally in life. I love coming up with a concept and then finding the perfect name for it. GOODNIGHT was one of the more easier or obvious titles to come to me. Once I wrote the script it was the word that made the most impact and encompassed the film fully. The story takes place during bedtime and I think the motif of the parents saying goodnight multiple times combined with the fathers final goodnight was the perfect recipe to title the film GOODNIGHT.
Did you take inspiration from any other film/book while working on Goodnight?
Most of my inspiration comes from real moments that I’ve gone through and I really try not to pull inspiration from other films because I want to make a personal/meaningful story with my own unique perspective, but of course, we are all inspired by everything we see and hear. There wasn’t a model I was going after when writing and directing, because this story is so personal to me, but I’m very inspired by Denis Villeneuve and his style of filmmaking. I really love how he forces the audience to question everything by not providing all of the answers. I really wanted to leave audience feeling the way I felt after watching his film ENEMY. I wanted to leave the audience a little confused and waiting for more but I also wanted the audience to feel a little icky.
Goodnight deals with the Monster Under The Bed premise. Why did you decide to take this approach?
I took this approach because it shows the fears and innocence of a child, but even more importantly, I was able to use this classic idea and twist it to have a greater meaning. I took an idea that people have used a thousand times over and added a more mature twist; it is easy to ignore your fears and monsters during the day when there are distractions. However, it is at night when we really have to lay down with them. The night is when most of us have to face the monsters that are living within us and it is then that a lot of them take their human masks off.
The short film deals with dark themes that might seem off-putting to some. How important was it to have the message be subtle rather than on the nose?
One of my biggest concerns going into making this film was the subject matter but that is also the reason why I made GOODNIGHT. It was important to make it subtle because I really wanted the audience to walk away having conversations about the film with themselves. I wanted to leave the film open so that the audience could determine their own interpretation of the subject matter.
How do you feel the message ties in with the Monster Under The Bed Premise?
I believe I answered this already on accident in above question.
Do you feel we can use real life experiences, no matter how difficult they may be, and turn them into pieces of work/fiction?
Of course. I think that is what filmmaking and art is all about. Using a movie as a platform to discuss difficult or traumatic real life experiences allows many people to connect to each and have a different perspective. Sometimes it’s hard to have conversations above difficult subject matters but when someone makes a film about those topics, it is easier to discuss those experiences, at least for me.
Crypt TV have short films that last under 3 minutes or so, why did you think that Goodnight could benefit with having a longer runtime?
I made the film before Crypt TV came on board. Crypt wasn’t in the pre or post production. Once I had a final film, Crypt then picked it up. The time of the film was discussed heavily. When I wrote the script I was thinking it was going to be a 5 minute short but after putting the edit together we all realized it needed to be longer than 5 minutes. I don’t particularly like putting restrictions on anything anyway, so I went into it making decisions to hopefully help elevate the film. I really wanted to build a level of normalcy within the family so that the end is more impactful and with that came a little bit longer film.
What are the plans for the future of Goodnight?
I think GOODNIGHT is really strong in the short format and as of right now I don’t have any intention of making it into a feature. My plans with it are to just have as many people as possible view it and hopefully take something meaningful away from it.
What are you working on at the moment?
My husband and I are co-writing a script. And I’m writing a female driven, gritty story set in Detroit. This script also deals with some pretty heavy subject matter.