Interview - Sarah Brimms

Leo Francis' Interview with Sarah Brims (Caravan)

I was recently approached by Australian film maker Sarah Brims about helping spread the word about a Pozible campaign to raise money for a film that she wrote and is hoping to produce called, Caravan. She describes it as a home invasion film set entirely in a caravan, which sounds both intriguing and incredibly challenging. Although there is no trailer as of yet, the imagery alone that they have chosen to accompany their marketing is so bleak and unsettling I have high hoped that Sarah and the director, Nathan Lacey, will be able to deliver. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter and you can find their Pozible Page here. They aren't looking for that much money, so go check it out. In the meantime, here's my interview with writer-producer Sarah Brims. 

Leo Francis: First how did the two of you decide to work together and have you worked together before?

Sarah Brims: Nathan and I met a year ago on a local feature film Broken Contract. Straight away we bonded over our love of horror, one of the first questions Nathan asked me was whether I’d seen A Serbian Film! We have since worked on a number of projects together including two music videos, a web-series and a feature documentary called Shark Wars which is currently in development. We are also currently co-writing a horror feature film.

LF: You’re funding the project using a site called Pozible. Can you tell me why you chose that one over many of the other alternatives, like Kickstarter?

SB: As Pozible is an Australia-based website we have had many friends and fellow filmmakers who have enjoyed great success with the site. To begin with we weren’t sure how much interest the project would receive from overseas so we decided to focus on a local audience which has since expanded as the project has continued to evolve.

 LF: How much money are you hoping to raise and when do you need to raise it by? Also, am I correct in saying that if you don’t raise the full amount, you don’t get any of it?

SB: Our target is $2500. The campaign officially finishes June 5th so we have 14 days to go with just over $1000 left to raise. If we don’t raise the full amount by the end of the campaign our supporters won’t be charged and we won’t receive any of the funds so it’s imperative that we raise our goal!

LF: So, as time to contribute is limited, and if my readers are interested you can also find the link to their Pozible Page here. What will you do with the money if you end up reaching your goal? And why should people support your film?

SB: If we end up reaching our goal we will be putting the money towards our special effects makeup to be used in the climax of our film. The rest of the money will go towards post-production. We want to produce a film with high production value, something gripping to watch. We know we have the story and the crew to deliver a high quality end result, it’s just about bringing it all together and creating the best film possible. 

People should support our film if they love original story-telling. Fans of urban legends and cautionary tales will really get a kick out of this film. If this seems like a film that intrigues them and they want to see then they should support us whether it’s financially or through social media and spreading the word. Plus we have some really exciting incentives whether you’re a horror fan, burgeoning filmmaker or just love film, I think there is a reward tailored to everyone. 

LF: How much of the film, if any, is already completed? Or is it still in the planning stages?

SB: We haven’t shot any of the film yet. Our crew has now been locked in and we have just completed our first day of auditions. We are incredibly excited by the talent we have seen so far and are really keen to start shooting! 

LF: Where did the inspiration for the script come from? What other genre writers or film makers would you consider to be an influence on your style?

SB: The original concept was actually the Director Nathan Lacey’s idea. As a kid he would often go on family road trips and he thought it would be interesting to take this civilized family activity and combine it with something sinister and chaotic. 

Urban legends have been a big influence, especially the urban legend “The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs”. I find that home invasions make for the creepiest horror films as it’s the thought that scares me the most - it could happen to anyone. Films like The Strangers, Haute Tension, Inside and Funny Games were all big influences. My favorite horror filmmakers include Wes Craven, who is also my all-time favorite horror writer, Eli Roth as Cabin Fever is one of my favorite all-time horror films, Alexandre Aja who directed one of my favorite horror remakes The Hills Have Eyes, and James Wan whose most recent horror films - especially Insidious - have definitely been a stylistic influence on Caravan. I also admire how he really reinvented the horror genre through Saw. I think ultimately that’s what I aspire to do, produce and write unique and exciting horror films that will change the way people view the genre.

LF: What draws you to horror films? Have you always been a fan of the genre? 

Both Nathan and I have been big fans of the genre since we were young. I find that horror movies bring people closer. It’s about bonding over sharing a common fear. I like horrors that have something to say about current social anxieties and I think that’s why they’re so popular.  Most recently we saw It Follows and I found that was a great example of drawing upon a universal fear which ultimately created a film that was powerful on so many levels. 

LF: You describe the film as a ‘home invasion’ film set in a caravan…but can you expound on that a little further without spoiling too much?

SB: Caravan explores the idea of taking a home invasion film and seeing how it would play out on the road. This then lead to our vision of “home invasion on holiday.” We really felt like this idea had a lot of potential as it wasn’t something we’d seen before. There’s something creepier about being stuck in a caravan with an intruder as it’s a confined space with nowhere to run or hide.  

LF: Did you ever have a really bad experience in a Caravan?

SB: Funnily enough the worst caravan experience we had was filming the pitch video. We had us and our sound recordist Gavin in the caravan shooting this video in the middle of a storm. We hadn’t secured the caravan properly and it started to roll backwards. The storm had been pushing around the caravan so much that it took us a while to notice. Luckily we realised and ran outside in time to secure it before it rolled down the hill!

LF: If you could punch one fictional character in the face, who would it be?

SB: Mrs Carmody- the really religious woman in The Mist, not because she was religious but because she was such a bitch! So much so that whenever I see her in another film I can’t help but strongly dislike her character. 

LF: Have you ever walked out of a film? Which movie and why?

SB: 21 & Over. It should’ve been called 21 & Underwhelming. 

LF: What is the scariest or most disturbing film you have ever seen?

SB: Scariest movie experience would be watching Rec for the first time. It took me two more times to finally watch to the very end. The House of the Devil is a close second “you’re not the babysitter” gets me every time! Most disturbing is hands down A Serbian Film, couldn’t make it to the end.

LF: What is your favorite Home Invasion film of all time?

SB: Haute Tension. Everyone I’ve shown however doesn’t seem to share my love for this film! There was something about the first time I watched this, I was alone with the lights out and I felt like I’d never felt that level of suspense in a film before. What I liked about it was when the intruder first breaks in, it made me really question what I’d do in that situation. I also liked that it starred a strong female lead who didn’t make typically clichéd decisions. The ending wasn’t the best however it was the build-up that I really enjoyed.

LF: Thanks again!

- Leo Francis