Andy Stewart | REMNANT

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Remnant is the latest short film from Scottish filmmaker Andy Stewart, who is no stranger to STARBURST, having had his fabulous debut Dysmorphia highlighted by us last Halloween.

The film will have its world premiere at Celluloid Screams in Sheffield this October, just prior to the eagerly-anticipated shocker Goodnight Mommy. We caught up with Andy to find out more about his latest venture…

STARBURST: Tell us a little about Remnant
Remnant is actually plucked from a feature script that I had written a year or so ago. The decision to lift from that project and go ahead with it as a short for now was in response to a few comments I had heard and a borne out of a personal fear that I was at risk of becoming a little bit predictable.

Remnant is a little bit different to my other films insofar as it centres on a female protagonist and contains practically no gore. That's not to say that there isn't some weird and disturbing stuff in there, but it's certainly a lot lighter on the gore.

The film is about a girl called Claire who is suffering from disturbed sleep, nightmares etc. She is waking up in weird places with zero recollection as to how she got there. As her condition worsens, it has a knock-on effect on her work and health.

We brought back much of the same crew that worked on INK, with Alan C McLaughlin back as the cinematographer and Grant Mason back handling FX. We also got really lucky with the cast. We lost an actress a couple of weeks before the shoot, which caused a lot of stress and grief until I met with Lucy Goldie over coffee. We had a chat and I cast her there and then, without audition, something that I have done on all four of my short films to date. It feels almost serendipitous as I can't imagine the role in the hands of anyone else now. She's pretty fearless and I think she did a great job.

I'm also extremely honoured to have had Nicholas Vince make the trip up to appear in the film as Claire's boss, Ian. I'm a huge Hellraiser fan, as most people know, so to work with Nick was huge to me.

Did you make a concerted decision to do something that wasn't involving body horror?
It is certainly lighter on the body horror stuff, but it still has very clear body horror elements throughout and practical effects to match that. I didn't want to go in a totally different direction altogether so this was my soft compromise with myself. I love body horror and I am going to keep making body horror films, but I now realise it doesn't always have to be flat-out, balls to the wall blood and guts. There's a place for subtlety and I think you can see that in Remnant. I DO have subtlety in me after all!


What's happening with Redacted?
It's been a long, old bumpy road, to be honest, and I think it was a shake-up that I needed. A reality check on exactly how hard it can be to be a filmmaker. We lost funding, lost locations, ran into FX delays. It's been a hell of a pre-production but, fortunately, a lot of the stuff is now in place. The costumes are purchased and waiting, the creature FX has been built and is waiting. With Scottish autumn/winter creeping in, it will likely be 2016 now before we come back around to it but it is definitely coming.

Is it still your plan to move onto feature films soon?
Absolutely! I have a few scripts ready to roll, one of which is obviously a feature length version of Remnant, but I should probably wait and see how the short is received first.

Remnant is premiered at Celluloid Screams this October, are there any other screenings confirmed as yet?

None at this time. I am just super stoked to have the Celluloid Screams screening down and to be playing with Goodnight Mommy is an absolute dream come true for me. It's terrifying too as I know that will be a busy screening and I don't do that well introducing my films, especially for the first time, in front of a crowd. I think it will be a pretty complimentary pairing and just hope that everyone enjoys it.

Celluloid Screams takes place between October 23rd-25th, more details are at the website, and you can find out more about Andy Stewart’s films on Facebook.

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