Guest blog: Andy Gregor on the making of For the Love of Lugosi
Last week's Film of the Week, For the Love of Lugosi, generated a lot of interest on the site and on Twitter, leading to us getting in touch with the film's director, Andy Gregor and asking him for an insight into the making of the film.
For The Love of Lugosi came about through Diversity Films excellent Starting Block Project. Derek Wilson was given the opportunity to tell a very personal story, through talking about his love of the old gothic horror genre.
Derek and I struck it off immediately, I’m not sure if it was because we were both fathers, and the same age or if it was because we are both Fifers, but something clicked. Derek really wanted to pay homage to the great actors like Karloff and Lugosi, he wanted real clips from their movies to help spread the appreciation. Sadly these were way out of our budget, so filmed in a couple of hours at Platform in Easterhouse.
Derek recreated some of his favourite scenes from memory; this unintended event actually helps the films in my opinion. It made it more documentary and meaningful, this man was not just telling us how good these actors were, he showed the massive influence they had had on his life.
I can see the effect that Aspergers Syndrome has had on Derek through his feelings of alienation and the great knowledge on the subject through obsession. Yet as Derek says near the end, he didn’t make this film to promote Aspergers; he made it to challenge it. All I did as his director was to help Derek the best I could to do just that.
The biggest surprise to me as a first time filmmaker was the screening of the film; it premiered along with the five other Starting Block films at the 2011 Glasgow Short Film Festival held at the packed out CCA venue on Sauchiehall St. The buzz that everyone involved in the project got from the hearing the laughter and applause for our short film was amazing. It was addictive enough to ensure I caught the filmmaking bug.
Not all of our screenings were so well attended, we showed the film in several Fife towns and villages where there had been outreach training done by the Diversity Films team at the very beginning. In Blairhall we had the kids from the youth club (which is held in the same venue) enjoy the show, then in Cupar there was a lovely old lady who liked all the films except that “Lugosi one, I didn’t understand him.”
The best screening for testing a filmmaker’s ego happened in Lochgelly. We had booked the function suite at the Royal Oak, we had tea, coffee and lovely sandwiches ready for afterwards. We delayed the start by 20 minutes to allow for any stragglers, but the only man who appeared was invited through from the bar on the promise of a free lunch. Around about this time we realised it was an Old Firm Derby day!