SXSW ’15: Exclusive director comments on the chilling premiere film “POD,” plus videos


World-premiering at this month’s SXSW Film Festival, writer/director Mickey Keating’s POD is a survival-horror movie set in the frozen climes of Maine. Read on for some words from Keating and a couple of video clips.

Keating’s follow-up to his debut feature RITUAL (released by Lionsgate in 2013), POD is the story of a family reunion gone very wrong, and stars Lauren Ashley Carter of JUG FACE and Keating’s upcoming DARLING (see our first set report on the latter here), Dean Cates, Brian Morvant, John Weselcouch and New York horror mogul Larry Fessenden, with makeup FX designed by Jeffrey S. Farley. The synopsis: “After receiving a cryptic message from their war veteran brother, Martin [Morvant], estranged siblings Ed [Cates] and Lyla [Carter] travel up to their isolated family lake house to hold an intervention. But the terror that they encounter within the snowy confines of the ransacked retreat is far beyond anything that they could have possibly anticipated.”

PODEXCCOMMENTSNEWSThere were some scary moments behind the scenes as well, due to conditions on the location. “It was freezing,” Keating tells Fango. “It was snowy and icy, which really sucked given what we were doing. I wanted to use really long Steadicam takes, especially for establishing shots, and at any point in time, someone could have slipped and that would have been the end of our camera, or the end of a monitor. We were so far up in Maine that a broken camera or a broken lens would have been a day’s worth of production lost. So that was terrifying. But in the end, POD went incredibly well. Everything that could have gone wrong…nothing went wrong!”

While he declines to get into plot specifics before POD’s premiere (which takes place Monday, March 16 at SXSW; see details here), he does note that it represents a conscious effort to do something distinct from his previous picture. “Being prolific is very important to me, but also being different with each film,” he says. “Having every project be a learning experience is equally important. RITUAL was like, ‘Let’s just get a movie done,’ you know: ‘Let’s try to make a feature film. We’ll shoot on weekends, and then we’ll have something, and if it’s good enough, it’ll go somewhere.’ And so POD was then more a matter of, ‘All right, we accomplished something with RITUAL, let’s finesse it and make it more appealing to a wider audience.’ I wanted POD to be more energetic, and really milk the payoffs so that a wider range of people would get into it—the ones who didn’t necessarily jibe with the pacing of RITUAL.”

Check out POD’s trailer and a scene excerpt below, and look for more Fango coverage of the movie in the future. You can also visit its Facebook page.

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Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold has been a member of the FANGORIA team for the past three decades. After starting as a writer for the magazine in 1988, he came aboard as associate editor in 1990 and two years later moved up to managing editor. He now serves as editor-in-chief of the magazine while continuing to contribute numerous articles and reviews, as well as a contributing editor/writer for this website.
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