WOLF GARDEN is an elevated horror-thriller that seems to be one of the most talked about genre films online at present. We spoke to Sian Altman, the female lead, to see what gives the movie such- excuse the pun – bite.
Congrats on the film, it’s howling (sorry!) good! For the unversed, tell us about your character and how she factors into the story?
Ha-Ha. I play Chantelle, who is the girlfriend of the main character, William. She’s a really interesting character because she is mostly seen through William’s visions and there’s a sense of mystery about her from the start.
Oh, interesting. So she’s not really there?
Well, it’s not always obvious if what William is seeing is part of his memories, something happening in real time or something entirely in his head.
Chantelle goes through a lot of phases in this film and it was really fun playing a role that had so much variation and emotion to it.
How did you get involved?
I actually auditioned for Wayne, the director, a few years ago for a different film. I think that film ended up not going ahead because of the pandemic but Wayne carried on writing and came up with Wolf Garden. When it came to casting he got in touch and asked if I wanted to audition for Chantelle.
Is the role a departure for you?
I’ve fallen into a bit of a horror niche in the last few years of my career so the role was fairly in line with things I’ve done before but it was great to work on a script that really steps away from the usual horror tropes and I loved the psychological element to the story.
I noticed you’d done a lot of horror films in recent years! How long did Wolf Garden take to shoot?
Filming took place over about 3 weeks but I was only on set for the first two. We were lucky enough to have a really good team that helped us get through the tight schedule amazingly.
Beautiful backdrop. Was it shot in your neck of the woods?
We filmed in Hertfordshire in the UK which isn’t too far from London (where I live) but the rural setting felt like another world.
Great that you didn’t have to relocate. Now, were there any effects used here too – is that new territory for you?
We did have a few effects, which is something I’ve worked with before, but it’s always fun to work with SFX make up and to see how VFX is added in post to really elevate something.
That’s interesting. What’s one thing people don’t realize about independent movies that you’d like them to know?
Independent films don’t have anywhere near the budget of the bigger productions which often means very tight shooting schedules and a hell of a lot of skill to make things look as good as what people are used to seeing on the big screen or streaming services. You don’t often have the luxury of rescheduling a shooting day if things go wrong so there’s often a lot more stress involved and people really have to rally together to get the finished product.
I’ve worked on a lot of independent movies and I’m always blown away by the incredible hard work and talent that people put into them and the teamwork involved in creating something we all really care about.
Though this might be less described as scary and more, well, unnerving, are you a fan of scary movies in general?
I’m a huge coward when it comes to scary films. My pretend scream is definitely less embarrassing than my real one so you’re more likely to see me hiding behind my popcorn if a horror movie is on, but since I’ve started working in this genre I have way more appreciation for the work that goes into these stories and I think Wolf Garden does something a bit different and has something in it for even the non horror fans.
WOLF GARDEN is now available on digital platforms from Gravitas Ventures