Found, a small independent film with a lot of heart and a great deal of balls, is on its way to a limited theatrical run and VOD release on August 15th. After its premiere in 2012, it hit the festival circuit, and won over crowds all over the place. It finally hits DVD on September 23rd in the US (Oct. 13th in the UK). If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll soon have the opportunity.
Found was produced on a very small budget in the middle of Indiana, with actors working without pay, as director Scott Schirmer has noted. Still, he managed to put together a fantastic group of actors and actresses to bring a great novel to life on the screen.
We caught up with Phyllis Munro, who plays Mom in the film – the mother of the boys around which the story centers. She told us about her experience working on it, her approach to the character, and what reactions from others has been like.
iHorror: How did you get involved with Found?
Phyllis Munro: I actually brought my son to audition for the film, and decided I would audition as well. I had met Leya Taylor (Producer, DP) on the set of another film I worked on the previous summer. They offered Sam a part in the film, he had a surgery scheduled and I was afraid that the role would be too strenuous for him. I read for Scott, and he asked me how I felt about having a head cast. He went on to explain what was involved in this process. I am very claustrophobic and fearful of doing this actually. But I was also very excited at the thought of facing my fears!
iH: Did you read the book before shooting? If so, what were your thoughts about it going in?
PM: I ordered the book for my son to read before the audition. We received it the day before and he read it that night. The next day I told him that I was considering auditioning for the film. He became very vocal about me not auditioning for this film. He told me, “Mom, seriously you need to read the last 10 pages!” I know now, why of course he was very concerned. After I auditioned I thought I better read the book. I read it in one sitting and fell in love with it! I thought I am THAT Mom. Then of course as I read further and realized the twist it was taking I was very shocked. I was concerned about how it would be filmed. I began to research Scott’s work on YouTube and watched some of his past projects and liked what I saw. I believe I made contact with Scott and asked to see the script and how it was written. I was very relieved to see the approach he was taking. Leaving so much to the viewers imagination is far more scary than actually seeing it played out in front of your eyes. Sort of like the “Jaws” theory… hearing the music and letting your mind think about the shark attacking is scarier than seeing it attack!
iH: You have some additional horror credits. Are you a big horror person? Were you before going into Found?
PM: As far as Horror goes, I think The Exorcist is the scariest film I have ever seen. I still close my eyes when I watch it! Scary movies to me are the ones that mimic real life…serial killer films really creep me out, because I know there are some strange birds out there that really get off on murder or torture. So those types of films scare me to death. I think that is really why I love this film. It seems so real and possible. I have had people tell me that the way it is filmed, you feel like a voyeur in this families lives and it is very believable.
iH: Describe the experience on set. Was it a breeze to get through or were there difficult times?
PM:I loved every minute of it! It was exciting, challenging and physical! The hallway scene between Ethan (Philbeck) and I at the end of the movie was actually shot on our second day at around 11:45 at night. It was one of my favorite scenes to film. This in my opinion was our “big scene “ together and we both wanted it to be great. The director Scott, Ethan and I sat on the stairs discussing the scene and our thoughts in great detail before we began to shoot. I had only briefly met Ethan a month before and filmed a kitchen scene with him the day before. So knowing what we were about to do, was very thrilling and intense. The lighting was amazing! I remember Scott telling me he likes to make very “dark and scary images” appear beautiful. I really think he accomplished this throughout the film. I have a great respect for Scott and think he is so talented!
iH: Has the general reaction to the film been like you expected?
PM: I was really worried what the reaction would be. Especially from my friends and family. We had our official screening at a packed theater in Bloomington Indiana. My friends and family were there and I told them nothing about this film prior. I will never forget my friends and family reactions as we got to certain scenes. It actually makes me smile, because they really were drawn into the film and greatly disturbed at what was happening to me. They thought it felt very real, which I will take as a huge compliment. I still continue to enjoy sitting in the back of the theater watching people’s reactions at screenings.
iH: In Found, you seem like a natural at being a mom. Were you drawing from your own personal experience?
PM: Yes definitely. As I stated earlier reading the book I thought I am THAT Mom, in many ways actually. I have been called a helicopter Mom. LOL I love my children very much, my youngest son also was a fan of drawing comics so that intrigued me right away. I also feel that there are a lot of things that go on in families behind closed doors, such as the garage scene. I related to that scene on a very personal level as well. This actually is a very deep film in many ways, it’s far more than your general Horror Film. A lot of times what is “Real Horror” is what goes on behind families’ closed doors! If it looks good on the outside, it must be good on the inside right?
iH: As I understand it, you have a day job beyond acting. Is your goal to become a full-time actress?
PM: I am in outside sales and love my job. Oh I would love to be a full time actress of course! It’s what I love to do and it is a passion of mine that is for sure!
iH: Any current or upcoming projects you’d like to talk about?
I have been very busy with my “real” job. I am patiently waiting for Scott to cast his next project! Really hoping to be a part of it! Scott is an amazing director and I would love another opportunity to work with him. Actually I would love to work with anyone that was involved in this in anyway, the whole experience was unbelievable and I still have to pinch myself. I am so grateful and humbled by the experience.
Found has already spawned another film – Headless – which is not a sequel, but a full-length version of a movie-within-a-movie that appears in it. Schirmer is producing, and Arthur Cullipher, who did effects for Found, is directing. Shooting begins in October.
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