Interview with WolfCop Director Lowell Dean

Jason McDonald

Horror fans LOVE to complain that the only horror movies that get made today are remakes and sequels.  Thankfully, the landscape of the horror genre is starting to change and we’re seeing more and more unique projects come out that go against the conventional wisdom of the major studios.

Typically a lot of these projects come from the indie market and I think that’s partially in thanks to the increase in social media outlets and organizations like Kickstarter.  Fans are able to spread the word about these small projects and generate more attention for them and even crowdfund them if the desire is there.

CineCoup, a Canadian based organization, is the latest group to come out and support indie projects by offering up a million dollar cash prize to the film project that manages to generate the most votes.  There have been a multitude of interesting films to spring from this competition, but the one that has caught my eye (and the eye of many other horror fans) is WolfCop.  A dark and humorous tale about a cop who is cursed into becoming a werewolf.

The film looks incredibly fun and promising, so I decided to chat with it’s director Lowell Dean and learn more about him and the project.

1. How and where did you get your start in the entertainment industry?

I’ve been making short films since I was a kid, and I’ve been working in film and television since graduating from university, where I took film and video studies. My first jobs out of school were as an editor. In the last decade I’ve worked for many film and television companies – mostly as as a writer, editor and director.

2. Which came first, the CineCoup challenge or WolfCop? What was the genesis of the idea?

WolfCop came before the CineCoup Accelerator. I was trying to decide between writing a cop script and a werewolf script, then merged them because the idea was just too weird!

Along with my producing partners at Echolands Creative, we shot the teaser trailer as a sort of “proof of concept” to take around to investors and possible executive producers to help us get the movie made. When we heard about the CineCoup challenge we knew we had to throw our hat into the ring and take a shot.

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3.  What kind of tone are you going for in WolfCop? Are you looking to craft a horror/comedy? How would you best describe it?

I would call it a horror film with comedic elements. Yes, I must say; we are very aware there is comedy in this movie’s DNA. It IS called WolfCop after all! I am inspired by movies like An American Werewolf in London and Scream  movies that we classify as horrors but that are often quite funny, too. You would never call them flat-out comedies. They strike a unique balance. If I HAD to classify WolfCop as one genre (at gunpoint) I’d say horror. But it’s so much more than that!

4.  So far the practical effects and make-up look great on WolfCop, how did you assemble your effects team?

Our lead practical effects artist is Emersen Ziffle. I’ve been working with Emersen for years, I met him on a zombie short film I did back in 2005 and recently we did our first zombie feature together, 13 Eerie! I knew immediately he was someone I wanted to keep working with. We love the same kind of projects. We talk for hours about them! He’s a great friend and a talented artist.

5.  If for some crazy reason people don’t vote for WolfCop in the CineCoup challenge and you guys don’t win, do you see yourself still pursuing this movie?

Ha! Thanks for saying people would be crazy not to vote for WolfCop! If we don’t win, we’ll find another way to make this movie happen. I think there is an audience out there for this character and we’ve only shown the tip of the iceberg of what the movie is all about! Our team is very passionate about bringing him to life on the big screen.

6.  The concept trailer you guys have up on CinceCoup is pretty damn cool.  How long did it take you guys to put it together?  Did you feel a lot of pressure knowing that this was the footage that would sell people on your film?

Thanks a lot! The trailer was a two day shoot. We took it very seriously. We did a lot of prep work, rehearsing, storyboarding and makeup tests, and we had a stellar crew behind us. There is a really great film crew in Saskatchewan, really hard working and talented individuals.

I did feel an immense pressure when making this teaser. I knew that we had to show we could deliver on the look of our werewolf and – just as importantly – we had to showcase the tone of the film, which like I said is a balancing act of genres. In my opinion, we pulled it off. You can tell there will be a darkness to this film, but also some humor. I think it’s a solid indicator of what lies ahead!

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7.  With your newest film, 13 Eerie, and your current WolfCop project, do you see yourself as primarily a horror film director or are you interested in branching out and tackling different genres?

 I just want to keep growing and learning and making movies. I learned a lot on 13 Eerie – it was my first feature and a really great experience. Right now I am loving genre filmmaking because it is so damn fun! I love coming up with odd, twisted ideas and working with someone like Emersen to bring those ideas to life in a practical way. I have a couple more genre scripts ready to go after WolfCop so I hope to play in the horror realm for a while longer!

8.  What’s your favorite Werewolf movie? Don’t worry, there’s no wrong answer.  Unless you pick a movie I don’t like, then that’s the wrong answer.

I’ve referenced it a lot before so it should come as no surprise – my favorite werewolf movie is An American Werewolf in London. John Landis brilliantly weaved comedy, romance and mystery into a horror film so I don’t know how you beat that. Plus, the practical effects… they still hold up!

I should also mention I was raised on a steady diet of Teen Wolf (which probably comes as no surprise) and I think that Ginger Snaps kicks ass, too. The original Wolf Man is fun. So hard to pick just one!

I want to thank Lowell for taking the time to answer our questions and I want to encourage you to go out and vote for this film.  If you’re tired of remakes and sequels, then vote for WolfCop! It doesn’t cost you a single penny and it only takes a few minutes out of your day to do it.

Don’t be a anonymous complainer, get out and make your voice heard. Support films like WolfCop and help change the landscape of horror.

You can help support WolfCop by visiting their CineCoup page for more information. Checkout the trailer below.


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