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Categories: Interviews

We chat with director Matt Harlock about the weird and wonderful mind of illustrator/mischievous demon Krent Able and their upcoming project, Deep Clean.

Matt Harlock has been writing and directing through his production company Halflife Films for well over a decade now, gaining international recognition and acclaim with his 2011 documentary on the late, legendary, comedian Bill Hicks. He took the time to chat to us about his latest project, sci-fi horror Deep Clean, that he’s been working on with infamous comic artist Krent Able.

One of the first descriptions for Deep Clean on the Kickstarter page is “Imagine a horror film, but set in a world created by Mike Leigh or Ken Loach”. Will people be able to compare the experience of Deep Clean to anything else they’ve seen before?

It’s a really unique world that Krent has come up with, which I’ve helped develop. The idea of road crews, who seem to be doing nothing but are actually hiding in plain sight, is a wonderful concept that people really seem to love. The notion of a genre-crossing piece that mixes a naturalistic style with a horror is one that I feel is quite unique, but there are films that have something of that to them – peeling back reality to reveal a while new world, like Trollhunter, perhaps Attack The Block, and with a comedic aspect, Shaun Of The Dead…we are very keen on including practical effects, too.

How long after the previous hit collaboration between Matt and Krent (Inks, Cocks and Rock & Roll) did the idea for Deep Clean come about?

The concept for Deep Clean came about when we started brainstorming ideas after Ink, Cocks and Rock & Roll did really well at festivals and Vice took it on board. We decided that we wanted to make a film where one of Krent’s horrible monsters could come to life, and then raises funds for it on the back of the exposure we were getting – so the idea came about quite quickly, although the script has gone through 13 drafts!

For the benefit of our readers, do you think you could explain the relationship between Steve Martin and Krent Able?

Krent Able is a writer, graphic artist and visual storyteller. He is also the evil alter ego of the lovely Steve Martin (who I also know) with no morals, and a toilet for a brain. Krent‘s reputation in the horror and comics community is well established, having worked for Stool Pigeon, Vice, NME and the Guardian Guide. His work was featured in the Comics Unmasked Exhibition at the British Library last year. Paul Gravett, the don of the UK comics scene (Comica Festival, The Barbican), describes his work as “a revelation”. He is also terrible to work with and steals your lunch money with no qualms. What a git.

It’s great to see that you’ll be working with one of our former tutors, Dan Martin, on the FX. How did he become attached to the project?

We met Dan through our producer Roxanne Holman and writer/director MJ Blackman. We went to his workshop and pitched him the idea, and luckily for us he loved it – as he is VERY in demand and has worked with Ben Wheatley on many of his films. And I already knew of Dan from his work on Utopia, through Marc Munden – a director I know who worked on that show.

You’ve already had a lot of really positive reactions to the project, what’s been the most exciting so far?

The first week of the Kickstarter campaign was awesome – lots of funding and great reposes. We are now heading into the last 8 days, so hoping for the same reactions as we go! And of course, each time a collaborator you really want comes on board it’s a huge thrill – Dan Martin, Territory Studios on VFX (Ghost In The Shell and Bladerunner 2049, for god’s sake!). And we are really hoping that our lead actor is almost in – that will be very exciting!
You can check out more about Deep Clean, and contribute to it, on its Kickstarter page here.
Mark Birrell

Mark is the editor of The Spread as well as a copywriter, film-blogger and lifelong cinephile who received his bachelors in Film and Comparative Literature from the University Of London.

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Posted on Oct 2, 2017

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