Dark Dreams
Evil Genius With A Camera: Interview With Joshua Hoffine

Devan Sagliani | 28 Oct 2014 11:15
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DS: You have an English degree. What types of horror literature most appeal to you and why?

JH: I loved Poe and Lovecraft growing up. As an adult, I really admire Richard Matheson. His concise, primal ideas - his succinct but muscular prose. When I write, I think of Matheson the most.

DS: Have you ever written horror?

JH: Only film treatments so far.

DS: What is your favorite horror movie?

JH: I like all types of Horror, and have favorites in almost every sub-genre. Growing up my 2 favorites were Poltergeist, which I saw in the theater as a little kid with my mom and sisters, and Evil Dead 2, which I watched on VHS at least 30 times before graduating from high school. Favorites from recent years include The Mist, Martyrs, and Cabin In The Woods.

DS: What is your favorite type of monster?

JH: Karloff's Frankenstein is great. Max Schreck as Nosferatu might be my favorite monster.

DS: What scares you?

JH: Anything happening to my wife or kids.

DS: What's the scariest thing that ever happened to you in real life?

JH: Nothing dangerous or tragic has ever happened to me. One night my eldest daughter didn't come home when she was supposed to. She had fallen asleep and was not answering her phone. I freaked out a little bit. My brain can be paranoid with concern when it comes to my kids.

DS: What do you think happens when we die?

JH: Only Cthulu knows for certain. Where are you when you are between 2 thoughts? I imagine death as something like that.

DS: I've read that you've gotten your fair share of hate mail since you started your career as a horror photographer. What are some of the worst things people have said to you about your work?

JH: They were all concerned with issues of child abuse. Not a few of them regarded my work as pornographic.

DS: What kinds of unexpected surprises have come up surrounding your work?

JH: How many people enjoy it.

DS: As an artist it's always exciting to learn that people you admire are into your work. Have any of your favorite actors, authors, artists, or celebrities contacted you? What's the most flattering experience you've had?

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JH: The Russo brothers - Joe and Anthony, the men behind Captain America 2 - contacted me not long ago to talk about my work. That call blew my mind the most.

DS: You have a new short film BLACK LULLABY that you're screening right now. The Kickstarter page says it's about a young girl confronting the boogeyman and that it grew out of your horror shoots with your daughters. Tell us more about it.

JH: The film is the climax to my photo series dealing with childhood fears. The premise is simple - it's about a young girl whose curiosity outweighs her fear, to tragic results. There is not a word of dialogue, and like many of my photos, it features my daughter Chloe - who is genuinely amazing in the film. As soon as all the DVD's are delivered to Kickstarter supporters, we will have a website dedicated to viewing and downloading the film online, as well as a schedule of film festival screenings.

DS: Your work is so engaging and powerful that people often think it's all you do, forgetting that you are still a freelance photographer for hire. Recently Sony UK hired you to do a series called Monster Prom that got you featured in Fangoria. Tell us more about it the experience.

JH: That was a great experience! Sony UK commissioned an original photo project utilizing their new Sony A7 camera. I pitched the idea of shooting fake prom photos of famous monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman as awkward teenagers. I recruited my daughter Arinna and her friends to play the teenagers, and hired J. Anthony Kosar to create the monsters for me. Although the project featured kids and monsters - just like my Horror work - it was meant to be funny and playful. The best part was getting to fly over to London and give a presentation on the camera!

DS: Who were some of your favorite people to work with?

JH: My actors and crew are usually drawn from friends and family, so I'm always working with my favorite people. The most talented person I've managed to pull into my work is J. Anthony Kosar. His make-up and sculpting abilities have no limits.

DS: What's next?

JH: My slate is full with projects in development. I'm writing a movie, developing a TV show idea, putting together some new Horror photo ideas, and creating what may be the greatest calendar of all time.

DS: Anything else you'd like to pitch?

JH: I am part of a group show opening at the Polyester Gallery in Amsterdam on Nov 7th called Shocked and Amazed.

You can see more of Joshua Hoffine's work at his official site.

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