Interview with Peter Tiemann for “The Stairs”

Earlier this week we got the chance to speak with the director of the upcoming horror film “The Stairs” Peter “Drago” Tiemann. It was a fantastic chat, discussing the advantages of opening via Fathom Events. Hope you all enjoy the interview as much as we did.

AJ: How did you get involved with The Stairs, it reminded me of “The Gate” a bit with a kid and his dad going to the woods or forests however you want to phrase it in this situation and finding these stairs in the middle of it, so how did that concept all come about?

Peter: Well, the concept came about I knew I wanted to do an urban legend and I wanted to do a humanoid creature with this project but if that happened to be beyond our budget, I could always say it was tired it’s been over done like bigfoot and all those ones and I was searching for urban legends and I saw this thread about people finding these stairs in the middle of the woods, then I sent that to my co-writer and it just kind of went from there.

AJ: I am interested in seeing how this concept of releasing “The Stairs” one night only in theaters then I am assuming the VOD will be shortly afterwards.

Peter: Yeah, I am interested in seeing how that works out to our advantage too. I thought they only did music and concerts and things like that. It was cool to see they did movies as well. I believe we are releasing it in 700 screens, so it will be cool. On the 27th we will go premium videos on demand.

AJ: How did the casting process for this come about? Because you got this kid and father going into the woods first, then you have some thirty-somethings going to check it out in two different interwoven storylines.

Peter: The casting I knew I wanted Tommy little Jesse I was working with him on Z nation a few years ago and he made his debut on that and I saw his acting ability then, so I knew I wanted him right away, then I knew I wanted Kathleen, everybody else was done by casting agent Jeremy Gordon and he knocked it out of the park.

AJ: The cinematography in this movie was amazing to see in this intimate location for this movie so how was it like seeing that on set.

Peter: Ryan Pracel did an amazing job with cinematography, and I do not want it too dark, and you don’t lose peoples perspective and we also did not want to put the audience off by having it too dark as well.

AJ: I like how you brought that up because that seems to be a trend now, where we see independent filmmakers being almost experimental with the way they use darkness in a film. Where one frame could be so in focus and the next it could be so dark it takes you out of the movie. What advice would you have for the people that do that and how to turn it around?

Peter: Yeah, correct, yeah. That was a conversation I had with our colorist. I encourage everyone to talk to their colorist, not just your DP because they are super intelligent, and he could save your film from being too dim or too dark. That is an important first step to take while filming.

AJ: Did you have any challenges while filming The Stairs?

Peter: Well, the only one I could have that was challenging to deal with, was that we had an okay from someone to film on acres and acres of land. Then we were told we were not allowed to film at night then we had a back up plan that worked well. Then our other biggest one was when it rained during the shoot. Typical situations like that.

Written By: AJ Friar

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