You Are Not My Mother Interview with director Kate Dolan

We at Infamous Horrors recently got to interview the director of the new horror film being distributed by Magnolia Pictures, You Are Not My Mother, enjoy reading our interview with Kate Dolan.

AJ: So how do you get involved with you are not my mother, because a lot is going on in this film. There’s kind of like teenage angst people trying to figure out when they fit in and you kind of got this whole balance thing going on with the film. So how did that all come about?

Kate: The kind of inspiration for the film was, um, firstly kind of Irish folklore and, you know, being from Ireland, like Irish Folker was always a kind of big part of growing up and like hearing all the stories and then it always really fascinated me. And then as a filmmaker, it was something that I always wanted to explore and kind of see depictions of on-screen that maybe were different than like how Irish spoke or I’d seem depicted before. That was one aspect. And then I suppose I wanted to make a film about, you know, somebody coming of age in a family where there’s been a traumatic event and I suppose that traumatic event, how that kind of comes back to haunt the family. And then as somebody coming of age, dealing with seeing kind of a parent for the first time who’s, you know, mentally or physically ill kind of like that, they’re not kind of the parent that you once knew them as and how you confront that and deal with that. So the kind of folklore element was just felt like a really good way to tell that story because there had been a lot of stories in Irish, folklore about people believing that their relatives weren’t, who they thought they were, they thought they were fairies who had kind of replaced them. So that felt like a kind of a great way to tell the story. And then kind of just went from there.

AJ: Right. And the makeup effects of this was pretty cool too. So how were you able to collaborate with the makeup department at this? Because everything from the designs and the visual effects and just everything looked great.

Kate:Thank you. Thanks so much. Yeah, the makeup was you know, it was a low-budget movie. Like we kind of didn’t have a lot of money to work with in terms of what we could do, but I was adamant that I wanted practical makeup effects for the mother, as we kind of go to the third act and she starts to kind of change. To the makeup person, I just said, we kind of our, our key point to kind of design the makeup off was this to stick with the main kind of ideas of the film, that thing like the, her face starts to like lose its features that make her re mineable to her daughter. So, you know, how you recognize somebody you love is through like their smile or their eyes that kind of like facial elements that give you personality and make you who you are. Um, so I just said that to the makeup designer and then she started kind of coming up with ways we could do that and this idea that the eyes were kind of gone and the mouth starts to change. And, um, just that the kind of facial features start to dissolve, I suppose. Um, but it was really fun to be able to do it practically and great for Hazel in those scenes that she could kind of work with an actual kind of monster, um, inner mist, which was really fun.

AJ: Right. And how has it been working with Magnolia pictures on this? Cause they’ve been backing this film pretty well. And how has it been to you to have like a distribution like them? Does this support your film has to be pretty amazed, right?

Late: Yeah, it was so amazing. Like when we, so we premiered at TIFF in, at midnight madness in TIFF in September, and that’s where we kind of connected with Magnolia and they were really interested in the film. And, you know, as I said, like, this was a really low budget horror movie made in Ireland and during COVID. So we didn’t have huge expectations of what the movie was gonna achieve, I suppose. Um, but then Magnolia came on board and they were just like, you know, I suppose treating it, like, it was kind of any other bigger film that they would be working on, which was great, kind of just like putting so much, um, work behind it and like, um, you know, pushing the film and, and supporting it. And like that just kind of gives you the stamp of approval. Then people kind of look up and might like go and see this kind of, uh, weird Irish indie horror movie.

AJ: Right. And I think that’s gonna sit well with a lot of the horror community, cause this is so low budget and it is weird. It’s almost kind of feels like it has an instant cult classic in the making with a everything going for it. So after the premier in TIFF, I mean the response had to be kind of surreal in that you got from people wanting to buy this, you know, and some little engine that good movie, so to speak. Right?

Kate: Yeah, like it’s, um, I it’s so nice of you to say so many nice things about the film, I think, um, yeah, as I said, you know, it is, it’s kind of wild the whole, like all the reviews, all the kind of responses to it we’ve seen on Twitter and all that kind of stuff. It, we obviously, you know, I think we had a team that a lot of people is my first feature film, a lot of the HODs. So like the production designer and like the, the, you know, some of the other kind of people working on film hadn’t really done that much before. So I think really everybody just put so much of their heart into it and they were all really passionate about making, you know, a good, a great movie, even though we didn’t have a lot. Um, and I think that just kind of reads on screen, you know, that nobody was kind of phoning it in. Everyone felt like they were putting in something that would make it, their film as well. Um, the cast and all the crew. So that was really nice. And I think that kind of, that’s really how we got it to where it is, I think really.

AJ: And one final question for you, Kate, you mentioned, you wanted to tell an Ireland folklore movie in this, what are some of your favorite folklore movies?

Kate: Yeah, I think I like kind of Asian horror movies. Yeah. I, you know, like I love, um, there’s a, maybe a few years ago called the whaling, which is a Korean movie,

AJ: You know, that’s been on my watch list for so long. And now that you brought that up, I may have to watch that though.

Kate:: Yeah. It’s a, they present folklore in a really interesting way and it feels quite modern and that was actually kind of a reference for us when we were in prep and, but, you know, kind of, I love kind of, uh, those Asian horror movies that really, they, they not necessarily folklore sometimes, but I think they have a real essence of folk war in that, like, it feels very unknowable and things aren’t always explained.

AJ: They’re still, they’re kind of mythology to where it still kind of falls into the folklore sub kind of,

Kate: Kind of. Yeah. And the, and you know, I think, um, I love a lot of old British folk car movies, like the Wickerman and a lot on Satan claw and the witch finder general and stuff like that. Like they’re all kind of.

AJ: You know, I just got my dad watch the witchfinder general for the first time

KATE: It’s movie to watch. Yeah. It’s a good movie though, but it’s, it’s hard. It’s a hard watch I would say.

AJ:Yeah. Yeah. And there’s a, he was like, you know, there’s a lot more going on in this movie than I expected.

AJ: Yeah. It’s great. Um, but yeah, I also love Candyman. I think that’s like an urban kind of folklore movie. That’s one of like my favorite movies, um, which was also a kind of a reference for us when we were in prep on the film. They have a big bonfire at the end as well. Um, but yeah, so there’s so many, I, I love horror movies. I could go on all day.

Written By: AJ Friar

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