RKSS (Summer of ’84)

On Writing and Directing as a Team of Three

François Simard (FS):  It’s pretty unusual. We only fight behind closed doors, and only when we write. We don’t want to lose time and always come super prepared. We say, “If you have a question, ask everyone, and you’ll get the same answer.” Well, [Summer of ’84 star] Rich Sommer did try it, and he told us, “Wow, I asked you a very complicated question, and the three of you answered the same thing.”

Yoann-Karl Whissell (YW):  For producers out there, it’s great, because if one of us gets kidnapped by ninjas, you can still finish the film.

RKSS moviemaking trio sign Summer of ’84 posters at Fantasia. Photograph by Julie Delisle, courtesy of Fantasia Film Festival.

On Making a Thriller

FS: This is the first time we directed something we didn’t write ourselves. It was a challenge for us, but we were so passionate about the story. It was the best test for us. Can we do something different? Can we do something serious? Do we deserve to be playing with the big guys? So far the response has been awesome.

Anouk Whissell (AW): I think we learned to just take our time to install the tension. We’re used to doing crazy stuff and gore and everything with Turbo Kid, and with our short films, so it was a matter of learning to be grounded and find an angle that was very realistic.

On What Hollywood Still Has to Learn About Making Genre Films:

YW: Don’t be afraid of horror. Horror has always explored the relationships between people. Don’t be afraid of the word as a marketing concept. I understand why they use it, but horror should not be a bad word. We’re all doing horror films to understand the human spirit. MM

Fantasia Film Festival 2017 ran from July 12-August 2, 2018. Featured photograph by King-Wei Chu. All images courtesy of Fantasia Film Festival.