Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) had the honour and pleasure of chatting with Joe Lo Truglio, director, writer and one of the producers of Outpost (2022), which is Available on major streaming platforms in UK & Ireland from September 11 and Australia & NZ from September 13th!
Are you a lover of all things relating to horror? If so, do you have favourites?
Yes, since a young age. 1980s horror comics, like Twisted Tales, too. Cronenberg’s The Brood is my all-time, aside from the obvious canons like Jaws and The Shining.
Where did you get your inspiration to make this film?
Like anything, I saw it was never going to happen unless I jumped on it. No one was going to fund the movie. Then I needed a great setting for some production value, a good story to take place there, and one of my favourite sub-genres- isolation/madness tales -to use as a framework.
Where was Outpost filmed, and how long did it take to film the whole feature?
We shot Outpost in sixteen days in Priest Lake, Idaho. Eight days were at 6300 ft on the summit of Sundance mountain, rest in the surrounding areas. There were a couple of days in Spokane, WA too.
What was your biggest challenge while making this film?
The logistics and safety measures to shoot at that altitude, probably. It took an hour each way to drive up and down, so making sure our shoot schedule was tight and effective. Every night, we tied down equipment to protect from wind and hired a ranger to stay. My actors went up the day before we started to see if they had any adverse reactions. The tower would sway sometimes. It took some getting used to.
Some may not be aware that the lead of Outpost is, in fact, your wife, Beth Dover. Was she always your first casting choice?
Yes. She’s phenomenal, and I knew she could handle the sharp tone shifts that her performance required. It’s also an independent production, which meant the movie was in our lives, like it or not, for a few years. It was important to me that she was right in it with me.
It’s no secret that you are highly well-known for your work in comedy. For some, Horror films can also carry many comedic moments. While making Outpost, I did manage to sneak in some comedy for fun or wanted the audience to be entertained by horror and thrills.
In some moments, I leaned on the humour, but, for me, it all just served to add levity or release tension. The tenets of the genre were a priority. I had no jokes, for jokes’ sake. In early cuts, I got feedback about a scene where a character’s telling a joke, but it’s flat, and the note is, “The scene’s not funny!” But it’s not supposed to be funny; it’s supposed to be cringey. It’s a terribly awkward, socially tone-deaf situation that’s not uncommon for many women.
When it comes to the film’s dialogue. Did you ever allow the cast to make lines up and ad lib during production, or was the filming process always kept tight, making the cast stick to the original script?
If any dialogue’s ever unnatural for the actor, I just tell them to say it how they’d say it. There wasn’t much of that, though. The schedule didn’t allow for much improv, but it’s also not that kind of movie. Ato, Ta’Rea, and I completely rewrote a scene by improv by finding its core purpose: the story points to hit. We did it while the crew was setting up the shot. Ultimately, the scene didn’t make the cut because it was jamming up the early third-act momentum, but it’s a terrific scene. They both nailed it.
Would you like to continue to work in the horror and thriller genre?
100% yes. Thousand times over.
Do you have any upcoming projects you can reveal?
The first thing that needs to happen is the WGA and SAG-AFTRA need to be recognized as integral and irreplaceable partners in the creation of movies, TV, and video games. Full stop. Like millions of other workers, in other industries, they/we deserve fair wages and participation, and we’d appreciate job protection from robots. Pretty straightforward stuff. That aside, yes, I have a horror-sci-fi creature feature script ready to go.
As our interview ends, what would you like to say to the people of Australia and New Zealand as to why they should check out Outpost?
Well first, I thank anyone who checks this movie out because it’s not what I’m known for, and I appreciate you giving it a chance anyway. I also think even if you’re not a traditional horror fan, you’ll be surprised to find things in it that resonate anyway. In general, Outpost has been well-received, but it’s going to rub some people the wrong way. The third act is divisive. But I’d rather live there; I’d rather my movies evoke strong reactions one way or the other rather than in the middle. I’d prefer a fistbump or a punch in the face than a shrug.
Quote from lead actress Beth Dover
Beth passed along this quote about what it was like working with Joe Lo Truglio:
“It has been such a dream of Joe’s to direct his own horror film, so to be able to be a part of his vision is incredibly special. He’s a great director and I’m beyond proud of him.”
A big thank you to Joe Lo Truglio for making himself available to chat about his new thriller! For more information, check out the link here: https://whatsthatnoisefilms.com/outpost