Michael Coulombe introduces us to his malevolent manuscripts and what he has in store for our horror community.
Michael Coulombe began his film career as a script supervisor in 2006, leaving his full-time job to pursue his dream of writing. Almost three years in to the industry, he was faced with the writer’s strike, which halted most production, and then ultimately the recession that affected the entire country. It was then that Michael Coulombe co-founded The Big Bear Horror Film Festival in Big Bear, CA and launched the Kerry O’Quinn Award. (Kerry O’Quinn / creator of FANGORIA.)
During the film festival, Coulombe met Victor Miller (writer of FRIDAY THE 13TH) and Harry Manfredini (composer of FRIDAY THE 13TH.) After nine years and 150 films, Coulombe made his way into writing and directing. Managed by Shaun Cairo of Shakir Entertainment Management, he wrote a Latina drama YOU CAN CALL ME EVE, based on his play by the same name, which he will be directing this year along with EDEN FALLS, which he wrote with Victor Miller, and Martin Rogers. Coulombe is also attached to the new zombie thriller HAMACHI.
TerrorTime: Inspiration can come in many forms and sometimes in unique fashions. Which genre delivered inspiration for you?
Michael Coulombe. It is really interesting to consider this actually. I think if you ask those around me they would say horror. In all fairness, they would be right. I mean, I co-founded a horror film festival. I wrote a horror film with Victor Miller (writer of FRIDAY THE 13TH.) My directorial debut was a psychological horror called AX – sensing a pattern? In actuality I was both curious and afraid of horror growing up as a kid. My cousin Daryl was literally and openly obsessed with horror. I, on the other hand, was much more secretive about my love for the genre. I am not really sure why either. I had this strange fascination with Halloween and haunted houses. Every story I wrote had to take place in one. This is due in part that the house I lived in the first 12 years of my life was haunted. My sister, and my cousin, and I still remember the day we heard a voice that came from my parent’s bathroom that said “Get out!” Okay, so I grew up in a haunted house. The house was in Orange County. We moved to a house across the street from a huge orange grove that was across a long narrow desolate road. How is that for inspiration? There was like 3 houses on our street for several years. We were at the end of a housing track except our house faced away from every other house. It felt like we were alone most of the time. Couple that with the experiences of living with a ghost and my future was pretty much carved for me from that point on! Ironically, I love drama. I really love the human struggle and the emotion that comes from that. Pain is life…..and trying to find those happy moments within that pain is what life is to me. Life isn’t always bad and life isn’t always good. It really is a constant struggle of both. I am such an emotional person – perhaps that is why my writing is so raw. There are days I can’t get out of bed, and the world seems so cruel and unkind…and then the next day I wake up at 7am and it’s like I have so much energy that I create well into the night time. Ha, I realize that that makes me sound a bit bi-polar. I used to think there was something wrong with me…until I realized that in order to write the human emotion I literally had to experience it. All the best artists are emotional. So with all of that……getting into film I have been lucky enough to work in damn near every genre….and what I have learned is this….I am inspired by all of them! A good horror has a bit of drama in it. Drama in some ways is hysterical. There is a bit of horror in comedy….because life, itself, has a little bit of each in it.
TT: Lets dive into EDEN FALLS. Introduce us to this amazing project.
MC. Eden Falls is the product of a collaboration between Victor Miller, Martin Rogers, and myself. In all of my interviews I talk a lot of what is what like to write with Victor. He is a veteran. He has three Emmy’s and created the largest horror franchise of all time. Writing with Martin was equally amazing. Martin is studying to be a lawyer and Victor, well he graduated from Yale with a degree in English. They are, to say the least, quite intelligent gentleman. They connected with each other on that level more than I did I feel. I didn’t mind because it was fascinating to listen to them talk….and I was honored to be working on this project with them. Besides, I was the one that brought us all together…so I played my part. We had mutual respect for each other. That is the biggest and most important thing. It wasn’t about ego it was about writing a wonderful story together. Our concept was simple: a man wakes up in an abandoned hospital … now go! Of course, EDEN FALLS is so different from that concept now – and the story of the concept is for another interview – but we took that concept and started with: who is he, how did he get there, and how does he get out? That is what EDEN FALLS started out as. Now when people ask me what Eden Falls is, I just say, it’s a total mind fuck written by three amazing writers!
TT: It sounds AMAZING!! Michael, Id love to invite you back and us get into the fascinating events with AX. A horror short film that has inspired you to expand it into a feature. And thank you for letting us get a peak into your art. It is truly awe- inspiring.
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