Interviews 2019

Out Of The Depths

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 4 January 2019 (note - full text here)

"Clive Barker is alive and well and living in the fantastic lands he's always lived in, from which there will come novels and short stories and eventually films. So this is a great moment to thank everybody who's had the common sense and the faith in me to stay in contact with me, to stay in faith with me, to believe in me. And it's also a great thanks to the thousands of people who turned out in Dallas and in Chicago to say, 'Hey - it's been too long!' and I will not be invisible again unless I'm for a certain period making a movie or whatever, but my intention is to make sure that people know that Clive Barker is not only alive and well but piled high with ideas!
"As you know, because you've seen me here, I've been busily working away at lots of stuff for a while and, even though it's been a long and frankly painful process to get well, the alternative was wretched. And I am well-er literally by the day - and so, my love and gratitude and thanks - and a promise that the Clive Barker that perhaps they thought had, if not passed from the world permanently, had certainly moved into retirement, is neither retired nor dead! And those people who unfortunately decided to exploit my sickness are the truly sad characters in all of this. My fans, my readers, my viewers of my paintings have a lot to look forward to and I have a lot to look forward to in providing entertainments which I've always loved providing. And some very dark stuff: two more Abarats, one of which is almost finished, a third book of the Art, which is started, a second Galilee book, a lot more short stories to come - yeah there's a lot, there's a lot to come!"

Monster-Mania Hellraiser Panel

Panel appearance at Monster-Mania, Cherry Hill, 17 August 2019 (note - full video available here)

"We have CGI up the gazoo now, right, and I think we are the lesser for it personally. It is inconceivable that there could ever be what these guys did through a computer generated image, in my opinion...
"I am, as you all know, a technophobe, I'm not very good with technology so for me the idea that I can direct somebody Monster-Mania, Cherry Hill, 17 August 2019who is in make-up... You can't direct someone in CGI. You can actually go to the technicians who are doing it for you, who are very often very, very brilliant men and women, and you can say, 'Look, this is what I'm looking for,' and next time you go in a week they will have got an approximation of what you're looking for and then you say, 'Well, that isn't right... that isn't right...' - you cannot stand over them for long weeks and days because often you're still dealing with shooting a picture or you're cutting the picture or scoring the picture, so you have to trust them and the vision that you have in your head is never quite what appears on the screen. The great thing about having an actor in make-up - particularly if it's superlative make-up as these gentlemen's were, and lady's - is that there's somebody in there, there's a human being in there, which means that the human being responds to the direction that you give them. I can say to Doug, 'Look, let's play it down a little, let's play it up a little, let's be a little bit more growly and dangerous, let's be a little more soft, subtle, and almost sexy, about things,' you can do all kinds of stuff you simply cannot do with CGI.
"I mean, I'm working right now with a wonderful director called Michael Dougherty who did Godzilla 2, who is a dream of a guy. We're doing a television series of Nightbreed together: Michael is directing, writing-directing, and I am producing. He is a superb, superb, creator and, of course I should have realised that all of Godzilla 2 would be CGI and I don't know how I could get through that as a creator, knowing that you're handing over almost everything.
"The cenobites appeared first as drawings, which you guys saw long before we actually made them as creations. So they were drawings first, then they were maquettes, then you know, your faces were all... I remember Doug having his face cast. That was a terrible night. You remember that stuff? Having the plaster put on you and all that stuff. Then you manage to build up an image and then the image goes on you and then, it's still Doug, it's still an actor. I've worked with Doug as an actor since he was fifteen, right, so I have had a long... By the time we made Hellraiser it was thirteen, fourteen, fifteen years later, and he was my best friend and so I could talk to him through all that make-up and say, 'Look, let's go back to what we know of each other as friends, as best buddies, and let's make sure that that comes through.'
"I think that they're going to make some more Hellraiser movies, and unfortunately I think a lot of it is going to be CGI and I say unfortunately not because it cannot be brilliant, because sometimes it can be brilliant, but sometimes it can seem dead in the water. I will always advocate actors above [CGI] if it's possible, I would say - obviously it can't be with Godzilla - but I would advocate an actor because an actor is a human being and in the end, a monster's only good to the extent they are human."

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