Casting Kill – Director’s Statement

Photo: Brendan Walker

The idea for Casting Kill emerged from the headlines and issues that have engulfed the movie business in recent years: gender equality, bullying, sexual harassment, misogyny, racism, corruption.

I was intrigued by the subject matter, since filmmakers at all levels cannot fail to acknowledge and somehow address the aching problems that face an industry which is supposedly glamorous, and yet laced with reality: where there is money and power, evil is not far away.

Indeed, Arthur Capstone lures his prey with the dream of Hollywood careers, but his intentions are far from honourable.

This film might seemingly play out as the straight portrayal of a psychopath with ‘mom issues’, but there is more depth to the sinister tale than this. His rhetoric is well-rehearsed, comforting, music to the ears of naive auditionees, and much akin to the corporate spiel of industry movers and shakers, all feverishly keen to signal good intent and thus garner support for their cause.

In this sense, Capstone is perhaps even a personification of the industry itself, a business within which dreams are offered with caveats and preconditions as defined by gatekeepers and so-called talent scouts.

The satirical nature of the film may draw some parallels to American Psycho – crass materialism and a yearning for yuppie status – however, I was keen for the focus to remain on the movie business, the people and their motivations. Being seen to be virtuous and inclusive is everything, but who can you believe?

Despite its nod to yesteryear, I wanted to make Casting Kill a talking point about today’s industry – with what we know of past crimes, who are we now prepared to trust? To preserve the integrity of the subject matter, some of which may be perceived as divisive, certainly controversial, I wanted to make this a truly independent project.

After an extensive search for cast and crew, I teamed up with talented creatives who embraced Casting Kill for the unique film that it is. The music score is a fine example, a key component, which drives the story with all of its tumultuous twists and turns to a gratifying conclusion.

James Smith, director

Casting Kill premieres at Horror-On-Sea at 8pm, 15th January 2023 – TICKET LINK

Official Website

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