Interview with the Director of The Sublet - John Ainslie

Interview with the Director of The Sublet - John Ainslie

Short Biography: 
Canadian Film Centre alumni John Ainslie is best known for the throwback horror comedy feature JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER. His screenplay was nominated for a Fangoria Chainsaw Award and the film won Best Midnight Film at the prestigious Sitges International Film Festival. Prior to writing, John worked as a Director of Photography and won the Borsos prize of Best Cinematographer at the Whistler Film Festival for his work on the feature SK8 LIFE. In 2016 John wrote and directed his first feature film – the award winning THE SUBLET. A psychological thriller Ain't it Cool News describes as "scares and shocks to a nerve shredding level". It premiered at Whistler Film Festival and won the awards for Best Actress and Best Cinematography at Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival. As a director Ainslie has shown a unique ability to achieve results with a minimal amount of resources and stretch them as far as possible in order to maximize each dollar without compromising his vision or quality of the film. Because of his past experience on set working as a cinematographer and production manager he’s able to avoid many of the issues that waste time and money on so many film sets.
The Interview: 

   We are really Proud to Introduce the great pure Directing Talent of John Ainslie who's gonna talk with us about his successful career and upcoming Plans. It was a great time Interviewing with John Ainslie

 Director of Sublet Movie.

Q: Share a dream with us. About your work or anything else.

I don't like to think in terms of "dreams" when it comes to my work. I have goals I work towards and achieve. My main goal right now is to increase the budgets I'm working with. The Sublet was a great experience, but not something I would like to do again. Working with budgets under a hundred thousand is not something that is sustainable for myself or my crew. The stories I would like to tell demand a bigger canvas with more resources. The Sublet was an amazing experience and I was lucky to have found the crew and cast we did, but the goal is growth. Challenging myself with every film to take another step forward. The film I'm in the process of making right now just couldn't be done on a budget like we had on The Sublet.

Q: Want to tell to our audience a little bit about your personal life story? Your site has a section about real horror stories… did you ever experience something really creepy in your life?

The phone scene in The Sublet is loosely based on an experience I had growing up. We were making prank phone calls and this voice just came on and said "Hello" like that repeatedly for a couple hours. We were in a house that had burnt down and a bunch of kids had died in the fire so everyone said it was haunted. I had some other weird experiences in an old apartment I moved into too with voices and odd feelings. I don't believe in ghosts or anything paranormal in the terms we talk about them in films though. I don't deny that people experience weird stuff, but there's an explanation for them.

Q: Tell us about your horror tastes… what’s your favorite horror movie and if possible, your favorite director?  

I'm going to pluralize that question, because I hate to just settle on one! I like reality a lot. Which is odd since I spend most of my time in reality fantasizing about odd scenarios. I think it's far more terrifying than supernatural ghouls and monsters. When I was young I never really understood why kids were afraid of Freddy. It just didn't seem believable to me - even though it's a great film of course! But I was more frightened by films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Jaws or Deliverance.
Films where you can imagine it happening to you tomorrow. I feel like Blair With Project really touched on some of those feelings. It may seem a bit silly now, but I remember seeing it in the theatres the first week it came out and people thought it was real. I went back to the theatres every night for a couple weeks as much to watch the crowd be scared by it. I like films that drop you into an experience and I think horror does that so well. Early Wes Craven films did that pretty well. It's the only genre where you can be watching a film alone at night and hear a noise and your brain gets scared. It gets into your head and that's great. I saw Joel Edgerton's The Gift  a couple summers ago and the woman beside me was absolutely terrified. She covered her eyes for most of it, was curled up in her seat squeezing her boyfriend's arm and then half way through she just told him they had to go because she shouldn't take it anymore. It was too scary for her. I love that stuff! At the premiere for The Sublet in Whistler we had a grown man actually leap out of his seat and scream like a child. It was amazing! Some people actually looked visually shaken by the film, which was the point. 
In terms of favorite horrors the list is long, but some key ones would be The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Shining, The Tenant, The Others, Repulsion, The Exorcist, Wolf Creek, The Loved Ones... I could go on and on
Q: What do you usually have for breakfast?
Coffee. The rest is improvised. Lately my wife has been handing my liquid from the blender because I'm trying to lose weight. Being on your feet fifteen hours a day on set is easier when you weigh less.
Q: So, how would like recommend sublet movie to the audience?
I think if you're someone who enjoys a bit of a mind fuck at a slow pace and fan of a seventies style cinema you'd enjoy The Sublet quite a bit.
Q: Do you believe in Aliens or demons or ghosts? What’s your connection with the paranormal world? Are you interested in paranormal stuff?
Obviously from a film world perspective these types of things are fun to imagine and create stories about, but in the real world no. There hasn't been any evidence I've seen or experienced that can't be explained in the natural world. I spent a lot of time interested in the supernatural world when I was young, but lately I'm finding the natural world more interesting.
Q: So, Every had any memorable memories in your life? Any best friends?
I have had many memorable memories in my life so far, but I can't think of any right now. I try not to rank my friends.
Q: What was your childhood dream?
 It's a weird question because I spent most of my childhood in dreamland avoiding reality... I originally wanted to be an archaeologist like Indiana Jones. Then I saw a behind the scenes on how they did the whole boulder scene and decided that making movies was more interesting than digging around in caves and getting shot at. 
Q: So, which your favorite movie in your life, which inspired you directing?
My favourite film is "2001 A Space Odyssey". Two films inspired me to direct - "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Mean Streets". I was born in 1975 so it's not too surprising that I'm a child of Spielberg and Scorsese. 
Q: which is your favorite music taste? 
I will generally listen to music that sort of fits with whatever I'm writing. As I worked on The Sublet I listened to a lot of Cliff Martinez soundtracks because it fit as well as some Penderecki. For the movie I'm working on right now it's a bit of a mix between Allman Brothers rock and roll, folk classics and Black Flag. But if I'm listening to music for my own enjoyment away from film most of the time it will be a Frank Zappa album.
Q: So, which would be your dream directing movie project?
The film I'm packaging right now and hope to shoot next year is pretty close to a dream project for me. It has elements of suspense and action combined with a very interesting relationship between two awesome characters. I'm hoping to announce it soon, but am not able to share specifics at the moment. 




 The Sublet on IMDB