Two thieves tell each other eerie stories to pass the time in Gerard Lough's Night People, a new anthology film hitting VOD on May 9th. For our latest Q&A feature, we caught up with Lough to discuss the making of his directorial feature film debut.

Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us, Gerard. When and how did you first come up with the idea for your new film, Night People?

Gerard Lough: Anthology films were very much a fixture of my childhood at Halloween, as they always seemed to be shown on TV at the time and I always liked the idea of getting three stories for the price of one, each of them with the fat trimmed off, that would hit the ground running. Anthology shows were also very much on the go at that time but seemed to die out, so I wanted to bring that spirit back as well as try to add something a little different to the horror genre and take an unsuspecting audience in unexpected directions. Let's face it, five minutes into Night People you would be hard-pressed to know what the hell is going to happen next and that tension never lets up.

Was Night People originally conceived as an anthology film of sorts, or was it initially envisioned as separate stories?

Gerard Lough: Always intended as a hyperlink feature film, or an intertwining narrative as it's also known. Best examples of this would be Traffic and Cloud Atlas, which make it look easy when it is in fact a real juggling act, as was the case with Night People where the story goes off in three different directions before all intersecting into one big story at the end. A lot to try and pull off in a directorial debut, but if there is no challenge, what's the point?

The film’s music has an infectiously ’80s vibe. Did you set out to evoke that decade’s distinct style through the movie’s soundtrack?

Gerard Lough: Not at all. Simple fact is I love electronic music, so I will always be excited about having a synth score for my films. But electronic music actually has its roots in the ’70s when groups like Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk first emerged. We only associate it with the ’80s as it was the early part of that decade when it went from artsy and experimental to mainstream and commercial when groups like Depeche Mode hit the charts. But visually it is influenced by France's "cinema du look" movement from that decade, movies like Subway and Diva, which made their mark with lots of style and striking visuals.

Where did filming take place and what did those environments add aesthetically and atmospherically to the movie?

Gerard Lough: It mostly took place in Donegal, which is in the northwest of Ireland and is an area that has recently attracted the attention of location scouts for Star Wars: Episode VIII, not that I'm surprised. Locations ranged from something thousands of years old to a modern art installation in a trendy part of town. But it's the subtle things that are the most effective. The scene where Faustina (Claire Blennerhassett) meets a shady client in a hotel, for example. The view from the room is nothing but a blank wall of a nearby building, which gives it a slightly claustrophobic and oppressive feel.

What was your favorite scene to shoot?

Gerard Lough: The scene where the strange device is discovered at the ruins of Grianan of Aileach, a stone ring fort that dates back to the 7th century. We had no permission to be there, so it had the thrill of a bit of harmless mischief. To give it a striking look, it was lit with red flares and filmed at sunset, at that point in the day when the sky turns blue before going dark. It was a pain in the ass to do that with strong winds and a limited window of time, but once I saw the dailies I knew it was all worth it and it even made up a large part of what I thought was a very effective and mysterious teaser trailer (

What were the challenges you faced shooting a lot of the film at night?

Gerard Lough: After a while, your patience will wear thin and because of that I may have been a little snappy with my actors. Even a hardened Goth would get sick of it after five nights in a row. But you have total control of the light and can design a look that will give the film an otherworldly, creepy atmosphere that would be killed stone dead with daylight.

When you look back at your time on set, is there a particularly funny or memorable moment that stands out?

Gerard Lough: Sarah Louise Carney standing on the edge of a cliff as the sun goes down on one of the most picturesque lighthouse locations on Earth makes you grateful to be alive and able to photograph it so it can last forever. It also dawns on you that there are beautiful places near home and that before filming them, you took them for granted.

Do you have any favorite movies that influenced your approach to making Night People?

Gerard Lough: Probably the single biggest influence was The Hunger (1983) with its daring use of music, editing, gorgeous photography, interesting female characters and overall brave attempt to subvert the horror genre, something I gamely tried to do. We even had a version of Lakme's "The Flower Duet" on the soundtrack as an homage to Tony Scott, who used the same piece of music in both The Hunger and True Romance, films that were both underrated and overlooked on their initial theatrical release.

Is this a world you would be willing to return to in a potential sequel?

Gerard Lough: Not right now, as I think it's important that film number two is something very different, as directors can also end up typecast if they don't watch out. The door is left open at the end of Night People, though, isn't it? Indeed there is even a sneaky scene after the end credits that also hints at a possible direction for a sequel, so who knows?

With Night People available on VOD beginning May 9th, what projects do you have on deck that you can tease for our readers, and where can they find you on social media?

Gerard Lough: I have an eye on a sci-fi project that filmmakers have been trying to get off the ground for years but have given up on. Maybe I'm just brash enough to give it a go. To be continued...

You can find out the latest about Night People at


Night People will be released on VOD on May 9th:

"Night People is an Irish Horror / Science Fiction story which marks the feature film debut of director Gerard Lough and stars Michael Parle, Jack Dean-Shepherd and Claire Blennerhassett. The film was shot on location in Donegal and Dublin and features a large cast made up of some of the country’s most exciting new acting talent. The film tries to breathe new life into genre cinema with striking visuals, provocative themes with an ambitious intertwining narrative that has plenty of twists and turns.

A pair of professional but badly mismatched criminals break into a vacant house to carry out an insurance scam. Awkwardly thrown together with an hour to kill, they reluctantly start telling each other tall tales. One concerns two friends who discover a mysterious device that may be of alien origin. The more they learn about it, the closer to breaking point their friendship is pushed. The other is about an ambitious business woman who provides a dating agency for wealthy fetishists. She attempts to escape this shady line of work by taking on a new client who’s habits may be of the vampiric variety.”

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.