Director Duncan Skiles Discusses The Clovehitch Killer

We recently had the opportunity to talk with Duncan Skiles, whose latest film, The Clovehitch Killer (review), was unleashed upon the masses on November 16th. Judging by his latest production, this up-and-coming filmmaker looks poised to have a bright future in the industry.  He gave us the lowdown on the film and what he’s got coming up next so read on, and enjoy!

BW: Duncan, first off, thanks for allowing us to check out the film. I was not only amazed but legitimately creeped out as well, LOL – well done!

DS: Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

BW: For the people who might need a bit of an intro to the film, can you give us a layout of its premise?

DS: After finding some disturbing images in his dad’s truck, 16-year-old boy scout Tyler follows a trail of clues that lead him to suspect his dad is the local serial killer known as “Clovehitch.”

BW: Christopher Ford’s writing was fantastic in the film as well – what was it about the film that drew you in to direct?

DS: I came up with the idea in 2010, during a spell of intense interest in true serial killer stories. Chris Ford is a longtime collaborator of mine and a very talented screenwriter; he’s much better with dialogue and structure than I am. He came on board after I had worked out a rough outline. The story has a lot of themes that I’m interested in exploring, one of them being our blind spots, i.e., the tendency of people to believe what they want rather than what is true.

BW: Dylan McDermott was incredibly effective in his role – tell us what was it like to work with him – was he open to changes with the role?

DS: Dylan is an amazing actor, and working with him was a privilege. He had a lot of ideas he was excited to try out while shooting, and he created many of Don’s details–the accent, the posture, the hand gestures. He was down for the physical transformation, wearing a prosthetic belly and even letting us shave his hairline back a bit. The experience was at times intimidating because Dylan has a lot more experience than I do, and he was so intensely committed to the role that I felt I had to be very precise with my suggestions to not disturb his process. But that was good because it made me more focused and attentive as a director.

Dylan McDermott in The Clovehitch Killer.

BW: You’ve not only directed, but produced, edited, and even acted – which out of all your jobs do you feel is the most personally rewarding?

DS: Directing, by far. My favorite part of filmmaking is being in the managed chaos of a shoot, working with a team of people I respect and trust, to solve problems and make discoveries in the moment.

BW: Finally, after the release of The Clovehitch Killer, what can we expect to see you working on next?

DS: I’m going to make another psychological thriller.

BW: That’s all I’ve got.  Duncan, thanks so very much for the time – best of luck with the film, and we’ll keep an eye out for you!

DS: Thanks for your thoughtful questions and interest in the film!

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