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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


This week we got together with the cast of the exciting new indie film, 'Whatever Happened to Harry Fish'. The trailer has already been doing the rounds on the internet and has been certainly causing a stir in the BloodGuts office. Speaking to director Gary Hewitt and stars Ian Sides (also producing), Sharon Fehlberg, Lissa Dougal, Alex Robertson, Anthony Quirke, Douglas Sannachan and make up artist Saima Butt.

Not only do we have this exclusive interview with the cast but also three exclusive photos released today.

So firstly what is "Whatever Happened to Harry Fish?"

Gary J Hewitt: "WHTHF" is a horror thriller about an insomniac named Harry Fish (who has trouble sleeping) when he gets haunted by a spirit.

He has trouble sleeping when he gets haunted by an evil spirit That's it in my words

Anthony Quirke: Due to his sleep deprevation and social circumstances, he is not sure if the haunting is real

Lissa Dougal: And the other characters around him are not sure if it's real either

So, a ghost story with underlying psychological issues Do we have the kind of spirit that will scare our trousers off?

Gary J Hewitt: Yes Sharon is very creepy as Mary...

Lissa Dougal: Yeah, I think people will be scared by Mary - especially after hearing people's comments about the trailer so far

Sharon so tell me did you scare any of the cast for real?

Sharon Fehlberg: The story is pretty much a guessing game right up until the last min of the film so will keep everyone on the toes. I'm pretty sure I creeped Ian out a few times.

Saima Butt: Well, I'm the one that had to transform "Mary" in all her glory! Sharon definitely had us all convinced!

Haha, Certainly the trailer is a scary ride through 3 minutes we can only imagine the full length film. So Sharon, did it take long to get into make up each day? I can guess that was a lengthy process

Sharon Fehlberg: Yep Saima had the unfortunate job to turn me into scary Mary and the first few times it took around 3hours to get me right however we soon got into the swing of it and it was bout 2 hours

Gary J Hewitt: The Make Up was a long job. But both Saima and Sharon where very patient with the process

Douglas Sannachan: Sleep deprivation causes sleep paralysis and is known all over the world. It has been called ridden by the old hag, held by the spider and ghost oppression.

Gary J Hewitt: We defo have a few spiders creeping about as you can see in the trailer.

Anthony Quirke: A friend of mine commented on the spider in a rather high pitchced voice Nothing unscary about a spider. High pitched voices and spiders, sounds like a behind the scenes feature may be just as scary

Saima Butt: Was a really amazing process to transform Sharon! Lots of different special effects and make-up was used to bring her to life, from body painting, sculpting, open wounds - the lot!

Sharon Fehlberg: I have many family members that suffer from Sleep paralysis and they say the whole process is the most horrific thing they have ever experienced so I hope we brought some of that into the film and people that have gone through it will appreciate what we were trying to show The make up looks brilliant from what we've seen so far and definitely a job well done

Saima Butt: Thank you - but Sharon was super patient!

Sharon Fehlberg: Yeah Saima worked very hard and it wasnt easy with me giggling Gary J Hewitt: Sharon said it was like being pampered

Saima Butt: Haha!

Gary J Hewitt: Then she'd look in the mirror

Anthony Quirke: The hard work paid off everybody’s talking about the trailer.

Saima Butt: It was a girly catch-up at the best of times!

Sharon Fehlberg: Very true Saima That's nice to see an element of realism not shown in other films with the subject (fight club, the mechanic) and the haunting element only blends reality with fiction, was there any haunting or spooky action on set?

Ian Sides: Was there ever… lights going on and off

Anthony Quirke: *laughs* They do that

Ian Sides: Strange sounds being picked up

Sharon Fehlberg: Yep the trailer has had some fab comments. Oh my when we filmed in Harrys Flat lots of spooky things happened and when we played back footage you can hear a child speak

Gary J Hewitt: Yes! I'm sure it says "DAD"

Ian Sides: Some of the shoots were very freaky A real ghost captured on tape?

Ian Sides: Possibly

Sharon Fehlberg: Yes I think it was

Saima Butt: Lots of eerie sounds as well! Certainly spooky both on and off then, was there ever time to wind down?

Gary J Hewitt: Anytime we where filming the spiders also seemed to come out as well

Sharon Fehlberg: That day we caught the voice on tape was a particularly odd day with sounds i remember and spiders everywhere. Well Gary never stopped his mind for one second. The rest of us couldnt keep up

Ian Sides: We always try to have fun and jokes on the shoot to keep the cast and crew happy and up beat

Lissa Dougal: And plenty cups of tea Tea, the perfect pick me up

Gary J Hewitt: Erm not really our days of filming we were working to survive. Even on breaks, or days off call sheets were getting done, props getting bought and blood getting made.

Sharon Fehlberg: Ian was hilarious making us laugh and Alex too as they both are so comical together

Gary J Hewitt: Filmmaking takes over but in a good way

Sharon Fehlberg: The dedication from Gary and Ian rubbed off on us all and we have made a brilliant film that I’m sure we will all be proud of for a long time, it was great to be a part of it and work with such a driven cast and crew

Alex Robertson: And again between takes we had great laughs and banter so that also made it such a relaxed environment to be working in

Anthony Quirke: You have to keep it light sometimes when you are dealing with dark subject matters. There are some heavy (disturbing) scenes. That's refreshing to here from a film crew and it seems your chemistry off screen on (if that makes sense). So Ian, how much of yourself did you bring to Harry?

Ian Sides: Not much, I sleep well every night and I don’t see dead people I found it very hard to get into the mind-set of harry it’s down to the viewer to decide whether or not they believe him. I’ll always have a problem with my performance as I always think I could do better but Gary was happy with what I done and I have to leave it there and trust him

Alex Robertson: Thought you had fell asleep Ian Ironic

Gary J Hewitt: I'm knowing for my line "ONE MORE SHOT!!!" Because I won't move on until I know it's perfect. So yeah by the end of the Day I am always leaving happy with everyone's performance

Sharon Fehlberg: 'One More Shot' these words will haunt us *laughs* Only kidding we loved to leave happy if Gary is happy When does one more shot become one last shot?

Ian Sides: When I threaten him

Sharon laughs at this remark

Gary J Hewitt: When people are going to miss the last train home I know it's time to move on

Saima Butt: You feel totally reassured though! As soon as Gary says “CUT”, you know you've got a good 'un!

Awesome. Lissa, you play Kathy. What can you tell us about her?

Lissa Dougal: Ian is very natural at acting and it's great to work on screen with him (as well as off screen). Kathy is Harry's sister in law. She's a nurse so she's typically caring but she's also a realist so I think she finds it quite hard to believe in what Harry is telling her

Lissa Dougal: But she wants to be there for him so she tries very hard to The realist in the situation, did you find it easy to relate to her?

Lissa Dougal: Very. I managed to bring a lot of myself to the character because I don't believe in ghosts or anything but I have the capacity to have my mind changed - if it was proven to me A characteristic most of us share, does anyone share otherwise?

Douglas Sannachan: Can I just say that it’s very exciting to see films like these being made in Scotland. The first film I was involved in was a film called "That Sinking Feeling “a low budget comedy film that stood out from the usual Glasgow gangster stereo type. It’s refreshing to have people like Gary and Ian in the industry in Scotland being brave enough to do something different.

Gary J Hewitt: Thanks Douglas

Anthony Quirke: I believe there is a possibility something out there

Sharon Fehlberg: Very nice words Douglas, couldn’t agree more

Gary J Hewitt: I'm not really sure in my beliefs but I sleep walk, talk to myself in my sleep and sometimes others... So don't know what that says about me true story

Ian Sides: Very, we are using all our own money and the help of some great people present company include Gary and myself are very lucky to have such talented helpful friends

Sharon Fehlberg: I pretty much believe in ghosts, spirits, Angels, demons and yeah id even go so far as to say Fairies but you might just say I’m away with the fairies. I believe anything can be or become. So it made perfect sense for me to play scary Mary

Alex Robertson: When I got the script to read it wasn’t a case of I might do it, it was a case of I had to do it as I was gripped by the script from start to finish fantastic writing Great words Sharon. You answered my next question Alex

Alex Robertson: Did I? In how easy was it to go from script to screen?

Ian Sides: The script differed from the shoot a wee bit, if there were shot's or ideas that happened we shot them we love spur of the moment. I had a dream about a shot we had done but when I’d asked Gary if we'd shot it he said no .... So we shot it anyway

Lissa Dougal: Yeah it seemed like all the time a new scene was getting added

Ian Sides: There were also a couple of bonus scenes added

Gary J Hewitt: It was more like a nightmare Ian A great work ethos but didn't it get messy at times?

Ian Sides: Sometimes we veered off path but soon found it again

Gary J Hewitt: All the characters in the film are a little bit nuts in the film... But I knew all the cast could pull of the parts. The hardest part was script to screen was keeping the atmosphere as we shot the film over a year. We had new ideas constantly but if it didn't fit it didn't get shot. A long time, how was editing?

Ian Sides: Getting there

Ian Sides: How is the edit Gary?

Gary J Hewitt: Editing is going well. We can see it really coming together. I get a wee smile on my face when it creeps me out watching a shot back. And that's without music and colour grading Always a positive beginning…

Douglas Sannachan: I came to the production late on but was impressed with the way it was very relaxed So, who had the most fun on set, I'm guessing it wasn't Gary?

Gary J Hewitt: Douglas was very creepy as the homeless man. In the scenes with Sharon, Ian and Lissa

Douglas Sannachan: Relaxed as in making me welcome.

Gary J Hewitt: Saima was great at Douglas make up as well It seems Saima had her work cut out.

Ian Sides: Well my hair still falling out so I’m not sure if i would call that fun

Alex Robertson: I must admit on set I had a blast

Saima Butt: Thanks Gary, was great working with Douglas and bringing his character alive!

Sharon Fehlberg: I def had fun on set and in some of my scenes with Ian we couldn’t control ourselves laughing at some of the what seemed ridiculous things or positions we had to get ourselves into but on the screen it looks amazing

Ian Sides: I had a great laugh on set I’m just sorry to the cast and crew that had to put up with me

Douglas Sannachan: Yea I'm such a hunk, only someone like Saima could make me look so rough!

Gary J Hewitt: Nah I loved every bit... Seeing a project going from paper to people bring character to life was amazing you all did me proud

Saima Butt: Thanks Doug!!

Sharon Fehlberg: We all had a blast It was so easy to be around Gary and Ian and even on stressful days it was still a great place to work

Lissa Dougal: I had a great time - you'd think it would be difficult doing a job where you weren't getting paid but if it's what you love to do and the people around you are great fun to be with (as well as being extremely professional) then it never feels like you're actually 'working'

Alex Robertson: Yeah and during filming we had some family deaths, but working on the film I think made us cope better than we possibly wouldn’t have so yea a great bunch of people to have worked with

Anthony Quirke: I agree with Lissa, and it always helps when the cast and crew are your friends.

Ian Sides: I paid you in food tea and laughs

Lissa Dougal: You sure did Ian… and in hugs

Gary J Hewitt: They whole cast & crew had a lot of traveling to do as we shot all over Scotland. Glasgow, Paisley, Ayr, Motherwell, Lanark, Wishaw. So they must have had a lot of faith in the project A lot indeed and I'm sure it’s captured brilliantly non film and can't wait to see the finished project

Sharon Fehlberg: We had faith in the project because we have faith in Gary and Ian’s talent as writer, director, producer and lead actor. As Lissa said it made it easy to be a part of the project as we all believed 100percent in the talents of our friends and together when you believe you can do anything

Alex Robertson: Totally second that Sharon

Douglas Sannachan: There is too much emphasis on money these days, I see the art in film making to be more important. The film will be there long after we are gone.

Gary J Hewitt: Can I ask one question quickly? What do you think of my horror imagination that you read in the script? I'm just nosey...

Anthony Quirke: Innovative

Sharon Fehlberg: I think you have one of the best imaginations ive ever had the pleasure to listen to. You imagine the way a child does and in my opinion that is the best way to make dreams happen

Ian Sides: Twisted warped mind

Alex Robertson: I just thought to myself, this guy must have trouble sleeping at night, as I said earlier the writing was fantastic and gripping and your imagination is great Words we look forward totranslating on screen. We offer a huge thanks to the cast a crew for their time and we can’t wait to see the finished picture.

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