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'A.V. Club' Interview with SVA Alumnus Ti West

From A.V. Club: "Ti West has made a name for himself as one of the most acclaimed of a new generation of horror auteurs. His The House Of The Devil is considered by many to be one of the best horror films of the new century, including this very site. He’s continued to be active in horror, releasing found-footage chiller The Sacrament and contributing segments to V/H/S and The ABCs Of Death, as well as branching out into directing TV, such as several episodes of Wayward Pines. But his biggest and most ambitious move out of indie horror is his latest project, the old-school Western revenge flick In A Valley Of Violence, which comes to theaters this weekend. Boasting a top-name cast (Ethan Hawke, John Travolta) and a surprisingly funny and crowd-pleasing story, the picture bodes well for West’s future outside the genre in which he made his name. The A.V. Club spoke with West the morning after his film premiered at SXSW, where the director talked about audience reception, utilizing genre conventions, and how working with a talented dog ended up being some of the most amazing moments of his career.

The A.V. Club: The movie played super well.

Ti West: I don’t really—I’ve seen it so many times, I don’t generally watch the movie. It’s sort of like hearing your voice on tape. But since it’s the first night, there’s moments that I’m like, is this going to play? Is this going to get the laugh I want? So I poke my head in the back.

AVC: Was this one of the rare times you did sit and watch along with an audience?

TW: I mean, I’ve done it with all my films. I always keep an eye on the first time I show it because… I don’t know. Neurosis. You have to. But I generally try—I’ll creep in the back. I’ll be outside. I’ll pace around. I don’t really get that nervous about whether people like it. You can’t do anything about that. It’s more technical. You spend two years of your life obsessing, picturing sound details, and you work so hard to make a movie a certain way, that you get there, and you’re like—is it loud enough or whatever, so that this experience with everybody in this room is the fairest chance I can get..." (continue reading)

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