Matthew McWilliams is a young writer, director, and producer who has long been fascinated by the legend of the Chupacabra. After working in the art department of the “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” TV reality shows, Matthew decided to branch out and create his first feature horror film titled “Chupacabra Territory, ” and he was happy to talk about his experiences with the project.

Directing

Blasting News (BN): What inspired you to become a director and how did you get involved with 'Chupacabra Territory'?

Matthew McWiliams (MM): I’ve always had a creative side, whether it was drawing, photography, writing, sculpting or music.

Creating things has always been a way for me to express my thoughts and emotions. I have always been in awe of how powerful films can be. They affect us in so many ways and evoke deep and primal emotions. It’s like a journey into the human condition. That’s what I love about films, creating something from the ground up, putting pieces of you into them and visually shaping stories. That's why I wanted to become a director.

They affect us in so many ways and evoke deep and primal emotions. It’s like a journey into the human condition. That’s what I love about films, creating something from the ground up, putting pieces of you into them and visually shaping stories. That's why I wanted to become a director.

“Chupacabra” came about very organically. It is a creature that has been floating in my mind for a long time.

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Several years ago, I went on a backpacking trip with some friends to the Olympic Peninsula. I brought my SLR camera and asked them to humor me and pretend we were on an expedition to find the Chupacabra. They played the part and had fun with it while I filmed it. Afterwards I cut this little trailer together and showed it to my producer Chris Maltauro who loved it. At the time, he was in the middle of selling one of his films to a VOD company so he passed it on to them. They were super excited about it so Chris and I said let’s make it happen.

They played the part and had fun with it while I filmed it. Afterwards I cut this little trailer together and showed it to my producer Chris Maltauro who loved it. At the time, he was in the middle of selling one of his films to a VOD company so he passed it on to them. They were super excited about it so Chris and I said let’s make it happen.

BN: From the stand point of genres what kinds of movies do you most enjoy making?

MM: It really depends on what is inspiring me at the time, and that can change depending on different factors and what I am experiencing in my life.

I have always loved horror films, and I will continue to make them but I am exploring different genres as well. There are so many ways films can touch people and as a Director I feel you need to explore different genres so you are always learning, bringing new ideas and challenges to the story telling process.

BN: Can you tell us a bit about your directorial experiences on “Chupacabra Territory”?

MM: Overall I think everyone had a fun time making it. We had this entire forest to shoot in up in the mountains and were filming at all hours of the night. We were a small crew, all sleeping in a small apartment like one big family. There were of course many challenges, some scenes were very difficult to shoot and there were a few that didn’t make the cut.

We were in the middle of nowhere constantly battling the elements, wind that rendered our fog machine useless, cold temperatures, and had a lot of sound and power issues but that’s to be expected. The Chupacabra puppet was very hard to animate on set. We just didn't have the time or the bodies to work it all out because we were on a very limited shooting schedule. After principal filming, we had a stop motion shoot with the puppet and managed to get some great shots out of it.

Movies

BN: What have you found to be most exciting about being a part of the entertainment business?

MM: For one you are never in the same place twice. I’ve shot all over Los Angeles and seen more of the city than most people.There’s always new places to see and explore. I’ve also been to many cites in the US and traveled abroad all over the world. So that has been a great reward. Most people don’t get that chance. But I think the greatest reward has been working with a lot of driven and talented people over the years. I have learned a great deal from them.

BN: Where do you hope your career will be ten years and what is next for you?

MM: Well I have several scripts that are in the works and several still that are in the beginning stages of development. I’m shooting a dark coming of age short film this summer and am looking forward to that. I am also currently finishing the sequel to “Chupacabra Territory” so that will probably be my next film.

BN: What advice could you possibly give to someone who is aspiring to become a director?

MM: Don't pull out all the big guns right off the bat. Think small scale and focus on directing each shot. Find a good story with minimal locations. If you can make an interesting film that takes place in only one location, that is truly commendable.

Check out movies like “Phone Booth,” “Reservoir Dogs,” “Frozen,” and “The Hateful Eight.” All of those are entertaining stories that have minimal locations. Get funding anyway you can, friends, family, Kickstarter. Find trustworthy and driven people and make it happen.