Science fiction and horror are both genres that use of conventions to either push pass the normalcy of the everyday or channel allegory to create thrilling entertainment. David Yorke’s Eject is a philosophical film which embraces both of these methods. It follows Kate, who upon finding a USB port in her wrist discovers she as the means to alter herself in ways she couldn’t previously comprehend. It’s a challenging film that proved an equally challenging shoot, and we spoke with Yorke to discuss executing his ambitious vision.
Where does the idea for a film about a person sticking a USB in their arm come from?
I had the initial idea for the film about ten years ago. I had an itch on my arm one day and when I was scratching I just thought what would be the strangest thing that I could discover underneath my skin. The USB angle was something that opened up many conceptual possibilities but coming up with an ending proved very difficult.
Did the ambition of the shoot prove to be challenging to execute?
This was the hardest shoot of my life so far. As mentioned, I had the idea for the film a long time ago, but no ending, so I made more short films in the meantime and then one day the ending just hit me and I knew I had to get this made. The next stage was to find my leading lady, so I brought Elena Saurel onboard. We had worked together on a few projects and with her help we re-wrote the script and everything else slowly fell into place.
The main issue was requiring the dark space location. The film was self-funded, so I wanted to find something that looked great but for very little money which, as you could imagine, was hard. I would say we started pre-production in early 2018 and it was completed August 2019. We faced many, many challenges along the way and I learned a great deal from this experience
I really enjoyed the philosophical ideas at the heart of Eject about the relationship we have with changing ourselves, and greed. Sci-fi and horror both feel like a strong fit to tackle those ideas, is that what attracted you to working in this form?
I am a massive sci-fi and horror fan and I feel you can do things in those genres that you can’t necessarily do in others, I think you can go to more interesting places and tackle darker themes in more unique ways.
The initial concept for Eject was to explore the idea of greed and what would happen if you removed part of your past to make room for the non-essential and how that would affect you. These are questions I thought a lot about as my memory isn’t the greatest and I wanted the audience to also ask themselves the same.
Visually and thematically you can definitely feel the influence of David Cronenberg, were there any other filmmakers or films that inspired you? What about them were you interested in?
I love the film It Follows by David Robert Mitchell, I think it’s one of the best horrors in the last ten years. The tone, aesthetics and the soundtrack was something I would constantly think about. Another film that really influenced me was Enemy by Denis Villeneuve, A very uncomfortable but intriguing film and that’s exactly what I wanted to achieve with Eject.
Will you be making another horror film soon?
Absolutely, I have a black comedy ready to go, it’s a perfect balance between horror and comedy but after Eject I promised myself I wouldn’t do another short without some funding which I’m looking at now.
I’m so happy that Eject has been so well received and it’s travelling to these genre festivals that it’s made me want to make a new horror film. Horror audiences are amazing and the atmosphere is unlike any other festival I’ve been too. If I had it my way I would just jump between Drama and Horror as they are my favourite pools to go swimming in.
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