Pictured: Andy Mitton
The other week I wrote about how YellowBrickRoad, an independent horror film written and directed by Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton, did a number on me. I seriously hadn’t been that emotionally and psychologically worked over by a piece of fiction in a while. Though my essay on the movie helped me come to terms with how and why it had affected me as much as it did, I was still intrigued by this harrowing puzzle of a film. So I reached out to Mitton, a Los Angeles filmmaker originally from New England, and he was kind enough to answer my questions about YellowBrickRoad.
Daniel Link: What's the genesis of your and Jesse's premise behind YellowBrickRoad, and how does House of Leaves come into play?
Andy Mitton: At the start, we just thought the idea of hearing music from an unknown source in the forest was a fresh way to portray a ghostly presence. It was our favorite kind of scary—the uncanny, the thing that cannot be there, but is anyway. Just like that door upstairs in Navidson’s house in House of Leaves, which is among my and Jesse’s favorite books. Lynch and Kubrick also became references as masters of the uncanny and squeezing it for all its wrongness. The story within was both around maximizing the potential of that idea, and also telling a cautionary tale about the nature of ambition—something we were exploring on a personal level, anyway, just by uprooting our lives to try and make a movie. We put some of our own dream-following fears and misgivings into the emerging story of Teddy Barnes’ obsession.