Eye On Horror

The Puppetman Cinematographer Clayton Moore

October 30, 2023 iHorror Season 6 Episode 16
The Puppetman Cinematographer Clayton Moore
Eye On Horror
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Eye On Horror
The Puppetman Cinematographer Clayton Moore
Oct 30, 2023 Season 6 Episode 16
iHorror

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This episode, the boys welcome cinematographer Clayton Moore to talk about his recent film, THE PUPPETMAN (now streaming on Shudder). Clayton breaks down influence on the look of the film, his early career days as a news cameraman and how it influences some of the style of The Puppetman, filming Superhost during the pandemic, and more!

The boys also review Killers of the Flower Moon, Dicks: the Musical,  Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, Monster Inside: America’s Most Extreme Haunted House, The Devil on Trial, Never Hike Alone 2: A Friday The 13th Fan Film, and Jacob goes to a Hong Kong Cat.3 double Feature at the New Bev. 

Its all new on EYE ON HORROR!

https://linktr.ee/EyeOnHorror

Follow us on the socials: @EyeOnHorror or check out https://linktr.ee/EyeOnHorror
Get more horror movie news at: https://ihorror.com

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

This episode, the boys welcome cinematographer Clayton Moore to talk about his recent film, THE PUPPETMAN (now streaming on Shudder). Clayton breaks down influence on the look of the film, his early career days as a news cameraman and how it influences some of the style of The Puppetman, filming Superhost during the pandemic, and more!

The boys also review Killers of the Flower Moon, Dicks: the Musical,  Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, Monster Inside: America’s Most Extreme Haunted House, The Devil on Trial, Never Hike Alone 2: A Friday The 13th Fan Film, and Jacob goes to a Hong Kong Cat.3 double Feature at the New Bev. 

Its all new on EYE ON HORROR!

https://linktr.ee/EyeOnHorror

Follow us on the socials: @EyeOnHorror or check out https://linktr.ee/EyeOnHorror
Get more horror movie news at: https://ihorror.com

James Jay Edwards:

Welcome to Eye On Horror the official podcast of iHorror.com This is episode 115, Otherwise known as season six episode 16. I am your host James Jay Edwards and with me as always is your other host Jacob Davison, how you doing Jacob?

Jacob Davidson:

And okay Beyond Fest is ended and just kind of taking in the rest of October

James Jay Edwards:

right on Yeah, October we're almost to Halloween it kind of

Jacob Davidson:

One week left.

James Jay Edwards:

Yes. It's busking past us. Also with us as always is your other other host Jon Correia, How you doing Correia?

Jonathan Correia:

doing great was it's nice and early and bright and sunny day is fantastic. love being here.

James Jay Edwards:

What do you guys been doing? been seeing anything that the big release that came out? isn't really horror, but I do feel like we need to talk about it. Killers of the Flower Moon. And we all seen Killers of the Flower Moon.

Jonathan Correia:

Yes,

Jacob Davidson:

I've seen it.

James Jay Edwards:

What did you guys think of killers of the flower moon? This is the new Scorsese movie for the uninitiated. Scorsese and DiCaprio doing their thing with De Niro as well. What did you guys think?

Jacob Davidson:

I gotta say, it's amazing for a three and a half hour movie to move that fast.

James Jay Edwards:

I you know, it's funny because it you're right, I it doesn't feel like a three and a half hour movie. Until about the two and a half hour mark, the first two and a half hours for me. were great. And then that last hour, just dragged, at least for me. And that's kind of when the it's basically about the Osage Indians who their land has oil. So they all got really rich really quick. And a bunch of white people are basically trying to hone in on their oil by doing things like you know, marry their women and stuff like that.

Jacob Davidson:

And killing them.

James Jay Edwards:

Yeah, and that's the thing, they ended up being murdered. And the two and a half hour mark is when it comes from being like being like a movie about the murders to being a movie about it's like a courtroom drama kind of a thing and that's when it kind of lost me a little bit. But anyway, what do you guys think?

Jonathan Correia:

I mean, it's it's definitely about, you know, the evils of these men. I mean,

James Jay Edwards:

These white men?

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah, these white men just coming in almost every single one of them came to Osage with these horrible dark intentions of not only marrying and to get the head rights but also to slowly poison or just straight up murder. And and in the movie, the numbers are much lower than they were in real life because it was in the 100s that this was happening these these type of murders and stuff and like, none of the main characters that you follow are good people at all.

James Jay Edwards:

I mean, you kind of get a feeling that DiCaprio because he marries Lilly Gladstone's character basically initially to get her oil rights, but he does kind of fall in love with her. So he kind of gets a little bit of a redemption arc.

Jacob Davidson:

Not really though. Yeah, but

James Jay Edwards:

he is still a dick. He still is

Jacob Davidson:

and dumb as hell.

James Jay Edwards:

He's, he's, he's better than De Niro. Put it that way.

Jacob Davidson:

Morally, but not really.

Jonathan Correia:

I would argue that there is nothing, not even falling in love with someone is is a redeemable trait, especially when you participate in the murder of their entire family. That is, yeah, just and and that's Killers of the Flower Moon is a beautifully made film. It's it's incredible. It's also very interesting to see how Scorsese is is handling violence now because it's very abrupt. It's very fast. And it is very and It's very pulled back, you know, he doesn't go in, it's usually in a wide shot. It's usually a lot of stuff is happening about it. A lot of this is more it's not so much focusing on the violence itself so much as them planning it, and x and then executing on it, which is

James Jay Edwards:

when the violence happens. It's it's really well done because it's surprising. It's like you're watching and like you said it's it's the way he approaches it. It's like, bam, it's over and you're like sitting there going, Holy shit that just happened. And, yeah,

Jonathan Correia:

I will say that as much as they took the time to have representation with the Osage and an indigenous in the movie, just not a whole lot of character depth to a lot of the indigenous population in the movie, Lily Gladstone is just absolutely phenomenal with what she's given. But a lot of these characters are just caught in a constant state of grief or being murdered. And so I see a lot of critiques coming from indigenous filmmakers and representatives, you know, critiquing that, and that's the thing is, at the end of the day, this is a movie made by a white man. And he is focusing on you know, the, the horrors and atrocities committed by white men on this culture. I just wish that there was a little bit more depth to the characters, the indigenous characters on that side because, ya know, I mean, we get plenty of time Leonardo DiCaprio, where you do go, is this guy redeemable, which is, it makes you feel gross, you know, even going down that road just because of like, what they're doing what the atrocities that they're committing that so it's very much so. Like, you know, I I really enjoyed it outside of that, you know, though, it's very much so again, though, just like I called. When I walked out, I told her I'm like, yeah, it's an ally movie, you know, it's him, trying to tell a story and trying to but at the end of the day, it's still his perspective, it's still that perspective of a white man. And that ending really just kind of like, drives all that home, you know, because you're pulled out of it, and being told the story, and so it kind of it kind of feels like Oh, so this is kind of like one of those radio plays, you know, essentially.

James Jay Edwards:

Yep, definitely. And that the speaking of allies, another movie I saw, which it's it's not really allies, because it's actually made by by a couple of homosexual men, but this isn't really horror, but it's got horror elements. Dick's the musical. Have you guys heard about this?

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, I see the trailers.

James Jay Edwards:

It is oh my god, this is the weirdest movie I have ever seen. It is. It's about it's it opens up with a with a real sarcastic title card that says this movie was written by two homosexual men who are playing straight men, which has never been done before. You know, it's talked about how brave they are. And it's total sarcasm. But it basically is about these two twins who are separated at birth. And they find each other their their their vacuum cleaner part salesman. And their companies merge. And they find each other and they're light and they look nothing like the two guys that are playing them but they're like, it's like looking at a mirror you know, they're and, and they what happened is their parents split up and one of them took one of the boys so they want to Parent Trap their parents into getting back together is basically what it is. And Nathan Lane plays the dad. He has these two little monsters he calls him his sewer kids or his sewer boys. And they're they look like the monster from that one episode of Tales from the Darkside that's under the bed that in the room that the girl is renting. You know that closet? Yeah, yeah, yeah, in the closet. They look like that. And Nathan feeds these sewer kids ham by chewing up and spitting. Oh my God, it is oh, it's it is the weirdest movie ever. And it is hysterical in the same way that like South Park or Beavis and Butthead are where it's like, trying to offend you. And at one point for me and I consider myself a very liberal liberal person. It actually did cross a line and I don't want to spoil what that line was but it definitely it goes further and further and further and further and then it crosses a line where I'm like oh my god you're kidding me. Right this is really this isn't a dream this is happening. But yeah, it's a it's a pretty great it's hysterical that I had so much fun with it and it is a musical and the two the two leads they have the best harmony together. I mean the when they sing together is like that the musician in me was like all these guys are great. But anyway,

Jonathan Correia:

How was My girl Megan the stallion in it.

James Jay Edwards:

She He has probably the best song she plays their boss at the at the vacuum cleaner thing. And she has a song basically talking about how women don't need to take shit from their men and it's a big song and dance number. And the dancers are all like, you know beating the crap out of men while they do it's actually a really it's one of those points where it's it it is you know it's trying to offend Yeah, but yeah, hit her song is probably the best song and it Megan Mullally plays the mom love her and um, she she's she's kind of okay and Nathan Lane as much better as the dad. But it's a and there are there are a lot of surprises. Oh my god, it's it's it's it's the perfect length to it's 86 minutes. It's it's the anti killers of the flower. You could watch Dick's the musical two and a half times in the course of one Killers of the Flower Moon but um, yeah, it's it's it's the weirdest movie I have ever seen. I left the movie going what the hell that I just watch.

Jacob Davidson:

Let's see on my end. I again, not quite horror, but I did get to see the new Chicken Run sequel, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget.

Jonathan Correia:

Fuck Yeah,

Jacob Davidson:

a couple days ago.

Jonathan Correia:

How was that?

Jacob Davidson:

you know, Chicken Run was made by the art. The Aardman company, the production company that made the Wallace & Gromit films. And I ended I was a big fan of the original Chicken Run when it came out back in the year 2000. So we're talking like a 23 year time skip here. But they made a really great sequel. Like I really enjoyed it. It was beautifully animated had a solid plot. And I don't want to give too much away but it's interesting because the original movie was pitched as The Great Escape with chickens. And this one kind of feels like The Prisoner or 60s era James Bond movie with chickens.

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah, dude, I love Aardman. I could never get into Shaun the Sheep its not my vibe but Yeah, happy to see them back at it with Chicken Run although I would like another Wallace & Gromit feature. It's

Jacob Davidson:

there is a new one coming out.

James Jay Edwards:

Of either you guys gotten to this is a little old, but I just caught up with it. have you guys gotten to Winnie the Pooh Blood and Honey?

Jacob Davidson:

No, I haven't seen that.

Jonathan Correia:

No.

James Jay Edwards:

Oh my god. It's on. I think Peacock so I finally got to it. It is sorry. laughing It is. It's exactly what you think it is. It's a Winnie the Pooh and Piglet slasher. It's a very stereotypical slasher. There are a bunch of girls in a cabin for the weekend that they rented and we need to pick what it is is Winnie the Pooh and Piglet and they tell you this at the very beginning so is it really a spoiler? Christopher Robin goes off to college and leaves all of his animals so they they have to eat Eeyore basically is what happens which makes makes them hate people. So Winnie the Pooh and Piglet and piglets kind of a bigger dick than Winnie the Pooh in this movie, honestly. But um, yeah, they turn into serial killers and it is brutal it is. The killings are like, I mean, the effects are incredible. And the killings are brutal. I mean, everything from wood chippers to frickin heads getting squished by cars. Oh, anyway. Yep. Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey. It's it's it's what you think it is.

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah. And I think they've got a sequel coming with Tigger. Yeah, yes.

James Jay Edwards:

Yeah. Tiggers not in it. So we thought I would make it and also, Rabbit and Ru weren't in it either. And Eeyore isn't in it because he's dead. But the others you're, you're left kind of wondering. You're like, you know, we're the rest of these animals. So there's room for a sequel. Yeah,

Jonathan Correia:

that's one of those ones where I'm like, I'm all set. I'm all I'm all set. That's not like Winnie the Pooh purist's just that I'm all set. I got to watch Roadhouse for the 20th time, you know.

Jacob Davidson:

What's the on my end? I got to see a couple of interesting and rare Hong Kong or double feature Well, a Hong Kong Horror double feature at the new Beverly last week. It was this kind of Giallo influence slasher crime mystery movie called Heartbeat 100 with Maggie Cheung, and this really bonkers martial arts horror action comedy movie called Return of the Demon. And I really do love Category three of these genre Hong Kong horror movies especially seeing them at The New Beverly because you just have no idea what's going to happen. In Return of the Demon, like a Buddhist monk gets turned into a wolfman and there's like a whole chase sequence through a police station. And also, there's a scene where they have to fight a ghost princess that throws eggs at them. You know, it's very hard to describe these movies because there's so much happens in them. It has a you know, just that. It's just it's just always a fun time.

James Jay Edwards:

I saw a couple of documentaries that I kind of want to mention, they're both very horror themed. The first one, Korea, I really want you to see it for a couple of reasons. It's called The Devil on Trial.

Jonathan Correia:

I knew you were going to bring that up.

James Jay Edwards:

It is okay. No, I want you to see it partially because it this is about the real story that inspired the conjuring three. And I want you to see it, partially, to watch you get all worked up about the Warrens. But also partially because there are a couple of people in this one in particular, but basically, there are people who agree with you. They're talking about the case of possession that led to this that have the original kid who passed the demon on to the guy who did the killing.

Jonathan Correia:

Because thats real.

James Jay Edwards:

And the one who No, listen to this, the kid. It's the kid's mom who wanted him to be exercised and stuff. And they at one point, and it's kind of just a flighty comment, but one of the brothers of the kids says, says, Yeah, my dad really just wanted to get him. You know, he thought that it was a mental health thing. He didn't, you know, he didn't believe the possession thing. And I'm like, Okay, that is what's gonna get Correia on board with this. And then later on, they're talking to, to the brother, and he doesn't believe any of it. He basically shoots down everything that happened. And he's like, Well, no, this this was complete bullshit. He was not possessed. No one in this was possessed. This was you know, basically there. There are people in this documentary who agree with you. It's a very even keeled documentary where they go with people who do actually the the kid who was possessed actually believes he was possessed. But you could tell he was being fed by the mom. Hmm. But um, but yeah, it's it's really interesting because the Warrens don't really play that big of a part in it. They mentioned them and stuff. But it's, it's a pretty even keeled True Crime documentary just happens to be the crime that happens to be about was the possession one, The Devil Made Me Do It. One. But yeah, I think it's on. It's on Netflix. So you can watch it and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with, with how some people agree with you and that they're like, Well, no, they should have gotten the mental health help that they needed at the time.

Jonathan Correia:

I love the some people agree with you. And it's like, oh, some people recognize truth and that, you know, yes, all charlatan bullshit. I I've voiced my opinion, many times, that exorcists are just charlatans. And

James Jay Edwards:

there are people who say who say the same thing you say about the Warrens. They said everything was about money. And they came at them with these contracts, sign here, sign here, sign here. And, and you know, all they wanted to do was sell book rights and all this other stuff. So yeah, you you're definitely going to be on board with that this does not glamorize the Warrens at all. So you won't get you that won't trigger you.

Jonathan Correia:

Okay.

James Jay Edwards:

It is. It's a pretty good overview of what happened. And the other one, which is the complete opposite, not even keeled at all. It's the other documentary I saw. It's

called Monster Inside:

America’s Most Extreme Haunted House. This is on Hulu. Oh, yeah. It's about McKamey Manor, or more specifically, it's about Russ McKamey. Yeah, who runs McKamey Manor. And it's honestly, it's kind of a hit piece. But it's a hit piece because nobody in McKamey's camp wanted to participate in the documentary. They say at the end, they're like, Yeah, we we, we let him know. We're doing this documentary. He didn't want to participate. We let him know every point that was brought up and he didn't want you know, he didn't even give us any refutations or anything. So, you know, they kind of made an effort to make it even keeled. But basically what they do is they talk to three people who went through his haunted house, quote, haunted house because what he does is not a haunted house. What he does is just torture people. And you know if you don't know if you if you've been living under a rock and you don't know McKamey Manor is the haunted house that the admission for supposedly there's a 20,000 person waitlist. Admission is a bag of dog food or four cans of dog food. And if you make it all the way through this At our torture session, you supposedly will get $20,000. But no one's ever made it through. And what he does, is he he tortures people he trained. And that's why No, I mean, he's got, he's ex military, he's ex Navy. And he's had ex military go through it, and they can't even stand it. So it's like he but he comes off as pretty much of a cot. Like there's one woman who actually, without going into detail, she accuses him of sexual assault on part of on her what they call tours. It's also

Jonathan Correia:

covered in the documentary Haunters: Art of the Scare, I believe, McKamey Manor are like, they're one of the three haunts that they cover in that and that one, McKinney Manor does participate in it. And even in that film with them participating, you catch way off vibes of like stuff where it's like, so I understand the price of admission, the you know, the NDAs all that stuff. I didn't see you people know you're signing up for torture, but like, what did they do with the footage? Because that's one of the that's what the big thing that weirds me out is like, a how can they afford it? And it's just donations. We know, he's recording everything. And there's like a website where you see like, best of, quote, best stuff clips, were it but I mean, it's just of clips of people being tortured,

James Jay Edwards:

but like, whoa, see what he does with the footage he posts on his site. And, and that was the one thing that the girl who kind of accused him of sexual assault, she, there's a gap in the footage. And he and she basically he kind of coerced her to fall asleep for part of it. And there's a gap in the footage. And she's like, well, I have no idea what happened at that point. So yeah, so So to answer your question, what he does with the footage, he posts it, and as part of the waiver, where he's allowed you as far as where he gets his money, he has a navy pension, but also one woman because at one point, they talk about the people who are exposing him. And one woman finds him working in the garden center of a Walmart in this documentary, so Supposedly he works in a garden center of a Walmart to get his money.

Jonathan Correia:

But anyway, it that's one of those ones where it's like, it's a hit piece, I'm like, Is it a hit piece if they're not good people, though, and are exposing them.

James Jay Edwards:

It's a hit piece, because he doesn't defend himself. But you don't get the impression that anything that's been presented is untrue. You know it. I mean, he really does do these things. He really is this way. They talk to his ex wife, they, I mean, they talk to a ton of people they talk to I think she's an ACL note, she's not an ACLU lawyer. She's a lawyer who dealt with detainees at Guantanamo Bay. And she makes a big point of saying, this disclaimer, she goes, nothing I'm going to say here is admitting to anything that happened. I mean, it's like a big disclaimer that she has to say that she doesn't get in trouble with the government. But she talks about how his waivers that people sign are probably and he breaks them because the waivers basically say, you know, you're gonna get hurt, you're you might lose teeth, you might get concussions, we're not responsible if you die. You know, if you have a heart attack or a stroke, we're not responsible. But then she says looking at the footage, people will say the safe word or ask him to stop and he won't she's Oh, that's when the waiver goes out the window. This guy is culpable for the things that he does. Because he's not playing. He's not holding up his side where he's going to stop when they say the safe word. So yeah, it's a it's a it's a really fascinating documentary, but it is very one sided. Only because McKamey side refused to participate. Right? But again, you know, it's kind of a hit piece. But you don't get the feeling that anything said in it is untrue, at all. I mean, you because the dude's got a bad rep anyway. And this just kind of preaches to the choir

Jonathan Correia:

well, it's like I said, like the Haunters documentary because they follow like three very big, you know, independent haunts. And he's one of them. And even though it's like they're presenting them like they would like a regular haunted house, like, do you still catch catch those vibes of like them? Yes. Does it seem that great

James Jay Edwards:

to have a real haunted house? I mean, when he started it was just a regular haunt. But then every year it got more and more. And he's actually been run. He used to it used to be in San Diego down here. And then he got run out of town and he's been run out of Illinois. I think now he's in Tennessee, but he keeps getting run out of town. I

Jacob Davidson:

wonder why. Yeah, just I mean, the temptation $20,000 is pretty strong, but at the same time, yeah, it's, uh, I mean, I haven't really haven't watched these docs, but I heard that it's just insane what they put these people through

James Jay Edwards:

I don't think there actually is an end to this thing. I think that he'll just keep doing it until people quit. I don't think it's like an eight. They say eight plus hours.

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah. Oh, that's the thing you'd like if they don't have a set time then And yeah, I don't think they haven't had any intention of stopping until you give up.

James Jay Edwards:

Yeah, I don't think there's a $20,000 reward. I think that he will eventually everyone has a threshold and they're going to stop. I don't think there is a $20,000 I think that he is just going to keep going until you quit. And no one's finished this. Well, no one's finished because there's no end. Yeah, yeah.

Jacob Davidson:

And on the horse, and on the horror side of things. If any of you seen that fan film, Never Hike Alone, or any of the spin offs.

James Jay Edwards:

This is the Friday the 13th one, right?

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, the Friday 13th fan film, never hike alone. Well, they just released the sequel. Last Friday, the 13th this month, never hike alone, too. And I've been keeping up, you know, on and off with these Friday 13th fan films, you know, because there hasn't been any new official Friday the 13th stuff for so long, because of all the rights issues and all that. But this actually felt like a pretty solid, you know, sequel or story within the franchise, and specifically, the Tommy Jarvis cycle, because they actually got Tom Matthews and a couple of people from Jason lives to actually replay their characters for this movie. And it's solid. It's fun. Because yeah, the first Never Hike Alone was an interesting concept where it's like this YouTuber hiking character is hiking through Crystal Lake and it gets chased by Jason. And this kind of continues and kind of shows kind of the other side of that, because Tom Matthews, as Tommy Jarvis has been working as a paramedic in Crystal Lake all this time and waiting for Jason to show up, and he's still kind of fucked up about what happened. And so they cross paths. And now he has to fight Jason all over again. And, ya know, I really liked these movies. And they also had another fun kind of spin off one where they have Camp Crystal Lake during the winter. So we finally get Jason the snow. You know, for fan films. These were very solidly made and felt in line with kind of mythos and lore. And they're, they're all on Youtubes, you can just watch them, and again, being starved for new Friday 13th stories. This was a pretty solid, pretty solid Friday 13th story.

James Jay Edwards:

And now let's welcome in this episode, special guest. We have cinematographer Clayton Moore who just did The Puppetman on Shudder. How're you doing, Clayton?

Clayton Moore:

I'm doing very good. Thank you for having me.

James Jay Edwards:

Thanks for being here. The question I always like to start out with is basically from the beginning, um, how did you get your start in cinematography and in movies?

Clayton Moore:

Well, growing up, obviously, as a kid, I watched a lot of movies. And they were always very inspiring to me. And just the storytelling, the magic of it all, you know, visually and putting the story together like that. So I always had it in the back of my mind that I was interested in that. But I didn't really realize that it could be a career. I grew up in a small town in Montana. And, you know, Hollywood in LA just seems so far away from there. And so, it was coming to a point where as I was going to graduate high school, I didn't know what I wanted to do. I wanted to do something in the visual arts. So I went to, I went to tech school, and I got a degree in graphic design. And after that, I moved back home. And I tried to, you know, I graduated, I moved back home, and I wanted to kind of figure out what my next step was going to be. While while I was there, my uncle worked at the local television station. And he got me he's like, he said, We need a weekend photographer for for the news. And so he got me a job there shooting news stories on the weekends. And so I got started in news. And then from there, I also got a job at another TV station, doing technical directing. And so I would help produce shows. And then the producers would come in and they do a multi camera interview type show. And so I spent about two years doing that I was working seven days a week, five days at one TV station, and then the weekends at the other station. And so there was a lot of on the job learning there. And so I learned a lot of the basics of lighting and all that a lot of technical things about cameras, and we were shooting on tape at the time. So I learned how to do with linear editing and nonlinear editing was just starting to come up and be you know a thing So, you know, a lot of on the job training there. And then I use my experience in news to get another job. I got a job in Las Vegas, so I wanted to get up to a bigger market. And so I got a job at the new station in Las Vegas. And I moved to Las Vegas, and I lasted probably another year and a half before I kind of got burnt out. And I really wanted to flex my narrative and creative muscle a little more. I kind of got sick of chasing car accidents, and, you know, fires and stuff. Frankly, quite frankly, at the end of the day, it's it's very depressing to see it's just all doom and gloom all the time. So from there, I got a job at a small production company. And so I got started doing editing and shooting. And instead of news stories, it was commercials or training videos or events. I mean, you name it, whatever came through there, I would kind of get my hands on a little bit. And then 2008, as I'm sure a lot of people, like myself, got laid off. And you know, from that moment, I was just like, well, I'm, I'm just gonna be freelance now. And so ever since around, you know, oh, eight, I've been freelance. And over that time, I've built up a lot of clients. I have my own production company, I've met a lot of people collaborated a lot of people. And it was through that kind of path that I that my career took that I was able to meet Brandon, the director of Puppetman, and a lot of the other collaborators that I work with frequently now.

James Jay Edwards:

No traditional film school, just on the job.

Clayton Moore:

It's funny, because, in short, no, I worked my way up over about 10 years. And then I kind of felt like I got to a point where I was kind of plateaued. And that's when I went back to school, I went to film school. And then that was a whole other story. It took me 10 years to finish film school because I started going to class. And then I started getting work, and I started getting busier. And then school kind of took a backseat to that building my career. But I did just recently finish I got my bachelor's degree in film. Thank you, thank you so much. It was a big accomplishment for me, because it was just one of those things where it was like, I started this. Let's finish it. I need like 10 more credits, you know? Yeah. Um, so yeah, a lot of on the job training at first. And then, you know, as I got older, I was able to hone it. With more of the theory and the history of film and all that when I went back to school.

James Jay Edwards:

It's funny, our last few episodes, we haven't really been bashing on film school, but all three of us are Film School graduates. But we, um, we've had guests like we had Nick Matthews on who didn't go to film school,

Clayton Moore:

just listen to that.

James Jay Edwards:

And before that, we had Marcus Friedlaender, who went to film school, but said that it taught him storytelling, and all of the technical stuff he learned, like from YouTube videos. So it's kind of funny that we're kind of making a case, not really against film school, but you know, you don't need film school. You can do it, you know, on the job, or you can do it. Well through through book learning, or the most the common thread is everyone says the best thing about film school is access to equipment and people.

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah. And then learning the theories is Yeah, and because it's if there's one thing, especially since we've been on a cinematographer kick lately are your third one in a row, which is awesome. For me, I love listening to the tech stuff. But it's everyone goes a different journey. And that's what's so cool about it with film and especially like camera and stuff, there's no like, alright, so you, you go to school, and then you get an internship over at Sony and then you do this so that no one does it the same way. So whenever someone asks, like, hey, how do I get into this industry? It's like, any way you can, man, you know,

Jacob Davidson:

ya know, it does seem like a lot of the cinematographers we've been talking to lately, also got the most out of just hands on experience, and their own, you know, kind of jumping off from film school into the industry is what kind of elevated them into their careers.

Clayton Moore:

And a big part of that is the democratization of filmmaking. And that we've seen in the past 2030 years, the equipment is more accessible, more affordable. Yeah, YouTube obviously has been a huge game changer. There's so much information that's out there freely available. And, you know, it's it still comes back to people willing to share that information. And like you mentioned, In the old way was absolutely go to film school graduate, get a job as an AC or a PA, and work your way up, it would take years. But you know, people, there's there's such a higher skill level now. And people that are skilled and talented are able to, it's so much easier for them to be able to put their vision on the screen and get get it out there to show people. Yeah, you don't you don't need to go through all those hurdles anymore.

James Jay Edwards:

And along came found footage where everyone could make a movie

Jonathan Correia:

And Clayton, and I was gonna ask, how did you start your own production company?

Clayton Moore:

You know, it was just one of those things where I was I had been in in Las Vegas for a couple years working at the the new station and the production company I was working at. And, you know, similar to film school, it's like, you meet everyone that you work with. And, you know, once I went freelance people will still have my name and their phones and stuff. And so, you know, I had a, I had a Rolodex of people that I could call up and say, Hey, do you got anything going on? You need a camera operator, do you need Do you need help with anything? And so it just, it started from there. And it just grew and grew and grew to the point where it was like, Okay, well, this is kind of a thing. Now I better get the taxes in order, and I better get, you know, all that official stuff figured out. And it just sort of happened.

James Jay Edwards:

The big thing with cinematography, for for like film, as opposed to news is the lighting. How did you learn basically what cinematographer called painting with light? How did you learn the lighting technique for narrative?

Clayton Moore:

So yeah, when I first started with news, it was square one I had, you know, I, my basically, my focus at that point was like, expose the image. And that was and then over time, there was a, there was a gradual realization of it's more than just exposure, you need to come compose the shots, you need to visually tell the story with your shots, you need to sequence your shots, because I was also editing my stories. So it was a small enough market where I would shoot the story, edit it, and then watch it go to air, and sometimes even help with that process, too. If there was someone called out sick or something. But yeah, basically what, what I, what I realized was, why doesn't my stuff look like this person stuff? Or that person stuff? And I quickly realized that it came down to how was I using the camera as a tool to tell the story? And what what did I have available in my toolbox to do that? Lighting lenses, composition, the basics. And so I just dove in everything I could find on that stuff. And a big part of it was looking on cinematography.com They had a message board or forum, they might still do, I don't know, listening to DVD commentaries of cinematographers that inspired me. And obviously, I'm shooting local news. I'm not able to put up huge lighting rigs or anything, but I got good at working with what I had. And I have one light, how do I best utilize that light? Should it be here? Should it be a backlight? You know, and I just, that was one thing about news that I actually really did enjoy was you walking into a situation, you've never been here before. What's the best way to tell the story with the tools that I have? Right? And I think those skills early on, helped me become very efficient and fast. When I got on to bigger sets and bigger productions.

Jonathan Correia:

I was gonna say you have to be quick to especially if you're just jumping on say, alright, we're rolling real fast. So yeah, you don't have time to throw to do three point lighting and do crazy yeah, gels or anything. You know, I still

Clayton Moore:

to this day, I love doing documentary work, because it kind of brings me right back to those early days where you're, you're coming in and you're just you just have the basics. You don't have huge crews or anything huge equipment lists, which I love that stuff too. But there's something about it, there's a purity to it, when when you're just kind of rolling with a small crew and you're quick and nimble. And that's something that me and Brandon like a lot too. We can get into that a little later. But there's there's an immediacy that you can capture without having to wait for your your grip truck to park unload load in. You lose something in that process.

James Jay Edwards:

You ever seen Nightcrawler?

Clayton Moore:

Oh, yeah, yeah.

James Jay Edwards:

Is that what you were doing?

Clayton Moore:

Not that extreme. When I when I got started in Montana, there was none of that. But when I got to Vegas, there was maybe a little bit of that.

Jonathan Correia:

Oh, that's rough being there for the real events and stuff. I can see why you were saying that.

Clayton Moore:

Sometimes I was on night duty. And you'd hear something on the scanner and you get there before the police and stuff get there?

Jonathan Correia:

Oh, I don't, I don't like that at all. That's like, I used to work on a lot of a competition reality shows, and there would be injuries on set. And sometimes I would be there before, like, somebody else shows up. And they'd be like, Oh, no, you know, because they were big ones, too. So like, you know, one time a guy's foot was backwards. And they were like, what do we do? And I'm like, I'm just here to fill out the things so that he has he's covered by the insurance. I can't touch anything. I don't know what to say to you. What's your last name, middle name,

Clayton Moore:

your emergency contact

James Jay Edwards:

I was directing the band for a production of Tommy before it went to Broadway. We did it first. This was the early 90s. And it was a community college thing. So all of one of our guitar players was a was a print news reporter. And he showed up one day all shaken up. And you know, he was having trouble playing. And we're like, what's going on? He's Oh, well, my last assignment of the day was a train accident. And I got there before the police. Yeah, yeah. He. He got to see some Grossness that day, and he was shaking. He was rattling.

Clayton Moore:

Yeah, I you know, I still remember some of the things I've seen. And it's like, just from a news background, you hear a siren go by or something your ears kind of perked up. And you're like, you get a little bit of that rush again. And you're like, I want to go see what's happening. But it's a mess. You don't want to get too much into that stuff, my neighborhoods

Jonathan Correia:

chaos, enough with it depressing?

Jacob Davidson:

And has any of that experience translated into your work on the numerous horror movies that you've been working on?

James Jay Edwards:

I think I always bring past past experience into my work, whether I realize it or not, they might definitely influence some of the choices I make. There's a specific scene in Puppetman where we lit the entire scene with just the ambulance lights. And that was probably inspired by that visually. Because I would probably probably would have remembered seeing something like that and thinking, Oh, wow, this, this horrible scene of this accident, but this lighting is insane. How cool it looks right now. Yeah,

Jacob Davidson:

I can, I can definitely see that considering all the deaths of the deaths are treated as accidents are? Well, most a lot of the deaths are due to accidents. Yeah.

Jonathan Correia:

Speaking of Puppetman, let's jump. Let's dive into that. What was some of the visual cues that you were working with? Because one of the things that not Not, not refreshing? Like, like we said, we've had a lot of cinematographer recently, and every, every, almost every time everyone was like Giallo, Giallo, Giallo, so there's a lot of deep, you know, contrasting colors. With puppet man. You were playing with shadows a lot, which like some deep shadows on the faces and various scenes, and like it would change sometimes, depending on like, what was happening with the mood and stuff. So what were some of the visual cues that you guys were messing around with and developing with it?

Clayton Moore:

When we start a project together, Very early on, we like to create a set of rules. And that'll be the basis of everything. What is this movie look like? What is the story look like? So very early on. Brandon and I will just hang out watch movies that we like or that are movies that we think, you know, we like the look of maybe for our movie. So a few of those early films that we watch. The biggest one was probably The Empty Man. Yes. Yeah.

James Jay Edwards:

Yeah, that movie didn't get enough love. We found talked about it before. Yeah.

Clayton Moore:

Kind of got buried.

James Jay Edwards:

Well, I think part of it was the name too. I mean, because it's kind of sounds like a Slenderman kind of a thing. But yeah,

Jonathan Correia:

yeah. The only physical release it got in the States was on DVD at Red Box. Which I own,

James Jay Edwards:

yeah. Yeah. Good for you. Yeah, I was waiting for the blu ray to come out. I don't. I think I lost track of it. Got bored of waiting. So because yeah, that's a whole nother discussion, physical media, which I'm a huge fan of. But some of the other movies we looked at. Brandon is a huge Fincher fan. So we looked at Social Network and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Specifically. One of the rules was that Want to feel the space of these locations? We want everything to feel naturalistic. And if people go into shadow it okay. You know, we don't want to, we don't want to be overly worried about over lighting something. And I don't think it was ever to the point where we lost exposure. But it was always toeing the line, which was very terrifying and exhilarating for a DP. But it's, you know, I've, I've had a lot of experience with the RED camera system. So I kind of knew what we could get away with, and what we couldn't. Yeah,

Jonathan Correia:

because as if everything's lit, you can always darken in post, but you can't put in more light. So toeing that line, if that's terrifying.

James Jay Edwards:

And but how does it look?

Clayton Moore:

Right? But here's the thing, too, is it's it's those decisions, that, that those bold decisions you make on set that will help you stand apart. Because if you're too safe with everything, then your movie becomes too safe.

Jonathan Correia:

Right? There's no out visual language that stands out. It just looks because that was really taking me back especially you know, the contrast of our previous ones. I was like, this is lit very well been very realistic, but like can still see and then seeing you know, especially when Puppetman was taking over and stuff the change of like, shadows. In the scenes. I was like, Oh, you're you're playing with some stuff here. So yeah, I could definitely Yeah, as soon as you said like Social Network and Girl Dragon Tattoo. I was like, yep, that's all over the place that that Fincher. There's a few times, especially early digital Fincher where I'm just like, bro, but come on. One more. One more. It's

Clayton Moore:

you know, it's even for them. It was a learning process.

Jonathan Correia:

But it also was yeah, it's exciting to see like, how much like you can get with so little and still see the details, lighting wise, saying

Clayton Moore:

it's incredible.

James Jay Edwards:

When Puppetman was taken over the lead girl, it was it was an amazing mix of both lighting and acting because she was really good at it to where all the sudden she'd be, you know? Yeah. Was that something that you knew? You're like, Okay, wait, she's going to change. So I need to change? Or was it just kind of a happy accident that it happened that way?

Clayton Moore:

Well, obviously, I'm going to take credit for that. Since you noticed it. I think it was a bit of a happy accident. But like you said it was definitely it's definitely a it's a collaborative process. So I'm always trying to see what I can do to help heighten the actor's performance. And what I can do to help tell the story in the best way visually. So maybe subconsciously, some of some of those ideas did come into play, whenever it was time for her to change or, you know, for Puppetman to appear. And someone. One of the things was I didn't. When that did happen, I wanted to try and remove the eye light when I could, little things like that, you know, here and there. So maybe we took some bits and pieces from different ideas, and incorporated them all together. And then you know, through the collaborative process, everyone's job comes together and makes the whole thing. Awesome.

Jonathan Correia:

That was it challenging coming up with the visual language of the killer, because with this film, it's the Puppetman, he's behind this, you never see the manifestation of him he's controlling. I don't know from where but definitely,

James Jay Edwards:

like a Final Destination kind of thing. That's what it is like, like a Blumhouse Final Destination, because you never actually see the antagonist, but it's always present.

Clayton Moore:

Yeah, we get that a lot in it. And Brandon has even said and we've just discussed it early on that it was going to be influenced by Final Destination. But I think part of it is, you know, showing these locations in these spaces and keeping them a little darker and moodier. Even our day exteriors. There was a lot of work going into controlling my contrast ratios on those to still keep those looking like daytime but also to keep them kind of subdued and darker. And so that might have been kind of the where we were going with that was we wanted the locations to feel spooky like the Puppetman could always be here. Maybe he's in the shadows in the background or maybe he's just slightly off screen here and where it's dark there, you know,

Jonathan Correia:

that they're having in those days. In like real spaces, definitely adds that dread of like, you know, it's one of those ones where afterwards you're like, what's in a dark corner? Oh,

Clayton Moore:

yeah, and we use, we use a lot of like slow dolly moves. For example, when me and Brandon shoot either the cameras locked down. Or if we do move the camera, it's very much has a purpose for moving. But we always try and maintain that nice solid frame. And that's something that adds to the cinematic language of of our work as well is it's almost a, it's almost harkening back to, you know, the old school where everything was on sticks, or nice, big dolly moves. So we like we like to utilize tools like that as well. Let's,

James Jay Edwards:

let's backtrack a little bit because you and Brandon also did Superhost for Shudder, a couple years ago. And I for one loved super host. I think it has one of the most delicious antagonists ever. The owner of the of the Airbnb is just, I love watching her. She's crazy. What was the difference between super hosts? And I mean, clearly superhost is a brighter movie, like, stylistically. But what were the other differences between Superhost and the Puppetman,

Clayton Moore:

the biggest difference was the scale of the production superhost we shot in the midst of COVID. The whole set was locked down, the whole crew, we had six people total.

James Jay Edwards:

And the cast is only like four is an interesting thing. Like yeah, yeah,

Clayton Moore:

so we shot that on a mountain that's near Las Vegas, we would drive up every day, 3045 minutes, their crew or the cast was all staying at a hotel on the mountain. And some are even staying in that house. So that was the biggest thing was the scope of it. And just that comes back to we had a pretty tight script in one location, simplifying things I had, I had a small grip package, and we were lucky enough to be able to just load it into the garage. And so I just lived in the house there. And you know, just having having two guys to help me and I was setting up lights with them and then adjusting things on the fly. It was crazy. But but there was there was this energy to it that you that's hard to replicate when you have when you scale up to a bigger production. Because like I said, there's an immediacy you get things set up faster. You have more time with the actors, you get more takes. So that was the biggest difference was we had a crew of six people on Superhost. And on Puppetman. It was probably up around 50 people a day on set sometimes. It was crazy.

James Jay Edwards:

Cool. Yeah, I think COVID kind of brought up some creativity because because it was Host just regular Host which shot on zoom. And then movies like was, what was it called, Alone With You? I think we're it's just in one room. And I think it's Barbara Crampton and Dora Berger all on a phone. But it's mostly just one. I mean, I think COVID kind of brought up creativity and people, you know, who wanted to keep working, you know, the people who wanted to work?

Clayton Moore:

Yeah, everyone was just itching to work. You know, I was, it sucked because we were, you know, it was like, everyone was quarantining. People didn't want to do projects, because there was a lot of red tape to go through. And it's like, what do we do? Do we test it? You know, it was a mess. And there was there was just so many obstacles to it, you know, besides the global pandemic happening, but people were just just wanted to create people wanted to work. Yeah. So that. I mean, for me, especially just like shooting that movie during COVID was like such a cathartic experience. Because it was just like, all this pent up energy, and you're just like, oh, I can release this and get creative and make something.

Jonathan Correia:

It's really crazy hearing the stories of the various narratives that were made during COVID. And how much of it is like, Man, you're really going back to like, making my first feature for like, 10 grand type of energy where there's everyone's wearing multiple hats and running around and it's like, all one location. Like, Benson Morehead Something in the Dirt where it was just like six people total. Overall, it was like, an on the set itself. It was just three of them. And they were doing like everything. I was like, Oh, that getting like hardcore, like, film, school, post film school, like trauma coming back.

James Jay Edwards:

I was gonna say it's a total film, school vibe and stuff, but you know, because it's a different kind of creativity. It's basically making it work. Yeah, exactly. Let's look forward to the future. What do you got coming up?

Clayton Moore:

Um, me and Brandon just finished another movie together. Yeah, and this one's another it's a little bit on the smaller scale similar to Superhost. So we're in post on that.

James Jay Edwards:

Is it gonna be another Shudder release?

Clayton Moore:

I'm not sure where it's gonna end up. I'm deaf. I'm sure Shudder will definitely take a look at it. Hopefully, that'd be that'd be awesome. I love having worked my work on Shudder. It's, it's cool because you can share it. So hey, look, I did I shot that. And then I'm also currently working on a show for PBS right now, which is a docu series, travel type show. And that's been incredible, too. That's been that's been awesome. That's like a dream job.

James Jay Edwards:

What's it called?You lead us?

Clayton Moore:

It's called Outdoor Nevada. Okay, so we basically travel the whole state and do little stories and features on all the little towns and stuff. Places you never go.

James Jay Edwards:

Can you tell us the name of the other movie that Brandon you're doing yet?

Clayton Moore:

The title is not yet really.

James Jay Edwards:

Okay. Okay. Now, where can they follow you to find out when the title is released and anything else you're working at? You got any socials?

Clayton Moore:

I have socials, my Instagram is ClaytonMooreDP. That's also my website. ClaytonMooredp.com. Yeah, that's pretty much it. I pretty much just do Instagram, and my website.

James Jay Edwards:

Cool. Well, thanks for joining us this morning. As for us, you can, you can find us on all the socials under @EyeOnHorror or at iHorror.com which is a site that we call home. Our theme song is by Restless Spirits so go give them a listen hit a new album out now Afterimage artwork is by Chris Fisher. So they'll give him a like, and go watch The Puppetman on Shudder and go back to Superhost. Is Superhost is still on Shudder. Yeah, go back to Superhost, go back to Superhost that, that that's a great one too. So yeah, do a Clayton Moore double feature The Puppetman and Superhost.

Jacob Davidson:

Make it a triple feature and add Z Yes.

Clayton Moore:

Well, I did I did second unit on Z but the other the other one I would suggest as a triple feature would be It Stains the Sands Red.

James Jay Edwards:

It Stains the Sands Red Yeah, there is that also on Shudder?

Clayton Moore:

I'm not sure where that one is. I know for a while it was on HBO max or whatever they call it now. But Z is also another great movie that Brandon did. And I was I wasn't the main unit on that. But I did do some second unit stuff for that.

James Jay Edwards:

You go well track them down. Just find anything that Clayton Morris worked on and watch it.

Clayton Moore:

It's all brilliant work.

Jonathan Correia:

It stains the sands red is currently streaming on Peacock, Tubi, Prime, Free Vee. So you have options on finding it.

James Jay Edwards:

Go to Tubi we love Tubi.

Clayton Moore:

It's also available on Blu ray.

James Jay Edwards:

Blu ray for you for you. physical media hounds. Yeah.

Clayton Moore:

Maybe one of the last films available on Blu ray.

James Jay Edwards:

Yeah. Okay, great. Well, again, thanks for joining us this morning. And everybody go see The Puppetman on Shudder. And we will see you again in a couple of weeks. So for me James Jay Edwards.

Jacob Davidson:

I'm Jacob Davison,

Jonathan Correia:

Jonathan Correia,

Clayton Moore:

I'm Clayton Moore.

James Jay Edwards:

Keep your Eye On Horror.

Intros
The Boys Review Killers of the Flower Moon (In Theaters and Coming to AppleTV)
Jay Reviews Dicks: the Musical (In Theaters)
Jacob Reviews Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget (On Netflix 12/15)
Jay Reviews Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey (On VOD, Bluray, and Peacock)
Jacob's Hong Kong Horror Double Feature at The New Bev
Jay Review The Devil On Trial (On Netflix)
Jay Reviews Monster Inside: America’s Most Extreme Haunted House (On Hulu Plus)
Jacob Reviews Never Hike Alone 2 (On YouTube)
The Puppetman Cinematographer Clayton Moore!
The Democratization of Filmmaking
Transitioning From News to Narrative Cinematography
Crafting the Look and Style of The Puppetman
Capturing a Villian Who Isn't there
Shooting Superhost
What Coming Next for Clayton?
Outros and Restless Spirits New Album is Out Now!
Restless Spirit Goes Hard ASF