FrightFest 2023 - Interview with George Baron writer and director of The Blue Rose

A major talent in the making

James Whittington
August 28, 2023

One of the most confident debuts we have ever seen at FrightFest is George Baron's The Blue Rose so we just had to chat to him!

NYX: Have you always been a fan of the horror genre?

GB: Always. I think I saw The Exorcist for the first time alone in my bedroom when I was 8. Before that, I was always super into Tim Burton and Henry Selick films and I believe those films were the gateway into the horror genre for me.

NYX: What inspired you to write The Blue Rose?

GB: Sophia Victoria Frizzell has been a long time collaborator of mine since we were kids. She has always painted these very otherworldly Tim Burton-esque paintings in the Pop-Surrealism style. I’ve always been so inspired by her work and I wanted us to collaborate on a theatre project together. We came up with this immersive art installation to showcase her work and showcase my directing abilities and that was sort of the conception of The Blue Rose as a story. Once the pandemic struck, I felt very isolated as many people did and knew I needed to find some type of creative outlet. So I just started typing away at my computer, using the characters from the art show as well as classic old Hollywood films and of course the story structure of a David Lynch movie as my inspiration and guideline.

NYX: Were you limited by budget for if you were, it doesn’t show?

GB: Aww thank you so much. I’m glad it looks more expensive than it was ha ha. We were definitely limited by budget. I would have liked to have had more days and time to film it and also wish I had some of my first-pick locations. Nonetheless, I’m very very happy with the way it turned out and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

NYX: Though you’re 18 now you were 16 when you started on this, how nervous were you on the first day of shooting?

GB: Petrified, but mostly excited. I remember that I wanted to make sure I had 0 acting scenes that day so that I could ease into everything and focus on directing, but you can never be too concrete with your plans in indie filmmaking. I shot a scene that day where I was screaming and moaning at the top of my lungs in a chair in a black void. It was very embarrassing that this was the first thing the crew saw me do.

NYX: You’ve gathered together an incredible cast including the legendary Ray Wise, did you have much time to rehearse?

GB: We had a decent amount of time to rehearse. Once Olivia was signed on to the film we had several rehearsals together just trying to figure out the Dalton X Lilly dynamic. We even went to an escape room together to see if we could really solve a mystery. I wish that I had hours and hours more of rehearsal with Ray Wise for no other reason than pure selfishness because I loved working with him so much.

NYX: Visually the movie is simply stunning, did you base your style on anyone else?

GB: I think I’m just really inspired by colour combinations and the concept of color theory. I think that some films and television that paved the way for the use of color and the visual style of the movie would definitely be Anna Biller’s “The Love Witch”, Melanie Martinez’s “K-12”, and Ryan Murphy’s “Ratched”.

NYX: What exactly is “Pastel Noir”, which is how you describe the movie?

GB: Pastel Noir was a concept I came up with pretty early on in the process. It’s all about taking the structure and the idea of a noir, but making it very visually different than your typical noir film. Using pastel colors and more feminine aesthetics to contrast the darker content of the story itself.

NYX: Where did you find the interior locations as they add so much to The Blue Rose?

GB: The locations honestly came before the movie did. I had written down a list of several locations in Los Angeles that I wanted to shoot at and I kind of weaved the story around the locations. One of my producers, Nicole Flores and I would just spend days during preproduction driving around LA and location scouting and it was seriously some of the most fun I’ve had working on this film.

NYX: There are so many themes subtly running through the movie, giving it many layers, it’s definitely a movie to watch several times so you catch everything which is going, would you agree?

GB: I would definitely agree with that. I think that this movie has a lot of Easter eggs and little mysteries hidden all throughout the film. It’s definitely the type of film you have to watch several times to really understand the whole story.

NYX: The soundtrack is superb, will it get a release?

GB: Fingers crossed! I’d love to release the score on a swirly pastel blue and pink vinyl record.

NYX: Will you be nervous when the movie has its World premiere at FrightFest 2023?

GB: I think it would be weird if I wasn’t nervous. I’m very nervous. I have a lot of self-doubt in my general day to day life so this feeling is nothing new for me. I just hope people respond to the film positively.

NYX: Which do you prefer, acting, writing or directing?

GB: Yes.

NYX: So, what are you working on at the moment?

GB: I’m now completing the script for what I hope will be my 2nd film. It’s quite thematically similar to The Blue Rose, but it’s going to be very very visually different. I’d really love to act in something that I don’t have any directorial influence in. I love bringing other people’s characters to life.

NYX: George Baron, thank you very much.