Interview: Director Paul Hough on Steampunk Musical THE INVITATION TO ARMAGEDDON


SHOCK talks to director Paul Hough about his horror/fantasy music THE INVITATION TO ARMAGEDDON.

Writer/Director Paul Hough (THE HUMAN RACE, son of THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE director John Hough) recently released his latest effort, a maniacal short film starring the members of Steampunk collective “The League of S.T.E.A.M.” called THE INVITATION TO ARMAGEDDON, a go-for-broke dark fantasy musical that is about as awesomely madcap a picture as you’re likely to see anywhere.
In it, The League of S.T.E.A.M.,who here are cast as a team of monster-hunters, do their part to save the world and take a roller coaster down into Hell to face off with The Devil.
You can watch the film via the link at the bottom of this page but before you do, have a Gothic gander at the our exclusive interview with Hough below…
SHOCK: What a strange concept…a Steam Punk musical. What possessed you to pursue such a thing?
HOUGH: I’ve always loved sci-fi, fantasy, and dark worlds. My good friend is part of “The League Of S.T.E.A.M“. They have cool gadgets and have created monster hunting personas, from werewolf and vampire hunters to ghost-busters. It sounds a little crazy, but they’re really into it full force. They go around to conventions and dress up and actually become these characters. Both in their popular YouTube series and in real life. They wanted to do a musical for their web series and actually had both a director and star involved, who suddenly, a few weeks from shooting, inexplicably dropped out. So my friend asked if I’d consider taking the helm. I personally love the gadgetry and the inventiveness of steampunk, and have always wanted to do a musical, so jumped at the chance.
SHOCK: It seems like the film might serve as a calling card for a more expansive feature version. Is that in the works?
HOUGH: I think a feature-length version of “The League Of S.T.E.A.M” would be a fantastic idea. I actually suggested they do a cool horror version. But I think they want to keep themselves family friendly and I think the musical was a one-off for them. 
SHOCK: What are some of the challenges of shooting a musical? Especially on a modest budget?
HOUGH: Everyone was already cast, with the exception of The Devil, who I was able to cast. A few days after I jumped on board we had to lay down the music tracks. But it wasn’t as intimidating as I thought it might be. Essentially I directed the cast in how emotionally to connect with the lyrics, while the composer dealt with the technical aspect. The budget was extremely low but enthusiasm for the project high, which enabled a great team to come into place. We filmed a lot in an empty warehouse-type environment, which after, adding CG, became Hell. One of my favorite scenes is the roller coaster scene. This was essentially the actors holding artistically crafted cardboard boxes and moving in unison to create a realistic flow. The art director created the gold trim and gave it an authentic touch. Then the DP lit for movement to pull it off. 
SHOCK: What sort of feedback have you received thus far?
HOUGH: Reaction in the Steampunk community has been great. Hopefully the word will spread and more people will be able to watch it. It premiered at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival and is currently doing a festival run, so I’m hoping that will increase the visibility.
SHOCK: Who designed those gorgeous costumes?
HOUGH: “The League of S.T.E.A.M” cast all designed their own costuming; they’re all talented artists. The wardrobe supervisor, Stephen Boyd-Morales added some special touches and kept everyone looking great. The characters all have their own ‘monster-hunting’ specialty, so each costume reflects what creature they hunt.
For more on the film and “The League of S.T.E.A.M.” go here.