Black Fawn Distribution is the company helping get some fantastic genre movies out there to us fans; Titles like Horsehead, AntiSocial and The Door.  The company is run by Chad Archibald who also just happens to have a new movie he has directed coming out soon from sister company, Black Fawn Films.  That film is The Drownsman, releasing May 12th.  Over the next three days, we will have interviews coming from some of the major participants involved in Drownsman.


Our protagonist, Madison, has a near death experience during which she almost drowns. Her brush with death invites an unwelcome presence into her life (The Drownsman), that manifests itself whenever she is near water. Maddy develops an extreme case of hydrophobia, eventually becoming so terrified of water that she is only able to get her fluids through an IV. As you can imagine, a condition like this would literally affect every aspect of your life – when Maddy withdraws from her friends, they decide it’s time to intervene. And so Maddy is coaxed into a bathtub full of water, surrounded by her well-meaning friends who are convinced that they can help Maddy to overcome her fear. Unfortunately, Maddy’s presence in the water acts as a conduit between the Drownsman’s world and her own, and that’s when things start to get very interesting…
I’ve always loved the iconic horror villains of the 80’s and 90’s so I thought it would be fun to create something new in that realm. Of course Freddy, Jason, Michael and many others have become legendary characters, but the very first films in each of those franchises were shot on a shoestring budget with practical effects. We were inspired by that and really wanted to create something horror fans would enjoy. As a horror fan myself, I’ve always thought it would be so much fun to be on set for one of those films so, we decided to create someone new and develop our own supernatural villain.
He’s a sopping wet bastard who loves to drown people. He was in his mother’s womb until he was almost two years old so he’s grown up obsessed with hearing a heartbeat while under water. He’s had some pretty crazy stuff happen to him in the past which has resulted in him being a pretty vile entity.
Black Fawn Distribution started out as a pretty simple idea. Over the years by making films and working with other filmmakers, we’ve heard so many horror stories of people giving their films away in the hopes of making boatloads of royalties. The industry is ever changing and, since the introduction of illegal downloading and online streaming, its made a lot of distributors really want to hold on to their funds or keep expensing films instead of paying out to the filmmakers who have poured their souls, and often all of their own money, into getting their film made in the first place. We started this company for the filmmakers: A distributor that would be completely transparent and work with the filmmakers to release their films and get them a fair share of the profit. It’s been a great experience so far and it’s amazing to see that a fair distribution model can actually work.
Over the past three years we have released 8 films Canada wide through various platforms. All our films are in the Horror/Thriller genres and we pride ourselves on finding unique and amazing films that we ourselves would love to see. We’re fans of all of our titles and stand behind each and every one of them. Our latest release is Horsehead, which is as beautiful as it is terrifying. It’s released in May and I can’t wait to see what horror fans think of it.
I think horror is healthy and well. There’s a ton of weak stuff to dig through but if you look hard enough, there’s some amazing horror films coming out every year. With technology becoming cheaper and more accessible every day, I expect that the market will continue to be saturated with independent horror films which makes it harder to get noticed but also opens the door for some new talent to rise to the top. Horror is fun, exciting, thrilling and scary; it’ll be around forever.
Ha ha, I still direct music videos, just not as many as I used to. When I was starting Black Fawn Films and learning the ropes, I would take on any music video, any short and any film that I could. I just wanted to learn every aspect of the filmmaking process but I’m also a realist. I was never the director that decided “I was born to direct and it’s just going to come natural.” There are too many people out there like that. Just like anything else, you become good at something by doing it, researching it, living it and learning from your mistakes. I have shot and directed over 130 music videos in the hopes of experimenting and understanding what really works with lighting, editing, camera movement, and working with talent. It’s helped me become a better film director over the years.
Bite is such a fun ride. It’s about a girl who gets bit by a weird bug while in Costa Rica for a bachelorette party. When she gets home, she starts becoming the bug and turning her apartment into a hive. She begins laying eggs and, as her instincts start to take her over, she becomes protective so it’s best to stay away! Of course no one does and things go bad, fast. We did the majority of the film with practical effects but there will be a few digital VFX as well to tie everything together. We’re just in sound right now but it should be a blast when it comes out. I can’t wait to watch it in a theatre with a group of horror fans. It’s pretty gross.
Neverlost was a passion project of mine that I had worked on for a few years before it got green lit. Still to this day, it’s something I’m very proud of. It’s a genre love story that blurs the lines between two possible realities.

Ejecta was a collaboration with Matt Wiele and Foresight Features. Matt and I directed separate sections of the film a year apart and then combined them to create the crazy multi level platform of a film that it is. We were so honoured to have Julian Richings, Lisa Houle and Adam Seybold on board. They were a pleasure to work with on and off camera and true talents. The film is a sci-fi thriller that mixes a cinematic story with various means of found footage resulting in a pretty horrifying story.

I’m inspired everyday by not only films I watch but, also by the filmmakers who make them and the ones that I’ve worked with. I love the creative process and since every film is different, so are my influences when working on them.
Umm, that’s such a hard call. I loved “Starry Eyes.” “As Above So Below” was pretty awesome as well. I haven’t seen the “Babadook” yet but it’s at the top of my must see list.
Thanks for the opportunity to talk some horror!


There you have it, Chad Archibald’s The Drownsman arrives in theaters, VOD, DVD and Blu-Ray May 12.  Make sure you stay tuned for another interview tomorrow in Three Days of Drownsman!


drownsman poster