In another scene where your character is playing the elevator game, he gets to the end of it and the lights in the elevator start flickering. I read that apparently that was unplanned as well, yet another strange haunting of sorts to occur while shooting this horror movie...

Matthew Solomon: You know, that’s actually something that I don’t really remember shooting. It was a lot of takes. It was a lot of time and I totally believe that the lights flickered, and I’m sure I’ve blocked it out of my memory. You know, I am not a huge horror movie person. Well, I wasn’t before this movie. I’ve started to watch so many, but I get spooked very easily if you can’t tell. So moments like that are definitely sort of shoved deep in the back of my mind. I didn’t want anything following me home after we wrapped each day. 

I totally get that. That would scare the crap out of me as welI. I understand that the original cut of the film was two and a half hours long, while the theatrical version runs for an hour and thirty-six minutes. Additionally, producer Matthew Ryan Brewbaker recently revealed that he saved your original auditions. Is there a chance that we could see auditions or deleted scenes from Followed in the future, possibly as extras on the DVD or digital release? Do you know anything about that?

I haven’t heard anything but I think it’s a really fun and good idea. We put so much love into that movie, and also those auditions were completely improvised and were so much fun. At least my audition was completely improvised. I know they didn’t have a script yet, so I’m equally as interested in seeing that, because I don’t remember it at all. Who knows what I did in that room? So yeah, I would love to see that. 

We shot like one hundred and twenty pages, maybe more, and there were ten pages that I wasn’t in. So I would be very curious to see a lot more of that footage as well. I’m really hoping that they do release some extras with the digital or DVD release. Whatever they end up falling on after the theatrical run. 

I would absolutely love to see that. It sounds like on the shoot, there was a lot more improvisation than maybe on a more traditional set for a horror movie. Was that something that you really enjoyed, and did that present challenges compared to filming a different kind of project?

Honestly, one of the biggest draws for me with this project was the improvisation factor. I love you know you could almost categorize this movie as mumblecore. It’s a bit more scripted than something mumblecore, but that’s one of my favorite genres to watch. Where they just give the actors a breakdown of what they need to do and then they get to just go and then add the dialogue as they go along.

Todd came up to me before the shoot and said, “Do what you need to do with the words I’ve given you to make this feel natural.” So there were days where there were scenes where I was like, “I’m going to do this exactly as written. I love the way it’s written.” Then there were days where I would go up to Todd and I would be like, “I think we should change the order of this discussion. We should just kind of do some rearranging, because this feels like a more natural progression to me.” And he was always on board or if he didn’t necessarily agree, then we would discuss it and come to an agreement.

So yeah, it was heavily, heavily, heavily improvised. I feel terrible for our script supervisor. That makes their job way harder. It was heavily improvised, but there was definitely a sense of staying true to what Todd has written and staying true to the script itself. 

That is awesome, I always think that it’s best for a film, and I think that your film’s a testament to this, when you have that sort of coordination and healthy communication between the actors and the writers. In your case, you were cast, Tim Drier was cast as Christopher and Caitlin Grace Utting was cast as Nic, all before the script was even completed. So you guys were on board since kind of the very beginnings of the project. I think it’s obvious when you watch the film that really has an impact and really made it into something special. 

I completely agree, I also think that you know we all got along as actors instantly, but the opportunity to sort of play in a rushed, formal way with the script made it more fun for us, and since we were friends that sort of made us closer because we would be like, what did you just say? It’s the kind of banter on camera that goes on between friends in real life, which I think really helped the movie. 

Definitely, the chemistry is palpable in the film. The title of my review is actually Followed: The Most Important Found Footage Film Since Paranormal Activity. I remember, as a kid watching Paranormal Activity, and I’d never seen a found footage film like that before, and it was an almost religious moment of seeing a story told through such a unique lens.

For me, Followed is the next step in that. You took a genre that had been played out and you found a way to make it new and interesting. I’m so happy that I got to watch it and that I got to talk with you. For my final questions, what would you dream role be, and do you have any upcoming roles you’re excited about? What does the future hold for Matthew Solomon? 

First of all, thank you for sharing that about our movie, that really means a lot. To know that you worked so hard on something and it’s actually affecting people. Especially people who are already fans of the genre. It does mean so much. This has been a project that we all put literal blood sweat and tears into.

What’s next for me? The pandemic has really slowed things down, and right before all of this was going on, I was gearing up for the original theatrical release of our film, I was having one of the best pilot seasons of my life, getting close to booking some awesome stuff.

So now, what’s next for me is basically really reaching as many people as possible with this movie and continuing to pursue those opportunities that unfortunately got put on hold. I’ve got a few friends outside of the studio world who want me for a few short films. So I at least have a few things to keep me busy until the film industry really kind of comes back to life. I think that this movie has opened a lot of doors for me and I’m very excited to see what that looks like.

A dream role? I would love more than anything to be in either a period piece, a romantic comedy, or a combination. 

Well, no matter what we see you next in, I eagerly anticipate it. I know  personally I will be watching the careers of both you, your costars, the director and the writer eagerly. I can’t wait to see what you all bring to the table next. You did such a fantastic job with Followed. Thank you for speaking with me today. 

Actually it’s been such a pleasure, really awesome questions. I appreciate it Corbin, it was a great time. I appreciate it too, and thank you for liking our movie. My pleasure, you have a great day. 

followed poster

Followed is now playing. You can also go to Followedhorrormovie.com to see a complete list of drive-ins and theaters showing the film.

KEEP READING: ‘FOLLOWED’ INTERVIEW: DIRECTOR ANTOINE LE REVEALS PLANS FOR EXPANDED UNIVERSE IN SEQUEL AND INSPIRATION BEHIND THE HORROR