Indie filmmaker Jason Brown recently sat down to discuss his supernatural thriller Ghost Track. The chilling ghost story was inspired by an urban legend from Brown’s childhood. Rather than relying on gore or cheap jump scares, Brown builds suspense through atmosphere and emotion. He gave his actors the freedom to explore their characters, resulting in raw and authentic performances. Overcoming limitations through resourcefulness and by tackling many roles himself, Brown achieved his vision for Ghost Track. He hopes audiences come away with a lasting impression from the film.
Brown continues to push the boundaries of low-budget filmmaking. His sci-fi horror film Creek Encounters has been in production for two years and is nearly complete. While he’d love the chance to revisit the world of Ghost Track with a studio budget, Brown is passionate about exploring different genres. However, horror remains close to his heart. Films like Scream, The Fog, and Return of the Living Dead inspired his love of scary movies from an early age. Directors such as Robert Rodriguez, John Carpenter, and James Cameron have influenced his DIY approach to filmmaking.
With a childhood steeped in horror and a dedication to hands-on work, Brown crafted Ghost Track as both a nod to classics of the genre and a chilling original vision. His ghost story leaves a lasting impression, not through gore or cheap scares but through raw emotion, isolation and suspense. As Brown’s experience grows with each new project, one can expect films rich in atmosphere and authentic human stories, told with resourceful independent spirit. Ghost Track announces the arrival of a director poised to make his mark.
Interview with Jason Brown
What inspired you to make a supernatural thriller like “Ghost Track” into a feature film? What themes or ideas were you most interested in exploring?
This was actually an urban legend we got told when we were kids, we lived near train lines and were told not to play near them or on them or Morris will get you. It was something the parents told everyone close to the lines to stop them from going on, not sure if there was a real ghost on the lines but it creeped us out haha.. I wanted to tell a ghost story that involved train lines, and having a group of friends seeing this ghost was very appealing to me.
A lot of indie horror relies on gore or jump scares, but “Ghost Track” focuses more on atmosphere, suspense and emotion. What drove that approach?
I wanted to create this paranoia within the group of friends, and the feeling that the past was never at rest and they carry this tragic incident through their lives. I was actually thinking we needed more jump scares on the first cut of the film but then told myself lets build up to the few we do have and make them feel earned, I think the isolation was key too to create a feeling that you’re in the middle of nowhere, which we pretty much were at the locations and small village of woodhouse.
The performances in “Ghost Track” feel very raw and authentic. How did you work with the actors to achieve that? What was your process for collaborating with them?
I told Adam, Darren, Natalie, James, Katie, Lisa and the young cast you have the freedom to play the role how you like and bring your own take to each character, and I will tell you if we are going in the right direction with those characters. It worked really well, they came across a lot more grounded with this method and created some great chemistry within the scenes, and they have all come onto my next feature film. They were all fantastic, and we had such a great time filming – everyone loved working on this one.
What were the greatest challenges in getting “Ghost Track” made as an indie production? How did you overcome limitations of budget, time or resources to achieve your vision?
I am self taught and take on a lot of jobs myself from editing cinematography to visual effects, it keeps the cost down being almost a one man crew with the actors also helping carry the equipment to set. Adam Probets suggested Steve Smith do the sound mix and score for the film and he did an amazing job, Martin Farmilo also helped with producing and funding the film, while a good friend Ash Hackett helped with scouting and my mother helped with costumes for the film.
The mythology and backstory in the film feel very thought out. How did you go about crafting and developing the supernatural elements and rules of the world? What inspired the ghostly antagonist at the heart of the story?
I was playing Friday the 13th game at the time of writing the script, and I took a lot from the slasher genre including Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street, IT and Children of the corn, Texas Chainsaw 1 and 2, I know what you did last summer, and mixed it in with the story of Morris urban legend and wanted to shoot over summer time to try and capture that summer horror film feel. There’s actually lots of little nods to the classic horror films within the film. Tamara Glynn from Halloween 5 also plays a small role within the film.
What do you hope viewers take away from watching “Ghost Track”? What feelings or thoughts were you hoping to leave audiences with?
I hope they come away pleased with what they saw and noticed the love for the slasher films and come away feeling something, a lasting impression and hope they want to watch it again
If given a chance to direct a new film with more resources and budget, do you think you’d want to revisit the world of “Ghost Track” or explore fresh material? What other stories are you interested in telling as a film-maker?
I would love to remake Ghost Track with studio budget, or even a sequel, but we would have to try and capture the magic again on Ghost Track. I don’t think just horror too, would love to do other genre films but at the moment I love making horror films, I have almost finished shooting a scifi horror called Creek Encounters which has been in production for two years.
What advice do you have for other indie horror film-makers trying to get their first feature made? What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from the experience of making “Ghost Track”?
I think you need to try and learn everything, visual effects are very handy in post to remove unwanted things like boom mics, try not to rely on to many people and do things yourself. It will keep costs down and help you actually get a feature film finished. Just keep making films, write a compelling script, shoot what you know or have access to, we lived near a water tunnel so we shot in that. Shoot at expensive looking places it adds a lot to your production value and most places likely will let you film for free.
What’s your favorite scary movie? And favorite film in general? Are there any directors that have particularly inspired your work?
I love Scream – all of them. I do think The Fog and Return of the living dead are two of my favorites, Wax works is also a great film. The Matrix is one of my all time favourite films hands down. Too many greats to pick just one it’s tough. Robert Rodriguez is probably my favorite film-maker. His approach to just do most of the jobs yourself has really inspired me over the years, love John Carpenter and James Cameron too.
What’s next for you as a director now that “Ghost Track” is complete? Do you have any projects currently in development or new ideas you’re pursuing?
Yes Creek Encounters is almost finished we actually had some more money to do this one, I am in post production on it right now.
Brown’s passion for filmmaking and horror shines through in both his process and the final product of Ghost Track. His desire to capture a feeling of paranoia and isolation, built through suspense rather than shocks, results in a ghost story that crawls under the skin. While paying homage to the slasher films he grew up with, Brown forges his own path. He empowers his actors to bring a raw realism to their performances. And through necessity and determination, he develops his technical skills to overcome limitations that would halt many independent productions. With Creek Encounters on the horizon and a love of exploring new genres, Brown’s career behind the camera has just begun. But Ghost Track will remain a chilling testament to how much can be achieved with little more than a compelling story, a dedicated crew, and a drive to see one’s vision through.
Check out the trailer for Ghost Track below.