I've been making short films since I was young. In high school, through college, and when I went to film school and graduated film school at Florida State University.

Then I moved to Los Angeles, and worked as an editor for several years, doing movie marketing, and then I made my first independent feature in 2010. It was THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER. And then I made IT FOLLOWS after that.

And the film's opened in a wider release recently. You can learn more about IT FOLLOWS on our official page or the official site.

Victoria's helping me out today. AMA.

I'll try to keep this AMA as spoiler-free as possible for those that may not have seen the film yet, while still addressing the questions of serious fans.


Edit: Thank you guys so much for participating in this, and for watching the film.

It means a lot. And I'm really glad that you have enjoyed the movie.

And take care.

Comments: 261 • Responses: 71  • Date: 

comedicmemoir34 karma

Why was the naked man just standing on the roof?

DavidRobertMitchell25 karma


It's about hurting Jay.

ArtxVandelay28 karma

I asked you this on twitter, but decided to discuss it a little more.

A lot of people are confused about the time line, when it comes to the scene at the beginning. You told me it happens before the events of the movie. What I figured was that it was a girl that Hugh/Jeff had passed it to. That would explain how he knows it comes back for you, after it killing someone you passed it to. Is this it, or just a random person?


DavidRobertMitchell31 karma

You might just be onto something.

C2V3N20 karma

There is so much water in this movie that I became so fucking thirsty watching it. Is there any symbolism or hidden meaning behind it?

btw I love water and I love your movie :)

DavidRobertMitchell36 karma

Yes. There is symbolism behind it, but I also think the use of water within a film is transportive for an audience in a way - just hearing or seeing water represented in a film allows the viewer to connect with the physicality of what's happening within the frame.

And as for what it means, I hate to explain it. I prefer for people to simply experience it and decide how they feel about it.

ForeverFlawed20 karma

Are you my english teacher?

DavidRobertMitchell29 karma


EvenSnow15 karma

Hey David! I just saw your movie the other night and I loved it. A great addition to the horror genre.

One of my favorite aspects of the movie was the discomfort the movie instilled, even when "It" wasn't around. I think a large part of this was due to the dreamlike feel that you have mentioned in past interviews. I instantly thought of Lynch's Mulholland Drive after reading this and I was wondering if you intended for the movie to possibly represent a dream (as many interpret a large part of Mulholland Drive to be), or to just contain dreamlike elements, such as the anachronisms and familiarity in It's appearance?

DavidRobertMitchell15 karma

Well, film in general is dreamlike.

WikipediaKnows14 karma

One of the many things that I love about It Follows is that it's about friendship just as much as it is about fear. Group dynamics like that are quite unusual for most horror movies. Was it tough making the script work with what's almost an ensemble cast as opposed to the more traditional And Then There Were None/Final Girl scenario?

DavidRobertMitchell14 karma

No, it was always about this group experiencing this together, even though only one of them is truly witnessing it. It's about the friendships that exist at this point in a person's life, the way that friends become a form of substitute family at that stage between childhood and adulthood.

SpiceyTaco10113 karma

What was the creative intent behind having Jay sleep on top of the car instead of inside the car?

DavidRobertMitchell31 karma

Without over-explaining, she's driven a great distance. And like the girl in the beginning of the film, it's possible that she's reached a place where she's lost some of her fight.

corpreal36313 karma

Hey David!

What's your favorite/most horrifying use of suspense and tension in a film? You used both aspects phenomenally in It Follows, and it's one of the most masterfully crafted horror films in ages.

Also, what inspired the 360° pan? That's one technique I don't think I've ever seen before.

DavidRobertMitchell24 karma

Well, I'm a huge Hitchcock fan. REAR WINDOW is my favorite movie ever. When I was a kid, I obsessively read the Truffaut / Hitchcock Interview Book. And I certainly used some of those techniques.

The 360 degree pan - the camera in IT FOLLOWS Is a very controlled and deliberate camera. And the 360 pans developed out of that. It's a way of immersing the audience within the environment while controlling the timing at which things are revealed.

baronspeerzy11 karma

Congratulations on IT FOLLOWS - I thought it was equally entertaining and intellectually stimulating and terrifying!

A question - I noticed how prominently you shot establishing shots all around Detroit. What role does Detroit play in the subtext of the film and what does it represent to you? Could the film have worked in an entirely different setting? Why or why not? Thanks David!

DavidRobertMitchell23 karma

Well, it needed to take place in Detroit.

I wrote it specifically for Detroit and the Metro Detroit suburbs.

It's where I grew up.

And the locations have personal meaning for me. And the divide that exists between the city and the suburbs was an important thematic element in the story. I wanted to, in some way, show the very shitty separation that exists between these places in regards to both wealth and race.

hiphopsanta11 karma

I'm sorry but I need to ask this spoiler question: in It Follows, how does Hugh know how to beat the monster or even discover that at all, if no one ever explained it to him? He said he "thinks" he got it from a girl a bar, but wouldn't he know for sure? How would he even know it came from sex?

DavidRobertMitchell16 karma

This suggests a much larger backstory within Hugh's life.

We can only imagine the circumstances that led to Hugh discovering this.

The film offers a few clues.

Bentumbo10 karma

who's your favorite person to work with? Actor, producer, etc

DavidRobertMitchell14 karma

That's too hard to answer. On the two films I've done, I've worked with a lot of great people.

jasonismeh10 karma

Also, Do you think you will release the screenplay soon? I think it could be studied in film classes and discussions and viewed as a classic just as something like Halloween is. There are obviously so many ways to analyze it.

DavidRobertMitchell6 karma

I'm sure we will at some point. I'll have to figure that out.

JesusBurrito9 karma

You totally seem like the guy who plays a lot of video games, mostly since you got Disasterpeace from FEZ (as you've said) to score a film which is pretty damn awesome. So have video games ever given influence to your works as a director?

DavidRobertMitchell18 karma

Oh, for sure, yeah. I have some other scripts that I think are certainly inspired by elements or feelings that I've had from playing video games that I intend to do in the future.

WikipediaKnows9 karma

There are some amazing continuous take in the movie, my favourite probably being the scene at Hugh's school that's done in one big panned shot.

What's your favourite shot in the movie?

DavidRobertMitchell32 karma

Favorite shot? The shot of Jay in the car where she gives the monologue about the way she imagined her life and dating would be.

starstunning9 karma

Hey! I just wanted to say that It Follows is one of the best modern horror movies i've seen in a WHILE and it pretty much revived my interest in them again.

So after watching the film, I came up with this interpretation that it's supposed to represent our paranoia with sex partners and how sleeping with just one person can create a chain including the people they've slept with and so on. I've seen other interpretations based on STDs and AIDs as well.

What do you think about these? I know that you wanna keep the film somewhat ambiguous but do you have some sense of understanding these interpretations?

DavidRobertMitchell14 karma

I totally understand that interpretation, and I think it's valid. And along with many others.

baronspeerzy9 karma

Hey David!

Congratulations on IT FOLLOWS - I saw the movie last week and I think it deserves all the heaps of praise its been receiving - definitely one of the all-time scariest movies!

After the screening, my friends and I spent hours discussing many of the themes, symbols and metaphors that don't have easy answers. Could you settle a dispute?

One friend in my group is convinced that the scene with Jay and Paul making love was filmed intentionally to show Jay actually being the one penetrating Paul (and thus asserting her dominance and coming full-circle as a character) - in other words - that the way they're having sex is not anatomically possible with Jay in the male missionary position and Paul in the female missionary position - myself and my other friends are convinced what we saw was a simple cowgirl position.

I know its silly but can you clarify so my friends and I can stop arguing? Thanks!

DavidRobertMitchell12 karma

Well... how can I answer this?

Everything in the film was deliberate, and even the positioning in that scene was intentional.

Make of that what you will.

WikipediaKnows8 karma

Does It really follow all the time? Because it seems to take rests or detours every now and again for dramatic effect (which is of course a reason as valid as any in a horror movie) so that it takes a little longer.

DavidRobertMitchell16 karma


I think most of the time It's always walking.

But It can choose to move in ways that might hurt or affect the person it's following.

Frajer8 karma

Why did you decide to make the It Follows spirit/monster look like normal people?

DavidRobertMitchell24 karma

For one, looking like normal people, it has the ability to approach the character without them being aware that it's the monster.

Also, it's the way that the monster uses the human figure to hurt or disturb the characters.

LifeIsAHoliday8 karma

Thank you thank you thank you for It Follows! I've seen it a couple times already and it's such a blast.

Any horror flicks you've seen recently that you recommend?

Also, when/where am I going to be able to get that sweet retro-style It Follows poster? I'd love one for my dorm.

DavidRobertMitchell9 karma

Thank you very much. I'm super far behind in my horror viewing this past year, and I'm terrible at thinking of movies that I've just seen, even if I've loved them. I'd have to go through and make a list, and I don't have one in front of me. And hopefully they'll make the poster available for sale before too long. I don't have any information about it though.

EHawke837 karma

A lot of people are interpreting the film as a comment on STDs, but I read it as more about aging and transitioning to adulthood and the dangerous trap of nostalgia. Can you talk about any other themes that you think critics and audiences may be missing?

DavidRobertMitchell16 karma

I don't know how many people are missing, because I've heard many different theories.

And I tend to - I don't want to say one specific thing that the film means, because I think it's important for there to be multiple interpretations.

But I think that their interpretation is a valid one, in regards to aging and the transition to adulthood.

Some people think that the film is just about sex, or STDs, or AIDs, and I think that's fine, but for me, within the film, sex is a normal part of life and even though the characters open themselves up to danger through sex, it's the act of living that opens themselves up to danger. And it's sex and love that - at least temporarily - allow us to live in the moment, and keep death at bay.

liamquane7 karma

How did you pitch It Follows?

DavidRobertMitchell23 karma

I didn't.

I did a very elaborate look-book. And we shared the script with financiers.

The concept was so silly that I avoided saying it out loud. Until after making the film.

HBTVS_Official7 karma

If you could choose one other movie to double bill 'It Follows' with, what would it be?

DavidRobertMitchell13 karma


WikipediaKnows6 karma

Did you consider any alternative titles for the movie?

DavidRobertMitchell6 karma

When I first wrote the script, I had a page where I wrote down every title idea. I don't remember what the others were, but IT FOLLOWS was the best one.

patrickc115 karma

Hey David, great great film! There have rightfully been a lot of comparisons between the horror films of the 80s and "It Follows", but my questions to you are (1) do you have any recent favorite horror films? And (2) What are 3 horror films everyone should see? Congratulations on the movie!

DavidRobertMitchell10 karma

I'm behind in my horror film viewing this past year, but I'm really excited to watch BABADOOK... and I've mostly been watching a lot of old stuff. Once I'm through with IT FOLLOWS promotion and work, I'm hoping to dive into a bunch of stuff, and view it outside of the context of living within this IT FOLLOWS world.


liamquane5 karma

What was your relationship like with your editor on It Follows?

DavidRobertMitchell6 karma

It was a really great process. He's a very close friend of mine, and a very important collaborator. We've been friends since film school.

martianmarcus5 karma

Hi David. I love the movie! Can It spawn near it's target or is it just constantly walking? Would It get in an airplane to get a victim that's very far away? Also, does each kid in the group represent a different time period? Greg 80s, Kelly 90s, Hugh 2000s, Yara future? Was this also to create the dream atmosphere like the mixed technology?

DavidRobertMitchell6 karma

It doesn't spawn. It has to physically move from one place to the other.

It could get on an airplane if it wanted to.

Regarding the different time periods for the different characters, I think that's a fun read.

chamberlainhaus4 karma

Honestly it was the first time hearing about IT FOLLOWS, but its looks really good! The trailer had me at the first 20 seconds almost pausing it. Once a trailer has me hooked I tend to stop it and just enjoy the movie.

QUESTION: What advice would you give a young director to getting a film into production?

DavidRobertMitchell6 karma

Have a clear sense of what you're trying to accomplish and what you're trying to say, and surround yourself with friends and people who care about what you're trying to do.

danthaman154 karma

I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the questions I want to ask. I am obsessed with this film, and knowing I have it's creator here is making me feel like a kid in a candy store.

So obviously, I LOVED It Follows. I really cannot think of a better concept for a horror movie. It seems like a campfire story a bunch of kids made up, and I REALLY mean that in a good way. Campfire stories have that way of making us have that level of fear you feel as a child that your adult self never quite reaches. There's just something about the main creature that probes into a deep fear, that "It's out there somewhere" feeling that you can never shake. The fact that it ALWAYS knows where you are and is headed there right now. It just makes you think. What if you were stepping out of the shower and heard it breaking through your front door? What if you heard it marching up the stairs towards your bedroom? What does it DO to you when it catches you?

I want to ask you a million questions about the creature, but I feel like that is against the spirit of the film. But I'll ask one. It's the one that EVERYONE brings up that I talk to the film about. What about crossing the ocean? I read in an interview that you said that wouldn't matter, but I'm wondering what it would do. Would it just cross the ocean floor? Swim? Hike a ride on a boat? Go into Jesus mode and walk on water?

Also, I read about how this movie stemmed from a childhood nightmare. If you were in this actual situation, how do you think you would react? What would be your strategy? Would you ever live life normally again, or suffer a mental breakdown like Jay did?

And you probably won't want to answer this to keep it scary, but...what DOES it do to you when it catches you?

DavidRobertMitchell13 karma

It could certainly cross the ocean.

I imagine that it could get on a boat or a plane. Or it could move through the water, if it chose to.

I would not last very long, if the monster were following me.

zaftula4 karma

First off, I loved It Follows!

Thanks for making a film that hearkens back to the "group of clueless kids use clueless kid ideas to battle the supernatural" ideals of the 80s and early 90s. Reminded me a lot of IT, as well.

More specifically, I liked your usage of odd, non-sexual nudity in this film.

A lot of times with nudity in horror films, nudity can just exist to add a quick flash of skin to the opening scene to keep people watching.

Can you talk a bit about what your influences and intentions were when using the human body as a such an central piece of imagery in It Follows?

DavidRobertMitchell8 karma

Yeah, the monster in this film is using the human body as a way of hurting or attacking people. In some way, it could be seen as a cultural thing, the way in which we (as a culture) tend to fear nudity and sexuality. And the context of the nudity is important.

CRkerley4 karma

Hi David! Huge fan of the film, seeing it again this week and pre-ordering the soundtrack on vinyl :-)

My friends and I were wondering, can the 'It' only be passed along with male/female sex? What about gay relationships? Not to get too nsfw, but is penetration required- are lesbians magical and immune from the sexually transmitted demon?

DavidRobertMitchell8 karma

I believe that any kind of sex counts.

WikipediaKnows3 karma

You said in an interview that you delayed a drama production for It Follows because it was easier to get a genre movie made independently. Can you tell us whether the other project is still happening or whether the success of It Follows has perhaps convinced you stay in that realm for a little while?

DavidRobertMitchell5 karma

I still intend to make that other film, when the time is right.

I want to make many different kinds of movies in many different genres.

I would love to make another horror film. But it probably won't be the next project.

yegedo3 karma

When shooting a horror film do you guys face any restrictions about violence/gore content from studios and producers?

DavidRobertMitchell3 karma

We didn't have any restrictions. Everyone who came onboard the project read the script and was onboard with what we were trying to do.

oreopimp3 karma


Gotta say the 3 month wait from when the girlfriend and I saw the trailer for IT Follows to catching it opening night at Cinema 21 in portland oregon was a pretty brutal wait, but totally worth it.

Only question I have is where would you point someone who is looking for more? What are some favorite movies, directors, books you'd love to put on if you could subject a fan to your very own clockwork-orange-like marathon?

DavidRobertMitchell8 karma

Well, I'm a huge Truffaut fan, which might not be obvious from watching IT FOLLOWS, but if you haven't watched his films, or you've only seen his early films, you should dig through his catalogue, it's pretty amazing.

One of my favorite B-movie horror films is ISLAND OF TERROR. That one's worth checking out.

jedifan4213 karma

What was the hardest challenge editing wise for you and your editor?

DavidRobertMitchell7 karma

Well, the film has a fairly slow, deliberate pace, so it's about finding the sweet spot.

WitOfTheIrish3 karma

Loved the film. One of the most original concepts and just works of cinematic art in the genre in a long time!

Can you talk a bit about the ambiguity in the movie of the era in which it happens? Some things seem very 80's, others futuristic.

Also, what inspired your choices for the monster at different points in the film? Everything seems so purposeful.

Finally, what US state do you find to have the most pleasing shape?

DavidRobertMitchell6 karma

It's all designed to place the film outside of time, to suggest a dream or a nightmare.

When I wrote the script, it was about creating a form for the monster that was the most disturbing for me, personally. And there are places within the film when it takes a form that is relevant to the narrative, but I'd like to leave that up to the viewer to discover.

And Michigan!

MikeQuell3 karma

It was great to see "Lawson" high school in the film! I grew up there and most people haven't heard of the small city. What was the motivating factor to use that school over so many others?

Love the film!

DavidRobertMitchell6 karma

We filmed in Clawson, actually. We just erased the "C." And that's where I grew up. In my first film, the end sequence parade was filmed in Clawson as well.

nikolaivolkoff3 karma

Is there any hope of a sequel in the near future given the film's success?

DavidRobertMitchell9 karma


I have many ideas in regards to this story.

dyslexicwizard3 karma

As a horror film maker who seems to be heavily influenced by the 80's, what is your opinion of the work of Sam Raimi (more specifically the Evil Dead films)? Did he influence It Follows at all?

DavidRobertMitchell4 karma

For sure, I love the Evil Dead films, and I'm a big Raimi fan. I'm from Michigan!

Jhwin963 karma

Thank you for this brilliant movie, I still can't stop thinking about it and that's why I think it's so good. Can you tell as to what Jay's intention was when she got into the water with the three men off in the distance?

DavidRobertMitchell5 karma

Well, I think she was reaching a point where she might feel the need to pass this to someone else. And I would leave it to the audience to decide whether or not she did.

postagestamp63 karma

Hi David - First off, I watched and reviewed It Follows for a podcast that my friends and I do and we all loved it. It was a visually stunning movie with an unique take on a well-worn horror movie trope. I can't wait to see more from you!

I did notice that all forms that the "monster" took were either wearing almost exclusively white clothing or were naked (with the exception of the "lady in the yellow dress" that Hugh saw at the beginning). I'd just like to know if this was intentional and, if so, what was your intended significance for it? Thanks & keep making awesome movies!!

DavidRobertMitchell4 karma

Thank you!

All I can say is the monster's form is directly connected to the person that it's following.

liamquane3 karma

I find it extremely terrifying to get a film independently started, do you have any tips for powering through this fear?

DavidRobertMitchell6 karma

It is terrifying!

BUT it's about setting your goals, and finding practical ways to make things happen. It's about being determined, and fighting for the things you care about. It's going to be difficult, and it's going to be painful.

alohasprinting2 karma


It Follows was fantastic, it was a very appreciative film that you crafted brilliantly.

I wanted to ask you; to me the film captured the imagery and feeling of an immature, young promiscuity - like the way the characters were composed and the way they interacted with each other seemed to be carved straight out of my high school year book. Was this feeling, or atmosphere that I experienced purposeful, was it something you were trying to achieve or did it end up being there?

DavidRobertMitchell2 karma

I think there's an honesty that comes from the actors' performances, and I think it stems from that.

kr3v2 karma

Hey David, I’m a huge fan of your work and am gearing up to shoot my first feature this summer, which is a coming of age story in a similar vein to Myth of the American Sleepover. I’m working with a budget that would make any filmmaker weep, but I’m optimistic and eager to take things into my own hands after being teased by studios that gave me a glimpse of development hell.

I really appreciated your interview with Rope of Silicon where you discuss that filmmaking is unavoidably expensive and debunked that it’s any easy feat. What were the most difficult hurdles you faced with It Follows during production? I’m sure It Follows had a significantly higher budget than Myth of the American Sleepover, so I’m curious what struggles still existed and what you learned from Myth that benefited you in this production.

Also, if you have any advice for a first-time filmmaker diving into their first feature, I’m all ears.

DavidRobertMitchell9 karma

My number one advice would be not to necessarily look to one person for a sense of the path you need to take. I've done that at points in my life, where I see someone has accomplished something, and I feel like I maybe need to do what they've done. And what I've learned is that it's important to recognize that we all have our own path getting where we want in life.

JakeTallon2 karma

I am an aspiring Filmmaker and I am still deciding on whether to go to film school or not. What are your thoughts on film school?

DavidRobertMitchell7 karma

Well, I had a really good experience in film school. I went to Florida State University for its graduate film program. And you should definitely weigh the positives versus the negatives in regards to thinking about school. Be prepared for the possibility of debt. And be honest with yourself about whether or not you can handle that. But I can say that I would not have been able to make my first feature without the knowledge or the friendships that I gained from film school.

nom_cubed2 karma

Hi David. Fantastic film. Two questions: 1) How does coming from an editing background influence the way you direct? 2) Smart scripts, synth scores and slick editing- what's driving indie horror's Renaissance?

DavidRobertMitchell4 karma

1.) Well, I'm trying to - in building a scene - I'm imagining the scene construction at the point of production. I don't want any edit to feel unnecessary. And every edit should have a meaning.

2.) I would imagine that there are just a lot of filmmakers like myself who are looking back to some of the classics and are inspired by them. That's just a guess.

liamquane2 karma

What influenced you for It Follows?

DavidRobertMitchell4 karma

A lifetime of watching horror films, along with films from many other genres. And we were also influenced by the photography of Crewdson and Hido.

jasonismeh2 karma

If you're being followed by "it" and you pass it on to someone, will anyone else you choose to have sex with also be in line to be followed somehow or does it not matter who you sleep with as long as you already passed it on and that person is still alive?

DavidRobertMitchell5 karma

If you give it to someone, then it's only going to follow the next person that that person sleeps with.

So it's not like you can infect multiple people at the same time. Once you've passed it on, you've passed it on. Unless that person dies...

liamquane2 karma

How did you plan the film? did you plan the horror of the film methodically or did it just happen in the writing process? were there specific scares you had planned in pre-production?

DavidRobertMitchell8 karma

Most of the set pieces were designed at the script stage, specifically the bedroom / hallway sequence. That was always very important.

liamquane2 karma

Many congratulations and well dones! you will have or do have lines of people trying to hire you for their own projects. How does it feel getting such a positive reception for It Follows?

DavidRobertMitchell3 karma

It feels very nice. I've been doing this for a long time. And it's very rewarding to have a positive reaction to my work.

liamquane2 karma

What was you biggest on set challenge and how was it addressed?

DavidRobertMitchell8 karma

Well, the weather was really difficult on the crew and on the actors. The film is supposed to take place in early fall, or during an Indian summer. But we filmed up into early November. And the water scenes were painful for everyone. Honestly, we just pushed through, and the actors were very tough.

highwaygrit2 karma

I love The Myth of the American Sleepover. What was one way that filming It Follows was wildly different from your first film? It Follows was fantastic!

DavidRobertMitchell5 karma

Well, we had a few more resources than we had on the first film. When we made MYTH, we had almost no money. We didn't have a dolly most of the days!

motorinomaster2 karma

Disasterpeace did an incredible job with the soundtrack! How did you get him on board and what was your initial thought when listening to it for the first time?

DavidRobertMitchell6 karma

Yeah, I absolutely love the music that he wrote for the movie. I reached out to him several years ago, and I sent him a copy of my first film, and I sent him a copy of the script, and I convinced him to do it, and then a lot of time passed, and we were in post-production, and he was very busy, and we hadn't been in touch the way we should have been (which is very much my fault), but we made contact again and it worked out.

I was thrilled when he started sending cues for the scene.

loosemoose29692 karma

Did I imagine the Oedipal themes in It Follows? Please reassure me.

DavidRobertMitchell4 karma

I can't reassure you.

nohitter212 karma

I noticed there were a few scenes shot nearly at night/morning, something that's generally frowned upon because of how precise you have to be and how quickly you need to get it done. Was it a tough decision to make, knowing the limited budget, or was it something you felt needed to be done to increase the sense of dread/tension (which were very present throughout)?

Seriously loved the movie, though, and I'll be seeing whatever you make next.

DavidRobertMitchell3 karma

We just committed to doing those things, and just worked hard to make it happen. I worked with a really great cinematographer, Mike Gioulakis.


I'm curious about horror and science fiction films that allegorize their social and political commentary so geniously...do you intentionally make scenes pregnant with these observations on society, or are you more concerned with integrating archetypes and the commentary just bleeds through on its own? Love the film!

DavidRobertMitchell3 karma

Thank you!

Honestly, it's a combination of both of things.

depleteduraniumftw2 karma

Have you driven around Detroit? I think that is scarier than anything in the movie.

DavidRobertMitchell7 karma

I've driven around Detroit a ton. I love Detroit. It's a really wonderful place. I sort of hate the idea that it gets a bad rep in the media, and I hope that the film is not doing anything to harm the image of the city, because it's a place that means a lot to me.

baronspeerzy2 karma

I love how Dostoevsky's The Idiot plays a role in the film - a question regarding that:

What came first? The chicken or the egg? Did the reoccurring dream that Hippolite describes inspire elements of the movie? Or did you put the references into your screenplay after realizing that The Idiot shares some thematic and narrative common-ground with your screenplay?

DavidRobertMitchell3 karma

It was added later in the process.

CVance12 karma

Hi David!

It Follows was the first movie of yours I ever saw, and I loved it a lot.

1) How did it feel to get invited to Cannes Critics Week and what was the process like?

2) When filming, did you tell anyone to just start walking, even if that camera wasn't focused on them? How much attention did you pay to how IT looked when it was coming?

3) Was the seashell cell phone your own invention, or does it actually exist somewhere?

I thought it was kind of surreal, but made sense the way it killed people with sex. All around, fantastic horror movie. Would you stick with this genre, or hop around a bit?

DavidRobertMitchell7 karma

1.) That was amazing. They invited my first film as well, and I've been very lucky, and gotten to go twice. And they've played a really important part in helping me build a career (honestly).

2.) Well, we worked out a sort of walk. And that was fairly consistent, depending on who was playing the monster.

3.) That was my own invention. Although I'm pretty sure that somebody's going to make on eventually.

I'm planning to hop around. But I could certainly land back in horror again.

Wilibine2 karma

Hey, absolutely loved the movie!

I felt the soundtrack to be a major plus as well, holding a memorable and frightening main theme, which I don't really see in horror movies or even other films anymore. What inspired that soundtrack?

What do you refer to the monster as? Some people call it the Follower. What is your term for it?

Why did it appear nude so often? Was it simply for the unsettling effect, or does it tie into the sexual side?

Was there a purpose behind every form of a person it took? If so, what was the reason behind the tall man?

Why did it stare at her on the roof instead of actively pursuing her?

Do you find your own movie scary? What other movies still scare you?

If there is a sequel to It Follows, would it be following the same cast, or a different group that encounters the monster?

Once again, loved the movie, huge inspiration to me as a story teller. Thanks for the AMA!

DavidRobertMitchell4 karma

I wanted a really bold, electronic score.

And after hearing Rich's work (or Disasterpeace's work), I had a feeling that he could create something really wonderful.

We had many conversations beforehand, but ultimately I would attribute it to his talent.

I avoid giving It any kind of name.

Although I have no problem with people referring to it that way.

Possibly both.

There's always a purpose. It may not be completely clear at every moment.

See above answer about the roof.

I need to see other's films to scare me. I'm too involved in this to be frightened by it.

It depends. There's scenarios in which either of those could occur.

dyslexicwizard2 karma

Did you look to any urban legends for inspiration when creating the movie's monster?

DavidRobertMitchell2 karma

No. I mean, it might have the feel of that, but it's really about the connection to my nightmare, which - I've heard that other people have had similar nightmares. So I imagine that that might create a connection with people. Sort of a community of people who have been bothered by some of the same images.

theArnoldFans12 karma

Who'd win in a fight? a ghost or Schwarzenegger?

DavidRobertMitchell6 karma

Um... Schwarzenegger.

Dsherb2 karma

Dude, I think you're SO cool. How do the ideas for your films come to you? Also, would you ever put out an open casting call for a film? Finally, what's your favorite fast food restaurant???

DavidRobertMitchell2 karma

Thank you so much!

I make the time where I can be by myself, and in front of the computer, and I sort of give myself the space to create and come up with ideas. It's hard to know where these things come from.

My first film was cast through open calls in the Detroit area.

IT FOLLOWS was cast with casting directors.

It changes depending on the moment.

Right now, Arby's sounds kind of fun.

scudwolf2 karma

Hello! Loved the movie! I was wondering, were you influenced at all by Charles Burns' Black Hole comics? A lot of the early scenes reminded me of the similar sort of picture of suburbia as well as it being so close to a beach. And of course the existential horror of burgeoning sexuality.

DavidRobertMitchell3 karma

I absolutely loved that book. I read it years ago. And I'm sure that it was inspiring on some level, not necessarily consciously, but I can certainly some parallels.

badluckdragon1 karma


DavidRobertMitchell3 karma

For me, school was about pushing myself, and finding a way to say the things that were important to me, and gaining some confidence, and finding friendships that have been vital to me and to my career.

SpiceyTaco1011 karma

First off, I absolutley loved It Follows. My question for you is: If your life depended on it, how many Chipotle burritos could you eat?

DavidRobertMitchell8 karma


If my LIFE depended on it is the thing. Normally I would eat just one. But if my life were about to end, I would somehow force down three burritos.

If four were required, I would die. It would not be possible.

hailcsm1011 karma

Hi David!

I felt a sort of kindred spirit with you when I watched It Follows. I feel about 85% of horror filmmaking today telegraphs its scares, and it mistakes "jump scare could be imminent" with true suspense building. I felt your movie subverted the modern trend of letting the audience know exactly when and why they're SUPPOSED TO BE SCARED!

Do you, like me, watch these "horror" movies nowadays and just laugh at how they're doing it all wrong? It felt like you do because you directed your scenes and built suspense in a way that's so contrary to these wannabes today. It harkened back to the masters, the Kubricks, the Carpenters, and the Polanskis.

Thanks for reading and thanks for making true horror cinema the way most filmmakers/studios don't have the balls to anymore.

Ralf -

DavidRobertMitchell2 karma

Well, I don't want to knock what anybody else is doing. There are always great horror films being made. But I certainly am inspired by the filmmakers that you are referencing.

horseradishfistfight1 karma

Hi David,

I LOVED this film and the score. I'm a huge horror fan and I was wondering: how difficult it is to abstain from too much homage? Do you approach a horror film in the same way you have approached your other work, just with different content and textural elements? Are there any other contemporary horror films that you have seen and enjoyed?

DavidRobertMitchell6 karma

I don't usually build a scene around an homage. The fact that I have watched and enjoyed so many horror films over the years, I think that that love just comes through in the work. There are specific references to other movies, of course. The pool scene is a direct reference to CAT PEOPLE. But the film is personal for me, so I think that's possibly the way that we avoid being too filled with references.

And as far as movies, I'm going to come back with a list. But MANIAC I really liked, that's one.

comedicmemoir1 karma

Why the use of CGI for the beach scene? Why couldn't Keir just act like he was being pushed away like how Maika acts like she is being pulled under water?

DavidRobertMitchell6 karma

Well, we're trying to give a suggestion of the monster's strength. And in regards to the pool scene, Maika was physically pulled underwater.

seismicor1 karma

Hi, David. How many horror movies have you seen and which ones were the most important to your movie career?

DavidRobertMitchell7 karma

I couldn't say how many. I've been watching horror movies since I was really young. My favorites are the classic Universal Monster Movies, Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and DAWN OF THE DEAD, the original BODY SNATCHERS, the Kaufman remake, the original THING (along with Carpenter's re-make), POLTERGEIST, REPULSION, HOUR OF THE WOLF, NOSFERATU (original and Herzog), and so many more I honestly can't think of them all off the top of my head.

almost665evil1 karma

Hi David! I saw (and LOVED) It Follows at Fantastic Fest and was too shy to ask you in person: do you think Paul was a virgin?

DavidRobertMitchell1 karma

What character are you referring to? There's no one named Mark.