For Lee Cronin, getting to the point where he could make his debut feature The Hole in The Ground was like climbing a greasy pole. For every step he took upwards it always seemed like he’d have to slip down a bit as well.

His three horror shorts helped to boost his leverage, especially the 2014 award winner Ghost Train, but none seemed to elevate him to a point where he could leave commercial work behind and commit to a career as a feature filmmaker.  As the director so aptly puts it in our interview today, “there’s no business like slow business.”

Something in the air has seemingly changed this year, however, as that process has transformed into something like a “slow rocket.” After years of struggling, The Hole in the Ground is set for a March 1st release, by none other than family horror distributor extraordinaire, A24.  

The film, which made its premiere at Sundance in January, follows a woman who moves to a new town with her young son in order to escape a life of domestic abuse, only to encounter an ominous sinkhole that appears to have supernatural powers which threaten the life of her child.

We sat down in Park City to discuss how horror filmmakers can follow a similar path to success by staying steady on their own course without giving up. And perhaps more importantly, Cronin gives tips on how to stay positive during the grueling journey ahead. 

For more, see our ongoing list of coverage of the coverage of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.


No Film School's podcast and editorial coverage of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival is sponsored by RODE Microphones and Blackmagic Design.