Interview with Brea Grant Ahead of the FrightFest UK premiere of 12 HOUR SHIFT

Ahead of the FrightFest UK premiere of 12 HOUR SHIFT, director Brea Grant talks about her ‘Valentine to East Texas’, the heroism of nurses and being a child of the 90s.

You’ve said 12 HOUR SHIFT is a valentine to East Texas and the hospital staff who looked after your elderly father, could you elaborate?

I grew up in East Texas and most people will say that in spite of not living there since I was 18, I have a lot of very small town Texan qualities. My hometown is full of no-nonsense, hard-working people, so I took these characters and combined them with something that was very much on my mind when I first started writing the film - nurses in hospitals. There has been this sudden worldwide awareness of the importance essential workers since the start of COVID-19 but anyone like me with an elderly parent, sick loved one or health issues of their own can attest to how much we rely on nurses and hospital staff.

These nurses are superheroes. My dad had had a fall when I started writing this and we went through hospital, rehabilitation, and extended care all while he is battling Alzheimer’s. The hospital workers take care of everybody through what is the most stressful time of all our lives. They have to deal with life or death situations. It’s just an incredible person who goes into that profession. 12 HOUR SHIFT is funny and silly but at its core, I wanted to show the stress of being in a line of work where there is no downtime and you have people’s lives on your hands.

Why the 1999 New Year Y2K setting?

I’m a child of the 90s so my brain still lives in the pre-Y2K era whether I like it or not. Y2K was what I now think of a global urban legend. We were all convinced the world was going to suddenly turn into an apocalyptic landscape at the stroke of midnight. I have always been fascinated by urban legends and 12 HOUR SHIFT’s jumping off point is the urban legend about the person waking up without a kidney in a bathtub full of ice.

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