What inspired you come up with the idea for the film? Why did you want to tell this story?
In part the idea of this relationship that couldn’t really exist, between two very isolated people who have nobody to care for them. The emotional core of the film, buried though it is, is this strange almost-father/daughter relationship between Gabriel and Caitlyn. Whether she’s an apparition or a figment of his imagination, there’s something beautiful, to me, about Gabriel’s longing for companionship, family and love suddenly made tangible. I was also inspired by the cinematic atmosphere of classic ghost stories, and was attempting to make something original while crossing up these different genres- ghost story, mystery, arthouse psychological drama etc.
How do you relate to your characters or subjects?
I need to feel what they feel and have a sense that I’m traveling through their world with them
What aspect of the story changed the most during writing and production?
The relationship between Gabriel and Caitlyn definitely evolved and became richer… it became more of a father-daughter relationship through the drafting process.
What was the most courageous decision you or your crew made during production?
I think it was very courageous of my line producer José Lacelle to work on a low budget film like this. She’d never done something at this budget level and was quite anxious about tackling it. She’s very experienced and it was just out of her wheelhouse. And of course she became the glue that held the production side together- she was awesome!
Where there any risks that you faced during production and how did you find a way to embrace them?
Doing some of my own stunts was a bit risky. EG: I attacked an actor with a baseball bat. I think overall we were pretty careful and didn’t take foolish risks though.
What influenced the visual style of the film?
I shot a ghostly short film a few years ago- maybe that influenced me. The atmosphere of classic ghost stories like The Others and the Shining maybe, though we didn’t actually look at those or reference them specifically. I really wasn’t thinking of other films when I made this, and I’m still not sure what film to compare it to. Like the main character, it’s an oddball.
What risks did you take to tell your story?
I think the biggest risk was consciously making a story that falls between genres, that I knew ran the risk of pleasing no one. It’s not a horror or genre film, though it has a few nods in that direction. It’s not a classic arthouse drama, though it’s slow-paced and influenced by that type of aesthetic. It’s a film that doesn’t fit easily into the world- though it’s done well so far when put before an audience in a theatre. I knew this and made the film anyway. I think it would have been easier for me to make a straight horror film- and I know I could have done that well, and it would have been more profitable. But I’m obtuse, and this is what I chose to make. I’m obscurely proud of that, though maybe I shouldn’t be.
How would you encourage others to tell their story or manage through the process of screen writing or film producing?
Perseverance is obviously number one. I’d encourage you to build a team of friends and people you like and trust… and ideally not do all the key roles (write, direct, produce, edit, stuntman…) yourself, like I did. In my case it was just for expedience (and because there was no money), but it’s a lonely road, and I think I would have enjoyed the process more with some equally invested partners.
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