Saturday, 14 January 2012

Live-In Fear with Brandon and Maria

Live-In Fear is a success story before even a reel of film has been shot, having completed three successful campaigns on Indiegogo it's begun its fourth and final finance campaign.  Brendan Scullion (director) and Maria Olsen (producer) go into production on Wednesday 22nd February in picturesque Brian Head Utah.  In the run up I was able to pick the brains of the duo and why we should all be living in fear.

Q: You’ve referenced The Evil Dead II in your blog regarding the film and the synopsis has a certain Tarkovsky ala Solaris feel to it.  Who would you cite as the heaviest influences in your cinematic style?

BRANDON: It would be fair to say Sam Raimi circa the 80's has had quite a heavy influence on my filmmaking sensibilities. I would also say Darren Aronofsky's work has had a big influence, and I can't forget to mention Kubrick. 

Q: The film seems to be setting its stall out to be an introverted horror, how difficult have you found it to translate that inward glance towards protagonist’s fears on to the screen?

BRANDON: Not all that difficult. Most of my films tend to focus inwardly on people with some level of emotional baggage, and the stories tend to act as a way for them to, one way or another, resolve their issues, so, I'm kind of used to it. I had to find a balance, though, between making the fears and scares too obvious and giving the audience just enough information for them to figure out what that is on their own. Live-In Fear lies somewhere in the middle of that.

Q: There’s a disclaimer stating “This is not a found footage movie”, the premise has the feel of another film that was (and still is) THE found footage movie.  What can we expect that will combat those comparisons?

BRANDON: To be compared to one of the greatest horror films ever would be a huge compliment. Found Footage is very popular now - there's no denying it - but to me it seems like a gimmick. I like to see films where shots are composed and some thought was put into camera placement, and with found footage, you don't seem to have that same amount of detail. They sure do make a lot of money though...


Q: How have you found the Indiegogo funding experience?  It gives film makers a chance to interact with their audiences before there’s a product.  Have you found that it’s altered your initial concept?

BRANDON: Indiegogo has been great. My expectations of how much money we wanted to raise and the actual amount we raised so far are pretty radical. We're on our third campaign which you can conveniently find [here]

Q: Maria, having worked inside the Hollywood framework how does this experience differ?

MARIA: This experience differs from, say, my experience on Fox’s Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief because it’s so much more personal.  With Live-In Fear, I’m getting involved with almost every aspect of the creative and administrative process, and I’m learning so much more about this business through this “total immersion” than I would by just acting in a film.  I’ll be forever grateful to Brandon for his inviting me onto Live-In Fear’s production team.

Q: Why Utah?

BRANDON: The script was written with the knowledge that this condo that's been in my family for something like 20 years was available so that's what I did. Plus it keeps the budget relatively low, and it looks pretty. It pays to take advantage of free things when budget is a concern.

Q: Brandon, you worked with The Asylum recently, how was that?

BRANDON: I must say that my involvement with Asylum was in a very limited capacity, but it was great:  All very professional and really nice people. I'm looking forward to seeing Zombies At The Center Of The Earth.

Q: A cast of four is rather intimate so it’s even more important to get the right actors.  Was there a lot of debating over the final four?

BRANDON: Absolutely. I was torn between so many great performances but ultimately had to make a choice and in the end I think the cast is perfect.

Q: There’s a real resurgence in Independent horror, any advice for someone contemplating making that jump from dreamer to director?

BRANDON: You just have to do it. If you want to make movies, you have to be self motivated. Nobody is going to hand you a script and a sack of money and say, “Hey go make this into a movie.” That's not gonna happen. But that's okay. All it takes is a little creativity and a camera, both of which are very easy to come by.

Q: If you could pick one film for Live-In Fear to be screened alongside what film would you pick?

BRANDON: I could list so many, but I think Live-In Fear would screen very nicely with Another Earth.

Q: All the best horrors inevitably spawn sequels, how open has the door been left?

BRANDON: The end of the film finds the characters coming face to face with this new world they have been left with, and I think it would be interesting to see how they deal with it and what it means to the rest of the planet.

For those of you who haven't encountered Live-In Fear before the teaser trailer is available to provide an atmospheric glimpse into the stylings of Scullion to come.


If, like me, you're a fan of independent cinema and would like to show your support then you can contribute [here] and with Maria Olsen having offered up 61 projects to the cinematic world since 2008 then it's safe to say that the future of Independent horror is not just in the hands of the film makers but also in the audience who believe in them.

Maria was kind enough to offer up her experience and opinion during the Review of the Year.  To read what she had to say click [here].

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