it is here that we who were involved in the production of this film will share our thoughts with you a little bit.
charles d. lincoln (writer, producer, “tony”) - the last few years have been a bit of a whirlwind. making movies is expensive and while most people tend to start their careers with short films, I had dove right into the deep end of the pool and did a feature. features require a lot of money that i didn’t have. we had run out of budget and just could not afford post-production, while there were some people who suggested i do absolutely nothing until this particular film was done, i knew that wasn’t the smartest of ideas. if one avenue of revenue (hey, that rhymed!) had run out, the idea was to find another one while working on other projects.
enter 21st Century demon hunter, the original novel i had set theresa + allison’s world in. i had been looking for a model for the cover and i found the lovely and talented chelsea lesage. while she had originally only signed up to play the lead character of julie for the cover of the novels and maybe in an occasional cameo in other projects, chelsea floated the idea to me of doing a webseries based on the novel. while i decided the best way to do it would be to make the webseries a prequel to the novel, it still involved the two of us working together a lot more than i thought we would. over those six months of shooting (it is an ambitious project for a no-budget webseries), theresa + allison’s status came up from time to time. eventually, seeing what we could do with this whole big expanded universe i created, chelsea offered to fund post-production.
so, just like that, we were back on track, even if there had been no movement for two years! we had a screening at nyu for a young horror fans, asking what they liked and what they didn’t. i was very adamant that it be horror fans, not just your standard every day student. every day focus groups hated terry gilliam’s brazil, after all. the young horror fans were very positive towards the film but their complaints matched my own, so we shot some pick-up shots with me as second unit director, and then went into the color correction and sound design process. while christopher bye, who was also our d.p. gave the film a very cool look, cold and desaturized for exteriors and warm and “bloody” for interiors, evan joseph did made the film that much more uncomfortable with the sound he created for the film. he cleaned up the audio of scenes we thought were going to need ADR, he made uncomfortable scenes even more so, and he brought his own version of the film’s dark sarcasm to the presentation. at the same time, chelsea and i (under my musician moniker, charles lupula) composed the score, a mixture of cold piano pieces, ominous horns, martial drumming, and stark female vocals. finally, vfx artist andrew henriques did little CG touchups to a couple practical scenes. and then, when november of 2018 came along, we had a finished movie.
this weekend, the first screening of the film happens at reels of the dead atlanta and i couldn’t be more excited to show it off to the world. it was a long, bloody road, but we made it. making movies is a ridiculously hard process, but with perservance and determination (and the right people to believe enough to open their wallets to you), it can be done. we are living proof of that.
charles d. lincoln (writer, producer, "tony") - since a couple people asked, I thought i'd provide the theme songs I had for a couple of the other major characters.
the first is siouxsie and the banshee's "peek a boo" for our other lead, allison, played by sarah schoofs. this song makes me think of allison's playful but duplicitous nature. she is definitely not everything she seems or says and that's a big part of her character. at times, she is purposely cartoonish, in order to throw people off of how deadly she is. plus, i can totally imagine the character listening to this song in her everyday life. for alyson danielczuk's miranda, i must admit, the entire time i was writing the character, i kept thinking "daria as a vampire" and so, splendora's "you're standing on my neck," the daria theme song was the song i'd use when i'd write her dialogue. for tony, there's fractured fairytales' "selfsustaineddemise (decimation)," which just feels very synthetic and somewhat obnoxious, which fits his character completely, because i feel like even when tony was human, he was a manipulator (maybe one day, we'll go into allison and his backstories...). for paisley, played by alexandra frantsevich, i went with the old theme of wwe wrestler, summer rae, whose "so cool" theme from kodiene just screams spoiled rich girl with awful intentions. for amy jo jackson's sakkara, the theme of caius from final fantasy xiii-2, composed by naoshi mizuta, just speaks to the centuries of life this character has lived, and all the triumphs and hardships i imagine the character has had, many of which would be giant spoilers if i told you them now. finally marisa roman's santa yara's theme is a familiar one to those who have seen our first official trailer, i listened to eluveitie's "dessumiis luge," as i imagined her past. much of which it would be also be a spoiler to tell you. just keep in mind that the two oldest characters in the film are sakkara and santa yara, so listen to the songs and let your minds wander.
charles d. lincoln (writer, producer, "tony") - As we go live today, I wanted to reflect a little bit on the writing process. I spent a good 12 years of my life as a musician, before losing half of my hearing and shifting my focus onto film. However, when I write, it is absolutely vital that I listen to music as I write. One of the side effects of this is that when I write, I tend to create "theme songs" when trying to get into the head of various characters. Thus, every character in the story has their own theme. I thought I'd start today by sharing what is basically Theresa's theme. It's from an Ohio band called The Shale Satans that I am not sure if they are still together as they stopped updating their Facebook a while back. That could either mean they're very busy or they are experiencing musician problems. Either way, this is the song that sums up Theresa's situation in the story, for me. It just feels like someone whose life has taken a particularly unexpected and possibly dark turn, looking both back and forward over their life. It felt perfect for Theresa. it feels cold and melancholy, the basic feel that I had in mind when i wrote the story. there's moments of humor and a ton of moments of horror, but, overall, theresa's life is one of loss. loss of sunlight. loss of the ability to consume anything but blood. loss of life. loss of her old life. loss of the lives of those she feeds off. when i hear this song, the theme of loss just hit me so hard and i thought this song is her.
Here is a quick behind the scenes video of some of the special effects being made for the film. This video features Natalie Blackman, who plays Jane (the jogger), getting a cast made of her arm, by makeup artist supreme, beatrice sniper. What happens to it in the actual film? You'll just have to watch to find out...