Friday, September 16, 2011

Guest blogger - Darkside Films

So, today I'm delighted to be able to share with you all an interview with DW Kann @ Darkside Films. As you know, here at the Family of Dog and the Goat Franchise we're avid supporters of all things horror, and I jumped at the chance to have a chat with DW about their new project, 'Sever'. They might be filmmakers, but there's a lot here for film buffs and authors alike - if you like horror, then you'll love reading what they have to say.

Pull up a seat and have a read. Let us know what you think, let them know what you think, share the link around and don't forget to swing by when you're done. Kate x

1. So, tell us where this all began! Was it a midnight flash of
inspiration, or has this project been something you’ve dreamed of
doing for a long time?

SEVER is a project that has had a long journey before it was ever committed to paper.  I kept a log from as far back as the early 1990's of circumstances that I had experienced or stories I heard.  Then several years ago I began researching heavily into serial killers, part of this was from a particular experience I had encountered back in college.  A friend and I used to "hedge" or go "urban spelunking" in abandoned buildings. We had seen a lot of strange things and had even ventured at night in these places.  One night we were about to go in and I decided not to go, something in my gut told me it was a bad idea.  After some back and forth arguing with my friend who called me a "pussy" we decided to go and get a pint instead.  The next morning on the local news I saw the building we were at the night before and they were removing a body of a serial killer who had slit his own throat.  He had been linked to a couple of be-headings in the area, the news dubbed him the Vampire-Nazi.  Needless to say it was a year before we stepped foot back in that place.  They say write what you know, I believe life experience is the best way to lend itself in screenplay form.   

2. What makes ‘Sever’ different from all the other horror films out there?

SEVER I wanted to take a step further and create an online world prior to the film.  Not just a trailer, but a character, someone who hides in plane site in every day life.  I wanted this film to be interactive, whether you read or listen to the information about Patrick online before or after you've seen the film.  You can discover all this back story on your own, in researching about him.  This would give you far more depth to a character than just tuning in for an hour and a half.  He's more complicated than that.  I've never seen a film approached this way and this was something I've been wanting to do long before social media took over the internet.  We connect with movie stars this way, with friends, with prisoners even dating.  Why not create an iconic horror character this way and who we can follow.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Really from everything.  I know that may sound trite.  But I spend a lot of time outdoors and being very active.  I also enjoy researching immensely as well as my photography and artwork.  These all gestate in my mind swirling around and then something clicks.  It may be an image that spawns a story or a line that someone told me.  I'm also a huge observer of people which also lends itself to wonderful stories to tell as you can imagine.

4. Has there ever been a moment when you’ve doubted whether this
project would succeed? And if so, how did you beat the doubts?

I've been battling to get this film made for almost six years through various means.  I've never believed in a project as much as this.  If it fails it's because I gave up and that won't happen.  I've given the screenplay to at least twenty people or more who've read it to get their response which has been amazing.  They see it's potential and that's what really keeps me going, their enthusiasm to want to see a finished product.  Their thoughts on how the story ends and who Patrick is and what he means are all different, that is something very special me and the fact that I was able to capture it in this way always puts a smile on my face.

5. More and more authors are making the jump into self-publishing, but are often met with disdain. Have you encountered this at all as a
result of your unconventional approach to funding your film project?

It's a constant battle to get your project made, whether it be a book, film or album.  Especially now with the advent of consumer grade cameras.  Everyone thinks they're a filmmaker who owns a computer and a camera and that's just not true.  Not everyone can accomplish this, but society dictates otherwise.  And with the market flooded with so much mediocrity you have to really stand out.  I believe if your work truly has longevity, someone will find you and take that chance.

6. How can our readers support you – and why should they?

I only have a few days left on my kickstarter page.  I will be re-launching it again via a different crowd funding site in a month or so.  I am currently putting together another promo trailer which I will also launch at the time.  If your readers like what they see either there or on the films website they can support us by contributing, even if it's just a $1.  As I mentioned above, the people that have read the script and the comments of new fans who have been reading Patrick's blog on the site and listening to his interview want more, they like what they're discovering.  I think your readers will too.

7. Fan-backed projects have really taken off of late, both in music
and in film. Do you think that the industry needs to seriously
consider your approach as the way forward?

Yes, I think this is truly the wave of the future.  It may take some time to stick, but Hollywood has already been searching through talent on YouTube for instance, so why not crowd funding.  The great thing is that fans, true fans can put their money to something they believe in and watch it come alive and be apart of it.  

8. You’re going to be filming in Martha’s Vineyard at the end of this
year. Is that where you always imagined you would film when the
project was conceived?

Yes, the other part of my story of how SEVER came to be was told to me by my father over 20 years ago about a man arriving here on the island via a small boat.  He lived in a winter house that had been closed for the season by the ocean.  Sneaking around the island, making money, doing what he needed too to survive and then one day he vanished.  I know this because I saw what he left behind.  This place has a lot to offer and delivers the isolation I am looking for.  Especially in the winter months.

9. Who do you think ‘Sever’ is going to appeal to?

Oh man, that's a good question.  I would hope it would transcend beyond the horror fans.  There are some gruesome moments, but it's really a psychological thriller.  Growing up watching Polanski, Lynch, Cronenberg to name a few as a kid really stuck with me.  One of the biggest compliments I receive from everyone that has read the screenplay is that they have a love hate relationship with Patrick.  I enjoy that very much because it is those characters you never forget in films.  

10. In media, some people see what they do as a job, and others do it
simply because they have an overwhelming love for it. Which side of
the fence do you come down upon – is Darkside Films a profession or a passion?

It depends on the project I'm working on.  I am hired out from time to time to get films back on track whether it be by re-editing projects or producing them to completion where someone else wasn't able to finish the task.  My personal projects like SEVER are passionate endeavors though if there was a job in it, it's raising the financing which I cannot stand.  It pains me greatly to have to peddle my work prior to getting it made, ask anyone who knows me.  I would much rather be the craftsman than the executive producer.

11. What does the future hold for Darkside Films?

We have several projects that we're developing that range from commercial films to animated features to boutique projects.  We're looking for the right person who is fiscally responsible and has a financial background to help us get even further out there.  We've never been more ready to explode on the scene with the material we have. 

12. And finally, tell us what it is about horror that inspires you.
Why have you gravitated towards this genre in particular?

I don't know honestly.  In high school we made Monty Python style puking videos in the 80's.  Then I got into make-up FX and went to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh because it was where Zombies came from.  

I like being scared and I've been truly scared several times in my life, it's an adrenaline rush that I crave.  But on the same token, what I see in every day life disturbs me and with a sick fascination I want to know more.  Why do people do what they do?  Why do men kill each other?  What is there reasoning behind this?  This is what truly frightens me, because most of the time they don't have an answer for you.  They just do it.

Huge thanks to DW for taking the time to answer my questions - he's certainly piqued my interest, and I can't wait to see what 'Sever' evolves into!

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