Thursday, June 12, 2008

"The Chair" - Another Case Study in Making Indie Horror Films

So, I'm really excited about this latest entry into our 'case studies' in indie-horror and I'm going to try something a little different this time because of it... What we usually do is ask a bunch of questions, then go through the responses and put together the post, basically cutting and pasting from the answers. Now, that usually leads to two things... (1) We end up having to cut out some cool information and (2) it takes us forever to get through each interview and get the post up. Now, we're fairly backlogged on screeners and interviews right now and this interview with Brett Sullivan, director of the Lionsgate released "The Chair", posed a bit of a problem... the problem was, he gave an awesome interview. It's filled with information that any filmmaker, up-and-comer or veteran, would find useful, entertaining and informative. So, I'm going to make the entire interview available, uncut, as a pdf. You can find it here. Below, you will find a brief synoposis, but you should really read the whole interview... by the way, if you would prefer me to continue doing all the case studies this way, let me know in the comments section.

Film: The Chair
Written By: Michael Capellupo
Directed By: Brett Sullivan
Released By: Lionsgate

About: "The Chair" was released on DVD by Lionsgate on May 27th, 2008 after running the festival circuit. It won best feature at Shriekfest, two awards from the Canadian Filmmakers Festival and it just won another one at the Winnipeg International Film Festival. Essentially, it's a ghost story revolving around the character Danielle, who unleashes the soul of a vicious child killer.

Getting it made: It was shot on digital with a small MiniDV camera and they cut corners wherever they could to keep the budget down, including shooting the bulk of the film in the directors old house, using practical effects vs. CG effects, etc. The final product is very professional and I'd love to know the budget, but Brett didn't divulge that information...

The effects: This is yet another reason that the film is a must-see... not only did they manage to use no CG effects, the practical effects that they did use are extremely effective. Point of interest here and hopefully it doesn't get buried here, but... If you want to see how to build tension, be creepy and scare the hell out of people on a low-budget, Brett Sullivan shows you the way in this film.

Distributing the film: He elaborates more in the full interview, but, like I said, the film ran the festival circuit and is now available everywhere through Lionsgate.

I was intentionally brief and I really encourage you to read the full interview. Once again, you can click here to read the full article. You can purchase a copy of the film through Amazon here, you can go to The Chair's website here and you can find out more about Brett Sullivan and Panic Pictures here.

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