Never enough Giallo

So this summer we were off to Italy for a little relaxation and well lets not kid ourselves; to visit two very awesome stores! PROFONDO ROSSO in Rome and BLOODBUSTER in Milan. A new suitcase was required to bring home all the fantastic finds but we left a little something behind as well. Our film REVERSED is now available on the BLOODBUSTER shelves and their website! We are very excited and grateful to Manuel and the rest of the gang for giving us this opportunity. If you are a lover of all things Giallo and Horror these two stores are an absolute must!

-N

Nadeem Ali’s interview with the cast of Reversed – Part 2

Dan

How did you get involved with the project?

I worked on two feature films in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful friend and actor, Rob Carpenter. Though I didn’t know Vince, Rob and Vince are in partnership with Creepy Six Films, and when Vince decided to come to London, Rob put us in touch. We subsequently met and shortly after that I was lucky enough to be offered the role of ‘John’ in Reversed.

What were your impressions of Vince [director] when you met him?

What a lovely man! I wasn’t surprised by this though as aforementioned Rob is too, and I guess I knew he wouldn’t go into partnership with a dickweed.

How did you feel about your script?

When I read it through initially, what I felt was a headache. Vince, and his script, are just that clever and cerebral. You can’t just sit down with a coffee and read this script. It’s going to make you work and it’s going to look at you when you put it down and say “Yeah that’s right buddy, you heard me”.

How do you feel about your character?

As a true professional, I would never judge my character. It has to be said though that he is a douchebag because he hits his woman.

How has the whole experience been?

From the first meeting with Vince, throughout the London section of the shoot, and right up to my personal picture wrap in Milan, working with Vince and the rest of the team on Reversed has been an absolute pleasure and I am seriously hoping to get a phone call from Vince saying he has another role for me. In another film, I mean. Not another role in Reversed. That would just be weird.

***

Victoria

What were your impressions of Vince?

I met him on another shoot; he was working on the production side of things. We really hit it off and he told me about this project. We’ve met a few times and he is going to produce a short film I am doing. It’s important to establish a relationship with the people you are working with especially when you are the lead. We’ve been doing a lot of guerrilla shooting and you need that trust.

It’s such a visual film; you can’t help but get involved with the aesthetics of it. In the script he has provided a lot of references to his influences in film and music. He said to think of this as an opera, that he wants it to be very operatic. If you keep that in mind you get the rhythm that it is being played at.

My character because she is taking a lot of hallucinogenic drugs, it has allowed me to develop a character with an edge to her. My own character and the way I present myself onscreen has an edge, it provides a nice contrast to the sensuality of the other girls. We are all quite different. Hajnalka has a real cheekiness about her.

I really like working with Vince. He won’t move if the shot isn’t good even when we’re working on the street. Some of the places we shoot, we don’t have permission so we have to keep it low-key and move on before security comes.

It is easy to lose yourself in the film. The horror/thriller aspect that something’s not quite right – that panic and that pulse…That not everything is what it’s supposed to be…

How do you feel about your character?

I was chuffed because originally I wasn’t going to play her. But that was only the role I felt I could play. We both believed it was more of an ethereal role, whereas I have more of an edge. He decided to base the character on Asia Argento, a character with power. I like the role. I like these psychotic characters. But because there are no words, it allows me to use my body and tone it down. I tend to play quite intense, in your face kind of roles.

How did you feel about the script?

Sometimes the best roles are the ones where you don’t say that much. Film captures everything. I’ve just done a film simultaneous to this one which has been improvised. It’s been hectic. I play this brash Australian make-up artist. We’d get an outline of the scene and have to freestyle it. I love improvisation. I can be quite daring and I tend to do exactly what I’m thinking.

What were your impressions of Patrick [director of photography]?

The relationship with Patrick has been really nice. I wanted to know how I looked lying on the bed from a certain angle in one scene. He took a picture and showed me. He gave me that security. He’s just a nice guy. He and Vince work really well together. That helps a lot. Working in a small crew has made it easier. We’ve been very fortunate to get a lot of time out of Vince and ask him about the scenes. We’ve been able to listen to them talk about the scenes and what they want. Sometimes with a large crew they forget to communicate with the actors, they just want you out there and to get on with it.

How has filming been?

You have to stay switched on because everything is a shot. I like that. There was a scene we were filming near London Bridge. There was some downtime. We went to a pub for a drink. I sat outside with Eirik [who plays “Luca” in the film] and I knew they were going to film us. They filmed us through the window. Our relationship isn’t pleasant…when someone doesn’t love you back is how I feel about our relationship. He was leaning in and I was sat back drinking and smoking. We were able to show that aspect of our relationship.

Nadeem Ali’s interview with the cast of Reversed – Part 1

Eirik

How did you feel about the script?

The script desired to be talked over. When you read it for the first time it certainly isn’t as straight forward as any other script you may get as an actor. Often you’ll just get an audition excerpt, two or three sides or whether you read the whole script it’s very simple or basic. It’s not often you are asked to think while reading a film script. There were things that weren’t on the page, specially, the soundtrack.

In order to be part of this sort of project you need to understand the visual idea behind the script, and as I said the soundtrack especially because there is no dialogue. Although, as an actor, that can be a fairly good failsafe. If you end up getting involved in something terrible or unprofessional, as sometimes happens with student films, you can look like a tit. With non-dialogue films that is rarely the case. It is always the film that may look worse than you.

I spoke to Vince about his vision of what it’s supposed to look like. When I mentioned Last Year At Marienbad and how the script reminded me strongly of that Vince immediately picked up on that, telling me that it was something quite similar, albeit more modern. That really convinced me to be a part of it.

What were your impressions of Vince [director]?

It is very rare to find someone in this industry who has such a positive outlook on things and that is able to explain themselves so clearly.

***

Hajnalka

What were your impressions of Vince?

I thought he was really nice and gentle. He was really informative and passionate about his craft and the project. It was a really good first impression.

How did you feel about the script?

I liked it. We had spoken about it…when I read it; I knew it was an arty/experimental kind of

thing. Exactly the kind of thing I like. The fact there was no dialogue was the one thing that pulled me towards it because it was so different. I thought it was going to be very challenging because obviously dialogue makes it easier to relay emotion.

How has filming been?

This is my first day on location, on set. So far it’s been good. I was worried about some of the scenes because there is a lot of nudity and sex. I was worried it might be too in your face. But the whole thing has been planned and thought out well. It’s gone smoothly.

How do you feel about your character?

I’m V. I’m one of Asia’s lovers. Asia is starting to lose it a bit. She has these insecurities. We have a tender relationship. She lost O, her first lover, and in some ways I remind her of O. But she is paranoid and thinks I am judgmental of her. There is a scene when I am laughing and she thinks I am laughing at her. She thinks I am humiliating her. In the end my character dies. It’s all very abstract. There’s no clear idea of where V actually comes from or goes to. There is a clear insinuation Asia kills her…but…who knows?

Tell us more about your acting career?

I have mainly worked on student films. This is my first professional film. When you go such a long time without working you start to question things. Is this really for me? Is this what I really want to do? Should I buy into the rat race and go corporate. But then you spend five minutes on set with the crew and you realize this is exactly what you want to do.

***

Jade

How did you get involved?

I got an email from Vince asking me if I wanted to be part of it. I was really impressed with the script and excited by it. I thought it was very cleverly done, how it’s shot in reverse and plays around with time sequences. When you are excited about it you want to be a part of it. We met for coffee and had a good chat.

How did you feel about the script?

I’ve got to be honest I didn’t notice the lack of dialogue. It’s so detailed. I didn’t read it from

an actor’s point of view and that’s why I Ioved it so much. I felt like an audience member and I envisioned every single detail in my detail. I was in bed reading and I got quite scared. I think liked it because there was no dialogue. I think it’s easier. When you strip away the dialogue you can convey more of the character’s feeling. I thought it would challenge me in a different way.

What were your impressions of Vince?

I thought he was great, really kind. He had a good energy and passion. You really want to trust him because he makes you feel really comfortable.

What were your impressions of Patrick [director of photography]?

He reassured me over some of the reservations I had about the film. He gave me some great advice. He told me not to do anything I felt uncomfortable with. I feel completely safe in Patrick’s hands. There is a softness and a reassuring nature about him. Because I was able to speak to him about my concerns, automatically I feel there is a bond there.

Back in London

We just got back from an amazing shoot in Milan as part of the “Reversed” production. Shooting all around this unique city, the people there were incredibly welcoming to us. Everyone was excited and curious about what we were getting up to, it was a completely different vibe than it has been shooting in London.

It was also nice to finally reconnect with my good friend and co-producer Mickey Evil from the world-famous Mugshots.

We managed to avoid the rain for the entire shoot, though we got dumped on right after we wrapped the final shot near the steps of the Duomo outside of the galleria. We took our camera equipment and our umbrellas and went down to the older part of the city, a place near the canals that used to be called “Little Paris of Italy” decades ago. There, the cast and crew sat in a restaurant, then a bar, as it poured rain outside the window along the picturesque streets and foot bridges. What a beautiful way to end the shoot.

Well, nearly ending the shoot. We’ll be going one more night in London next weekend, and then that’s an official wrap. Following this, I’m back to Italy to work with Mickey on the soundtrack to the film.

And following this post, we should have more on-set interviews from our press associate Nadeem Ali. Stay tuned!

-Vince.

Nadeem’s “Reversed” Diaries #2

Reversed Diary – 29th October 2011

My second day sees an early start and a relatively late finish. I meet Vince, Erika, Victoria Hopkins (Asia), Jade(O), Eirik Bar (Luca) and Hajnalka Wray (V) outside Brixton station and off we go. The distinctively voiced Anglo-German Eirik introduces himself as we climb Brixton Hill, revealing a rather interesting background. His father was an actor, specialising in fat villainous roles and his mother an opera singer. He only took up acting four years ago when he decided to turn a theoretical and intellectual interest into a practical one. He narrowly missed out on becoming the hands of Kindle and the filthy lucre that would have gone with it. Since then his adventures has brought him to a Brixton flat where he is to make love and be murdered.

Patrick (DOP) and his girlfriend Lee join us not longer after we get to Vince’s flat. On a warm October morning, in a cramped little flat with the heating on we all swelter. Soon the heat is lowered and pastries are proffered. Erika gets to work on making the girls look even more beautiful than they already are. There are a few nerves onset as this is ‘nudie day’, when all the sex scenes will be filmed. It is Jade’s first shooting day and the first time Eirik has met his co-stars. Mostly though things remain calm, casual and light hearted sharing stories and banter in the downtime. The passionate Victoria is an intense, fiery, ball of energy. She dances around, poses and gives her all to the film.

Vince, Patrick and Lee decamp in the bedroom ushering in an exotic combination of actors. Erika and I nibble on the pastries and chat to whoever happens to be left out of the shenanigans. Occasionally disturbing cackles emanate from the bedroom, resulting in spooked hush. As robed actors wander in and out there are discussions about the politics and morality of onscreen nudity. Including the importance of knowing what is needed and trusting in the director. All the actors are impressed and reassured by Vince’s handling of the scenes. Jade is impressed by the way Eirik and Hajnalka so confidently handled their own coupling.

After sex follows death. Today sees two of the characters killed off. Before that we get to see some monstrous special effects. Eirik’s left hand is to be transformed into a tentacled creatureish (but most definitely not zombieish) hand for a hallucinogenic bedroom scene. This involves the bizarre sight of Erika blowing Eirik’s hand to help the application dry. His pretty hand soon becomes a veiny, grey-green, latex atrocity; there is beauty to be found in its profound ugliness. Despite this Erika is not happy and repeatedly implores Eirik not to look at it. Soon Hajnalka and Eirik are killed off in a splatter of blood. The kitchen and the two actors are drenched in deep red blood. It is also Eirik’s final day with the Reversed crew. He leaves just as Zoe (Laura) and Dan (John) arrive, meeting them for the first and (until the wrap party) last time.

The once busting flat is a lot quieter with the departure of Victoria, Jade, Hajnalka and Eirik. This is merely the calm before the storm. Dan and Zoe’s scene is an emotionally and physically intense scene. As they rehearse the scene again and again, their performances become louder, stronger and increasingly visceral. What will the neighbors think? Especially those across the road who are getting changed into Halloween gear. Or those in the flat below as Zoe falls to the floor with a thud before Dan delivers the final blow. Despite Dan’s reservations about how much actual force to use, he acquits himself well as the brutal boyfriend. As on Sunday the couple get through their scenes rapidly, although not quite in one take this time. They leave early and happy. As do I.

–Nadeem Ali.

Nadeem’s “Reversed” Diaries #1

Reversed Diary – 23rd October 2011

Today is my first day hanging with the Reversed crew while they do their thing. In the morning I meet Vince, Stuntman/DoP Patrick Meehan, make-up artist Erika Navage and actors Dan Richardson and Zoe Wellman at the BFI where they are filming a scene. The weather outside is lovely, warm and crisp while the BFI quietly buzzes with activity.

While Zoe has her make-up applied Vince fills us in all the latest details. After a few problems with the lead actress, in order to keep things rolling she has been replaced by Victoria. Victoria will take on the now renamed role of Asia (inspire by Asia Argento, daughter of giallo godfather Dario). Vince is extremely relieved to have cleared up the mess so rapidly and relatively smoothly. In fact more than that, Vince is delighted. Ever since he first met Victoria he has been impressed with her attitude and connection to the script.

While Vince directs an intense scene between Dan and Zoe (making for a beautifully composed couple) a number of handsome young men are getting changed and unchanged right next to us. Despite the distractions Dan and Zoe they get their scene done in one perfect take leading Vince to enthusiastically declare it, “fucking brilliant!” Some close ups are shot and then everyone mingles while Patrick scampers about taking pictures.

In the downtime I chat to Patrick. Patrick is that unusual combination of stuntman and DoP. He trained as a gymnast and studied to be a camera operator at university. Since then he has mixed stunt work with photography work building up his portfolio. If that wasn’t enough Patrick also helps to run stunt training courses. All the while he is working away at his own film project. Patrick told me, “You become conscious of the fact that you aren’t able to write. But you don’t know until you try. I watched films that I really liked, took the core elements and wrote a story outline. I want to fill the film with stunts, taking the DIY approach to special effects in horror movies and apply it to stunts.” And if that wasn’t enough Patrick also helps to run stunt training courses.

Vince and Patrick met working together on another film and immediately hit it off. Vince trusts Patrick so much he has relinquished camera operator duties for the first time in his film making career. “We don’t even need to communicate that much. Patrick knows what needs to be done, what works best for the film.” Vince goes on to declare his joy at working with the rest of his assembled team praising their professionalism and passion for his vision.

After the smooth morning filming our next task was to find costume for actress Jade Parker. Vince, Patrick, Erica and I quickly made our way to Marble Arch to meet Jade. We then decamped to Primark for some clothes shopping before heading to a pub for a production meeting. Throughout the day Vince joyfully laid bare his hopes and dreams for this grand vision. He elucidated and dissected what he wants to achieve visually, aurally and philosophically. Vince perpetuates, deviates going off at tangents with his boundless, irrepressible energy.

Later…

Nadeem